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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Enough about you

Spend 24 hours with me and among the details you’ll take away from what was certainly the best day of your life is that every drink I take is accompanied by a toast to Amy Winehouse, I have a cow-shaped tin full of popsicle stick jokes and I suffer from a crippling dependence on social networking – in particular, Tumblr.

This site, an intricate web of blogs, run by an equally complex collection of cat-and-Nutella-obsessed social hermits, invaded my senses early last summer and hasn’t left my system since. The infatuation developed at first by nature of having an outlet through which to vent my creative flair and showcase my enviable writing technique, but the blog gradually developed into something much more valuable – a vehicle for my narcissism.

Initially, I tried to use my gossip columnist vernacular as a buffer to hide my own self-interest. I tried to cover stories of people much more culturally relevant than myself in an attempt to rise to their level. I tried, in essence, to become famous via the internet and was met with admittedly disappointing results. So fuck it, I thought, I’ll just cut the middleman. That was the day I decided to stop pretending like the virtual entries were about the subjects placed in the forefront; to write about the only famous person I really knew well enough to cover 24/7, without fail or misreporting or abashed denial about the actual focus – me.

I accept that I sound like an egomaniac, and frankly it wouldn’t shock me if all The Aggie readers were to immediately set this paper down on their apartment’s laminate countertop and spark up a conversation with their roommates about “This self-centered douchebag who wrote that column.” However, please give me a shot at redemption before you burn this section of the paper and the message is never received.

My blog, (which I will proceed to plug shamelessly: cleverblog.tumblr.com) once dedicated to critiquing music, movies, and popular culture in my own impeccable fashion, has since metamorphosed into a catalog of my first-world, sensitive Caucasian boy problems – never failing to document the slightest daily irritation, from noisy neighbors to people who thought Born This Way was a great album. No occurrence is too minuscule to share with the world and nobody is safe from the eye of scrutiny – not even the brilliant blogger behind the entire operation.

Yet, all self-deprecation aside, I’m forced to concede the fact that I remain an overwhelming success; the self-promoting act was a triumph and led to my pool of followers increasing in size more than four times over. What’s more, through it all I discovered what is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of recognizing the vanity so inherent in blogging – it earned me the semblance of a shred of cyber popularity that idolizing celebrities had never before achieved. Contrary to accepting my own lack of fame and treating celebrities as revered figures, I had begun to place a new savior on the elevated pedestal previously reserved for popstars and thespians – myself. Bigheaded? No doubt. Absurd? Debatably. But completely unreasonable? Not necessarily.

Consider the following news feed additions:

“Oh yeah, T.G.I.F.!” – Katy Perry (Retweeted by 100+ Twitter users)

“So excited about X-factor premiering tonight! It really looks amazing.” – Zooey Deschanel (Retweeted by 63 Twitter users)

“Gymm then tanninggg with Sheila :)))) lol txt it” – Girl on Facebook feed (3 likes, handful of comments)

What gives a person the qualities required to inflict pointless, ceaseless updates of their daily activities on the rest of the world without being questioned or labeled as vain? Fame? Wealth? A posse? Not to say that I can’t find entertainment in some first-class celebrity conceit, (I own “The Simple Life” seasons one and two and I refuse to regret it) but doesn’t the presence of all those aforementioned factors sort of remove the potential charming irony behind self-importance?

In my decidedly humble opinion – because I’m an especially modest individual – admitting that I’m self-important is a more honorable alternative to acting as though I am without acknowledging it. In fact, I think it makes me better than everyone else.

Single and ready to mingle. You can reach DYLAN GALLAGHER at dylaaaaan@gmail.com.

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