There are times when my writing does not come up to the standards that I set for myself as a competitive perfectionist. The most recent example of this was my last article, detailing my thoughts on the latest Star Wars: Episode IX trailer. In it, much was said about how big corporations are run by Satan and that the existence of anything for profit is bereft of the creative soul. Upon publishing, I immediately looked back on it and thought, “Man, how often have I said all this before?”
Many times. Such is the identity I have established for myself the past six years.
Cynical. Analytic. Prefers substance over style. Adores experimentation and differentiation. Liberal. Somewhat absurd. Nitpicker. Anti-corporate. Passionate. Hard to please. These are all qualities I feel I, through the words produced for the blog, embody in my posts. After six years of doing this, it all comes full circle at some point. The trailer-reaction post was full-on “Anti-corporate,” “Cynical,” and “Analytical.” Three boxes checked off the ever-steady lists of things to expect with me that it deflates the value I perceive my words have on various topics.
There comes a point where these things are expected with a particular blogger, that when they’ve done their thing for a while and they’ve come to establish their identity, there isn’t much that one can expect otherwise. “Kapodaco saw the new Star Wars trailer and thought it smelled too much like people in suits appealing to as big an audience as possible? Shocking.” It makes me feel as though my opinions don’t have as much worth in the long run, especially when the growth of the blog stays stagnant and the same people read my posts again and again. If no damage to their worth, my words thus become as predictable as the red color of a stop signal. Why keep yelling the same thing towards the wind when nothing will ever change?
To those who may be confused, the cover photo for this post is the original interpretation of my online persona, founded back in 2012 or so. I was watching Disney’s Robin Hood, the animated feature from my youth that features anthropomorphic animals, when a young rabbit got angry over being teased by other young animals, producing the face provided. Seeing it again as a young adult, I burst out laughing, amused by just how deathly the little rabbit’s glare was, and made it my mission to use it for every online profile picture I had. The image stuck—over the years, I edited it (poorly) to look more like my actual self, eventually commissioning people to do something proper with it. That angry glare would mold me into the cynical dude I was to become, harboring years of resentment towards “objectively shitty” work that was praised for whatever reason.
The intention of explaining all this is to explain the origins of my current identity: a cynical hare. Coming to grips with this, an identity I worked fairly hard to adhere to in all junctions (including various snarky posts and patronizing behavior), is something that my current self feels harder to encourage. I’m not as angry as I once was, nor am I as apathetic. The behavior of the past has given birth to an identity that for so long has been what I feel people have expected of me, some of which comes forth even today, like with the post before this. It isn’t gone by any means, only degenerated by numerous life experiences that have changed my overall perspective.
I do believe that I’m not perceived to be as cynical as I once was. I believe that people from long ago have seen the growth of my blog, and I, as a person. The root of cynicism is something that is now only a fraction of what I can provide as an aspiring reviewer and pseudo-intellectual entertainer. Even if I feel the worth of my words grows dimmer with every post that complains of “big business” or “trendiness” or “self-indulgence,” I know that there are those who still view me as a credible source of information and value. What I am now is an extension of what I once was, cynicism and all.
Now then, what was the point of this post? I seem to have gotten lost along the way. Nevertheless, I think anyone who may be struggling to burst out of their identity bubble should strive to show themselves in every light possible. Where as I was once ultra-cynical and elitist, I am now completely comfortable using personal identifiers within posts as a means of supplanting my personality within my typically rigid essays. It’s a small step, but something I would strive not to do very often in the past, as that would ruin the sanctity of the formality of the review or whatever the hell I was on back then. One’s identity doesn’t have to be one thing—it doesn’t even have to be a thing. Sometimes I feel the person behind that image, as complex as all humans are, are better suited for the limelight than a goofy persona.
Take Youtuber “I Hate Everything” for example. He rose to fame by doing exactly what his name implies. He puts out various videos detailing how much he hated various topics and screwdrove them into the dirt without mercy. Recently, based on his activity outside Youtube (and conversely is lack of activity on Youtube), I feel he’s become a little wary of its overwhelmingly negative nature. He loves many things, if his letterboxd account is any indication. I feel he wishes to talk more about them, and does so with his podcast with fellow Youtubers “YourMovieSucks” and “Ralphthemoviemaker.” Perhaps IHE wishes to branch out more, now that his understanding of life and perspective has matured with his age (I believe he’s a year younger than I), but it would go against his ultra-negative identity. Things like this are kind of what I fear with my own identity, though it’s hard to compare someone who gets maybe a hundred views per day on his blog and someone with over a million subscribers on Youtube.
Maybe this post went off the rails a bit, I don’t really know. I have a tendency to take inspiration and wing it well enough to make it seem relevant, but probably not here. What should be prominent is that my identity as a cynical hare is only a part of who I am. I enjoy a numerous amount of things, even with the flaws that I have with them. More forgiving and more empathetic than previously, my posts relate to something of a mix between outright cynicism and passionate dissection, with emotional connection lying in wait. I don’t like being thought of as the guy who is too harsh with everything, and I’m not even sure if anyone thinks of my work like that anymore. It’s something of a recurring anxiety. I also kind of wanted to have this be helpful to others, but I ended up talking quite a bit about myself. What a narcissist I am!
How do you think others view your blog? Your blogging identity?
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.
8 thoughts on “Coming to Terms with Your Blogging Identity”
I greatly related to this post, both as someone who has also been recently coming to terms with their online personality, and who’s seen themselves grow and change their personality over years of writing reviews on the internet since they were a teenager.
I too have had the worry of my content being samey and being seen as nothing more than a guy who’s lazy and who loves to share contrarian, controversial opinions about shows that a lot of people consider trashy or just plain bad. “Of course Lethargic likes the edgy isekai harem show with video game logic!” “Not surprised he gave the latest Shounen a good review”
But I feel I’ve at least grown some what as a blogger by injecting more of my personality into what I write. For better or worse. I used to avoid putting any of my real personality into my posts because I was afraid of doing so, since when I used to do so back in my reviewer days, it caused issues (because I was a teenager and an asshole), but I’d like to think I’ve matured since then and that people have warmed up to who I really am. Some people even find my shitty jokes funny.
On the subject of your own blog and persona, I’ve definitely noticed your own personality shining through in the past year or so. You ARE less cynical and more forgiving in your posts nowadays, and it’s made your content a lot more varied and unpredictable in my opinion. I wholly expected you to completely shit on the Mario Bros movie for example, but to my surprise you found some positive elements in there, and even had a good laugh out of it.
Anyhow, this was nice to read. Here’s to more growth for both of us!
Let’s trade online identities! Wouldn’t it be sad if no one notices?
I don’t know if this sounds offensive or not, but I think people would absolutely notice if we swapped!
How dare you and perhaps thank you?
Now I want to see the two of you writing a post like the other’s… Or at least a series of statements, and we all have to guess who said it, and then we tally the score.
Oh, my God.
I’d immediately check my subspace signature, because I’d be convinced that I’d fallen into a parallel universe — well, an _almost_ parallel universe.
Reblogged this on LIFE STORIES FROM LINCOLN.