Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Friday Shoot-out dies in Flaming Ego Crash

Please forgive me, but I have just deleted 90% of my Friday Hometown “M”-themed photo shoot-out from the dashboard. I’m sure I’ll stick in a couple of photos with minimal words but I have dumped what had become a major opus with endless dialogue using every word I could think of that started with “M”. (I.e. massive monologues where Butler meticulously moderates Bagman’s mayhem.) You get the point. And lots and lots of dump snapshots to illustrate a blog-version of stand-up comedy.

I guess some of it was probably funny, but I realized early this morning that I was literally driving myself crazy. Somehow, blogging – particularly the shootout – has become less about connection, communication, sharing and more about performance. My ego has overheated. (Yes, I confess, I have an ego…in Alcoholics Anonymous, I’ve heard alcoholics and addicts defined as “egomaniacs with inferiority complexes.” I don’t like looking at it, but that definition fits me pretty well.)

When I’m writing the blog, it’s like I’m on amphetamine. When I turn off the computer, I crash. Over the last month I’ve slowly become more and more irritable, withdrawn, angry, depressed and disconnected. I didn’t make the connection until this morning when I was preparing to add what I thought was an absolutely hilarious photograph to the manic “M” blog. It was a self-portrait, supposedly to have been taken by Bagman with my cheeks stuffed with marshmallows and the caption: “Mark’s messy mandible masticating mini-marshmallows.” Yes, I had truly lost it.

But it wasn’t the idiocy of the attempted humor that made the connection for me that I was over the edge – it was seeing my face in the photo. The marshmallows extruding from my mouth might have been a bit funny, but my expression was scary. My “smile” was demonic. My eyes were crazed. I looked haggard and totally stressed out. Ego sucks. Ego is the center of addiction for me. And, at least for me, blogging has started to be about feeding my ego.

So I deleted my Friday Shootout blog with the same sad resolve I remember when I poured my last can of beer down the toilet in 1976. I’m still planning to put a small number of pictures up on Friday…I just need to…what is the phrase I’m looking for? Get smaller? Get real? Something like that.

And I have to laugh at the irony of this post. Having resolved to back away a little bit from self-explanatory pontifications, I immediately run to the computer and post a 448 word self-explanatory pontification! Clearly nuts.

BAGMAN and BUTLER (in unison for a change): Why don’t you just shut up, Mark?


  1. You can't do that. That is the "newspaper" in you. You belong to a special group of people, even if you are long out of participating in the "club." The newspaper never leaves you. You know that!

    Come on baack!

  2. I have to agree with Patty, you do belong to a special group of people regardless of how long you've not been participating directly and that part of you doesn't ever leave you. I think all of us who have ever written extensively in any form, find ourselves bumping into that ego creature that is never far away. You have a terrific sense of humor and you're able to laugh at yourself and that in itself is a gift. So tell Butler and Bagman to suck it up and back off, climb out of the depression and find another reason to laugh -- and not necessarily at yourself. Laughter is the greatest gift in the world. Now, again as Patty wrote, COME On BACK!

  3. I enjoy your posts because I can't write like that. Your imagination is amazing!

    you want to take a little break, I have a post up about Pickleball! I had to find out what it was.

  4. Hahaha ....yes totally mad ...you feel like family to me!

    What about if you give yourself only so much space ...like 6 photos and 20 words? Or is that going to be like controlled drinking...

  5. Now I am totally confused...my ego loves being in a special group...I'm sure I'll pull somthing together. But Sarah has hit in on the head for me...can I be a "social" or "controlled" blogger...hmmm.

  6. Just focus on the sharing of your world Mark.I thought that is what we were doing on the shootout?
    If your world is a crazy mess of marshmallow eating lunatics, then ~ BRING IT ON!
    Relax and enjoy the cameraderie and sharing, I am finding it really nice aren't you?

  7. Mark

    You have to listen to your heart, your gut, and head in that order...

    you will know what is best...

    Happy days

  8. You know, I can relate to this post! I was just thinking the same thing yesterday, as I was running around like a maniac taking pictures and not even thinking about composition, beauty, etc, etc. I had the exact same thoughts - I am acting like some crazy addict who just needs one more shot, regardless of the quality. I hate to say this Mark, but I was happy to see that you suffered this manic behavior as well, thereby making me not the only one! I still have WAY too many photos on my Friday post, but your words resonate with me - I am a new member who has already lost the point of the exercise!

  9. My blog entries are pretty selfish. Just what I feel like getting out at the time.

    You noticed a problem, you fixed it. And keep in mind, the people with the biggest egos are too busy waiting for you to adore them to stop and realize how big their ego is. ~Mary

    ps You aske: why don't you just shut up? perhaps you feel compelled not to.

  10. blogging alone feeds ego. seriously - we write about ourselves, and we post photos we have taken and blogger let's us have 'followers'.

    You aren't to blame for this one Mark, blogger made it this way.

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.


  11. I often feel that the friday shoot out takes all my energy. My little blog started as a way of exspressing my sense of being lost living in Brasil. did you know that language is a part of culture and culture is a big part of self identity. So when I lost my ability to speak the local language I lost a big part of my own identity. Part, of my feelings now, is because I am away from Brasil and therefore seperate from my blog's intent but I haven't been to my favorite expat blogs in weeks and I miss that group. I am putting more of myself into the shoot out than is returned. For several weeks now I have been trying to keep my feet on the ground by blogging about what I really like, travel and new experiences, and photography of what I like - my ideas, and to limit my time spent on the shoot out. Maybe you also have lost your intent - speaking out about your feeling by using two alter egos (?) Your blog is really clever, your dialog superior, I would hate to not have you write something once in a while that I can think about, see the humor and relate it to my own feeling. Drop the shoot out if it isn't healthy for you but don't stop writing altogether. hugs and kisses from Houston

  12. Well said. Blogging IS addictive. You've inspired a post about the addictive quality of blogging I'll do over on Mindful Heart tomorrow. For me, I'm plannng on taking a break.

  13. That is one of the most honest post that I have ever read B&B and I think you are an amazing person all together. I think that lots of us can relate to this post.
    We ALL love you. Truly......seriously dude :)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  14. I just love your posts. This one was possibly better than the one it replaced! Me too, I find that setting up Friday's post can crowd out the rest of my life, so I'm going to try and only say something if I have something to say. (New Years resolution number 2454648...)

  15. hehe, i feel you have echoed my mind. Did you? :))

    As of addicts, i agree 100%, egomaniacs that are born out of inferiority complex. so true. You can see my ego in my blogs as well. probably born out of an inferiority complex. But its quite natural for us to have egos, all cant become Buddha.

  16. B&B...control the blog, don't let the blog control you!

  17. Mark, your Friday-Shoot out posts are one of the highlights of my week. Yes we all have ego's. As per myself, I get feeling a bit yucky if I talk about myself too much because I am putting so much stuff out there. It helps if I try to connect with others and think about what might be helpful for other people, changing the intent of what I am doing. As for the funny stuff that you put up, I love it!! It needs to be coming from a secure place though so put up what you feel to be a good balance of stuff. Talk about your hometown, breath a bit... it'll be ok. :D

    (I get the whole addictive aspect of blogging as well... it's been good and bad for me too)

  18. "Don't let the blog control you".

    Great advice, AM. Now, maybe I should take that.

  19. no, don't shut up Mark- blogging, like everything else, needs to have its time and place and i have seen what happens to people who let it become all the time and every place.......BTW, did i smile when i read your last comment on my blog about Michelle being more interesting than me ? Boy, do you have that right- shes this big haired artist and im this ample witch with a red nose- there is no comparison, though i try, i try.........lol.........keep blogging dear friend, but on YOUR terms alone xx


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