An Open Letter To Andy Hurley, Blender, and the Internet.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been following the Twitter tweets of, aka Andy Hurley and friends. Is it a little too much information? Maybe. Does it make me feel creepy? Oh, yes. Is there something to be learned there? Well, yeah, which is why I haven’t de-creepified myself and unsubscribed. Besides, the creepy ship left port when I cyber-stalked Painter Guy from last weekend.

Twitter is a necessary evil for those of us who make our living on the web, particularly those of us who work at home. The world could explode and I would have no idea, what with my hatred for tv news and lack of coworkers. Twitter takes the place of that, filtering my world down to the relevant (cnn feed, tech dudes talking about actionScript) and the amusing (vivalalesley). I subscribed to Andy Hurley’s tweets on a whim, figuring that I could always delete his ass if he proved boring or spammy, or if I started to feel like the tweets were being written by an intern at Island Records.

So far, it’s been an interesting perspective on someone whose life is completely different from mine. It’s not a bunch of crazy rock shenanigans. That stuff probably happens, too. Maybe it doesn’t. Not the point. From what I’ve seen from friends, life in a band is mostly about sitting around waiting for stuff to happen and having the exact same conversation every night, but with different people. I once asked Chris if it was tiring to have the same conversation each night, but in a different club. “No, not really.” “You sure? Cause I come to your shows twice a year and I want to stab these people.” Let the record show that Chris is nicer than I am.

“Dude, this is a lot of words. Get to the point.”

I appreciate Hurley’s attempts to keep in touch with his buds back home, sharing the tiny minutiae of their lives, even when he’s in New York, bizarrely sharing a bill with The Jonas Brothers and Fergie. (“Dick Clark’s New Year’s WTF Eve!”) There’s something honorable about seeing the technology and using it to suit your needs. That’s the whole point of technology, and I think we forget that a lot. Besides, keeping up with friends beats the hell out of the old “I don’t talk to my old friends anymore” stereotype of fame. It’s not Brad Pitt-size fame, but still. You’re still technically famous, even if you can go to the mall without getting mobbed. You can, right? I have no idea. I live under a rock.

The proverbial shit hit the fan a tad last night. Apparently, the cover story in this month’s Blender isn’t a very fair picture of the band. There’s some concern that the guys come out as caricatures of themselves, looking crazy. The thing to remember is that everyone looks crazy under a microscope, and some journalists will selectively edit to make a story more interesting. “These dudes are crazy” is just a variation on “if it bleeds, it leads.” When a story has to fit into a certain amount of space, I imagine it would be very tempting to pick an angle and run with it. It’s easy to paint people as two-dimensional characters, but it’s much harder to fairly portray them as complex people. Complexity is hard especially in our sound-bite, fast-food TMZ world. I venture to say that conveying this complexity of human character would take a skill with English that half of the staff of Blender doesn’t possess. Hear that clank? That’s the gauntlet hitting the floor.

The morals of the story, in handy three-point fast-food form:
1. Everybody’s life is ultimately kind of boring, but the lessons you can learn if you’re paying attention are not boring at all.
2. Look for the least sexy side of the gossip; it’s usually the closest to the truth.
3. Don’t trust anyone who gets paid to talk to you. (Cynical much? Yes.)


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