December 18, 2009

Judith Warner reflects on the occasion of ending her NYT family life column.

Now, this is freaky. Just 2 days ago I ripped Judith Warner:
I don't — I can't —use the raw material of my home life for blog posts ... and I've been noticing how much these various female columnists do.... They just go right ahead and talk about whatever is right there in their home and make casual generalizations about what people are like these days.

Like Judith Warner, writing in the NYT this week about her daughter... The daughter has "endless girl dramas," and the mother has adopted a "respectful distance" strategy of parenting. But part of that "respectful distance" is blabbing about the dramas in the New York Times. Well, that is a kind of distance....

This is the style of these relationship columns for women these days. Write openly about your own family. Of course, it's fundamental that you have a lovely, happy family — and that they won't get any less happy and lovely if you make them your material.
And now, today, here's Judith Warner, signing off, saying:
I’m glad now to have the chance to get back to being more fully present in the life I’ve been mining for material these many years.
Now, I'm not suggesting I had anything to do with ending Judith Warner's column. Even if I think my writing has some effect, I don't think it could work that quickly. But I do think I perceived a problem that Warner herself really did feel. Or maybe she's just looking for the bright side.

24 comments:

Scott said...

When your kids become old enough to read your column, it's a game changer.

MadisonMan said...

Nobody likes to read about other people's kids' mundane (read: BORING) problems.

And if the problems aren't mundane, you probably shouldn't be writing about them.

ricpic said...

...get back to being more fully present...

These people who express themselves in formulaic pablum, how do they look themselves in the mirror? Especially the ones who advertise themselves as fearless truth tellers. Doubly especially the ones who masquerade as writers.

Scott said...

Yeah. Double plus ultra especially.

Sam U. said...

And you can go back to pretending that you don't mine your own life for this blog. Photos by Meade.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Althouse, please blog about my vast fortune, movie star good looks, stallion sexual prowess and endlessly fascinating life. Then next week I can choose to be more present in my own life. Thanks for the favor.

Pogo said...

" get back to being more fully present in the life I’ve been mining for material"

'More fully present'?

What the hell does that mean, anyway?
Is it akin to be 'present in the moment'?
Is it part of a 'healing journey'?
Or is it part of your authentic self, 'the real me', the true "I am"?

Or was she just nodding off to sleep at home a lot?

Scott said...

When I want to be more fully present, I go to an AA meeting.

Bissage said...

I’m glad now to have the chance to get back to being more fully present in the life I’ve been mining for material these many years.

[Broadway director Joe Gideon and dancer Kate Jagger have been living together in an open relationship, which apparently was something sophisticated people did back in the 1970s. Ms. Jagger yearns for a commitment and she is at her wits’ end.]

KATE JAGGER: I don't want to go out with Michael Graham. I don't want a date. I have no small talk left. I don't want to fool around. I don't want to play games and I don't want to fight. I just want to love you.

JOE GIDEON: [feeling uncomfortable] Look, Katie, . . .

KATE JAGGER: I try to give you everything I can give. Oh, you give, all right. Presents. Clothes. [starts to cry] I just wish you weren't so generous with your cock.

JOE GIDEON: [becoming distracted and turning away] That's good. Maybe I can use that some time.

-- All That Jazz (1979)

MayBee said...

She was not fully present to carefully husband her relationships like trophies on a shelf.

That's gonna change.

Scott said...

@MayBee: LOL

You're evil. I like that in a woman. (Or at least expect it.)

traditionalguy said...

Another New year's resolution. Does she really plan on becoming a human? Is it too late to change for the others who have moved on while she became omly a Digitel Diva? Stay tuned, as the Blogging World Posts.

Titus said...

Another unemployed American now looking for work.

You should be ashamed Althouse.

Penny said...

I suspect that the NYT's decided that it was time for Ms.Warner to end her family column after 4 years. She will move on to comment on the "news".

If you read between the lines in this column, now that the masses have taken to online "life sharing", this genre, if you want to call it that, can move on without any high visibility people whatsoever.

For good or bad, "life sharing" online is now part of the fabric of our lives in 2009.

traditionalguy said...

Penney...Thanks for sharing that.

BJM said...

The Times announced they would layoff 26 staffers this week. Warner either took the buyout or drew a short straw.

kentuckyliz said...

@ Pogo - LOL I read your comment and double checked to make sure the Crack MC wrote it!

Paul said...

I didn't know she had a column. Or, even, there was this style of columns in newspapers. But, it's been years since I've had the old feeling of 'must buy' a paper.

Talking about newspapers is like talking about what's left inside the old, dusty buggy whip factory.

Fen said...

With Maureen hanging around the tack room.

Seriously, she does this wicked thing with her hips.

Act now and for $19.99....

Hey, I'm just happy another Pravada Hack has been tossed out into the street.

Namazu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Namazu said...

Credit where credit is due. Now can you please get Deborah Solomon fired?

Kev said...

Nobody likes to read about other people's kids' mundane (read: BORING) problems.

With one exception: As someone pointed out in the previous Warner thread here, Lileks pulls it off rather masterfully. I guess it's just a rare gift.

Jim said...

Ann-

I just went back and read your earlier column on Warner. Great "stuff."

Once I was writing for my blog about some chronic problems that my daughter was having in what I thought was a restrained style. Before posting, I checked, not with her, but with a friend of mine who talked me out of it.

It seems that my friend grew up as a professor's kid among other professors' kids. He knew a kid whose father, a psychologist, was always writing about the kid's psychological problems. Not good.

Jim Lindgren
volokh.com

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