Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bloggers Like Perez Hilton

This is an actual magazine.
People read it.
Not people like me.
Well, not this blogger. I actually find celebrity gossip kinda boring.[1] Actually, in context, the phrase meant “such as” or “including.” It did leave me to wonder what constitutes a blogger “like” Perez Hilton. Gay male bloggers? Ouch. That makes me “like” Perez Hilton.[2] Anyone with a blog? Maybe it’s just anyone who blogs about celebrities.[3]

An item on the blog Towleroad has the headline “Lance Bass Says Perez Hilton Bullied Him into Coming out in 2006,” but that’s not what the story says. (This is probably the closest this blog is ever going to get to celebrity gossip.[4]) Hilton is referenced in two statements made by Mr. Bass.[5]

The first is a bit confusing, but clearly Mr. Hilton wasn’t alone:
Two years before I came out I was really bullied on the Internet by bloggers, that’s when Perez Hilton just started and was just really malicious against me.
Bloggers. Plural. Mr. Bass does seem to indicate that he was an early target of Mr. Hilton, but he does say “bloggers.” He’s also quoted as saying
So, because of the bloggers like him hounding me, all the other magazines started calling me and saying, “Look, we know you’re gay, you can write the story with or without us, but we have to write it.”
Are bloggers magazines? Is Imp of the Diverse a magazine? I thought it was a blog.[6]

It’s terrible usage on the part of Mr. Bass. Is he trying to avoid saying directly that Mr. Perez hounded him? Or was he hounded by “bloggers like [Hilton],” who where not themselves Mr. Hilton? Honestly, it sounds like he was shrugging off the bloggers (it was 2006, after all, or in Internet terms, during the dark ages), but then the magazines (or, as he put it, “all the other magazines”) started contacting him.

“All the other magazines” is a fairly large number, and I suspect that there were many magazines that one might include in “all” that neither contacted Mr. Bass nor would have published information about his personal life. So unlikely for the pages of National Geographic. The New Yorker might, but it would involve acknowledging the existence of boy bands.[7] Who were these magazines who threatened to out him?

Oddly enough, despite his fears in 2006, a great measure of Mr. Bass’s subsequent fame (including a wedding announcement in the New York Times) seems to derive from his coming out. But who are these “bloggers like him”? The only thing clear is that Mr. Bass doesn’t “like him.”

Update: Later, on the topic of outing, I found myself thinking about one of the anecdotes about the actress Tallulah Bankhead. Bankhead was asked if a male celebrity were gay. Her response was, "I don't know, darling, he's never sucked my cock." (One source suggests that the celebrity in question was Montgomery Clift.)

  1. Says the man who blogs about the scintillating history of Esperanto at the turn of the twentieth century.  ↩
  2. Although I suspect Mr. Hilton’s bank account is more flush than mine. Nevertheless, he does things I would simply decline to do. “You want me in a house with cameras for what?”  ↩
  3. As I am now doing! Week!  ↩
  4. I really should get back to Esperanto.  ↩
  5. According to the article, Mr. Bass was in a musical group called NSNYC. To the best of my knowledge, I have never heard Mr. Bass.  ↩
  6. Just checked: it’s a blog.  ↩
  7. One of the saddest things I’ve ever read was a bit in a New Yorker profile of Vampire Weekend. During the time the writer spent with Vampire Weekend (who seem to regard their fame as a happy accident), they encountered a former member of Blink–182 who seemed desperate to remain relevant in some way.  ↩

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