Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Remembering IOZ

I wanted to say something about the retirement of IOZ. I don't remember how I first came across this blog, but it was enormously influential for me, probably around the time I was considering coming back from my own blogging break. It would ultimately become influential in two different ways: first, as something to emulate; second, as something to try not to emulate. IOZ exemplified whatever it was he was doing, almost all the time, which made it easy to admire what he did, but a tough act to follow.

I was never part of the IOZ comment community, which was fascinating in itself. I felt it was both smarter and meaner -- not an uncommon combination -- than anything I could swing, so the few times I did post, I tried being as sincere as possible just to test the limits. Once I finally got around to watching The Big Lebowski, many things made sense to me for the very first time.

IOZ was always a major benefactor of this blog, and the fact that there is an audience here today is really thanks to him. OK, so maybe it's a bunch of extra-intellectual gay dudes, but I love them and I am very lucky that they have liked me in return. It has meant an enormous amount for me personally to be embraced by the wider IOZ community, and I've tried to support unlinked-to bloggers ever since I overcame that hurdle myself.

In spite of the many wonderful and humorous things IOZ produced on a regular basis, what I find myself thinking about most is what he wrote for his brother at the time of his sudden and unexpected death, entitled "Powerlessness," which I hope the author will not mind me referencing here. The ability to write smartly does not equal the ability to write honestly or with vulnerability, and my personal preference is to remember IOZ, whatever else you thought of him, as someone who possessed the capacity to do both.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure I was pointed your way from his blog. He will be missed.

Quin said...

Speaking of IOZ being honest and vulnerable, but of course still smart, this one stayed with me.

I like what Dennis Perrin wrote about IOZ: "IOZ cracked wise because he cares. Too fucking much." Which reminded me in turn of something else IOZ said:

All of his complaints about "young people" have a nugget of truth to them, of course, but he writes as if he's the first to discover the culture of irony, which he, like almost every other commentator, miserably fails to understand. Their irony is only skin deep; they are in fact desperately earnest and easily heartbroken. The observation that hipster kids don't care about anything is the opposite of the problem; they care about everything, really and truly, the suckers.

Not that I'm saying IOZ's real identity is that of a desperately earnest and easily heartbroken hipster kid. Although I guess you never know.

(Insert Lebowski reference here.)

Ethan said...

Found you through him, too, and would be much the worse off for not having found you. I agree 100% with every word said here, including in the comments.

cemmcs said...

I will miss IOZ.

Pat said...

That and a pair of testicles.

bensix said...

He was never slow to remind us of the ultimate futility of blawging but I - and, I'd guess, a lot of others - learnt a lot from the dude and I'd like to think that's not entirely meaningless...

Heh, "not entirely meaningless". Carve that upon a gravestone...

C├╝neyt said...

Ditto all. IOZ was a light even when he was comparing my recent study and work to alchemy. Fucker should have known; counselors are shamans, not alchemists.

Only thing that upsets me is that when he publishes, how will I know for which name to look?

Justin said...

One thing I liked about IOZ is that you always knew there was a lot of bullshit there, but he was never bullshitting himself. He was as aware of that as well as anyone else. Always amusing when someone would try to call him out on it. It wasn't a pose either, which I think is hard to pull off. He was also always distinctly who he was. Can't hardly read blogs for all the clones. By the time I started feeling like I had found my own voice, the interest I had in political blogging seemed to evaporate all at once. Now, I can't really fathom how I remained interested in writing my own blog for all those years. I am glad he stepped away though because it felt like he had gone as far as he was going to go with what he was doing, hopefully he is doing something else creative.

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