daisy fitzroy

Daisy Fitzroy: The Killer in Me Is the Killer in You

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Culture, Video Games

About halfway through Booker DeWitt’s sprawling adventures through Columbia , Bioshock Infinite takes a controversial narrative thrust, one that defines its Infinite moniker. Multiple timelines open up, fragmenting how events transpire within the game world. Not only does this create innumerable parallel universes, but it also directly affects the game’s storyline and radically changes the actions and personalities of various characters.

But perhaps no character is more changed by the timeline disruption than Daisy Fitzroy, leader of the Vox Populi and the only significant, named person of color in the entire cast. After Booker is transported to an alternate reality, where he has become a martyr for the Vox Populi cause, he encounters Fitzroy’s forces, who are in open warfare with Columbia’s Founders. This universe’s Daisy Fitzroy believes that the existence of the main universe Booker undermines Booker’s sacrifice in this reality, and that his very existence weakens the cause of the Vox Populi. Using revolution logic, Daisy Fitzroy turns the Vox Populi against Booker, the very man that sacrificed himself for their cause.

But it wasn’t our Booker that bit the dust; it was an alternate Booker. Just as Booker comes to represent different things in infinite realities, Fitzroy in the ‘”all-out war” reality is a revolutionary terrorist rather than a freedom fighter. In fact, her character change is best described by a quote from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. 

“Battle not with monsters lest you become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you.”

Fitzroy directly confronts the monsters that are Columbia’s Founders, gazing into the abyss of righteous zeal and racism. And by taking the fight to the streets, Fitzroy becomes all that the Founders represent, her zeal and racism overpowering the intelligence and charisma that she displays in the main timeline.

When Booker confronts Fitzroy, attempting to help her see reason – to help her gaze into the abyss and see what she’s become – Fitzroy instead murders Jeremiah Fink, the sly opportunist businessman, who may be the richest man in all of Columbia. To Fitzroy, Fink represents all that is wrong with the floating city in the sky. His greed, arrogance and guile have subjugated Fitzroy and her socioeconomic and racial brethren; and to Fitzroy, enough is enough. The main universe’s version of Fitzroy is brutal, yes – but she is more freedom fighter than bloody revolutionary.

Maybe this is because she wasn’t given the opportunity to murder Fink. At least in the main timeline, Fink was the one that initially brought Fitzroy to Columbia, selling Fitzroy into slavery to Lady Comstock. Or, perhaps, the “all-out war” Fitzroy is just far more brutal than her mainline counterpart ever could be. Still though, killing Fink – as he meekly pleads for his life – allows Fitzroy a sense of release, and what we see next all but confirms that she’s become a monster.

Manic and in a state of utter bliss, high from the murder of Fink – justified to the player by Fink’s past actions against Booker – Fitzroy smears his blood on her face, looking at Booker through a glass window, gazing at him through the abyss.

Blood smeared on the glass, Fitzroy calmly orders Booker’s death – as though it were no different than ordering a sandwich.

“Kill the impostors; burn their bodies when you’re done.”

Booker, ever the resourceful man, quickly dispatches the Vox Populi troops, murdering them with a ferocity that not even Daisy Fitzroy could muster.

The lyric “the killer in me is the killer in you,” from The  Smashing Pumpkins’ Disarm,has never been so accurate – nor so full of irony.

Booker returns to Fitzroy. She is still standing behind the glass window. If blood is smeared across Fitzroy’s face, then Booker is covered head to toe. He stares into the abyss, seeing a monster, but does not recognize the own monstrosity that inhabits his own body. He does not think, only judge; and, before long, execute.

As Booker approaches, Elizabeth is frenetically pounding on the glass window, pleading with Fitzroy, who is obscured in shadow. She is up to something sinister, but we don’t know what yet.

Daisy Fitzroy walks forward, a young white child slung under her forceful grip, a pistol pointed at its temple. Whether this is the offspring of Barton Fink is unknown; for the sake of dramatic argument, let’s say it is.

Elizabeth turns to her savior, Booker; the murderer, Booker.

“We have to act – we have to get in there!”

Booker doesn’t murder children, just anyone that gets in his way; but Fitzroy has gone too far. Fink’s death was justified – as much as any murder in Columbia can be – but this child is an innocent. Pure and protected from the harsh realities of the outside world, this small boy, representative of the innocence of childhood and so-called angelical ‘whiteness,’ is an object of scorn for Fitzroy. He represents a privileged life she could never have, an existence that she can never hope to attain. And for that, in her view, he deserves to die.

But to Booker – and by extension, the player – this child needs saving. And Booker is just the man – the only man – to do it.

Booker can’t get to Fitzroy through the abyss of the glass window, but he can boost Elizabeth up into a nearby vent: which he does, without question. He then goes to the window and confronts Fitzroy, her murderous intention now more clear than ever before.

Booker knocks on the glass loudly, a smug sound in his voice as he speaks.

“Is this it? Is this your movement, Daisy?”

Daisy turns around. Booker now gets a clear look at her, blood spattered on her face like a tribal warlord.

“You see, the Founder’s ain’t nothin’ but weeds. Cut ’em down and they just grow back!”

Fitzroy raises her gun up in the air, in what to her, seems to be a triumphant moment.

“If you wanna get rid of the weed, you gotta pull it up from the root.”

And just like that, in the middle of her so-called ‘bad guy speech,’ Fitzroy is stabbed from behind by Elizabeth.

She lays dying at Elizabeth’s feet, blood gurgling out of her mouth. Finally, the last trace of life escapes her body. The “all-out war” Fitzroy is dead, and the boy is saved. But is this really the triumphant moment that it seems?

No, of course not; Elizabeth is now a murderer as well. Fitzroy is dead, her corpse lying on the floor between Booker and Elizabeth – between the abyss that separates them. The glass window opens, revealing murder begetting murder, showing Elizabeth’s full loss of innocence; she is now guilty of murdering a woman that she greatly admired in the main timeline.

Booker rushes to comfort Elizabeth, but it’s useless. She runs from his advances, spurns his identification as a fellow murderer. Behind closed doors, Elizabeth changes, both mentally and physically. Not just from her murder, but from the realization that what she had done might have actually been wrong, that even an alternative timeline version of Daisy Fitzroy, however brutal she was, did not deserve to die.

And this is why Fitzroy’s death is such a powerful moment in Bioshock Infinite; for the way that it blends perceptions of murder, race, and classism into one scene – filled to the brim with character development and depth. It takes the idea of death and loss of innocence, and brings it forward a step further – by telling us that no one is truly blameless in Columbia.

Not even Barton Fink’s son.

 

when a writer gets too big

The Story of Milo Yiannopoulos and a Sarah Lawrence Alumni

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Culture, Journalism, Politics, Writing

By now, most of you have read the Buzzfeed report regarding Milo Yiannopoulos getting stories for Brietbart from sympathetic liberal journalists. Specifically, one of these journalists was a Sarah Lawrence alumni that graduated around the same time I did. Predictably, he’s been fired from his position (as he deserved to be), but the heat has mostly been on him. There are, of course, other journalists who emailed Milo. But most of them are veterans whose work does not relate to feminism, and have probably noted that journalism has become undervalued. In their own way, they’re raging at the system that screwed their careers. Still, this is what happens when a writer gets too big too quickly. They get full of themselves and think they’re invincible.

But the issue with what this particular Sarah Lawrence alumni did is that they took advantage of their position. They touted certain values as a semi-public figure, but had other ones in private. That’s not to say that’s unprecedented (do you think Trump believes everything he says?) but it’s bad if you set yourself up as a moral authority. It’s even worse if you represent marginalized groups, and try to give voices to the voiceless through your writing.

As a writer, this can be an incredibly difficult line to walk. Writing is frustrating for most writers, and the biggest way to gain traffic online is to generate controversy. That’s true whether you’re blogging or writing for The New York Times. But that doesn’t mean that making friends with someone’s values you profess to hate publicly is okay. He isn’t the first journalist to be cajoled by Milo — and he sure as shit won’t be the last. But you’d imagine having Sarah Lawrence education would make you less susceptible to that.

Then again, when a writer gets too big, they don’t see it that way. They see themselves as bigger than the culture wars surrounding them.  I’ve never been a big writer myself — although I was a video game journalisthave written for some big publications, and have a graphic novel coming out next year. But I do know that not experiencing a meteoric rise has kept me grounded. I don’t think about my writing career in terms of a ladder, but in terms of a path that I’m always walking.

As my mentor at Sarah Lawrence told me, “a writer is someone who writes.” That doesn’t mean that a writer can’t or shouldn’t have aspirations. But it does show that when a writer gets too big, they’ll quickly turn on their own values. Or even worse, they’ll co-opt values in order to get bigger and bigger bylines. And with that kind of social climbing, you’re bound to fall clear off the ladder.

watching movies on planes

Why I Love Watching Movies on Planes

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Culture, Movies, Travel

Since I started travelling full-time, I’ve been on a lot of flights. In fact, for the past year and a half, I’ve been on an average of one flight a month. While I don’t really mind flying in general, what really makes the experience worthwhile to me is watching movies on planes. With that attitude, you’d think the movie Planes would be the perfect flick for me, but as anyone has seen it knows, it’s terrible.

Still — there is a certain pleasure in watching movies on planes. Most international airlines have a huge selection of the latest Hollywood flicks. And the truth is there’s pretty much nothing better you can do while on a plane. On the most recent flight I took from New York to the Philippines, I watched five different movies. These only took up half the flight. Still, I enjoyed them more mostly because I was really watching them. I took the time to actually think about that were saying.

While at home, I rarely pay attention to a movie that I’m watching. It may be on, but I’m likely doing something else as well. I could be on my laptop or my phone, or even just thinking about something else. But when watching movies on planes, I fully appreciate them. I watch them because there’s no better use of my time — but I also watch them because I love them. For me, movies and the culture around them are my lifeblood. I consume media at a more consistent rate than most people I know. And because I’ve stopped binge watching TV, I make sure that when I consume media, I make an effort to absorb it.

I really do care about the type of media I consume. Whether it’s movies, television, or books, media is what shapes your worldview. It’s the reason the political culture wars exists right now. Our media diet is largely what defines us, so I like to use the opportunity when flying by watching movies on planes and catching up on what I’ve missed. This can, of course, have the reverse effect. If you use your downtime to solely consume garbage media, the garbage is going to fill your head and spill out the side of your skull.

But luckily planes always have movies like Moonlight, Arrival, and Silence. They are Hollywood movies for sure, but they make you think and question the culture around you. And for me, there’s no better place to watch films like these then when practically sitting arm-in-arm with other sweaty men who are also physically too big for their coach seats. Otherwise you might just have to contemplatively stare out the window for 10 hours at a time – or try to read a book while having someone’s seat leaned back into your knees.

 

metrosexual

Is the Word ‘Metrosexual’ Offensive — or is it Just the Term?

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Culture, Politics

Most people probably only vaguely recall the word metrosexual. According to the dictonary, a metrosexual is defined as “a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes.” That’s a pretty straightforward definition if I’ve ever seen one. In fact, the word itself is a blend of metro (urban) and sexual. While metrosexual has been used to describe gay or bisexual men, it’s commonly used to describe a straight man that isn’t so interested in the negative confines of masculinity but embraces the positives.

David Beckham is the archetypal example. To many, he’s a sports hero. But to many others, he’s a fashion icon and a role model. That’s not say that David Beckham is perfect – he’s had his share of incidents after all, but to say he hasn’t had an influence on the ideas surrounding masculinity is misleading at best. There’s a reason that Tommy Hilfiger called him the underwear model of the century (despite the fact that we’re less than 25% through).

Still, it’s important to put this in perspective. David Beckham is a symptom of meterosexuality’s effect on culture, not a cause. That may be his authentic sense of self, but it’s not as though David Beckham personally pioneered the metrosexual movement. The TV sitcom also had a strong hand in it. Sitcoms present characters – like Phil Dunphy on Modern Family and Marshall Eriksen on How I Met Your Mother, who are straight and good male role models but are also in touch with their feminine side. They may not be inherently masculine figures, but they are also not metrosexual. This is how masculinity has been challenged in the past few years – through the power of pop culture.

But does that mean the term and concept of metrosexual is effectively dead? According to an Allure and GQ study (which is inherently liberal), 93% of people seem to think so. But it’s not as though there’s a better term to replace it. Synonyms include: dooddandyfop, and masher – not inherently inoffensive terms themselves. In fact, most (including me) would argue that these terms shouldn’t be used in conversation. And it’s pretty inagurable that they’re more dated words than metrosexual.

While language should evolve with the times, the term metrosexual hasn’t. We now just don’t have a neutral word to describe a man like David Beckham. And while I agree we could come up with a better word than metrosexual (or even no label at all), the political culture wars have demanded that we haven’t. In essence, talking about male body image issues is more trouble than it’s worth.

These days, an article like this that is discussing the formation and evolution of language is inherently political. That’s true whether I want it to be or not. But just because we deem the word meterosexual offensive doesn’t mean that the men it describes cease to exist. And for me personally, I find the erasure of language like this more harmful than the term metrosexual.

 

going back abroad

Preparing For Your Next Adventure Abroad

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Travel

It seems like I just got back. Just two months ago, I was moving back home after living abroad. But now, I’m going back abroad. This time it won’t be in Southern Europe. Instead I’ll be starting out in South Korea, and then headed to Southeast Asia. And then, who knows?

That’s really the most exciting part about free-form travel. But the truth is, it’s harder to come home than it is to go away. Post-travel depression is real, and it’s something I’ve experienced firsthand since I’ve been back. But often, it’s not for the reasons that people think. It’s not because my life back in New York is so terrible. It’s because people perceive talking about your experiences abroad as bragging about travel. Once you get back, it’s harder to reconnect with those that you lost touch with. And it’s hard to relate with those close friends who might not understand why you’re going back abroad.

Still, it’s important to put these things in perspective. Provided you have the work to travel abroad on a budget (and it’s easier than you think), you can travel for as long as you like. Hell, even if you have student debt travel is not prohibitive. But when preparing to go back abroad, you need to be in the right mental and emotional state. You can’t be hung up on the people you didn’t get to see and the normal social experiences you didn’t get enough of at home. The truth is it is never enough. And unless you fully integrate yourself into your environment, it will never be close to enough.

When going back abroad, you need to put yourself into a different mindset. You need to think of travel not only as experiential, but as a physical and emotional experience. Travel is not just a series of sights to see, or a series of events that happen to you. Like anything else, it’s a lifestyle. At least as long as you want to live that lifestyle. But like anything, it can be given up anytime you’d like, unless travel becomes escapism for you. If that’s the case, then it might be necessary to evaluate your life choices.

However, when going back abroad, it’s important to focus on the positives. You might not be able to speak the local language, or have the comforts or luxuries of home, but you are opening yourself up to emotional growth. In essence, you’re widening your sense of what the world could be. Having been to the Pyramids of Giza, you realize that they could, in theory, be around any corner. Your perception of what the world looks like changes, and so does your cultural attitudes.

When going back abroad, you need to be in the mindset to be open to these types of experiences. It won’t always be as nice or pleasant as you’d like it to be, but that’s kind of the point. That’s not to say you can’t afford yourself certain indulgences — we’re going on We Roam for our first three months after all. But when preparing for your next adventure abroad, you need to be ready for it. You need to give yourself  time to prepare, both mentally and emotionally. Otherwise it’s just sights and monuments — collected experiences that you’ll get nothing out of.

Hillary Clinton's What Happened

Why Hillary Clinton’s What Happened is Both Wrong and Right

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Journalism, Politics, Reading

I haven’t read Hillary Clinton’s What Happened yet. The truth is, if you are reading this article, you probably haven’t either. The political culture wars have practically demanded that you wouldn’t. Instead, it’s much easier to have an opinion of the book. If you’re a Trump supporter, you probably hate the book on principle. If you’re a Bernie supporter, you probably hate the book on principle as well. And if you’re a Hillary supporter — well, you might even think the book is unnecessary. We all know why Hillary lost, and she has no one else to blame but herself. Right?

Well that’s both true and untrue. Hillary Clinton’s What Happened can be taken however you would like. With a side of conservatism, with a side of progressive, of side of moderation, you can have it your way (but better than Burger King). If you’ve read any of Hillary Clinton’s post-election arguments, they are all fundamentally sound. Bernie really did paint paint Hillary as corrupt. He even went as far to say that she “wasn’t qualified to be president.”And depending on your point of view, he may or may not be right.

But the issue is that people are pretending that Bernie never said this. They are pretending that he never made the argument that she would not be a good president. And that’s just not true. The media has, of course, capitalized on this. Only recently, Hillary Clinton made the argument in an NPR article that “there was this connection” between the election in Kenya and what happened in our own election. She is not saying that the election itself is illegitimate. But that’s how CNN interpreted it.

CNN knows exactly how this works. They’ve been in the news business for a long time. And they know how to generate a story out of an out-of-context interview quote. They know it will get them clicks and generate them advertising revenue. This is why I’ve argued that the business model around journalism needs to die in order for journalism to live.

Fundamentally, this is the same thing that happened with Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. She’s made some nuanced arguments within the book that have been taken out of context within the media. Then hellfire is rained down upon her from all sides. Nobody wants to hear what she has to say, but she’s saying it anyway. To many, she is the spawn of Satan himself after all.

And that’s what the real problem is. Hillary Clinton is a veteran politician. She feels she has the right to write about and talk about the election as a post-mortem. But we live in polarizing times. Hillary Clinton likely does not realize the damage that she is doing by releasing her book at this time. But maybe she just doesn’t care. Maybe this is her giant middle finger to the polarized electorate.

She blames herself plenty, but for most people, it will never be enough. And anything they hear from her is toxic. After all, she’s the most hated modern politician aside for Ted Cruz (yes, even more than Donald Trump).  But if you cast that hatred aside, and think outside that perspective, you’ll realize that a lot of what Hillary Clinton’s What Happened has to say is not wrong. It may be timed poorly, and it may not focus on the things that people want it to, but it does have valuable things to say. While the timing could have been better, her points stand strong, whether your ideology chooses to acknowledge them as factual or not.

But this is why Hillary Clinton is so hated. She makes fact-based assertions that don’t appeal to the emotional core of anyone. And she knows it too. And whether you choose to hate it or not, you should realize that she does have valuable things to say. This is especially true now that she isn’t President. There’s nothing to lose from hearing the arguments of Hillary Clinton’s What Happened out. At the least, you’ll know how the other half thinks.

judging people for travelling

Why I Don’t Like Being Judged for Travelling

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Culture, Travel

Like any other life decision, travelling is a lifestyle choice. And like any lifestyle choice, travel is polarizing. Some people love it. Some people hate it. And some people love to hate it. But since being back in New York, I’ve come to realize that many people enjoy judging people for travelling as a lifestyle choice. The occasional vacation makes sense to most people, especially if you are bragging about travel,but not many people want to hear about your experiences abroad. In fact, it’s off-putting in most conversations.

Acquaintances, and even friends in many cases, seem to be under the assumption that travel as a lifestyle choice is luxurious and expensive. But it doesn’t take thousands of dollars to enjoy your experiences abroad. And it’s not as though your day-to-day experience is that different. Life is still life, no matter where you’re living. A typical Thursday abroad was filled with procrastination, work, and figuring out what to eat for dinner (the most important thing at all).

I’ve tried explaining this to people. But there often seems to be a latent assumption that choosing to live abroad for any period of time means that you have disdain for others, that you think you’re better than them. I recently was in conversation with a good friend, and he validated my feelings on this. He told me that because Alex and I have been living abroad, a lot of people in our friend group assumed we thought we were better than them.

In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. But he does have a good point in that judging people for travel is the easiest thing in the world. If travel is not accessible to you, it’s reasonable to think that those who travel don’t want to have anything to do with you. They probably think your lifestyle is boring, and are constantly having experiences that invalidate your own sense of self. In other words, your reality is so different that you can’t even relate on the basics.

But for me, the reason to travel and live abroad is because nothing else makes sense right now. Both Alex and I are well-equipped to travel right now.We make enough money to do what we want and our work doesn’t tie us down to any specific location. So for us, travel as a lifestyle is a no-brainer. That won’t always be the case, of course, but it is right now. No matter what people think, we’ve resolved to enjoy our travels, wherever they take us.

But like any lifestyle choice, it’s just that; a choice. It’s no different than being a PC gamer or a gym rat. Your existence and identity is built around it, at least to some extent. But that doesn’t mean it defines me. Travel is just one of the many things I enjoy. That’s one reason the topics on this blog are so varied. I enjoy a lot of things, and I’d like to think that most people do as well. So the next time you think about judging someone for travel, it might make sense to think outside your own perspective. We all have different experiences. But life is just life, and we’re all just living it.

 

 

 

Pewdiepie Controversy

How Pewdiepie Uses the Outrage Cycle To Promote His Brand

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Culture, Marketing, Video Games

Doubling down is what many of us do when backed into a corner. Ex-Google employee James Damore is doing it with his ‘diversity’ memo.  America did it in Vietnam, and more recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. We do it every time we discuss politics. It’s really nothing new. That’s why when I heard about the most recent Pewdiepie controversy, I didn’t really care. I’m not offended or incensed, I’m not outraged (I’m too exhausted for that). Really, I’m not going even bat an eye.

This is what these people do. It’s what all trolls online do — it’s what the rise of Donald Trump has done to discourse online.  This isn’t, of course, the first time that the Pewdiepie controversy has happened. Last month as a sign of atonement, Pewdiepie called Nazi jokes a “dead meme.”But then he did what he does best. He doubled down with racist slurs on his livestream. Now though, his behavior generated hundreds of think pieces online (just like this one!). But all of them are missing one key point.

He doesn’t give a shit. He may lose endorsements from mainstream media companies, but we’re sure as shit talking about him right now. Every time he opens his mouth he gets his fifteen minutes of fame. And our cycle of media outrage culture allows for it. For Pewdiepie controversy is a marketing tactic. Just like Milo Yiannopoulos, he’s nothing more than a provocateur. Instead of trying to ban hate speech, instead we should consider hearing people like Pewdiepie out.

Then maybe we’ll realize how toothless and vapid they all are. They’re nothing more than barnacles clinging to the harbor of anger and fear. But once that ship sails, they’ll be as relevant to the mainstream as any fringe figure should be (as in, not relevant at all). So let the Pewdiepie controversy die like it should, and let him keep his core audience of zombied-out Generation Z gamers. But that doesn’t mean his provocations should be a part of our discourse.

In fact, the best way to get trolls to go away is to not feed them. So maybe that’s what we should do.

 

why nostalgia is bad

Why Nostalgia is Literally Bad For Your Health (And For Storytelling)

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Culture, Politics, Reading, Television, Writing

It’s no surprise that nostalgia has mostly taken over our society. With the return of Ms. Frizzle to Netflix, people are presumably excited about another trip in the Magic School Bus. In fact, the trailer looks quite decent for a ‘passing of the torch’ type TV show. Of course, there are many perspectives on why nostalgia is bad or why nostalgia is good. You don’t have to go far online to see curmudgeons decry 90’s nostalgia as “useless, soon-to-be-forgotten trash.” On the other hand, nostalgia can have positive psychological effects  on people. According to a study in Psychology Today:

“Nostalgia can play a beneficial role in people’s lives.By focusing on positive times from the past, people may help themselves to be more connected to others, which can give them the resources to be more optimistic about the future.

Still, does that make nostalgia inherently good or does that make it a psychological coping mechanism? In my opinion, it’s more of the latter. Nostalgia is often used as a crutch to let the familiar option prevail. One could easily argue that the political culture wars we are having is a direct result of nostalgia. That’s not to say we should never feel nostalgia, but we shouldn’t give into its worse impulses. This is a prime reason why nostalgia is bad for us, as it takes away our capacity to think.

There’s actually a study from the late 90’s (speaking of nostalgia) that proves this point. In the study, researchers gave residents of New York and Florida glasses of Tropicana and Minute Maid orange juice in a blind taste test. Based on what they grew up with (Tropicana for New Yorkers and Minute Maid for Floridians), participants universally preferred the brand of orange juice they grew up with. That’s not to say that one brand of orange juice is inherently better than the other. But depending on what your taste buds remember is what you prefer.

This is why nostalgia is bad for us, especially in regards to stringent brand loyalty. It’s effects are why TV shows and movies from past eras are constantly being remade. It’s an easy sell and it’s easy to make. But when we romanticize the past, we become stuck in it. We don’t acknowledge the lessons that shows like Friends imparted. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy stories like these. We can and we should. But it does mean that we should acknowledge they have elements that are a bit regressive today.

This not only goes for binge watching TV and politics, but also for our health. In pre-modern times, nostalgia used to be thought of as a mental illness. While that definition may be overblown, nostalgia is proven to stop us from enjoying the present. And for those reasons, I think nostalgia is bad for us as a society and is hindering social progress, even if it can make us feel better.

 

blog traffic

Why Getting More Blog Traffic Has Made Me Want to Blog Less

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Internet, Marketing

Starting my blog in early March is one of the best things that I’ve ever done. It’s helped me write more consistently, and also taught me a lot about on-site SEO and keyword research. While I do off-site SEO for a living, my first love and passion will always be writing. That is why since March I have made a real effort to increase my blog traffic in order to have more people read my articles. To do this, I’ve submitted my sitemaps to Google, used Ahrefs to help build backlinks and have had several articles go viral.

As a result of my efforts, my blog traffic has shot up tremendously this month. Historically, it has hovererd around 2k-2.5k views a month. At least that is the case for the last several months. But this past moth due to an article about Warhammer 40k and an article about free speech, I’ve had close to 10k views. Those mostly came from those two articles, and are largely the result of stirring up controversy on Facebook groups.

While it’s been great to have more readers, this has had a big downside. For one, it’s wrecked my bounce rate. I’ve more recently raised this by writing more niche articles, but the generalized blog traffic has not helped my site. In fact, it’s hurt my organic search rankings a bit. Still, that’s not what has caused me to write less. What has caused me to write less is the expectation of getting massive amounts of blog traffic.

But what I’ve realized more recently is not every post should be intended to bring in the most amount of readers. Generating controversy is an easy way to do this via social sharing, but its not always great for the health of your blog traffic. In fact, it might be better to target different people with different types of posts. While I don’t intend to specialize in a niche anytime soon, I do love writing travel and culture articles. However, I also like writing about any topics as well.

Because I’m not blogging for money (at least not yet), I can do that. Not everything I write needs to generate a ton of blog traffic. But what it does need to do is be enjoyable to me to write. And as long as I focus on quality as a metric, I think I’ll be able to be enjoy writing this blog for years to come.