June 26, 2005

I, Isaac Continue to Compare My Blog to Other Gay Male Blogs


OhlalaParis: Styled by Steph & Alex…

Once the list was constructed, I began to examine other gay male blogs. I identified many (about fifteen percent) that can best be described as commodifed. Some of these blogs are more intriguing than others, though they are all centered on a well-heeled and well-traveled metro-male gay identity that I found to be particularly sterile because these men embrace a stereotypical image of physical perfection, and other surface attributes that most of us do not and cannot possess. I realized that I placed a personal value judgment on it. Nevertheless, I added it to my list, put it at the top and gave it the value, “one.”
“Ohlala Paris: Styled by Steph and Alex” is an example of the commodified blog. The blog is a “glitzy-glam” representation of the fabulous international gay “metro-male” set. Steph and Alex are two men that create a spellbinding combination of beautiful male models, exquisite fashions, and magnificent travel settings. They are in the right place at the right time to see and be seen by famous people. There is a brief biography for Steph, but none for Alex. The right hand column of the blog is filled with advertisements for clothing, clubs, gay events, and parties. When I visited Steph and Alex’s blog on February 23, 2005, at 6:47 PM EST, the site had had over 800,000 visitors since its inception. The blog is rated “1” on the BPS scale.

Right Side of the Rainbow: Angry Left Archives

At first I was unable to categorize ”Right Side of the Rainbow” because I had no designation for a far- beyond-extreme-right, gay, “gun carrying,” Republican man. I suppose the title of the blog is meant to be ironic. This “blogger” sees all gay men as hopelessly promiscuous and unable to maintain monogamous relationships. Instead, studies show that more than 20 percent of gay men 18 and older have monogamous relationships that last 2 years or longer (Savin-Williams, 1996). Considering that this 20 percent includes those men of 18 and 19 years as well as those in their 20’s, percentages and length of monogamous relationships are probably much higher for bracketed older groups of men. I was so appalled by the position taken by “Angry Left Archives” that I had difficulty reading his arguments, though I must admit he had a political position that relates directly to his life style and thorough arguments to defend it. Despite his - to my way of thinking - homophobic position, I must place the blog in category 4 and 5 of the Blog Performance Scale (BPS).

Sean’s 808080’s Ohmbase

On the other hand, while “Sean’s 808080’s Ohmbase” is a much more complex design and structure than “Isaac Stolzfut’s Journal,” it reports only the author’s diurnal comings and goings with some commentary on politics as they relate to his life. On February 24, 2005 he had commentary on the reporter Hunter Thompson’s suicide with a link. On April 25th, he reported on the Texas law against gay and lesbian adoption saying that gay and lesbian people are still targets of prejudice, and made the following comment. “Just put a bulls eye on your back.” I gave the “Ohmbase” a “2,” “3,” and a “4.”

Blogging Out Loud

by Alan D. Williams reports the news from the author’s unique political position and has numerous links to related information. It, however, has only the briefest autobiography. And, though Alan displays his very liberal attitude and feelings about the news, there is little or no attempt to explain how the author’s attitude relates to his daily life. I gave the blog a “4.”

The Uptown Queer

Blogger, Paul discusses his life and his failed abusive relationship as the impetus for his becoming a gay activist. The blog is visually stimulating and provides an honest detailed description of abuse at the hands of a partner, his mental collapse, and the reconstruction of his life as a politically active gay man. I rated this blog as well designed, “2,” concerned with daily life, “3,” and 4 because the author reported local politics for his city, Minneapolis / St. Paul. Additionally, I gave the blog a “5” since Paul takes a political position as a gay activist as a direct result of the events in his personal life.

Etic and Emic Voices

Next time I will discuss an anthropological approach to the comparison between my blog and the blogs of other gay men.


Please E-mail me at
with comments. I do so like to have the opportunity to communicate with readers.

Visit my homepage at AOL Hometown.

June 19, 2005

I, Isaac Compare My Blog to Those of Other Gay Men
During the next several weeks I will write several entries that detail my exploration of gay male web logs, and I will compare them to my own, Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal. These entries will not be in sequence as I may place other entries I deem politically necessary as they relate to current events. However, they will appear sequentially in time.

Why I Created the Web Log

Through this project I have come to visualize human sexuality as a three dimensional paradigm that readdresses the faulty cultural binary understanding of human sexuality as either homosexual or heterosexual. The journey leading to the new visualization began on July 3, 2003 when I created Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal on line.

Reports in the literature, news, and on the Internet itself about the importance of the Web Log, (“blog”) to contemporary culture have grown over time. That importance is directly related to the number of blogs, which have grown exponentially from approximately 10,000 in 2001 to over 8 million this year. These reports suggest that blogs do everything from shaping the news, “Web logs come of age as source of news,” (Kopytoff, 2005), to providing the opportunity for teachers to help students learn to read and write, “How Educators Are Using Weblogs” (The Intel Innovator, 2003). Nick Denton, reporting on the handling of the destruction of the World Trade Center in “The Atrocity Through the Eyes of Weblogs,” said, “In weblogs, the web has become a mature medium (Guardian Unlimited, 2001).”
As part of my on-going study of gay male sexuality I thought it necessary to explore the demonstration of this “importance” in gay blogs in general, and how these “important” gay blogs compare with my Journal. In order to identify such blogs I used the following criteria, and list in order of importance: First, visits (hits) viewers make to a blog over time; Second, the multiple indexes or listings of blogs; Third, for those blogs that allowed comments, the number and types of comments viewers made about blog entries.

How does My blog compare to those of other gay men?

I also needed criteria that would allow me to make comparisons among gay male blogs and my journal, so I created a list of things that I do as I write my journal. I used the list as a reference as I looked at all other blogs, asking myself how many of the items in the list were accomplished by each blogger. The list is hierarchical, and I have named it the Blog Performance Scale (BPS).
Once the list was constructed, I began to examine other gay male blogs because I devised the Blog Performance Scale in order to record the results of my search of gay blogs. I wanted to know if other gay male blogs did things similar to mine. Blogs were rated on a scale of 1 to 6, based on the “BPS” as described above. It was possible for blogs to receive multiple ratings, that is a blog might receive a “2” because of its design and a “3” because it reported the minutia of the daily existence of the blogger. Most of the blogs were basic reportage of the writer’s daily activities or the activities of friends and/or events surrounding them. There were few if any attempts to analyze any facet of that daily activity or to form an understanding of the author’s own identity, sexuality, spirituality, politics, and/or the inadequate binary cultural understanding of any of these, including the homosexual versus heterosexual dichotomy. I don’t believe that all, or even most, gay male blogs must or should do these things. However, I expected that more men would wish to examine their personal existence with greater intensity. I will include in the next entry examples of gay blogs discovered that fit into the various categories as described above.

June 15, 2005

U.S. Secretary of Defense Defends Guantanamo Bay Prison
Check this most recent article atHindustantimes.com. His defense of the facility, while practical – if we take it down, we must build another somewhere else – is also based on the preemptive strike philosophy that justified the invasion of Iraq. Because the terrorists are determined to kill and may use WMD, we must not wait until they act, and we may arrest suspected terrorists with out evidence. "The President decided that they (terrorists) were not entitled for formal prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions and that they were certainly not criminal defendants in the traditional law enforcement sense.”* The Patriot Act allows for such arrests and makes them legal though they make the Geneva Conventions null and void. There are several conclusions that can be drawn from this state of affairs. First, in the future, foreign powers will feel that they too can ignore the Geneva Conventions, and arrest citizens of the USA without due process. Second, the precedent has been set that allows for the detention of citizens of this country without due process. Go to Spirit of Democracy for a teacher’s eye view of what this can mean to any of us.

Any American Citizen

The part of Rumsfeld’s defense that makes me sick to my stomach is that it assumes the tacit acceptance of his Neo-con philosophy of preemptive strike. And, that philosophy assumes the a priori position that the USA is the new (evangelical Christian) Rome, and has the right to dominance of the entire planet. The deaths of 20,000 plus Iraqi’s are acceptable, and the death of over 1700 USA service personnel is more than acceptable in the partial achievement of the obfuscated assumption that underlies this administration’s entire foreign policy.

Yes, I’m Feeling Better.

I’m slowly getting energy back. In fact, I plan to be well enough to take a trip later this month. Nothing can keep old Isaac down!

*“Rumsfeld Defends Guantanamo Bay Prison,” http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1399187,00050001.htm. Hindustantimes.com. Press Trust of India, Washington June 15, 2005. Viewed Wednesday, June 15, 2005. 8:47 AM EDT.

Please E-mail me at
with comments. I do so like to have the opportunity to communicate with readers.

Visit my homepage at AOL Hometown.

June 07, 2005


Ugh-h-h-h-h! I've been so sick.

Just got home from the hospital. I won't write long dear journal. Apparently my cold turned into pneumonia and I got to the Doctor's just in time. He said that if I had delayed another 12 hours, I might have died. I'm still so weak. This old carcass can't take too much. So. I'm done. It's back to bed, and rest.

*Chamberlain, R. Neal, Ph.D., Syllabus: Infectious Diseases Fall 2994, http://www.kcom.edu/faculty/chamberlain/Website/lectures/syllabi3.htm, Tuesday, June 7, 2005, 6:16 AM EDT.

Please E-mail me at
with comments. I do so like to have the opportunity to communicate with readers.

Visit my homepage at AOL Hometown.