I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but sent it to the wrong blog!
This is rather interesting, because it calls into question the nature of the relationship between blogger and blog reader, or at least the assumptions about that relationship. I have to say, part of me is a little upset about this, and I take issue with Jeremy’s comparison between his blog and the works of other fictional writers, mostly because the relationship is clear and well-defined when you pick up a piece of fictional literature that what you are about to read is… well… fiction. When you read a person’s blog, you’re entering into the assumption that the person on the other end is a real person — I know, it’s a foolish assumption, because the form allows for all sorts of public communication — but, when you enter into an invested relationship with the person writing the blog, only to be told they are not who they said they were, it’s a little bit like the crying game’s reveal. You feel revulsed, and you have to go take a shower. Okay, well it’s not THAT bad… but dammit, I want to believe in the myth of the self-educated gas attendant. It suits my ‘Clerks’ sensibilities, and is just enough Holden Caufield to really get me going. I guess what I’m saying is, I identified with the gas guy, and I really felt wonderful that a person could reach the sort of enlightenment he had through everyday experience. Now I find out, he didn’t — or if he did, it was an entirely different set of experiences.
Anyhow, I think one of the comments in his last post captures it for me – the importance placed on a gas attendant’s education on this blog implies a supposition that gas attendants are generally uneducated. That shows a certain amount of prejudice, and well, for those attendants who might authentically keep a blog about their experiences, this series of fictional entries devalue that expression.
In any case, I really liked the writing. It’s sad to me it’s not real, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s good.