September 7, 2001

Motherfucker

Having decided to change Oblivio so it would work for daily, shorter things, I showed a few early designs to several designer friends. One said, aside from design commentary, that I couldn’t or shouldn’t put “such things” on the same site as my business stuff, what would potential clients think? The “things” in question were quasi-pornographic content.

As I saw it, I had two choices. I could do it anyway, despite the quasi-pornographic content, or I could create a totally separate business site.

A separate site meant three bad things:

  • Finding an available domain to serve as the name of my business
  • Designing, building, and maintaining a separate business website
  • Paying separate hosting and registration fees

There was actually a third choice – to tone it down – but this I rejected immediately for I felt that if I had to evaluate each thing on the basis of whether it might offend someone, I was fucked.

After weeks of waffling, I decided to do it anyway, damn the consequences, and wrote a long, impassioned email to my designer friend, explaining my decision. What it boiled down to was that I want clients who won’t be offended by quasi-pornographic content, clients who might even appreciate quasi-pornographic content, clients who in any case can distinguish between what people call pornography and comments about what people call pornography. I told myself that I would gain as many clients as I would lose, and that the quasi-pornographic content would be inadvertently beneficial in that it would scare away the “bad” clients and attract the “good” ones. Also, the quasi-pornographic content would give me something no sanitized separate business site ever could: a sense of wholeness. No more hiding what I write from the people I work with. No more splitting myself into separate personas for work and non-work. No more fear of people getting “the wrong idea” about me. Let them get “the wrong idea” about me, I decided, for I will no longer act like someone about whom no one can get “the wrong idea.”

Such is what I told myself. And then the next day I realized I couldn’t go through with it.

The following two months were spent doing the three bad things I didn’t want to do, and now those things are done and I have a separate business site which I’ve spent at least a hundred hours working on because I’m an obsessive motherfucker. I also have new business cards and of course new hosting fees to pay, and here I am writing this new piece for the new Oblivio, which I must admit feels lovely, in part because I can now write the word motherfucker as many times I want without fear of seeming like the kind of person who just goes around writing the word motherfucker all the time and for no apparent reason.

Motherfucker, motherfucker, motherfucker.