Well hello darlings, it has been a while since we last spoke.
I’m genuinely sorry that it has taken me so long to write this post, but the truth is that Aisling and I haven’t really been sure exactly what we wanted to do with the site until now.
Neither of us wanted to say goodbye for good, and both of us envisaged doing something different and new with Bohomoth at some point in the future, however we weren’t exactly sure about what that might be.
I started Bohomoth with Aisling back in early 2011. The newspaper and magazine industry was in freefall following the financial crisis, and budgets were being crunched all over the place.
It was really therapeutic having something to focus on which wasn’t the news that yet another magazine or newspaper I worked for regularly had closed. However, throughout the entire time that we did Bohomoth, I was still writing for mainstream news outlets. And, whilst rewarding, running two businesses was exhausting – especially as I’m also a single mum who was trying hard to get my son, who is now 20, established in his chosen career path.
But by 2014, the celebrity news landscape I had once lived and breathed – and loved – had changed dramatically thanks to Twitter, Instagram and PRs discovering the power of the Internet.
Reality stars were suddenly setting the news agenda and, thanks to execs worrying more about page views and social media shares than what makes a good, juicy and scandalous story, online news outlets were following it.
Hollywood was no longer fun or exciting to write about, it was boring. The glitter and fairy dust was just… plain old dust.
All of the celebrity blogs started regurgitating and rehashing the same stories and posting identical pap agency photos, with little to no original content or reporting, and there’s only so many times you can bash out a paragraph about Kim Kardashian’s arse, or make a joke about a dress an actress was paid to wear to the Oscars, without wondering if that’s really what you want to be known for.
Aisling and I always agreed that we would never write about things we found dull and when you’re fatigued by both the entertainment and fashion industries, it makes little sense to spend all day every day writing about them.
Both of us went off and focused on our health and battling the exhaustion that comes from the behind the scenes tedium of running a website on a day to day basis (I wouldn’t wish conversations about SEO with techies on anyone) and then immersed ourselves in new writing projects that we are genuinely passionate about.
I still write some entertainment news for various media outlets but I’ve also gone on to write about a lot of other subjects as well. I’m a journalist first and foremost rather than a blogger and a key part of my job is telling other people’s stories and giving a voice to those who might not otherwise have one.
I’m more interested in the refugee crisis, Daesh and the terrifying rise of Donald Trump than I am about what Jen Garner told a magazine following her marriage break up after being heavily briefed by her expensive publicist on exactly what to say. It’s not honest, it’s all fake and we are all being played.
But more than anything, it’s important to remember that what seems like a harmless joke poking fun at a celeb can be extremely damaging, and that is what bothers me the most about writing an entertainment news blog.
Wentworth Miller posted a heartfelt message on Facebook yesterday which illustrates that point more than adequately:
Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.
This one, however, stands out from the rest.
In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, I was suicidal.
This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about.
But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.
Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.
I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.
In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.
And I put on weight. Big f–king deal.
One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.
My mother has one of those “friends” who’s always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.
In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.
Long story short, I survived.
So do those pictures.
Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.
Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.
Anyway. Still. Despite.
The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.
Of myself and others.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love. – W.M.
#koalas #inneractivist #prisonbroken
This is the image that he’s referring to:
I don’t want to be a part of that anymore. I don’t want to be the person that tears down celebrities for a living.
Evolving and changing once you hit your forties isn’t only inevitable it’s essential.
Aisling is now busy penning extremely thoughtful and utterly brilliant (and award-winning) radio plays which you can keep up with and listen to here and I’m working on a writing project which I will post about in due course.
We had a great laugh working on Bohomoth, and the best bit of all was that we met and chatted to many fantastic people from across the globe and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support.
Thanks to all our fabulously brilliant contributors – Ant0scar deserves a special shout out here for his laughtastic week in review columns which ran every Friday.
I’m sorry that it has taken so long to say goodbye, and the reason why it has taken so long is because it’s a tough one to do as you’re all absolutely wonderful.
Thanks for the support and all the laughs,