Momus has long been one of the devils on my shoulder. I give him credit for introducing me — through his blog, Click Opera — to an alternate universe of culture that I somehow missed in college. Sure, Momus’ taste in ideas and fashion leans conspicuously toward Tokyo, but that only makes his perspective more compelling in the midst of the usual blogroll of young, trendy Brooklynites. Without Click Opera, I might have missed out on Shibuya-kei, Cornelius, Bertolt Brecht, Erving Goffman, and Jacques Dutronc. Now, the idea of putting myself together without those pieces seems impossible.
Click Opera passed away calmly and peacefully from natural causes last Wednesday. For six years, Momus ran his blog with a winking, endearing brand of narcissism, easy to forgive and fall in love with. I could disagree with what he had to say, but not without giving it serious thought. He’s the type of older, cleverer (and, let’s be honest, sexier) guy whose experience I could accept or reject, but never ignore.
While Momus’ music, performance art and emerging career as a novelist will continue, and they all have their charms, Click Opera was a way of life. And not just for the devoted readers, it turns out. Momus decided to retire the blog because it had swallowed too much of his own life for too long, and he wants to direct his energy toward other things.
Fair enough. My blog already gets kicked around and treated as second-best when I have paying gigs or opportunities with bigger, more respectable online publications. I understand Momus’ reasons for dropping Click Opera, but his consistently fine writing there during the back end of the aughts makes a solid case for the blog as a medium.
Sure, I’ll miss Click Opera, but I’ve learned enough from it to get along on my own. It was a starting point, not a sealed box. Of course, I’ll keep an eye on whatever its author creates next, but I also want to take what Momus did — reporting on things he found fascinating or problematic — and run with it. I’d be proud to put out something even half as provocative.
Some Favorite Click Opera entries
These aren’t necessarily the best, most important, or most representative posts from Click Opera. They just happened to grab me personally, for various reasons:
- “Retro necro“
- “A generation of American writers will soon be runner-up Tao Lins.“
- “Click Opera selects the greatest cultural figure“
- “All about wristbands“
- “The angry ape“
- “The camera is mightier than the rock“
- “The energy of awkwardness“
- “Proposal for a Wikipedia entry about Humperson, father of “the laws of meta”“