On Our Retirement from Modern Love


In which The Gay Recluse resigns himself to the inevitable.

When Modern Love first launched in The Times however many years ago, we were initially intrigued by the premise of the column, which like some of the best reality television seemed to offer the potential to break down the stereotypes that are the currency of so many big media/entertainment concerns. While a few columns seemed to deliver on this premise, far more of them seemed to adhere to a formula of suburban, bourgeois complacency, and so we stopped reading.

But when we launched The Gay Recluse last year, we returned to the pages, sensing — and not incorrectly — an opportunity for parody, mockery and traffic whoring that is obviously the foundation of so many successful blogs on the internet. Relatively speaking, we made a splash! Gawker picked up the story and then sponsored its own Gay Modern Love contest, which we happily participated in. Later, as we rewrote the essays, there was an exhilarating exchange with Kayla Rachlin Small. The Times even linked to our quantitative analysis. (Thanks, City Room!) Obviously, our point was made and it did not fail to resonate.

Lately, however, we have found ourselves less than enthusiastic about the prospect of turning each week to yet another tedious, oblivious (if well-intentioned) essay that delivers no truth about the world we live in. So to make a long story short, we’re retiring from Modern Love in The Times. Traffic-whoring instincts aside, we would rather spend the few minutes it takes to (re)write these essays staring at the bridge or the trees or the cats, mulling over the infinite threads of the past and searching for some glimmer of real beauty.

Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play

–The Smiths/Morrissey, “Panic”

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