Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Book of Simon

Why do people encourage others to pursue endeavors that they clearly have no aptitude for? Why, in heaven’s name, would a friend or a loved one allow someone they care about to make a spectacle of themselves performing whatever dubious ability they have convinced themselves they possess in a public venue? Why would someone sanction the waste of precious time that could be spent honing a real skill rather than an imagined talent? It seems a monumental injustice to me, because life it too damned short to be spent sucking wind.

This train of thought started with the last episode of American Idol. Usually, I simply cannot bear to watch this program. I cringe to see the genuine disbelief, disappointment and discomfiture on the faces of those who are (rightfully) rejected. It makes me sad, and it makes me angry, because someone, somewhere, did something to make them believe that this was a dream worth following. Someone lied to them. Someone looked them in the face and said “Why YES! You *could* be the next American Idol!” knowing full well they would be facing the merciless and misanthropic and Simon.

The human ear is a finely honed instrument, and anyone who has ears can tell the difference between good and bad singing. Even an infant will wail in protest when subjected to the truly astonishing dissonance that the human vocal cords are capable of producing. So there is no excuse. I can, however, think of two reasons. Either they are too cowardly to speak the truth or they are making money by supporting the pursuit of a pipe dream. A loved one can be excused, I suppose, for perhaps they are blinded by their affection and willing to offer their encouragement and support unconditionally. But quite frankly, any voice coach who encourages a pupil who clearly cannot carry a tune should be taken out and shot for the money grubbing charlatan that they are.

My family insists on watching this show, but I tuned out when that sweet young girl from Greensboro with the piquant little face behind coke bottle glasses was rejected. I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was sort of like watching someone's grandmother receive a diagnosis of venereal disease. And Simon, though he has cultivated the image of loveable curmudgeon, is simply a pompous ass. Though once refreshing, his schtick has grown old, and he is now just a run of the mill boor/bore.

From there, my thoughts strayed to all the really dismal writing I have seen perusing these blogs of late. I mean, there is a truly a staggering bounty of badness to be found out there. Fiction that makes Harlequin romances seem positively urbane. Poetry that imparts Tennysonian elegance to Dr. Suess. Satire that falls astoundingly, resoundingly, flat. And more clap-trap, prattle and hyperbole than you’ll find in any political debate, televangilism broadcast, or assemblage of legal professionals.

What is more surprising and shocking than these literary abominations, is the fact that those composing them are foisting them upon the world, proudly offering proof of their prowess and perspicacity. And I wonder…what kind of person has such unshakeable confidence and faith in their own abilities? Isn’t it human nature to be hyper critical of our own creative efforts? Isn’t it human nature to doubt one’s worthiness as a harbinger of beauty and brilliance? I write. Or, more accurately, I attempt to write. And I am almost always displeased with and critical of what I write. I often delete it in a fit of opprobrium and soundly chastise myself for my presumption and pretension, characterizing all past, present and future endeavors as grandiloquent blather.

Once, I tried to write a sex scene. Yes. If ever there was a literary bugaboo, that would certainly be it. There are few authors I know of who can write a detailed account of sexual congress without resorting to clichés, euphemisms, and/or gratuitous vulgarities. Nor are there very many who can capture all the passion, poignancy and transcendent intimacy of a truly beautiful and satisfying physical union. Yet, I had the temerity to think that I could. The result of that effort was so horrifying that I vowed never to attempt it again. It was, in every sense of the word, garbage. I do not believe I am possessed of extraordinary self-awareness. But I know bad writing when I read it. So, perhaps, in the case of one who believes their talents to be of a caliber far removed from that of reality, it is a case of simple, but ubiquitous oblivion.

I am sorely tempted to start a weekly “Blog of Shame” feature, complete with links. I certainly would have no shortage of material. I don’t know what blog etiquette dictates about linking to other blogs, but something tells me this would be frowned upon. Pity.

In summation…people, I beg you…if you really care for someone, be honest. Take a page from Simon's book and tell them they should never lift their voice in song again, not even in the shower. Tell them it’s customary to read a book before writing one. Tell them their artwork resembles that of Dali on a bad day. Yes, you may have to suffer the pangs of conscience that come with crushing a dream, but its far better than realizing you sent a friend or loved one like a lamb to the slaughter. And really, wouldn’t you rather it came from you…than someone like me or Simon???

Think about it.

(I can’t pick just one blogger to whom this entry should be dedicated. This week, let’s ditch repentance, and work on self-awareness and pragmatism)


  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger nina said…

    I have no idea what you just said, my fingers are bloodied from thumbing through my rather worn copy of Random House and my brain hurts... But DAMN it was a fun read anyway...



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