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.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blogs Are Stupid

Well...my attempt at humor seems to have gone over like a lead balloon (but a truly sincere thanks to those who commented).

I should leave funny to those who are truly gifted comedically, I suppose. It's just that I'm so rarely stricken by an idea for a funny post, that I get really excited when I think I might have something. Don't hold it against me.

Anyway, I have fine blue powder clogging my sinuses, my hair, and my lungs, I am covered in spackle, and my right arm is still tingling an hour after I finished sanding, so my blogging genius (written with a decidedly self-depracating snort) is a little compromised at the moment.

So I thought for fun, I would repost the very first thing I ever put up here at Blogs Are Stupid. At the time, I was poking fun at a particular group of people, who, lemming like, were all starting blogs.

I hadn't really delved into the blogopshere at all, and didn't really understand that there was a community of folks out there interacting, edifying, entertaining and supporting one another.

Now I do.

The dichotomy in thinking between then and now is kind of amusing and somewhat ironic, since Blogging has become, for me, an outlet and a catalyst and a treasured part of my day.

Not long ago, there was a discussion on Miss Britt's blog, where Kimberly from Petroville as a guest poster, talked about hanging up the blog, because it just didn't seem as if people were interested anymore.

This is what I said in my comments there:

I go through this every year and it always follows the same progression.

1. I read some really inane post from one of the a-listers that has like 85 comments.

2. I fume about that.

3. I decide I’m quitting, because if people flock to read schlock like that, while ignoring bloggers who are writing truly meaningful stuff (not me, necessarily, I have lots of blogs in my reader that are incredibly well written but receive few comments) I’ve lost all hope for the intelligence and integrity of women.

4. I quit.

5. I think about blogging every day, but don’t blog. The timeframe on this varies. The longest I’ve ever held out is two weeks.

6. I decided I can’t live without blogging and I will blog only for me and not worry about statcounts or comments or awards.

7. I write a flurry of posts that I have poured my heart and soul into.

8. I pride myself on not caring that these posts didn’t get 85 commetns.

9. I start tailoring my posts to get more comments.

10. I read a completely inane post that has like, 85 comments.

11. I fume.

Lather, rinse, repeat. This year I skipped all that and decided blogging is what it is. And what it is, is extrinsic motivation to write. And that’s okay.


Is that really true? Yes, usually. Except when I write a post that I think is funny and the response indicates that it isn't, in actuality, funny. Then I get kind of bummed. But the truth is, that's just not my forte. But sometimes my blog identity gets kind of staid, and I try to mix it up a bit, with predictably disastrous results.

SIGH.

I guess part of the problem is that I don't really know why people come here. Often the posts that I am most proud of, are the ones that elicit the fewest responses. And sometimes, I throw something out there just to fill space, and get beseiged by comments.

I can't figure it out, so I guess I should stop trying.

Enough meta. Blogging is just...kinda crazy, isn't it? But good crazy and bad crazy and what the hell is going on with this kind of crazy all at once.

I give you now, my first piece ever...

Blogs Are Stupid
:

According to all the latest web buzz, "blogs" are the newest trend amongst the pseudo-intellectual. Being myself a pseudo intellectual (just ask my detractors) I decided that I should probably get on board with this, or risk being thought hopelessly antideluvian and uncool. I started doing some investigating, as I was plagued by some troubling questions that I felt must be answered before I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be) in an attempt to "blog".

What manner of things does one include in a blog? Are blogs meant to be public opinion pieces, the purpose of which is to be read and commented upon (and lauded for their wit and adroitness with a turn of phrase, of course) by others? Or are they merely the modern equivalent of "Dear Diary", with secret musings and expressions of heart's desire? What sort of person spills the secrets of their soul on the information superhighway? Is this something *I* would be comfortable doing? More importantly, how does one convince one's self that what one has written is not, in fact, french fried tripe, unfit for public consumption? Perhaps the certainty borne of narcsissm is a prerequisite for blogging and if that is so...can one fake it?

With these questions in mind, I set out to unlock the secret of blogging. Misgivings about my aptitude for such a pursuit weighed heavily on my mind. I desperately needed a mentor. I have, in the course of my internet travels, been acquainted with a number of self styled intellectuals; illuminati of such stellar character as to be wholly convinced of their idealogical, moral and philosophical superiority. They struck me immediately as the sort of individual who would indeed, "blog". What better way to gain insight into the mind and qualifications of the seasoned blogger than to avail myself of their wisdom and proficiency? Nothing is quite so edifying as intellectual property, after all.

With great enthusiasm and hopeful fervor, I began to search out and peruse the literary stylings of this generation's greatest thinkers. I read blog after blog hoping for the kind of enlightenment that would allow me to enter the esteemed ranks of bloggers everywhere. Sadly, with each successive blog, I grew more and more disconsolate and disillusioned. I read about recipes. I read about diaper rash. I read about sex lives grown stale, and marital discontent. I read bad poetry and even worse fiction. I read political rantings and religious idealogy. I read self-indulgent lamentations of victimization, and proclomations of rectitude and altruism. Most appallingly, I read endless rambling accounts of day to day minutiae so staggering in their banality as to be nauseating, coma-inducing, and in some cases, both.

Imagine my great shock and dismay to discover that the meaning of life was not to be found in these missives. No, indeed. What I found instead, were rather stale and hackneyed attempts to legitimize and sensationalize the mundane, the ordinary, and the mediocre. To what end, I remain baffled. And I am also left wondering...what is so wrong with ordinary? I myself lead quite an ordinary life, and have in fact cultivated ordinariness with great determination. We are a middle American family with a middle class existence. My children are neither distressingly dim nor disparately bright. Neither my husband nor I am extraordinarily accomplished or attractive, and though we do alright in terms of wit and sagacity, neither of us is discovering new theorems or solving any of the multitude of problems that plague mankind. We are in all ways possible...exceedingly average.


This, apparently, is the antithesis of what one should aspire to, and I find myself somewhat toubleed about what manner and degree of character deficiency accounts for my disturbing lack of concern over it. I do not feel compelled to glorify housewifery. While I have long admired June Cleaver, I do not aspire to be her, and more often than not, my maternal and domestic stylings more resemble those of Roseanne. I am not driven to extoll the virtues of chauffering, food preparation or child care. It is what it is. I am not. Admittedly, sometimes the predictability of my days does lead to random mental meanderings. The act of removing fecal matter from aged porcelain to which it has become eternally bonded does not of its own accord inspire profound thought. Naturally, the mind wanders.

But what kind of person believes these disjointed bursts of marginally coherent thought suitable for anything but the deepest reccesses of their own mind? Certainly not the great thinkers and philosophers that I am acquainted with! Alas, the printed word does not deceive, and I am forced to acknowledge the monumental sham that has been perpetrated and accept the truth. Bloggers, thy name is Fraud! So, duplicitous they may be, but what compels them to importune others with their pointless and irrelevant blather? Perhaps it is the simple fact that misery loves company.

In short, the conclusion that I have reached is this: Blogs are stupid. As a trend, I predict they will go the way of leg warmers, parachute pants, and high waisted jeans. In other words, they will not be a treasured account of one's cerebral self in days gone by, but rather, a source of profound chagrin and endless harassment, much like the visual snapshots that preserve our dubious taste and unfortunate fashion choices for all eternity.

You know the ones I'm talking about...there's that one of you in the teal green satin dress with the dropped waist. Its the one you still secretly think you look hot in, and the one you always give to online acquaintances, professing not to have anything more recent. You're sporting a poodle perm and mile high bangs. Your date is sporting a matching cumberbund and a self-effacing grin. He know he looks foolish, and he knows he is destined to spend eternity looking foolish on your parent's living room wall. If he hadn't been pinning all his simple adolescent hopes on having sex with you on prom night, he would have clued you in to that fact.

So allow me to do what he could not. Bloggers, it is not too late. You can delete all the pretentious and puerile drivel you've foisted upon the world at large in an instant, and no one will be the wiser. Unless of course you've proudly publicized such with all the vainglorious ostentation that you posess and linked to every other blog in the free world. In which case, I'm afraid, you're screwed. The secret is out, and everybody knows you are whining, self-important boor with delusions of grandeur.

For the record, it has not escaped me that I have now placed myself in the same class as those whom I castigate herein. But no matter. My point has been made. I will not lament my lack of productivity in chronicling every mundane musing that crosses my mind. I will not chasten myself as a "bad blogger" and promise to do better. In fact, this may well be my only entry. Or not. If hindsight tells me anything, its that the malevolence and stupidity of others can always be counted on to provide fodder for my own self-indulgent rantings. Stay tuned. But don't hold your breath.

26 Comments:

  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Baroness von Bloggenschtern said…

    I just read the last post (it was really funny, especially when you imagine those two little darlings kvetching like 2 old men on a park bench, with their diapers up to their armpits...)

    I feel comforted knowing that someone (you) has articulated the "Lather Rinse Repeat" phenom that I seem to go through every couple of months. It comes down to motive, and maybe the analysis of why is part of the learning process. I don't know.

    I'm constantly puzzled as to why people read (and comment) what they do. I will cling on to the belief that I have my own wee niche, and that is enough.

    BTW, you are one of the first posts I check out in the morning - I may not comment (wit has a proportionate relationship to caffeine), but I'm there.

     
  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    The commenting thing is weird... I go through phases where I comment on every blog I read (and that's a decent amount!).

    Then I go through phases where I'm busy and do the "well, she never comments on my blog so she must not care if I comment on hers" thing and only post comments on my commentator's blogs.

    And then there's the phase where I'm feeling blah and visiting other blogs purely for entertainment but feel I have nothing important, intelligent or witty to contribute to the post... and feel my comment would probably not much matter to the receiver of the comment.

    It's not always a reflection of my appreciation of the post...

    But that's just me. :)

    Anyway, no matter what you write and no matter what I comment on, I do thoroughly enjoy your writing, which is why I continue to come back, thirsty for more! I think you are the bee's knees!

     
  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    In my second year, I guess I'm still honing the voice. I find myself writing -for the audience- rather than for myself which was the point of starting.

    I have grown accustom to the comments, few or a bit more than a few, doesn't matter. I try not to take it personally. All manner of folk read, some comment, some don't.

    If I read a blog post & I like it or can relate to it, I comment. I might not do so immediately upon reading it as logistics might prevent that---but I come back.

    This could go on forever, so I'll just end by saying..I'm glad you went beyond the first.

     
  • At 8:00 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I come here for you. If you post everyday, I will be here everyday.

    I value what you have to say, and you have helped me more than you know.

     
  • At 9:03 PM, Anonymous OmegaMom said…

    Ah. You do know your voice has become more fluent and less forced? Fewer 10-dollar-words and more heart. I read all your posts, whether I comment or not.

    Comments make me feel anxious: I always feel like I should respond to them, and if I don't, within a few hours, I get that "OMG-I'm-horrid-I-didn't-respond-what-do-I-say-now??" feeling. But I always read them, and love getting them!

    Mostly I blog for myself. I try to ignore those weeks when I don't post anything and the hits plummet...;-)

     
  • At 10:17 PM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    I used to get really caught up in the hits and comments. I still value comments very much but got rid of the site meter. The thing that's most amazing is that I don't miss it. Not a bit.

    I come here because your posts are very well-written and usually give me something to think about. You're not afraid to gore a sacred cow now and then which seems to be what draws me to any blog. Shlock is a waste of my time so I am definitely not one of those 85 commenters. :)

     
  • At 10:34 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    I haven't even been blogging a full year yet, but I've considered hanging it up, but I can't quite do it yet. I told myself I'd give it a year. I also remember writing in my first post that I didn't care if others read and commented or not, but after getting my first comment, my opinion changed immediately.

    BTW, I really enjoyed reading your very first post.

     
  • At 2:10 AM, Blogger Lara said…

    i'm totally guilty of being a mostly-lurker on your blog and only occasionally commenting. sorry about that. i do enjoy your blog, though - if i didn't, i would keep reading it.

    your first post has a very different tone and style than your current posts. it's interesting to see such a stark contrast like that.

    also, totally, random, but do you read blogtations? you were quoted today. (er, yesterday. i guess it's later than i realized...)

     
  • At 2:54 AM, Blogger Polgara said…

    We come here because we like what we read and we feel we are getting to know you a little.
    Thats what you have over the other blogs, no-one else is you!
    I dont comment as much as i should but i always think you get so many it wont matter!
    I will try harder
    Pol :0)

     
  • At 6:59 AM, Blogger Pgoodness said…

    well, the most comments I ever got was like 7; usually 1 or 2 if any. I know I have readers, and it would be nice if more would comment, but they don't and it's ok...i blog to babble, and if no one reads, i'll still do it.

    i enjoy your blog and read it everyday.

     
  • At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please consider that there are probably MANY, MANY like me who read your blog EVERY SINGLE DAY and almost never comment. The whole blogging thing is a world I discovered by accident - as a reader not a writer. I'm so new to it that there are only 3 that I read regularly. I came to yours quite by accident. I had been reading the blog from our friend in Wisconcin who recently lost her husband. After noticing repeated posts from you on her blog, I clicked on your name..... and have been enjoying your posts ever since. You're a great story teller who has brought me to tears through both laughter and the more emotional, thought-provoking posts. I LOVE your blog.... and I'd be willing to bet there are more out there who read it daily, yet don't comment. I'll try to comment more..........

     
  • At 7:05 AM, Blogger THopgood said…

    I go through the same cycle. But I try to keep focused on the reason I started the blog to begin with. It's basically my journal for both me and my kids. I tried writing down the funny happenings of our day in a notebook but found that I was very inconsistent and fell off the wagon. For some reason typing it in a blog is much easier for me to remember. When I get frustrated at the lack of comments or am ready to throw in the towel I try to remember that I didn't start this thing to attract readers. And I found your post yesterday VERY funny and I believe I left you a comment.

     
  • At 7:56 AM, Blogger anne said…

    I'm just getting caught up on some blog reading so I only got to read the pervious post with today's post.

    Regarding funny, you must not really know how funny your writing is. Just your choice of words when relating a story can crack me up. And it's kind of that dry, somewhat sarcastic funny that I so love and cherish. So funny? Yeah.

    Regarding comments, I like to get them but I'm used to that not happening so very much. I know you didn't write the bit about comments in an effort to fish for comments, but I just wanted to let you know that your blog has kind of become the "friend" I sit with and have coffee in the morning. I can read it and say "Mm hmm" or "Me too" or "Oh man, I completely relate to that." It's either you or the goats and they don't really offer much in the way of simulating conversation.

     
  • At 8:53 AM, Blogger Jaelithe said…

    I thought your last post was pretty dang funny, actually.

     
  • At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    I thought your last post was funny, but couldn't think of anything funny to say myself in the comments, so I decided to spare you my drivel. I'm sorry if that lent to the perception that we didn't like your attempt at humor. I thought it was funny.

    That said, I know what you mean about the comments and I find myself disproportionately happy and/or disappointed based on the level of comments I'm receiving on my posts. But I keep reminding myself that comments aren't what makes a blog great. Writing is, so if I write well, write what I like, and write often enough to keep the blog going, then I will be happy with it, and that's something worth doing it for in and of itself.

    I won't deny the community aspect of blogging is a huge draw for me, and I love that I've made friends with people with whom I'd have never talked otherwise, but at the end of the day, I'm getting my story down on paper (or screen) and as long as I keep it mostly for me, even if I share it with others, I won't have corrupted my purpose in blogging.

    Because apparently it's all about me, me me. God, I sound self-centered. But those are my $.02

     
  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger KT said…

    Just wanted to let you know that while I don't comment much at all, I read your blog EVERYDAY. Religiously. Often I don't comment because I don't have much more to add than what you've already said. You say it all and you say it well.

    When I open your blog up and it's not new, i'm almost sad.

    Your blog is funny, insightful, well written and quite frankly I think I'd like you if I met you in real life. And so you are like a little friend of mine out in the universe somewhere, even if you don't know me. I'm curious to see how school will go for you. I was interested in hearing about your writers group. I've enjoyed your storries.

    I appreciate your posts. And so.......maybe you don't get as many comments as many of the other "a-listers" but I think you have great content and have alot to say that is worthwhile.

     
  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger Sensitiva McFeelingsly said…

    I really enjoyed reading your very first blog post (and may I say, you are certainly the queen of the 25 cent word :) especially since I am a relative newcomer to your blog and had never traveled back that far in your history.

    When I began blogging, I worried a lot about not having anything to write about. And then I worried that what I was writing was meaningless (which really, it was). And then one day I stopped worrying. I like to blog. It's fun. And if someone else gets enjoyment out of it, great! If not, that's ok too.

    I always try to comment, but normally when I do not it is because I am brain-dead from work and have little to say that would not come across as incredibly boring or stupid. This is a selfish thing on my behalf as I would rather write a great comment that will reflect well on me, than to write one at all. Personally, even the tiny "great post" or "Too true" comments I get on my blog bring a big smile to my face.

    I guess we should all just try to do unto others as we would ourselves when it comes to commenting. I'll certainly try from here on out. :)

     
  • At 4:19 PM, Blogger Rock the Cradle said…

    Dude. Seriously, you can do funny. You DID funny! I, reading at my usual snails pace, spent copious amounts of time wiping spew off the monitor just so I could actually see to comment.

    If that's not love, what is?

     
  • At 11:27 PM, Anonymous andi said…

    "Often the posts that I am most proud of, are the ones that elicit the fewest responses. And sometimes, I throw something out there just to fill space, and get besieged by comments." Perfectly said - I was just complaining about this very thing the other day.

    I also hear you about a post's intentions - sometimes I'll post what I think is a funny post and add a few pictures in. Then all I will get are comments about my cute kids and nothing about what I've written. Sometimes I think people just skim over and commenting on the photo makes it easy to not have to actually read a post. I try not to get annoyed that I put so much actual work into the text.

    I'm trying really hard to not care about comments, etc, lately and try to write mostly for me (although it is hard in such a public arena). I also get super irritated by some of the A-listers whose writing is for shits, but I suppose if you look at many bestselling books and high-grossing movies, that's what the masses want - something mediocre.

    So I guess we should never aspire to be A-listers, because that may mean sacrificing some of who we are to be everything to everyone. You are an amazing writer and that is why people read you. Period.

     
  • At 12:33 AM, Blogger jen said…

    i wasn't around lately, so didn't read your last post till now. thought it was really funny, woman.

    and i loved this one too. fierce!

     
  • At 1:29 AM, Blogger Kathryn in NZ said…

    I didn't comment when read the baby conversation but in my defense I was too busy ROFLMAO to manage to - sorry

     
  • At 6:24 AM, Blogger Gruppie Girl said…

    The worst thing I ever did was sign-up for "stalker software." I spent the first few weeks checking and rechecking how many readers my blog was getting. It was driving me insane.

    Now, I rarely check and am much happier not knowing if I get 1 or 70 readers on a given day. I try to just write for myself.

     
  • At 4:46 AM, Blogger Sherry said…

    longtime reader, first-time commenter (I think? I've been reading a long time, hard to remember).
    My posts never render but few comments.
    And yet in recent, I went a little reckless, whilst comparing my now home of Ireland to America. Long story short, some local readers were offended--not that that they, would bravely comment, but rather the two friends dropped sarcastic hints in our offline conversations.
    Amused, because I never monitor hits or comment volume--and yet this negative banter still made it back to me.
    I've done a bit of back pedalling to apease all, but wonder should I have to? What is my blog, if not but my own stupid blog?
    Anyhoo, thank you for your posts. I love them and your candid intelligence on matters of the heart and elsewhere.
    rock on

     
  • At 7:05 PM, Blogger Traceytreasure said…

    I have to say "ditto" to what the anonymous commenter said. You hooked me with the title. I love leaving stupid remarks too. This whole blog thing is new to me. I love reading your blog every day. You are funny and you've made me cry all of my makeup off. I hope to be half the writer you are someday. I also think about quitting. I started mine in Jan. 2008!

     
  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger womaninawindow said…

    OK, I have to admit I didn't read all of this because, my it is long and I don't know if I can justify sitting here much longer, BUT (wait for it!) man, I really like your voice. And in this moment, I'm realizing why some people hit those posts 80 times - they share something in their voice. And while I might think their voice isn't my schtick, well, maybe it's the 80some other people's schtick and maybe I don't really care for any of their voices. Maybe there are only a couple voices out there for me to hear. I think yours just might be one of them. Here I go, marking your page. I'll be back!

     
  • At 6:49 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I just want to say that I thought your baby post was very funny but left my browser open so long to come up with a funny comment that I just forgot to do it. So, don't give up on funny!

    And, I go through your 'lather, rinse, repeat' cycle pretty often too.

     

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