Wednesday, May 24, 2006

To Blog or Not to Blog

Addictive little things, aren't they?

I knew, of course, what blogs are and that they existed, but to be honest, I'd never read one before we started this...

Lots of folks told me that I should do one, "You're into writing, you should blog, dude!" I don't know, maybe the fact that it was, or maybe still is, a happening thing is what turned me off to the concept; I'm not real big on trendy, a-tall. While I hear my younger coworkers greet each other with, "Hey, Wha's up?" I still say, "How ya doin'?" I would never wear pants that ride below my waist, even if I had a waist. I don't own an Ipod. I have no idea how 'American Idol' works, I've never watched 'Survivor', and I don't plan to - Reality TV to me means PBS or the Science Channel. I thought 60s clothing looked stupid in the 60s, and I still do. I don't belong to a health club, and I certainly do not put inflatables in my yard for Christmas, Halloween, or Easter.

Quote The Deraillers:
"You can keep your decaf latte,
just pour me a cup of coffee,
and I'll do my own thing and be uncool."

Works for me!

But blogs, ah, now those're different! After all, I can argue that I am keeping the written word and a dying art form, (intelligent writing), alive by participating. I can say whatever I want, for the most part. I can 'publish' myself, whenever I want. I like it! And I can learn the kind of stuff about others that normally, I'd never know! In order to squeeze this kind of insight outta somebody would normally cost much guitar playing and many bottles of beer - Maybe more - Hard liquor could even be involved! Besides, then I wouldn't remember what I'd been told the next day, and half or more of it would be drunken bullshit anyway! Clear, concise written dialogue, or drunken guitarists giving each other noogies and slurring, "I love you, mannnnnn." Which is better for society? You be the judge!!!

I'll take The Blog. Sounds like a good band name, too, doesn't it? The Blogs? Right up there with Asphalt Reality, and the Meat Hammers, ( I could keep going, but band names are the topic for a future Blog...).

Now that I have one, I have started, naturally, reading those of others, and not just here at the forum. And I've discovered something about them in the process... First off, those here are quite good, if I do say so myself, (And I do..). But, in the wiiiiiiide world of Blogs, well, let's just say that not all Blogs are created equal, and that's an understatement. Now, don't get me wrong, there are a lot of 'em out there, and most are fine, but... How do you put this delicately? How about a simile? Blogs are like spandex - There's some people that just shouldn't. The 'Just Shouldn't' bunch seems kind of equally split into three groups, and they are:

1. I haven't really got anything to say,

2. I write about Stuff You're Not Interested In, and

3. I write like Michael Bolton sings.

Now, Group 1... Well let's just say that I truly hope that this does not mean that most people are boring as hell, because that's a very un-Christian viewpoint, isn't it? Anyway, you be the judge - I'm just observing, not judging... The Group 1 types put me in mind of all those people I see talking on cell phones while they drive... Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends, and I love to talk with them, but, well, those kinda folk always make me wonder, what in hell could be so damn interesting that they can talk about it that much?! The Group 1 Blogs have provided the answer, and it is absolutely nothing. I rest my case.

Group 2 Bloggers, (Another band name!), aren't really bad, it's just hard to wade through, for me. I equate reading with reading good stuff, or more specifically, stuff that I like, so if somebody can't write the way I like it, it's not something I'm interested in. Not their fault, just my bias, really. For example, I thought of this whole entry because a friend sent an email, widely distributed, announcing that they have started a Blog, and wanted us too check it out and let the author know what we thought. Now, having been published before, I know about manuscript reviews and editing: Murphy's Law of Published Writers goes like this: The piece that you write and think is absolutely perfect will strike your Editor as a Blog Group 2 submission and be absolutely butchered by him or her, at best, and probably rejected outright as crap. The first time I got strongly edited, I was righteously pissed off and indignant; until I remembered that if Mike didn't like the piece, is wasn't going in no newspaper - So I changed it. That was years ago and I'm used to being edited now; it doesn't bother me that much any more - It can actually be a conversation piece at a party; "Hey, thanks, I liked that piece too - I liked it even more the way I actually wrote it..." You get the idea. Anyway, this friend is actually involved in media, in fact very experienced in media, in fact Award Winning in media - As in stuff you may well have seen on TV or in print - That kind of involved. So I read the Blog and... I didn't like it. Now what do you do? Go back and hit the email and type, 'Gee, thanks for the invite, I found your piece overwrought, strident, and ostentatious - have a nice day?' Nope - I lied. I typed 'Great Stuff, THANKS!!!!' and left it at that - See, I know she's good, I just didn't like it, and that's that.

Now we come to Group 3... And these folks drive me nuts, frankly. You know Michael Bolton, right? Looks kinda like Fabio, only American, destroyed a bunch of decent tunes back in the 90's? That guy... I've always referred to him as Michael If You Have To Work The Song That Hard Just Let It Go Bolton - That guy. Now, admittedly, I hate his singing - Hate it, period. Maybe some of you liked him, and if so, I'm sorry, (That you do). But I hated it... See, He stretched, mangled, pummeled, beat, twisted, and throttled every single freakin' note! If you have to work that hard, you shouldn't be doin' it. The vast majority of pro singers just don't overdo things like that, and for a good reason - They don't need to and it sounds lousy. If you are gonna push it, push it like John Fogarty, and scream simply and in key. Group 3 Bloggers write like Bolton sings: They push and prod and coax and twist and stomp words into tortured text that makes me squirm to read it. They should stick to romance novels and comic book prints, (Not R. Crumb), and leave art to artists. Monica and I went and saw a show of Gaugin paintings from before his post-impressionist period, (?), at a local museum. Rich, living landscapes of Paris and the French countryside; it was beautiful, ethereal, wonderful stuff - Evocative and thought-provoking. Got that in your minds eye? OK, Now see the Big-Haired Typical Dallas Housewife in her 50's, in the lime green pants suits with matching shoes, snapping her gum as she chews, nodding at a painting and turning to her friends to say, "Why I know, a lot of people tell me I paint like him, but bless his heart, I just know I'm better..." No, I'm not making this up... Get the picture? That's what group 3 blogs are like.

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