11/24/2005

blogging vs. flogging

You almost need a blog to deal with the aggravations of blogging. I get visitors to this site daily, and a couple comments a day, on average, which I don't mind, except the (always anonymous) snarky ones, which, by and large, I don't post. They are usually cries for help anyway.

I got one this morning, for instance, that, with typical wit and sharp insight said, simply, "wow you bitch a lot." Let me let you in on something, Einstein. This is a blog. The name of the blog is "T-rage!" What did you think it was about? There's a minimum--a minimum--of caveat emptor at work here. It's like going in to a Chinese buffet, and saying, "wow you serve a lot of rice here." And? What's your point? If you don't like rice, don't go to the Chinese buffet. Pretty simple.

I mean, people. Come on. If it makes you feel better somehow, or it makes you feel superior to state the obvious. But it's boring. And the passive-aggressivity of the statement (basically bitching to me that I'm bitching) is BORING. This is why (I guarantee) you either don't have a significant other, or your significant other doesn't love you. And you yourself have a gnawing suspicion (correct, as it turns out) that you will never know love.

But back to Blogging 101. Blogs are pretty self-indulgent on the whole. That's their nature. If you don't get that, I can't help you. The early promise of the internet was that it was this great big democratic bonanza, but the internet is not a democracy, it's an idiocracy. Actually, it's an ego-ocracy. Everybody projects their ego out there into the ether and basically like attracts like. It's very primitive and tribal in some ways.

But then it's also essentially a free market, where you're free to choose what's on offer. If it's not to your liking, if it's not your niche, so to speak, you're free to go elsewhere. Lemme ax you this: when you're walking through the mall, do you go into each and every shop or do you window shop a bit, but go into the shops that have the goods you want? I mean, do you first go into Bath and Body Works and tell the clerk, "wow, you got a lot of soap here. I don't need no soap"? The clerk doesn't care. The clerk is there for customers who do need soap. Do you then go across the way to Victoria's Secret, and tell the clerk there, "man, all you got is underwear, what's up with that?" It's assumed you've got the minimal intelligence to figure it out on your own. If you're looking for a lawnmower, you go to Sears, not Victoria's Secret. If you go to Victoria's Secret looking for a lawnmower, and act like the clerk's a moron for not selling them, well, who's the moron? I mean, for real.

While at its best the web's an efficient and effective medium for disseminating information, it's not a place, for the most part, where productive dialogue happens. Just look at any forum or chat session on any imaginable topic. It devolves into silly tangents and name-calling, and worthless, self-serving observations like, "wow you bitch a lot." I mean, there's always someone lurking in a dark corner of the chat room, ready to leap out and tell everybody else how stupid they are. Why bother? I'll tell you why: because you have nothing constructive to add to the dialogue yourself, but you want to feel like you exist. You still want the rest of us to know you're there, alone, in your empty little world.

I think part of the problem is anonymity, which emboldens a certain type of person to say things he or she would not have the strength of character or courage to say in person. These people have nothing better to say, but this is at least a way that they can be noticed, somehow, that they can say, again, "I exist." Which is sad but understandable, though there's a line between critical thought and therapy that they don't see, mainly because they have no critical faculties themselves to speak of. Coming back to the theme of the day, the observation, "wow you bitch a lot" is facile. It adds nothing to the dialogue. It serves no purpose but to assert one's existence, to leave a trace of oneself, like a rabbit turd, on the doormat of my blog.

As for anonymity. I hate to say it, but if you don't have the courage to be associated with what you think and say, however useless and facile, you should probably keep silent. I think the internet would be an infinitely better place. Because nine times out of ten it's the anonymous ones with nothing interesting to say themselves who are sniping and snarking and calling people names.

There's a psychology to it. Here are people who are probably not terribly articulate, but have been relentlessly flattered by a media culture whose modis operandi in the news, talk- and reality shows is, basically, "look how stupid those people are! You're so much smarter, sitting there with your thumb up your ass watching them! You're not that fat! You're not that ugly! You're not that stupid, are you? Are you? OMG QUICK! You better go buy this mouthwash and deoderant!" They sit on their sofa, or in their cubicle at work, or at their computer at home, and passively take it in, and generate nothing but noxious opinions about others. Like little turds: plop plop plop, all through their day.

For them, the internet is superior to TV in that, assured anonymity, you can actually contact the people who are so much stupider than you and tell them how stupid they are! HAW HAW HAW!It's a big step forward in human evolution, I think.

I've said it before, and I'll probably have to say it again. The premise of this site is very, very simple. If you want to bitch about the T, do it. I invite you. I don't sell lawnmowers, or panties, or soap. BUYER BEWARE.

If you tune into "T-rage!" occasionally, you will hear about dirty stations, broken-down escalators, late trains, and rude conductors and commuters. You will (probably) not hear about sunshine and rainbows, how Jesus loves me, the wonders of medical science, and world peace. Those are my other blogs.

And you could start one of your own, since you're so smart, about macrame or some other hobby, or--hey, here's an idea: start a blog about all the good and wonderful things that happened in your day, all the good karma you accumulated, the compliments you handed out (without expecting anything in return), about how much you love everyone and everything, and all your stuffed animals and house plants, and how you never bitch about anything because everything in life is SUPER, but how, wow, everybody else sure bitches a lot. So stupid. And hey, ya ever notice they serve an awful lot of rice at Chinese restaurants? What's that about?

I'm sure you'd get a million hits.

1 Comments:

At 11/28/2005 1:42 PM, Blogger Sassy said...

Wow. Not only do you oh-so-beautifully articulate the absurdity of the T, which, only comes out of my mouth in the form of angry sputtering and gnashing of teeth (read: South Station on the day before Thanksgiving), but you also hit the nail on the head about the elusive Snarky Blog-Commenter.

Preach on.

 

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