Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tell me, sister morphine, how long have I been lying here?

After a hiatus that has gone on far too long, the Professor is back. I’ve missed you, my little askers and receivers, but some unforeseen personal relocation trauma kept me all tangled up. Hopefully I’m back for the long haul now, so let’s get on to business.

When I read the name of my assigned site for the week, Peanut Butter & Pickles, I cringed in anticipation of yet another mommy blog. So, it was a pleasant surprise to click over and find that I had a whole different sort of animal in my sights. That sense of relief didn’t last long, I’m afraid to report.

The author of Peanut Butter & Pickles uses the pseudonym Marvin the Martian. This conceit of author as alien observer is a bit dopey and doesn’t really make Peanut Butter & Pickles stand apart from the legion of personal blogs out there. It doesn’t add anything to the blog and it occasionally takes away from it. Everyone needs a good pen name and if Marvin the Martian does it for you, that’s fine, but when you go all sci-fi for a couple of sentences in the middle of a post about spurious law suits it just sort of shoots your credibility to shit. There's a fair bit of wing nut brand politics and a sense of morality that makes my skin crawl a bit - who knew Martians were such reactionaries.

Template is standard Blah-ger, in fact I’m pretty sure it’s the default. Why so many people see this template, with it’s shades of dull green and say to themselves “This is what I want to represent my personality to the whole interwebs” is just beyond me. Marvin doesn't junk it up too much with tat, so it's nice and clean if a little bland.

The writing. Marvin says that he writes for a living but that it’s pretty boring writing. That sounds about right. The writing on Peanut Butter & Pickles is kind of like recreational morphine use – sedative, numbing and not as much fun as you thought it would be. Marvin seems to have a strange and probably unhealthy attraction to death, which comes off as less cutting edge than creepy. There's a fair bit of wing nut brand politics and a sense of morality that makes my skin crawl a bit - who knew Martians were such reactionaries.

Now, Peanut Butter & Pickles is not all bad. I like the eclecticism of the site; Marvin covers music, politics and family minutiae without coming off as all scatterfucked. I don’t like his politics and find his music taste erratic, but that’s not my business here. It comes off as a healthy mix. He also posts some quite nice images, but they’re far too small. I don’t know if it’s a Blogger size limit thang or you just doesn’t know what you’re doing. But big them up and edit what you’re posting and Peanut Butter & Pickles will pop despite the shit template.

But, it’s the writing that makes the blog and the writing here falls well short. The longer I read PB&P the more numb and vaguely irritated. Reading Peanut Butter & Pickles is a little like coming down - the very essence of “Meh”.

18 comments:

  1. Wow! I've been gone so long that I didn't realize I had gotten quote of the week. Well, I'll be fucked.

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  2. Professor Booty, welcome back! I don't even know you, but I missed you.

    I don't think I've ever agreed with anything at 5:30am more than I agree with this review.

    For me, this blog would automatically be a million times better without the Marvin bit. That's not easy for me to say because I LOVE Marvin the Martian.

    By the way, I wanted to smack this guy over his view on the economy. Maybe he really doesn't live on earth.

    I don't hate the blog. It's almost like his writing is just good enough so that I kept expecting the next post to make more sense than the last. Anticipation is a turn on only for so long, and then it just pisses me off.

    Oh, and the name screams "pregnant woman and blogging about it" to me and probably tons of other people who pass it by for that very reason.

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  3. I read for five minutes and my skin was crawling. The blog post about the woman who received the heart and lung transplant dying did it for me. I think Marvin the Martian is an excellent pseudonym for this guy because he really IS an alien. Definitely, he is not human. Although, I'd say that his species is more reptilian or insectoid. The coldness is what really got to me.

    He refers to Tami's husband as "a strange little man." Hello, pot. Funny how we can recognize in others what we miss seeing in ourselves.

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  4. and, seriouslyybooty, i missed you. glad you are settled.

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  5. I can't read this blog without getting crushed by the smugness - I'll look in the mirror if I need me some smug, not to a pretentious, bullshit blogger with all the insight of a whackjob in a tinfoil-hat.

    If you're heading down Conspiracy Theory Lane, at least make it interesting, for fuck's sake.

    Good to see you again, Professor; you've been missed, mon frere.

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  6. This is like those blogs where people pretend they are their cats. I so don't get it. And thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that.

    Welcome back, Booty!

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  8. So, Martians are reactionaries? So, Martians are reactionaries? I'll take your word for it on this one, I steer clear of people that relate closely with cartoon characters.

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  9. Dammit, my entire comment was eaten by blogger.

    I like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Grew up on them. People think I'm weird for it.

    I may be weird, but that wouldn't be the reason.

    But just the title was enough for me to check out his blog a few weeks ago when I found it. Because those are some really damn good sandwiches. And I think he's got his moments. A few too many 'meh' posts mixed in at times, but he posts so often that I can find something I enjoy most days.

    Some of his stuff really makes sense in ways I hadn't thought of. His off sense of humor makes me laugh sometimes. I think what I enjoy the most is not knowing what might be coming next with him. There's no predictability on his blog, and while it can be a bit disconcerting, it can also be fun.

    And the martian gimmick is forced a bit too much at times, but at other times adds just the bit of comic relief that to make a post work.

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  10. Marvin the Martian.

    Apparently, Marvin the weird ass was already taken.

    Bummer.

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  11. Eh, I always get dinged for this, but I just don't like this blogger. I find him creepy, and not in the good, "I'm going to tie you up in my basement dungeon way," either.

    I find him creepy in the I may stalk you and kill you because I lack all human emotion and empathy way. And guess what? I've only felt this a few times (professionally), and I've always been right.

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  12. Now, if he were going to actually kill his roommate in some creative way and write about it, that would potentially be more interesting to me.

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  13. Yes, apparently everyone would be better off killing their roommate and blogging about it.

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  14. Purely for our entertainment value, of course.

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  15. It's a noble cause. Sorta.

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  16. Thanks, Prof! I will switch to a more interesting template and enlarge the pix. And I'll try to do something different with the writing (creativity is anathema to technical writing, and I think it shows, unfortunately). I really appreciate your input - at least it didn't make you claw your eyes out to read it. ;-)

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  17. Professor Booty5/15/2008 2:56 AM

    Thanks for all the kind words. Still not entirely back - I'm sort of a pirate of the cyber seas - arrgh, mateys.

    I'd officially like to nominate "I find him creepy, and not in the good, "I'm going to tie you up in my basement dungeon way," either." as the quote of the week in case Ms. Bites is too humble to blow her own horn.

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  18. I must confess, i would never nominate myself, but I did like that line.

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Grow a pair.