Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tears of a clown

This is going to sound hypocritical coming from a girl who calls herself Calamity and writes for a blog with vulgarity and threatened violence in the URL. But honestly? I don't like haters. Blogs that exist for the sole purpose of tearing others down and spewing bile and basically hating on everyone and everything turn me off.

I know. One could argue that we here at Ask spew our own particularly virulent brand of vitriol and gleefully take people down a notch or two. Or 47. And that's true. BUT! I truly believe we have altruistic intentions. We are merely here to serve, to entertain, and to clean up the blog world, one flaming finger at a time. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. And it's funnier.

So, yes, I'm a hypocrite. I can own that.

Which brings me to my review of Site Insights, which the owner claims is "A site with a few insights into life in the digital age, including pop culture humor, observations and thoughts from a new media douchebag.... As well as satirical and sarcastic commentary on being a middle aged geek in a twenty something world." And to that I say, well, at least he's honest. Except about the humor bit. Also, middle aged? Man. I thought he was 26, tops.

All we're told in his "about" spiel is that this person hates everything. Now, that's not boring in the least, is it? No interests, no personal history, no name, no gender, no background, no insight of any kind into who the author is. "Just Sayin'" is all we get, which, as a phrase, got old at least 3 years ago.

The design is website-y and a little befuddling. And unsettling. I'm not sure where to look. Call me simple-minded, but I need something more straightforward. And I hate this "click to read more" shit. Although, in Just Sayin's case, it does allow me to skip over those posts that don't interest me, which happens kind of a lot.

There's way too much stuff in the sidebar and footer. JS, you've got top posts, recent posts, recent comments, and another top posts. Why? Get rid of all of it and stick with an archive and category list and a blogroll. You're killing me with all that busy shit. This is a blog design for a magazine, or a team blog, not some guy venting about Paris Hilton and why rednecks are stupid.

And I can't deal with the little linky ad shit in the posts. I can't tell when you're sending me somewhere for emphasis to back up your writing, or if you're going to send me to a site about lower interest rates, which, if I wanted to find out about lower interest rates I'd goddamn go to Google, not a post on your blog that relates in no way whatsoever to the sites/ads that are linked. It's infuriating.

Moving on to the content: The "list of eleven" crap appended to every list is kind of pathetic. It doesn't take a real genius to recognize when the funny has left the building. There's some uneven posting, unless I'm missing some navigation option, which is entirely possible as this design overwhelms me. April 2008 has like four billion posts, while July has three. And they're all pop culture-related. And not even the good pop culture, like Buffy or James Bond or Dallas. Also, this guy is more into girly pop culture than any girl I've ever known.

The humor -- and I use that term loosely -- is tired, stereotypical (which he at least admits to), juvenile, and repetitive. And the writing is sophomoric. The ellipses have taken over the joint. It's a rambling, stream of consciousness mess of misogynism and ba-dum-bum-isms. I just picture this guy chortling to himself, cackling with glee over how funny he is. Thing is, he's just not. At least not to me. I didn't even crack a smile. Now, I remember what happened the last time I said someone with a humor blog was unfunny, don't y'all? Yeah, it wasn't pretty. But it was, ironically, funny.

You want to be a blogging god but aren't sure how? Well, me neither. But I know how you can stop being a blogging douche:

Your most interesting and revealing post didn't try to be funny. And that's what this blog has a lot of -- attempts at humor. Don't try so hard. Stop trying to convince everyone you're funny. The strain has to be killing you. It's a bit like Pollyanna writing a sex blog -- forced and uncomfortable and, ultimately, liable to break you out in hives.

So, ok, maybe some people think you're funny. I'm only one person, after all, and I'm not the arbiter of humor. (Although, dammit, why can't I be?) Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is, maybe you have some amusing insight into pop culture or "new media." But what you're publishing is just the same old crap someone else is publishing, only yours has less forethought, precision, and care. Seriously, the ellipses are your crutch and you've got to cast those things aside and say you're healed, because they aren't helping you at all. It's lazy, and it saves you from having to form complete thoughts, cohesive paragraphs, and polished posts.

I can't tell you how to be funny, but I can tell you how not to suck. Write what you know, take some time crafting your posts, be honest, let us in a little bit, tell us about yourself instead of whatever celebrity every other humor/pop culture/gossip blog in the world is covering, or if you insist on devoting time to celebrity news, try to bring something original, something fresh. And above all, tell us who you are, not who you want us to think you are -- the jaded, hateful cynic with talons to sharpen. Because it doesn't ring true. I sense (barely) a real person under all this contrived snark and false bravado. A person who, I suspect, would be more interesting than the guy you're playing at.


  1. Long ass review, too. I can't shut myself up.

  2. Is it a sign of progression or regression that even self proclaimed Douchebags have categories?

    Seriously, "A new media douchebag"?

  3. I hate stuff too, but everything? Why breathe?

  4. Definitely a sign of progress, Joe. Me, I got no use for a new media douchebag, so I can give this joker a pass. When the skilled-but-not-crazy-expensive carpenter douchebag shows up, I'll pay a little attention.

    Great review, Calamity.

  5. Mmmm, this review just shaved some of the ice off of my frigid bitch heart.

  6. Awww, look, if Demonica has a heart, it's been touched.

    Douchebag humor apparently sucks.

  7. This one time, I saw a midget...and I was short are you??????

    And he says...

    You'll NEVER believe this...


    He just came through...with the comeback!

    ...I love a funny midget.

    Just sayin.

    (this blog is less funny than that)

  8. I think speech impediments are funny.

  9. Great review.

    I agree GOK, speech impediments make me giggle. Love lisps.

  10. Is it me, or have our reviews been largely ignored by the reviewees lately? It's probably me.

    I will not be ignored, Dan.

  11. Fatal attraction reference, niiiice.

  12. This guy actually reviewed my blog a few weeks ago, maybe it's a good thing I didn't take much of his advice.

  13. What are the odds, Calamity, that my ex-boyfriend writes this blog? Heavy, I'd say.

  14. Wow you sure ripped into his blog in this post, he will be please nonetheless.

    It's a good thing it wasn't my blog that was targeted - my blog is the next reincarnation of Jesus, did you know?

    Oh, well. That was 6 minutes of pure fail I will sadly never get back, ever again.

    I'll feel much better after I asphyxiate some orphans, what? It's okay, it's not like anyone is going to miss those orphans anyway.

    It's how I reduce my carbon footprint.

    Until next time amigos.


  15. I hate this guy. he's just too slick, and he isn't funny. Also, he reminds me of a fat coke-snorting whore I used to date.

  16. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ignore your review, honestly... I was busy. Yeah that's it... I was busy rocking back and forth and crying silently to myself.

    I don't know... I mean. What can I say?

    In terms of the deisgn, I like website-y blogs. I genuinely do, but I'm willing to accept that could just be me.

    It wasn't displaying correctly because you actually caught me in the midst of switching themes... It actually looks *cough* more website-y now *cough*

    But hey! On the bright side it's fully functional.

    As for my writing style, or lack Thereof LOL. I don't know. I mean, I write how I talk. Seriously... I imagine that I'm talking to someone, anyone, a friend or co-worker and I type it as it comes out.

    The ellipses end up where I would pause if we were actually speaking.

    Anyway... (See, it's a really bad habit) I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to review my site, and for what it's worth, to say I really like yours.

    Although you may want to edit that last part out because apparently I have absolutely no idea what a good site is.

  17. Oh, and Orion. I was just trying to help. Sorry.

  18. Hello. And Bye.

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Grow a pair.