Thursday, February 19, 2009

I waited for the joke. It never did arrive.

The Professor, despite being several years and several thousand miles removed, is still a Southern boy at heart - polite, well mannered and genteel. I was raised to say "Yes, ma'am" and "Yes, sir" to my elders, to open doors for ladies and to never, ever be arbitrarily rude to another person. Well, to their face anyway. This upbringing makes this particular gig a bit of challenge sometimes. Today is a good example.

I grew up in the steaming pine barrens that straddle the Florida-Georgia line. Once I had done my time in my hometown's one-room school house, I headed west to the Capital City to continue my education. A couple of my fellow reviewers may know a stretch of Interstate 10 in north Florida that runs, pointlessly, between Dickert and Drifton. Going to and from university, I became painfully familiar with that length of tarmac. It's long, straight, flat and unapologetically dull. You've got to be pretty vigilant, because it will put you to sleep quicker than a handful of Ambien and before you know it you're a hood ornament on an eighteen-wheeler. It's also littered with billboards flogging all manner of crap that nobody needs.

Do you know what else is long, straight, flat, littered with billboards and unapologetically dull? Stuff and Nonsense.

I could pretty much leave it there and call that a review done. Get on with my Fundamentals of Bootology lecture for next week. That's what the Southern gentleman I was raised to be would do.

But I had high hopes for this one. Joel Klebanoff is a published author. He's been at this blogging gig for three years. He's a Canadian. What's not to like? I waded through a couple of posts until I found this one on Darwin. Now, as most of you probably know, Bootology is a core life science and thus the professor is intimately familiar with the father of evolution's work. I spent much of last week reading some outstanding posts celebrating Darwin's 200th birthday. Joel's post? I couldn't finish it.

It's not just that it was too long, nor that it was riddled with bad jokes. It was dull. And kind of lacking a point. Story of this blog.

Based on some of the widgets and gazoos on the sidebars, Stuff and Nonsense strives to be a 'humor blog'. Why is it that any site with a 'Humor Blogs' ranking is, almost without fail, painfully unfunny? This post is a perfect example. I get it - a mock interview about our current economic woes, overdone to get a laugh. Not funny. Not even a little bit. Painfully awkward, lacking in originality but not funny. Story of this blog.

If I have to be mean, I'd like more than anything to at least be constructively mean. I'm struggling to do so. I just don't know what to tell you, Joel. You could certainly pare down the junk on your page. I don't know how much revenue all those Google Ads are pulling in for you but you'd be better served by building your readership and then working with a real advertiser. One that won't make your page look like some poorly published free newspaper. As for the writing - it's stilted, awkward and long-winded - all I can suggest is edit. Make it snappier and cleverer. Don't ape humor that you've seen elsewhere. Try and come up with something original - funny or not - and go from there. The average blog reader just doesn't have the attention span for dry multi-part satires about the economy, for example. The exceptional blog reader - the one that you covet - demands exceptional writing and, I'll put this as politely as I can, you just ain't got it.

It doesn't work for me and I'm kind of your target audience, Joel. That's bad news for you. My unshakable Southern gentility forbids me from giving you any kind of finger - flaming or otherwise - and you don't really inspire that level of hostility anyway. What you do deserve is a solid:






Story of this blog.

38 comments:

  1. I commend your polite restraint.

    I like the ease of having the categories down the side but few of them were particularly interesting to me.

    The relationships one could have been but it wasn't very revealing or insightful. You read a blog to try to understand someone but I think they need to offer up a little more of themselves if they want to engage the reader.

    I didn't like all the adverts either.

    Each to their own though.

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  2. Thanks Payne. I don't have a problem with ads per se. One has to pay the rent. I have an ad or two on my personal site. It's tacky ads I have a problem with.

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  3. When I saw the part about Bake Sales to help the U.S. economy I thought there was a funny moment-- and then it was gone.

    I agree with Payne, I think you have to have a little more you, and a less whatever else.

    Do I need to google Bootology? Cheers matey.

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  4. Professor Booty2/20/2009 5:50 AM

    The science of bootology examines the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution and classification of the booty.

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  5. Well, the apostrophes and commas are all in the right place, and that's saying something.

    Booty, that road you speak of is murder. Slow, silent, boring murder.

    Excellent review, Professor. Glad to have such gentility around. It's a nice counterpoint to us shrieking hyenas.

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  6. I wonder if I'd be nicer if I were really FROM this sleepy Southern town, and not just a yankee transplant from Missouri.

    Possibly.

    Or, I might be even more bitter than I already am.

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  7. The great thing about it being Friday is that I know Suckfest 09 is over. There is no fucking way we will ever see a week of blogs this boring. What? Oh, right, I just jinxed us. Joel was my favorite out of the bunch. Because he likes the biscotti. Ay!

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  8. Friday is also casual day here at Kruger Industrial Smoothing.

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  9. Don't speak so soon, GoK. The shit is deep out there.

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  10. I asked. I received. I was expecting much worse than "Meh", so thanks for that. And thanks for taking the time to review my blog. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more. Or at least a little. Then again, the benefit of low self-esteem is that I'm thrilled with Meh.

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  11. Way to take it on the chin Joel, now bend over while Gok gets his biscotti.

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  12. Biscotti is not on the menu today, it should be KING CAKE.

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  13. That 'Economic Update' mock interview post talks about being screwed so much that I suspect a bit of the Professor's bootology may have come in handy.

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  14. You don't want to know what I replaced the baby with in KEY'S CAKE. Also, where's all the boobs?

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  15. LB - Need me to partake in some Ozarkian revelry in your honor? I could whoop, holler and shoot someone if you need me to.

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  16. King cake would never work. Too soft.

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  17. You just had to say it, didn't you?

    The icing could be smegma. You never know.

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  18. Yes, I did. Also, I have beads.

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  19. Moist...eeerrrrgggg. Once again people, only if it pertains to a red velvet cake.

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  20. Miss Missives: I'm happy to take it on the chin, but there's no way I'm bending over in this crowd!

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  21. Joel, what if we throw a nice, shiny quarter down on the ground? Like a blog ad?

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  22. Rassles: Not even if you make it a loonie or a toonie. (A Canadian $1 or $2 coin.)

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  23. Jeezuh. Rass, does that loonie toonie thing sound like the stuff of our fevers or what? Damn!

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  24. The fact that humor blogs are inherently unfunny is ironically funny.

    So, good job, Joel?

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  25. I bet if Joel was an American, hed drop for that quarter. Times is tough.

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  26. GOK: we Canadians are dull, but we have our pride. By the way, I haven't forgotten that you agreed to buy me a drink. I want to get something out of this nightmare.

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  27. Dude, Mongo, it's killing me. I have more Kleenex around me than oxygen.

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  28. You're GoKdamn right GoK. Times is absolutely tough.
    Loonie? Toonie? Biscotti?
    Anyone?

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  29. Rass, I promise you this: The loonies and toonies you see floating around the room are not real. Just ignore them for now.
    The biscotti? I swear to GoK they are conspiring in Italian to take me away.

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  30. MG: yes, well the biscotti have been infused with the Demon Seed of GoK. But I baked them in my Oven of Health and Prosperity, so they're only a tad mischievous.
    Joel: idk, you got the least of the hellfire this week. Still, if you're ever in Colorado, I'll buy you a Prairie Fire.

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  31. This whole comment thread feels like a fever dream to me. Clearly, I did not get enough sleep last night.

    I like this warren person, though.

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  32. Warren, dude, whatever you do, DON'T EAT THE BISCOTTI.

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  33. What's the big deal? It looks fine. [munch, munch] Hmmm, kind of an... earthy flavor.

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  34. LB - You intuitive little thing you. I'm not going to remember any of this.

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Grow a pair.