Friday, June 19, 2009

Kicking Cripples Ain't So Funny

Guest review today by Mongolian Girl.

When Hellbilly and I were first dating, we hung out at my house a lot. In the beginning I kept many things hidden from him. Mostly the things in my kitchen, pantry and my fridge. No, I don't keep my Black & Decker Power Pecker collection in the kitchen; that is kept in a colorful Easter basket in the bedroom closet. I didn't want Hellbilly to see the way my kitchen items were organized. Spices all faced forward and were in alphabetical order, refrigerated items all faced forward and were kept in like categories, and having more than two kitchen towels in use at the same time was highly disturbing to me.

One night I finally decided to reveal the truth of my kitchen to him, "I want you to see the stuff in my kitchen pantry and the fridge," I said, then led him to the kitchen, opened the doors to the fridge and pantry, and stood back and watched him 'oooh' and 'ahhhh' over the tidily organized, facing forward, alphabetized items.

When he finally pulled his head out of the pantry he turned toward me with a strange look on his face and said...

Don't worry Askers, I'll get to that later.

The first thing I want you to know is that Jay is fucking hilarious. I mean, I've read some funny shit on the internet, but rarely do I come across a writer who is consistently so funny that I wish they had been a life-long friend. I am not kidding when I tell you I wish I met Jay in first grade or something and had been entertained by him ever since.

His humor is not forced or contrived. It seems completely natural when he writes of a giant spider as something "You would beat to death with your mother if that's what it took," or watching Carmen Diaz in the movie 'In Her Shoes' and then writing, "Her portrayal of a functionally illiterate alcoholic whore was shockingly dead on, almost as if she had been preparing for it her whole life."

He made up a 'pink taco' rating system for chick flicks he forced himself to watch during the entire month of May, and takes a boring old 'My best friend barfed in a bar' experience and turns it into something I wish I had been there to witness.

He even gets away with posting about Craigslist (something that normally makes me want to shove a very sharp pencil into the ear canals of bloggers who try it) by recounting a story of having communicated with a photographer about taking pictures of the events of the fictional 'Furry Fandom & Fantasy' club. Read it for yourself. Yes it's long, but Jay carries it off so well that I even found myself wishing he had responded to our ad on Craigslist for free horse manure with some kind of contrived story about needing a trailer full for some kind of feces fetish club meeting.

(No, no you don't have to start going on and on about the fact that Hellbilly and I actually would take a trailer full of horse shit to some fetish club meeting and watch them slather it all over their nekkid bodies.)

Let's get back to that story about my fucked up facing-forward-alphabetized kitchen, shall we?

When Hellbilly finally pulled his head out of the pantry he turned to me and said,
"Um, that's just straight up fuckin' scary."

And he was right.

Yeah, finding a kitchen full of alphabetized, facing forward items is fascinating and even funny at first. But it's also scary because it was one of the strange ways I had been compensating for the fact that my life had been completely out of control in the years before I met Hellbilly. I had been in a horrible marriage, moved three times in two years, and had been dealing with a bizarre and vicious legal battle with some of my own family members. Being obsessively organized was a busy, albeit ineffective, way to control something in the middle of a bunch of shit that was out of control.

I kept feeling like something like that was going on with Jay's blog. Yes, I kept admiring his writing, his humor and his made up Craigslist character and pink taco rating system. But I also kept having a gnawing feeling that something was going on. Something was 'off' or 'underneath' or....

...and then I found this, and this, and this.

These posts all contain Jay's great writing and sense of humor, but something was causing him to to use those natural abilities to degrade others. It was a classic case of going for the low hanging fruit. There is a tinge of making fun of victims of domestic violence. Instead of being curious and fascinated by a crazy old story teller on a bus, he turns him into a worthless and smelly waste of space. And *gasp* he makes fun of those of us from the south, which, of course, makes me want to go all southern on his ass by lathering his backside up with an extra special personal lubricant we like to call 'Ass Jack', and then letting a few of our neighbors assist him by helping him become stump broke.

But you know all of this, don't you Jay? You actually state you have a policy of 'non-transparency' on your blog, but then get clear about this.

Throughout your blog you also slide in little one liners about dealing with 'mama drama', alcoholism, having financial stress, something like 42 different jobs, a wife and three children. At first I thought you might be one of those bloggers who doesn't get into things you consider too personal or too 'past', but then I realized you link to your wife's blog, and she says it all.

You have this about wanting to achieve balance, but it is something that makes me think of that thing people say when someone isn't fully in touch with their heart or guts:

"You are living from the neck up."

You even titled your blogroll 'mental crushes' and decided this (www.geniuspending.com/2008/10/your-turn.html) was the only information you really wanted to know about your fellow bloggers.

One of the challenges given to me when my blog was reviewed (by Miss Missives, whose leg I am still planning to dry hump) was to, once a month, choose a topic I was afraid to write about and do it anyway.

Yeah, some of the crap that has come out of that challenge has been painful, but getting rid of it has also lightened the load and, if I do say so myself, made my writing and sense of humor even better.

Maybe that would help, because I would hate to see you keep your policy of 'non-transparency' and keep dipping into that crappy territory of using your talents to, even slightly, degrade another person or class of people. You just don't seem like that kind of guy.

Yes, I read your post about how you think part of the reason people blog is to gain readers. That may be true, but is that really why you are blogging? I don't think so. I think you know you have talent and humor falling out of your ass and it's time to get busy with whatever it is that is getting in the way of it from time to time. Bottom line, I think you will end up more disappointed if you use your natural talent to degrade others than you will if you never end up with a huge amount of readers.

Having an 'About Me' page would also help. Actually, it's a must. Otherwise you don't give us a place to start. I also think your sidebar is crap. So you Tumblelog, Twitter, Facebook, have a reader and a Picasa Album. Whoop-tee. Whatever. It's just too much, especially when it's slapped into the middle of your polls, tags, followers, recent comments, 'seen elsewhere' thingy, and popular post. Jesus Harold Christ on a rubber crutch, Jay? What the hell is going on over there? Get rid of some of that shit or, at the very least, just make a whole page for most of it to get it off of the front of your blog.

Some assignments:
1. Figure out how to make a decent (i.e.. less than 10 fucking minutes and contstantly interesting) vlog here.

2. Examine using a brilliant sense of humor without degrading others here.

Take a lesson in dumping the rough stuff here.

I really do.

But this and this is what I'm going to haunt your comments section with for the rest of my wicked life if you don't get to whatever the hell it is that has that lame ass degrading bullshit seeping out of your system from time to time.

38 comments:

  1. Oh my god, you totally linked me. I love you forever. I mean, I already did, but now it's sexual. This review? So amazing I could cry. Now to check out the reviewee's blog.

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  2. Good review Mongo.
    You are thoughtful and insightful.

    This guy is a Douchebag, I know because I see him at the meetings.

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  3. Oh hell, Gwen. I wish you would just get the fuck over that your blog rocks. Jeezuh.

    Chris, I always had a feeling you got a chubby from people dressed up in team mascot outfits.

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  4. Oh, and I think that broad's name is 'Cameron' Diaz, not Carmen. Oh well, she's obviously an illiterate whore and won't know the difference anyway.

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  5. I do but my penchant for furries does not lessen the doucherry.

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  6. Obviously, MG. There's so much Cameron Diaz hate right now all around me. It's restoring my faith in humankind.

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  7. I think shes too skinny. I am currently in love with Flo from the progressive commercials.

    Ill trick out your name tag, all night (in reality, like 4 mins. Then Ill watch Family Guy and eat a sandwich. But for those four minutes).

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  8. Oh Jesus help me, they did NOT give that freak from the Progressive commercials an actual name.

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  9. I really hate Flo. The name AND the Progressive girl. I want to pummel her with a blunt object for her perkiness. Who gets that excited about car insurance? There's also something a wee bit condescending about her.

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  10. That Flo girl is probably someones aunt. Think of that!

    Great review!

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  11. Could you imagine the righteous, obnoxious spawn created by the coupling of Flo and FreeCreditReport.com Guy?

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  12. Also: HOLLA! Wikka wikka wikka.

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  13. Mongoliangirl, will you come over and organize my kitchen and bake me pumpkin muffins? I think I love you.

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  14. You will never crush our love

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  15. I have mixed feelings about this review, similar in many ways to the feelings I have about the painful erection I'm left with after watching a Golden Girls rerun.

    My overall thought, however, is that I love what you wrote. I was pretty certain I'd get nailed for my sidebar, and no doubt my one attempt at vlogging about a shitty movie whilst hungover was amateur (speaking of, the "how-to vlog" link you posted doesn't seem to be working, which sucks because I'm interested in it).

    I can make no hard promises of dialing back on the douchebaggery, because I've honestly never thought of myself as a mean or overly degrading person; just a semi-normal guy who has his limits. Well that and as everyone here already knows, being mean and/or bluntly honest can be both funny and cathartic. Certainly it's not the only path to Funnytown, but an entertaining one all the same.

    All in all I'm very thankful for the time and thought that you put into this MG. Much good will come of it.

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  16. Jay - Man up and re-enable the three posts she took you to task for. She linked to them for a reason. Taking posts down after having them unfavourably reviewed is bad form.

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  17. Jay - Excellent. No review is perfect (unless done by every reviewer other than me anyway).
    I'm retarded about linking to anything in a comments section, so just take this and put it in your browser for vlogging info - www.betseybooms.com. Look for her vlogs page.
    Also? Is SciFi Dad telling the truth? Are you disabling blog posts today? I hope not, or that threat about infesting your comments section is going to happen sooner than you might like.
    Have your limits. Whatever on that, right? Maybe I should have said something along the lines of all or nothing. If you're going to degrade someone just do it all the way and threaten to kill them in the end. That backhanded, sideways, wishy washy crap is just boring.

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  18. SciFi Dad - I didn't take anything down, it just so happens that all three of those links were broken. Here are ones that should get you there:

    Post 1
    Post 2
    Post 3

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. previous comment removed because Jay explained the missing posts

    Thanks Jay.

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  21. Jeepers, MG, I love you.

    And Jay is kind of fun, too.

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  22. Rassles - The Free Credit Report.Com guy and Flo should never procreate. Together, I mean.

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  23. What do you guys have against Canadians singing catchy, funny tunes about credit scores?

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  24. As I understand it Flo hates Canada so I must as well.

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  25. Mongolian Girl, the day I grow the balls to get reviewed, I want you and LB to fight for it. Preferably in mud. Or Jello. With a camera.

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  26. I couldn't get the vlog link to work. Who did you link to, because I need some serious lessons on how to do a successful vlog.

    Give me the goods woman!

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  27. Aww,crap, I just read through the comments. The vlog link was me?

    Well, you're supposed to be giving the dude good advice, not advice on how to look like a jackass on the nets.

    Thanks, mongo, that's might sweet of you.

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  28. What, no love for the guy who posted the correct link? Chee, rough Friday.

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  29. Thank you, Than! We love your linking abilities.

    Uh, I just checked out Jay's "vlog", I agree, that's an ass word.

    And then I fell asleep. Jay is funny. Not sure the video blog is his genre.

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  30. I'm sorry, all I heard was jello wrestling.

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  31. See Betsey? I can't link to Than's vlog idea either. I did, however, link to yours.

    Rass, I think he's funny too, but he better not use that humor to post about being reviewed and end up being all mean to me. I'm a little sensitive today. You know that just makes me mean.

    Blues, I'm going to eat you like a pumpkin muffin and then bake you some pumpkin muffins. Right after I align your kitchen appliances in alphabetical order and talk dirty to 'em.

    Mr. Lady, see, now you've got Ghost all riled up. Dirty girl!

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  32. Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaan. Fuck. I had weird meetings today and then spent a bunch of time outside and then took a 'Thank you Jesus for air conditionaing' nap.
    Now? I don't know shit.

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  33. I just want to add: After reading like two of this guy's posts I've decided that he is awesome. That is all.

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  34. Gwen: Exactly. I've already added him to my reader. Which, by the way, I need to clean up. There's so much crap in there that I probably really could deliver a pile of shit to a feces fetish club.

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  35. Jay is funny, thanks for sharing!

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  36. I love Jay's blog. He's hilarious and twisted and more clever than I could ever really hope to be.

    Is he really degrading? I don't think so...

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Grow a pair.