Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Don't jump, this is the shallow end

Hello, it’s 11 degrees Here In Franklin and they're predicting two inches of snow on Thursday. That's a virtual blizzard in these parts. I need to get this done so I can run to Publix before they run out of Sierra Nevada and Tender Vittles.

According to Wikipedia there are 1.17 billion people living in India. There are more than 2,000 ethnic groups who speak 29 different languages. And don’t even get me started on how many types of curry there are.

Point is, you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse environment and multi-layered culture than India’s.

So why does eM sound exactly like every other 28-year-old American I know? Maybe because she lists her three favorite movies as Reality Bites, Girl Interrupted and Dirty Dancing. Aside from the very occasional Indian reference, this blog could be authored by any upscale wasp living in Dallas or Cleveland or Sacramento.

But that’s not to say that it isn’t well written, because it is.

eM is the blogname of Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, who, I suspect, is quite famous in India in a chick lit sort of way. She published a book last year and is working on another. She was interviewed on NPR last October for a story featuring popular blogs around the world. She comes by her writing chops naturally—her father is a well-known writer and her mother is an editor.

However, it's eM's blog that's our concern today, not her family tree.

eM’s writing is clear and grammatically correct. She started blogging in 2004 when she was only 22. In those early days she wrote sweetly about growing up, boy friends, her work as a journalist and drinking and smoking with her friends. There was more of the same in 2005 … and 2006 … and 2007 … and by now you get the picture.

There just isn’t a lot of growth. Compare these birthday posts which are years apart.

Am now the grand old age of twenty-three.
Twenty three isn't that old in the larger scheme of things, I'm sure some of you, who have passed that mark will look upon me as a mere fledgling. But still, it's the oldest I've ever been, in that, this year I actually feel my age. All these years, I've felt younger than I actually am. But now I'm 23, I feel 23, even if I may not look it. Kinda sad actually, because I would love to revert to 19 or something. At an age where I can still look around and say, "Where are all the grown-ups?" That's not happening anymore, coz, ohmygod, I am a grown-up. *scary*

And this:

If you know me, then you know my birthday is possibly the HUGEST DEAL IN THE WORLD to me. It's true. In the past, I began talking about it in like August, because I was so excited and now, I'm not much better, though I have managed to hold off till at least November before I make plans. People are amused, because, well, at 28, you expect someone to take a chill pill already about turning a year older, but it's so exciting! And it's a day all about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! And more meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! How can you not love that?

So here’s the deal, eM —- I can’t take you to task about your writing. But can we talk about content? Honestly, can we have a little less meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and a little more youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu? I realize that you’re catering to a certain audience…keeping up a certain persona. But the only word that comes to mind is shallow. You’re 28 now—old enough to notice the world around you.

You have a voice. You have an audience. You have a platform. Maybe once every few months you could write about something other than yourself.

For your writing skill, I give you

For your complete self-absorption, I give you

And if every single Paris Hilton wannabe in Mumbai hates me, so be it.


  1. Despite the excerpts (which did little other than discourage me from reading the blog at all), I clicked through and found the posts to be as shallow as you described. I did, however, enjoy her near-miss scamming with the 1 minute roadside alternator replacement story. That was funny.

  2. I strongly, strongly, strongly dislike all three of those movies, and as a result I will not read her blog.

    I'm a filmcist.

  3. Also, Franklin, you are wonderful, but I resent this:

    "So why does eM sound exactly like every other 28-year-old American I know?"

  4. That's such a lie. She's nowhere near as cool as our Rassles.

  5. Oops...sorry Rass. I just think of you as this wise, ageless oracle-type person perched on top of the Sears Tower and showering us with your wit and blogging prowess.

    (Is that enough suckuppage to get me off your shit list?)

  6. I really AM super witty and wise. You are forgiven.

  7. Ohhhhhh SNAP! I swear I felt the earth tilt on its axis when I saw the grand dame HIF had given out a flaming finger.
    Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the Whore.

  8. P.S. Hey Rass. I'm going to put you in a skirt, give you a big hug, say bad and dirty things about Alex Hamilton, and get down, get funky, get loose!

  9. Hasn't this blog been reviewed before? I remember reading the review and then the woman saying she hadn't asked for it at all.

  10. Yup, here you go:


  11. Wake up and smell your inner girl, interuppted, Rassles. She must be in there, dying to overdose - dying to be reborn. Dying to blog about better homes and better gardens.

  12. MG--Grand dame? Well, if the crown fits, I'll wear it.
    Arjun--Interesting that Cal and I had such similar thoughts, although she said it much better, of course.

  13. MG--Grand dame? Well, if the crown fits, I'll wear it.
    Arjun--Interesting that Cal and I had such similar thoughts, although she said it much better, of course.

  14. I really meant that last comment.

  15. Gap - I liked the book. Really. But Winona Ryder gets my proverbial goat.

  16. Okay, let's go over this again:
    1) I didn't ask for the first review.
    2) I certainly didn't ask for this one.
    3) My email address is on my blog so, yes, people can submit it, but come ON, read your own archives.

    Before you do, I'd like to state that I won't be asking for the third review either.

    --Yours in self absorption,

  17. Look at me, I'm saying hi.

  18. You know, I kind of believe her. This eM character.

  19. it's probably true, but I don't exactly see how she's been harmed by all this fanfare. It's not like we haven't sent thousands of people to her site. Or hundreds, at least. Maybe even dozens.

    As far as remembering, we've done hundreds of reviews. No offense, but this one wasn't particularly memorable.

  20. Do you all know that I just want to give you a big giant group hug?

    Especially Rassles. I kind of want to squeeze Rassles until she squeels.

  21. Blues,
    I think you'll have to get in line behind MG.

    As for eM, maybe she didn't ask for it. But it was free, so why complain? :)

  22. Why would someone submit another person's blog for review, not just once but twice? Strange.

  23. I misspelled squeal. I've been away entirely too long.

  24. Hi mrs Booms.



    I loved Brittany's performance in GI most of all. Of course. May she RIP.

    Winona sorta plays the same character in every movie. Then again, I've only seen two of her movies.

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Grow a pair.