I don't know if this is a picture of Jacob or not, but it's on his blog so I'm just going to go ahead and pretend it's him. He was kind enough to do a lovely little guest post for us, which is excellent, because (a) getting people to write reviews is harder than I thought, and (b) I like Jacob. Plus he keeps chickens in his backyard, so you know this guy's got shit to do that is way more lucrative than reviewing a blog with "Poo" in its title.
You know, when I was given a list of blogs to choose from, I didn't even bother to look at a single post before making my choice. The URL: Midgetmanofsteel.com. It was just too good to pass up. I just knew this would be a blog that would either be awesome or I could at least work up a good rant about it not living up to the potential of the title.
It turns out that the real name of the blog is Mental Poo, and I'm going to go ahead and establish a rule that blogs with titles referencing solid human waste are going to suck. Plus now, instead of imagining a tiny little Superman or the Bloodhound Gang's bodybuilding elf, I'm left wondering if "Midget Man of Steel" isn't a metaphor for the guy's penis. I've got nothing against genital references technically. In fact, a very long time ago the name of my blog was a veiled reference to masturbation, so I can't really make fun of those names. The name hasn't changed; I'm just lucky I veiled that shit so well that it could basically refer to anything I wanted. It'd be a little embarrassing to have a blog named after self-love at my age.
Getting back to Mental Poo, I'm not even trying to accuse the writer of having a small penis. That's not my style, at least not when I'm not trying to be ironic, and I'm not feeling very ironic at the moment. The guy's actually a better writer than "Mental Poo" would suggest. He's clear, concise and uses interesting word choice. This guy probably passed a few English classes in high school. He may have even earned an A in his freshman composition class in college if he was able to keep it serious long enough to churn out a good essay, but that's his problem. The guy is obviously going for the humor blog thing. I respect that. Sticking to a theme is hard and comedy is a risky endeavor. Believe me. I understand this. It's easier to build a following when the readers know exactly what to expect, but it really limits what you can write about. When you're successful, the result is beautiful. When you're not, the result is, well...
I'm not even going to say that this blog is all bad, it's just that he tries too hard. He's putting up a lot of posts, averaging about 20 a month for the past three years. That's a lot of stuff to write, and when you're always trying to make it funny, you're going to have a lot of flops unless you're some sort of idiot savant of original comedy. There's a reason a guy like Jay Leno gets stale and hackneyed after years of doing a comedy show five nights a week. I mean come on. Ruben Studdard Spider?
Basically, the writer reminds me of a guy I lived with for a while in college. He seemed to live on a diet of Papa John's pizza and was a nearly constant font of cheesy jokes. In person, I'm okay with this, but in a blog it's not exactly going to earn a spot in my Google Reader list.
As for the design aspects of the blog, that's not my cup of tea, exactly. I'm a writer, not a designer. My own blog design is rather utilitarian. Mental Poo's format is one of Blogger's generic templates with some moderate customization. I do have enough of a designbackground to know that the stuff in the side bar is just excessive. A lot of it could just be taken out and either trashed entirely or just moved somewhere else on the site. The archives could be collapsed into a drop down box to clean up that area, but honestly, I'd read the ugliest blog in the world (as long as it was legible) if the posts were worth reading. My biggest piece of advice is to just slow your roll. Cut down on the frequency of your posting, take a little time to polish your pieces, and only post when the work deserves it. The shotgun approach works for some things, but in a blog it makes the reader sift through too much crap to be able to enjoy the stuff you actually get right.
Rating: A meh because I just don't want to read your posts and a Dirty Jay Leno because I think you make Conan O'Brien cry.
(Hey, it's Shiner. So Jacob asked for a "Dirty Jay Leno" but I only have MS Paint here at work, so he just kind of looks like the guy on the Pringles cans. Sor.)