Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Mess of Pottage


The weather has finally changed, comrades. It is sticky, the heat like a man on your back. Today my Fanny and I ventured out onto the battlements with a picnic and a pitcher of Benylin on ice. I managed to insinuate myself into a deckchair, a knotted kerchief atop my head, my pyjama bottoms rolled to the knee. Fanny got the paddling pool out and sprawled in the tepid water, columnar limbs akimbo, fanning herself with a copy of The Radio Times. A ratking of extension leads connected us to the ether and, as the sun flogged down and the sweat seasoned my Scotch egg, we poked our shiny snouts into the life of the fragrant Jennifer.

Jennifer is a thirty-something mother-of-three who lives in Kansas in the U. S. of A. She likes photography and god and organising things. I am a ravaged old clown who should never be permitted to breed. I like overindulgence and toads and other people’s prescriptions. This was never going to be my flagon of eggnog. However, I believe in giving people chances (if it weren’t for me, my Fanny would still be languishing in that Indonesian gaol) and so I bravely soldiered on.

I looked at photos of her children. I looked at photos of other people’s weddings. I looked at more photographs of wheat in one afternoon than I have ever seen in my life. I looked at photos of her kitchen being renovated. I read posts about her hair, posts about her bosom, more posts about her dislike of clutter, posts about things she likes that begin with the letter ‘C’, posts where she accidentally goes out wearing mismatched shoes, posts where she uses the word ‘vury’ instead of ‘very’. And then I reached calmly into the picnic basket, pulled out my emergency pistol and inserted it into my eager mouth. It was only the piteous mewling of my Fanny that prevented me from finding sweet relief. I stayed my hand, thinking she was distraught at the idea of losing her beloved Master. Turned out she had inadvertently swallowed a bee.

It was this post that broke me. “I have SO MANY THINGS TO BLOG ABOUT”, darling Jennifer begins, and then proceeds to discuss, in soul-rending detail, her purchase of some new bed linen. This blog is the most gratingly banal thing I have ever read. Everyone has the right to keep an interweb log if they so desire, and it’s probably quite nice for Jen’s chums to be kept up to date. I am just annoyed that I had to spend a goodly portion of my afternoon wading through this pablum.

I do like to try and temper my scorn with some positive comments. It would be churlish of me not to highlight the fact that sometimes our Jennifer tells mildly diverting anecdotes about her children, or says something a bit poignant. She writes reasonably well when she’s on a roll but overall, this is not writing, it is wittering. To write well you need to marry a unique, readable style with interesting, original content, or at the very least permit them to live together in sin. If you don’t care about writing well, if your blog is just for the personal amusement of you and your cronies, then for the love of Christmas, do not submit it for review.

Oh where are they, the bloggers who can satiate my soul? Where are the people who can turn bread and water into Trimalchio’s feast? Why must I soil myself with this prattle? Jennifer, my darling, I am sorry to have to vent my spleen on you. You seem like a decent woman. You work hard and keep clean and say your prayers (not that I have any truck with religion - I decided a long time ago that I was the only god it was worth my while to worship). I just don’t care about anything you have to say. I don’t care what your hair looks like or what colour your bedclothes are or whether or not you like scrapbooking. In the grand chronicling of the internet, your blog is mere bagatelle.

The clouds have come now, wandering in like grubby sheep, and no doubt it will soon rain. The hottest day of the year so far and I have spent it paddling in this mess of pottage. I suppose I should offer advice of some kind, but the only advice that springs to mind is ‘shut up and leave me alone’. I feel so weary and my head is so full of fripperies that I am going to have to spend the evening doing diabolical things to my Fanny just to cheer myself up.

Jennifer, take this flaming finger and tidy it away.

30 comments:

  1. Ouch!

    You should come and look at my blog, though there's no fucking way I'm putting it up for review in a million years.

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  2. Mr. London, why ever not? Are you ashamed? Hiding something? DICKLESS?

    I say submit. I don't think it would be too bad. But then you'll just sit around shivering for four months or so, because the list is long and the hours are strenuous.

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  3. No, but just because you and I agree on what makes a bad blog doesn't mean I think you're qualified to say if I'm any cop. With the best will in the world.

    Plus I don't fancy waiting four months.

    Plus I'm dickless.

    But feel free to drop by anytime.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Apologies, Fanny's been on the stout.

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  6. I just read a post about thread counts and blanket folding. My life is complete. Pass the razor blades.

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  7. Another blog I won't be visiting.

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  8. Perhaps if there was enough Benylin to go around, we might see this blog differently, no? Enough cough syrup and other people's prescriptions and everything starts to look better.

    Forcemeat, this was my favorite review of yours so far you old busker.

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  9. Miss Missives, for you I would crack open the vintage stuff. Get you nice and drowsy.

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  10. I'm embarrassed to say, but Forcemeat? I find you dreamy, even though you're just an emulsion of animal byproducts.

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  11. The post about the funeral pictures? I have never before heard of someone photographing or video taping a funeral. Maybe I'm old school but there are just some things I don't need remember that vividly.

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  12. Aren't we all, Rassles my pet, aren't we all.

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  13. Forcemeat's picture, are those loin chops around a chicken?

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  14. Or prosciutto wrapped around a human head?

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  15. I do enjoy any piece of art that uses the word "pablum."

    Correctly.

    Mr. London Street -- you didn't ask for a review, but here's my two second review based on the brief looksee I was able to give: Sir, brevity is a virtue.

    Oh, and I believe your dick is under the couch.

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  16. Scorpio, briefly: not bothered.

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  17. Mr London Street - you kick ass, so I dunno what you are whining about. Although I agree with Scorpio a bit - I am lazy and don't like too many scrolling in my blog reading. Submit, SUBMIT!

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  18. The only thing *I* care about is what flavor your Benylin is.

    I have never heard of such a pharmaceutical, and wish to fulfill my taste the rainbow needs.

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  19. Today started with anticipation, but much like the day I lost my virginity, changed quickly to a day filled with annoyance and a small cock. Thank you so much Forcemeat for pointing out my banal existence. I am aware that I do currently live a peasants’ life filled with the stench of oatmeal and hard work. Perhaps if your mother had concentrated on your small existence in your early years instead of noodling with the pool boy, you might not have turned into a parody of an angry clown.

    I realize that I don’t speak my mind on my blog, but as my mother tends to be a nosy person and found my blog, I don’t feel she really needs to know how I feel about her, my bitchy hearted sister or how promiscuous I can be. I could have probably entertained you better with tales of the years I spent as a witch, my times as a hedonistic little harlot, how I danced naked in the woods or was knocked up by a vampire. As my mother need not know any of those, I write of the life I currently have, the one where it’s banal, covered in oatmeal, surrounded by wheat. The one where I gave up the pretentiousness of the high school drama club to go raise people. As you have not had to go through the trials of raising people, you would not begin to understand how incredibly boring this life can be. Perhaps I should get your address so that I can send you some extra birth control to keep you from knocking up the chamber maid as she attempts to clean your hovel and save you from yourself.

    So forcemeat, I take your finger, and tell you to fuck yourself with it. Someday, when my focus can turn back to my own dreams instead of the dreams of the people I brought into this world, I shall write heady paragraphs to entertain you. Then you will realize what you have missed out on. Much like your own life where your ex-girlfriends keep returning to show you how much more attractive and better off they are without you.

    Next time, never mind poor dear Fanny. She was waiting for you to pull the trigger.

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  20. I raise people and I'm still interesting with my own life, dreams and ambitions.

    It is an effort not to lose yourself to the singular role of parenting but it is possible.

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  21. Now if only Jen wrote like that on her blog....

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  22. And her blog's gone private. Jen, why so serious?

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  23. Johnny, I was saving you from death by boredom. But by all means, go ahead, kill yourself.

    Miss Missive's you are correct, there is a life aside from raising people, which I do have. Perhaps I need a new venue for the interesting parts and leave this blog just for the grandma bait.

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  24. Jen, you asked for a review on "I will FUCKING tear you apart" and they delivered (Forcemeat, best review ever). What were you expecting? Its 2010 and the web is still filled with sensitive grouches.

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  25. Seriously, Jen, why don't you write like that on your blog? Don't give us bullshit, sally excuses like "my mom knows about it." Go private. It's not hard.

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  26. I asked for the review. I did. Insanely, masochistically, I did. I also believe it was accurate. Especially after going back over my posts. My bedroom post, I apologize for you suffering through that. It was pure drivel. That being said, it doesn't mean I cannot be annoyed by the clown or respond to his review.

    Shinerpunch, As for the mom excuse, going private wouldn’t solve the problem. Pleading phone calls, guilt trips, why every time I speak to her. I’m an exhibitionist when no one I’m related to is in the audience. I appreciate your critiques. My goal was to find out how I could produce a more interesting blog and you have all helped.

    I shall retire to my corner of the world, lick my wounds and get back to work. I have writing to do.

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  27. As usual, Forcemeat is spot on. In all honestly though, this review is mild compared to what most reviewers around here would have delivered so, Jen, I don't know what you are bitching about.

    You ask for a review, you get one, and then you tell the person that took the time to read and to contemplate and write about your boring ass blog to fuck off?

    You should be thanking Forcemeat, you ungrateful bitch.

    P.S. Your blog sucks balls.

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  28. Sorry, I'm a bit late to the party. Jen lashed out at the clown prematurely - then she seemed to get it. She knows she can do better but she's waiting for the right time in her life to be public about her privates.

    Jen - I say this review is your wake up call. Don't wait until your in your 40's to figure out your power. Your life exists because of your experiences. Revel in them. Expose yourself down to the raw, sinewy meat that is so gruesomely represented by Forcemeat's photo.

    I shuttered when I read of you living this life that is essentially a lie. I did it for so many years, trying to be a "good girl", good mom, good wife, good daughter. Fuck that shit - it was all a sham and a shame. A shame-filled sham. Pull from your past to frame your future.

    Oh, and it would seem you really can write, so do it.

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  29. Seriously, Jen, what kind of a stupid, insecure little girl are you? WAKE UP. Don't get mad at someone for calling you out on what you are. Grow a fucking spine.

    You have a spine on here, now fucking get one on your blog.

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  30. Will anyone come around here after 29 comments in order to see the late arrival of 30?

    This was my favourite of Forcemeat's reviews as well. I like to think his Fanny is really his muse.

    And to Jen I would say that a 'banal' existence does not need to be a banal blog. There are writer's who capture the day to day in an engaging way. Don't blame the oatmeal.

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Grow a pair.