Thursday, May 13, 2010

Not George. Not Dave. Not even Elmer or glue.

Another guest review from Ellie over at the Daily Smoke.

I like to think I’m funny. Not like a comedian funny, but generally jocular in my day-to-day dealings. (Trevor: Please note, instead of ‘day-to-day’ I might have used ‘quotidian’ or ‘diurnal’ or even ‘circadian’, if my thesaurus is to be believed. Sometimes, though, the simplest way of saying something is best.)

I’m living with a dog and working from home these days. Before I chose this life for myself, my Mondays consisted of back-to-back management meetings that frequently overran. I often blurted out a quip or bon mot or wisecrack to lighten up the very important and serious matters that occupied us during our important and serious, overrunning Monday meetings. My sallies were always well received. My colleagues would chuckle or slap their knees; any tension that had resulted from our serious and important discussions would have dissipated. From time to time I would bite my tongue rather than share the wit, because there is a time and a place for everything; and sometimes it’s just not professional to joke in the midst of important and serious dealings. I am, above all, professional.

Maybe in my current isolation, I am losing my sense of humour because I did not find Trevor to be rip-roaring, laugh-out-loud funny.

I make a quick mental inventory of my sense of humour. My assessment reveals that whilst I might not be making as many jokes these days (the dog has no sense of humour), I still enjoy a good gut-busting guffaw or even a mild tee-hee titter. And, I don’t discriminate: whether funny is of a sophomoric caliber or of a more refined palate, I like it. I suppose at this point I should provide examples as proof.

Low brow examples: I love South Park (Has anyone seen the Medicinal Chicken episode?!!!) and American Pie and The Hangover. Oh! And the season of America’s Next Top Model, the one with Jade. She was a hoot!

High brow examples: I get a kick out of Catch-22, and Sheridan’s Mrs. Malaprop from The Rivals and George Bush. That guy is a brilliant comedian.

There we have it: even if I am not myself funny, I do have a sense of humour.

Despite my self-acknowledged sense of humour, I had never visited a self-proclaimed humour blog until I was chosen to review Write in the Kisser. Blogging humourists get a bad rap around these parts. I mulled this over as I mentally limbered up to write this snippet. I asked myself, “Are the folks at AAYSR being fair or are they suffering from having a foreign something up their own asses?”

I negotiated a 2-week deadline and dove into funny with enthusiasm, prepared to prove the naysayers wrong.

Almost immediately after diving in, I scrambled out of the cold, brackish, not-so-funny blog. Over the course of the next ten days, I tried to re-immerse myself. I’d stick my big toe in or my pinky finger, but I couldn’t last in the un-funny. There was always something more fun calling: laundry, filling out expenses, walking the humourless dog, and shaving my legs, to name a few. Reviewing this blog was very much like doing taxes: the dread of the chore hangs over your head for weeks, you tackle the chore in fits and starts, you have to ask for an extension, finally you muster up the energy it will require to do the bare minimum just to get it done and out the door. Trevor drove me to do the bare minimum.

Why didn’t I find Trevor’s blog funny? (BTW Trevor: it’s not a weg, nor will it ever be a weg. Are your repeated references to ‘weg’ your attempt to be funny or have you been misinformed?)

Quick internal aside:

Jesus fucking God when am I going to be done with this review?

Let’s just get this over with already: click on ‘Ranked’ in AAYSR's header and scroll down to ‘anti-humour’ you will find a lot has already been written, which sums up my feelings about Trevor’s blog.

For example,

1. “If you tell me you’re funny, you already suck.”

Trevor: it’s a bit audacious to describe yourself as the love child of George Carlin and Dave Barry; and when you fail to deliver, you just come off as pretentious.

2. “Fucking tries too hard and fails miserably”

Trevor: you have a varied vocabulary. Good for you. The way you use it though makes you sound contrived. Here’s a teensy example of how your choice of words pain me.

"Hmmm," you muse.

"Yes," I aver, tiring of the conceit.
Sometimes, authenticity in writing requires you put your dog-eared copy of Roget's back on the shelf. Maybe you should try it.

3. Trevor “with your fantastical nonsense, I sense you are sitting there, buttocks clenched, waiting to be told how wonderful you are. So here goes: You're not really. You could be, but we’ll come back to that.”

Trevor, I don’t think you don’t have a sense of humour. I simply think it’s limited to recognising funny, rather than being funny. You find some outlandish, funny-in-its-wackiness stuff out there. If your blog were just a compendium of links to the stuff you find funny, I might like it more.

You, however, feel compelled to add your own narration. You are not a bad writer. You seem to follow grammatical conventions. You use commas and apostrophes and italicised print in all the right places. It's your tone that doesn't sit well with me. My ears hear immaturity trying real hard to be all grown up. Your use of sarcasm is bland and flat. If you're going to be sarcastic, make it wither shit on the vine. Sarcasm needs to be biting as hell, otherwise, it's just a sign of the sad aloofness of someone trying too hard to be cool.

I suspect that if you shed the whole 'humour' blog persona, you would write more freely, perhaps gain some confidence, and maybe even have something interesting to say.

A couple of quick fixes could be made: put something about you in your About page. As it is now it tells us shit all that we can't figure out from a two minute scan of your blog. And as Rassles wrote to another un-funny "I’m like motherfuckin’ Encyclopedia Brown. Give us an “About Me” page ..."

Finally, consider changing the graphic in your banner. Write in the Kisser is a clever(ish)title, but the way the graphic presents it, it reads Write Kisser In The.

I'm giving you the short bus. I wish it hadn't taken me so long.

* Sincere thanks to Madame Bellicose, Love Bites, Father Gene, and Rassles for paving the un-funny road before me.


  1. That was a committed review.

    The best funny blogs I've read never market themselves as "humor" blogs.

  2. Oh could you stand it? I only read his about page and I'm ready to throw a fit. WTF--weg? According to Urban Dictionary: Term used to describe an unusually shitty, impractical, inefficient being or object.

    That about sums up this blog.

  3. I'm just so fuckin' happy that the review and reviewee drove HIF to the point of typing 'WTF' and 'shitty' in the same comment.
    Otherwise, blah fuckin' blah to the whole damn thing. Short bus, flaming finger, MEH, or even some out of focus photo of a pile of shit would have worked for me.

  4. Well-reviewed Ellie. You know, I never had anything against humor blogs as a rule, they just tirelessly failed to deliver. They always remind me of the one fellow who told me he was "really good at sex" no and no.

  5. So this is where you've been. My sympathies. Get well soon.

  6. Ouch, a thoroughly stellar burn -- like, truly Aloe worthy. And I know I should take my reaming like a man and waddle silently back to the ol' humor hole with my tale between my legs (See what I did there? Yeah, I know -- still not funny.), but I have a legitimate question first: If one's intention is to write a blog devoted solely to original humor (as hit or, in my case, miss, as said humor might be), is it really such a crime to signal that intention in the first place? The reason there is no legitimate "About Me" page is because WitK isn't about me. It's about a bunch of random crap that pops into my head that I find funny and whose humor value I attempt (clearly unsuccessfully) to foist upon an unsuspecting audience. There's no connective tissue between any of my internal online organs because there's not supposed to be. That said (and my [non]sense of humor aside), would you at least prefer that I scrap the "A Bit About" page and Elmer's glue sidebar and let my posts stand for themselves, however leprous their knees may be?

    Also, who dog-ears Roget's anymore? I'm a child of the digital age -- all the way, baby. (Though, for the record, I can write terribly without a thesaurus, too, thank you very much.)

    Regarding the "weg" conceit, it's not so much an attempt to be funny as it is an intentionally misconstrued portmanteau, adopted to avoid having to call the site a "blog" since it really isn't a "log" of anything. [Insert poop-related insult here.] The fact that, as HiF points out, UrbanDictionary defines it as a "shitty, impractical, inefficient being or object" is merely an ego-busting -- though, obviously in all of your minds, apt -- coincidence.

    One final question, since I obviously have a destructive need for attention and validation: Ellie, before you smashed your monitor in disgust, did you get a chance to peruse any of the entries in the Outside the B(l)o(g)x page, which contains the excruciatingly few successes I've had with third-party entities desperate enough to publish my work? I'm just curious if you loathe my entire oeuvre, or merely the more disjointed and informal ramblings of this so-called weg.

    Okay, I think I've embarrassed myself long enough. Time to return to my rubber donut. Ahhhhh, easy does it...

    P.S. Giving me the Short Bus rating is even more hilarious than you realize, since my fiancee is a special ed teacher. I guess I wouldn't mind so much if she didn't agree with your assessment too...

  7. It reminds me of a guy I used to work with. He was really smart and stuff, and he used long words in the poems he handed out. He never became a famous poet or writer, because no one wants to read shit like that, so eventually he became a priest.

  8. Trevor, I think we can identify a portmanteau when we see one. Explaining the joke does not the joke funnier make. You see what I just did there? I wrote that sentence in backward Yoda syntax. God, I slay myself.

  9. Thanatos - Glad you recognised the commitment. I question my priorities.

    Franklin - Thank you for the sympathy. And for the reaction re: WEG. Precisely.

    Mongoliagirl - Blah blah is right.

    Miss. Missives - Thanks. I think the tedium shone through.

    Pueblo Girl - Precisely! I'm nursing myself back. Soon! x

    Trevor - Oh, dear. The prospect of responding to you is a dilemma. I have already given you so much of my precious time. I will just say: I did say a couple of positive things. Focus on that. No, I didn't get to any of your other material. If you think it is unique from the slapstick humour crap, then give it it's own blog.

    People - Who hands out poetry anyway?

    Shinerpunch - Slay, babe, slay!


Grow a pair.