Thursday, June 24, 2010

...and don’t even get me started on the hors d’oeuvres...


As a general rule, my Fanny and I keep ourselves to ourselves. Don’t get me wrong - in my youth I was a prominent frequenter of the most exclusive gaming hells and a member of several highly specialised dining clubs, but these days I prefer a quiet life, largely because I find people en masse rather nauseating. It’s the lack of control that bothers me. I would much prefer to cloister myself with my Fanny and a family-size tub of Germoline than haul my old bones to a cocktail party where I might find myself forced to exchange pleasantries with a man in slip-on shoes, or the kind of woman who touches one’s arm while she talks.

This reviewing lark is rather like a cocktail party. You never know who is going to buttonhole you next, although you can usually tell within a few moments whether or not you are going to enjoy the experience. We all make snap judgements based on our own set of social markers and we are usually right. Personally, I avoid visible swastikas, t-shirts with comedy slogans and readers of the Daily Mail, but it’s different for everyone.

Of course, the most frightening words one can hear from a new acquaintance, the words guaranteed to put the kibosh on any kind of social connection, are any variation on the theme of, “I’m mad, me! Completely insane! All my friends say I’m just totally bonkers!” In my experience, this sentiment usually translates as, “I am a deeply conservative person who, out of the desperate desire for a personality, occasionally wears stripy tights,” and has me edging towards the door every time, no matter how divine the hors d’oeuvres.

Imagine my delight, then, when I saw the title of today’s blog. For a brief moment, I fancied that maybe I was judging too soon and that Mind of a Madwoman was going to be a stunning piece of online outsider art that would forever change the way we understand madness and sanity. For a brief moment, I was a fool. The Madwoman was Maggie, and when I saw her over the metaphorical punchbowl my first thought was that she had better be serving some pretty bloody extraordinary hors d’oeuvres.

This will not be a particularly link-laden review, best beloveds. If you pop over to Maggie’s blog you will soon see that it is a Möbius strip of repeating content. Maggie likes 'memes', you see, Random Thoughts Tuesdays and Self-Obsession Saturdays and all of that sorry business. She seems to have a particular soft-spot for lengthy lists of arse-clenchingly inane questions, real Paxmanesque posers like, “do you recycle?” and “do you prefer coffee or tea?” Maggie and her cronies swap these penetrating puzzlers, think up smart answers and then post them in reel after reel of arrogant banality. For the love of Princess Anne, why would anyone be interested in your favourite ‘BBQ’ food?

This post was the nadir, especially the part where she has the sheer lack of class to beg for corporate sponsorship. It was at this juncture that I was forced to have Fanny break out my emergency poultice and perform the Special Manoeuvres. I suppose it’s the kind of sassy ‘telling it like it is’ malarkey that is so prevalent in the milk-clogged world of ‘mommy’ blogging and I know there’s an audience for it, but I state for the record here and now that if I ever meet a member of that audience face-to-face, I will slap them until we are both weeping.

It’s all just laziness, and although I fully condone sloth as a lifestyle choice, it should have no place in your work. It’s a shame as well, because Maggie has her charms. She has a readable style, she can be funny and irreverent. If I were going to give Maggie any advice, which it would appear I am, I would say Maggie, stop pissing about and submit some articles to some magazines or something. You might not get published, but you’ll have to concentrate and you’ll have to stop relying on borrowed ideas, and that will make you a better writer. I think you can do better. You’re wasting yourself on this froth. If anyone ever asks you again if you prefer a shower or a bath, you just walk away my duck, just walk away.

I appreciate that I may come across a touch harsh, but I do feel strongly about this (Fanny’s heard it all before. She’s rolling her eye at me). There’s something about a blog that seems to make people think it’s better to post lazy content than nothing at all, and that makes me a sad, sad clown. And now I am a sad clown whose dreams will be haunted by a parade of self-proclaimed ‘madwomen’ waggling their ‘boobs’ at me and shrieking at the top of their lungs about their husbands’ toilet habits and exactly why they prefer foolscap to A4.

So I try to subtly shuffle closer to the cloakroom, pouring my drink in a potted plant and avoiding eye-contact with the hostess, my only comfort the thought that Fanny is waiting outside in the rickshaw. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of unguents for the poor thing to settle me tonight, and so on my Fanny’s behalf I feel I should make an example of Maggie. Consider her a casualty in the war against banality.

Two flaming fingers for you, Meggers. Feel free to return them when you’ve stopped squandering yourself on all this.


26 comments:

  1. 'Exclusive gaming hells'? sounds like....fun!

    Meh - I don't care how full of 'woot' she is, I like stories, not giveaways and elaborated f/book updates.

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  2. All that you say is true. And, yet, 200 followers. How the fuck does she do it? Pay them?

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  3. If her blog was competing in a contest for most cliches, she would get the crown and bouquet of waxy roses.

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  4. Forcemeat, I love how you got the sack to say "hey, you're a fine writer, but fuck you for being too typical and not realizing it." It takes an extra-special brand of snobbery to pull it off and earn my respect.

    Well fucking done.

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  5. I too like Forcemeat's approach. Flaming fingers are so underrated. No more indifferent MEHs. If you have the potential to be great and you'd rather pump out posts like a meat grinder - fuck you.

    I feel like giving MEHs to people when they are boring but it's not really their fault, like they don't know their boring. But this one is very deserving of the fingers.

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  6. It takes years of hard work to be this snobbish, Rassles. I always try to think six supercilious things before breakfast.

    I must own I have become rather enamoured of the idea of 'giveaways'. It's like being Father Christmas, only less sinister.

    So I have decided to award a 'special' prize to the person whose comment amuses me the most. It might not be something they will want, but they will have to take it anyway.

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  7. oooooh. This is fun.

    Am I the only one that wants to strike someone in the face when they use strikethrough? Okay, from time to time I can see using it but fuck. I don't get it.

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  8. Hey, I like people that are 'mad' or 'completely insane'. But not the 'I'm gonna go bat shit crazy and give away a blender' type.

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  9. I would actually rather like that blender. Good for getting rid of evidence.

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  10. to answer Unbearable Banishment - she does pay them. With free blenders and crap. Basically people will read a lot of inane shite just for the chance at getting free junk.

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  11. Free beer for all HIF readers between now and midnight CDT. Come one, come all.

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  12. Paying someone with blenders to read your words on a computer screen is really no different from paying a tranny whore to suck your cock in some dark alley.

    I mean, I have no problems with the whore, but what would your society friends think if they knew you were paying for word sex?

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  13. HIF - I'm so there. I'll do anything for free beer. Although you hardly have to bribe me to hang out with you.

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  14. Actually, I think the tranny whore is more honest.

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  15. Tranny whores are all the rage these days.

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  16. One of my best friends is a Tranny Whore. He'll do anything - and I do mean anything - for a nice old fashioned four-on-the-floor.

    Of course, depending on your definition of "four-on-the-floor," I might too.

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  17. Oh, and just between me and you, Mr. Clown, I'm a little annoyed at you, as I had every intention of using an "hors d'oeuvres" motif for tomorrow's review. And now I must rethink the whole approach.

    On the bright side, now I don't have to spell "hors d'oeuvres."

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  18. Whenever I see "Hors d'ouevres" I always read "whores devour."

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  19. Blues, I swear I'm bringing a keg to Spain--why is it so many of my faves are there?

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  20. Golly gee,

    E-begging Goes Pro.

    Charming!

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  21. HIF - you need to do a Spain bloggy tour. Better yet, a blogger reunion in Spain. Rassles? Anyone?

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  22. We'll have to do it when Miss Missives comes to visit me.

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  23. To get my ass to Spain, I would need a "donate" button on my blog. I can't compromise my morals like that, Blues. As much as I love you, will stand my ground.

    I do, however, accept unsolicited donations for my "get Rassles to Spain fund so she and Blues can do the Tour de Mont Blanc."

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  24. I have a jar with $5 in it--the Get Rassles to Spain fund is herewith founded.

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  25. OMG Rassles, you are so in my head right now. I've been begging people to do the Tour with me and no takers so far except you.

    I can make donations in beer only, collectible upon landing in Spain.

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Grow a pair.