Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Come, my little chitterlings, put your tiny paws in mine. We are going on a journey, and we may be some time.
Now, you know that when it comes to blogs I am a drool-sopped old gourmet, continually ravening for succulent mouthfuls and nourishing treats. I am on a lifelong quest (and have been for some months) to find the ortolan of weblogs, the site so rare and so delectable that I would needs must eat it hooded to hide my pleasure from the gods. You know that each week I am largely thwarted in my search for satiety, albeit with hilarious consequences. But you also know, and I know as well, that I cannot keep dismissing blogs on the grounds that they do not live up to some gilded ideal I have declared master, because that is not what they are for. Most blogs do not intend to be literature, and the sooner I come to terms with that, the less likely I will be to spork out my eyes.
It’s an inanity to say that we all blog for different reasons, but it is something of which I have had cause to remind myself in the course of my reviewing escapades. Some people do it for comments and adverts and the tacky baubles of internet fame. These people are dangerous and should never be approached unarmed. Some people (mentioning no names) appear to be doing it because their neighbour’s dog suggested it might be a good idea. I would imagine that most people do it because telling stories is such jolly good fun. My favourite bloggers, as I am sure you all are now grindingly aware, are the ones who do it to create something beautiful.
'T' does it for another reason. She is on a journey of self-discovery, ‘a quest to find out Who I Really Am amongst the chaos/order and drama/perfection of being a single mom’. T writes about herself and her life in a very frank way. She writes about her children, the long-distance relationship she is having with an old school friend, her divorce, the lives of her friends and family and her general day-to-day existence. She is mostly likeable, readable and friendly. Naturally, I hated it. I can’t help myself. I am a terrible old clown. I was calling for my spork after the first page, but thankfully Fanny had the foresight to hide it in the downstairs cistern, bless her little sacking socks.
First there was the style, instantly recognisable from a hundred thousand other blogs by mommies who describe themselves as ‘a little crazy’ and ‘painfully honest’. Then there was the Bon Jovi video. The merest mention of that ghastly, ghastly man and his dream-defiling bouffant makes me come over all killy. Then there was a sex scene that used the phrase ‘throbbing moistness’. Then there was the ‘spirituality’ business, the belief in something called A Course in Miracles. Very easy to mock, especially for a jaded old beast like my vast and seeping self. I get all my spiritual guidance from my Fanny.
But then I caught myself and I said no, Sir! I decided that with my petty bile I had delighted myself long enough and resolved to look beyond my knee-jerk contempt and embrace T for who she really is. When Fanny had revived me, I read on. I realised that if I were a blogger like T, if I were one of her ethereal peers and in a similar situation to her, I would probably find things like this and this rather helpful. I might take comfort in knowing that someone else had been through it and come out of the other side relatively happy and able to form a nauseatingly demonstrative new relationship. I might be amused, enlightened or inspired to read someone talking so unabashedly about sex. I can see how T could be a great friend to her many readers.
However, I need no emotional succour. Of course I would like to see T brush up on her story-telling skills. Here and here she writes about a school reunion but it feels dead to me, an exercise in self-aggrandizement as opposed to an interesting tale. There are rather a lot of posts like these, in which T says ‘I am very attractive and popular and everybody fancies my boyfriend’, and although T might be aiming for sassy, she veers rather toward the smug. Personally, I find all this boasting and shouting about being ‘awesome’ terribly infra dig, but perhaps that’s just a cultural difference. All I will say is that it is possible to write a story about oneself without writing only about oneself.
And so, as we stagger exhausted towards the finish line, knackered as my Fanny after a night at the bath house, I will try, finally, to sum things up. T is a decent person, a good mother and, by all accounts, a generous and tender lover. She has spent a long time thinking about things, has profited on it and uses that profit to try and help others. There are some clunks and bumps, but I don’t suppose it matters.
I have learned a lesson today. I must be good and fair and look for more than beauty. I do despise learning lessons. Even through I make a habit of forgetting them immediately, they discombobulate me something chronic. To quote T, ‘I don’t know whether to meditate or masturbate’. I don’t know which I will choose, but ye gods, I could murder an ortolan.
I really don’t know how to rate T. She’s rather like the Church of England; I have no personal use for it, but I am sure it serves a purpose. I suppose she can have a star for making an old clown feel chastened, however temporarily, and for being a very brave soldier.
P.S. The winner of last week’s thrilling ‘giveaway’ is Ellie, for ‘Tranny whores are all the rage these days’. That’s what my Fanny keeps trying to tell me, but I still maintain that three at a time is excessive. Why not drop me a line, Ellie, and you can give me your address and claim your ‘prize’. I promise I won’t let Fanny know where you live.