Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rip Rip Woodchip

There are two television shows that I absolutely adore but I am not the target audience for; Spicks and Specks and Top Gear. But that doesn't matter - I find the shows so pants-wettingly amusing that I don’t care if I don’t know much about cars or music.

I like my blogs like I like my shows. I don't have to be the intended audience but I insist that the blog is written in a way that is either, witty, insightful, engaging, informative, thought-provoking or God forbid, all of those combined.

Today’s reviewee writes for therapy. It would seem incongruous for someone in that situation to ask for a blog review from us. But nevertheless we steam ahead. Is it like kicking puppies to say someone who is showing the world their therapy journals and emails to therapist is needy? Admittedly my radar started peeping like a chick when she said she had worked through all the therapists in her home town. I know she didn’t mean to be funny here, but really? She wants to give her therapist the third degree and then pay them $20 a week?

Even so Marie seems affable and honest. She is able to articulate her thoughts well enough but it doesn't really feel like the heart-wrenching, scary process that would usually accompany such a subject. It feels no more sensitive than a woman on a mission to find a man.

As a writer I know that getting your thoughts out on paper is a cathartic, de-cluttering process. However blogging is a different animal. A blog has a real audience. That means you have to write for them, not you. Therefore, let them be in the stories, the flashbacks, the emotions. Keep the journal under your mattress, not open next to your PC.

Let’s face it, as a person with some issues, you probably have more material than most but when you tell rather than show, you lose all of the power of your experiences and words. Could you rewrite the story about the autistic boy in thispost? Your experiences with him sound fascinating. But instead of telling us that he made you cry, make us cry too. You say that you like this guy’s work, so try and take a tab out of his blog. He seems to be doing it right, in the ‘genre’ you blog in as well as enough out of it that I am curious if not enthralled. Things get a bit more raw here but it just seems a little calculated. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I guess.

To put it bluntly Marie, we of the internet do not want to be your confession booth or your therapist's couch. Sure, it is shallow, tawdry and all that is wrong with this world, but we demand that you entertain us. Whether that is with laughter, titillation or tears – we don’t care, as long as we feel what you feel too. Until then, stick to the journal.

Although you asked, you won’t receive a rating. I give you a:

For the review title reference, go here. At least listen until the chorus. You can thank me later.


  1. That was such a nice review.
    It's boring and hardly anything close to what I would call 'writing'.
    Plus, she sounds like one of those people who would bulldoze her way through another person's life and, when confronted, smile and say, "Oh, I know. It's just that I've got issues for tissues."
    Arrrrrrrgh. I swear I'm going to start a boot camp. I shall call it "Crow Bar Rehab" and guarantee that those who can stay the course will be changed for life.

  2. Holy shit balls, 20 bucks a week to go through a job interview more fitting for a corp exec?

    I make $55+tip every half hour waxing chachas and she wants a Phd to listen to her and handle a combative client for 20?

    I paid my therapist $85 an hour and that was the cash discounted price.

    20/hr might get you Lucy from Peanuts, but probably not even a student therapist.

    I'm sorry, I can't get over that part. Her list of questions was over the top.

  3. Oh, and the 20/hr comes with required reading?

    I say she should do Mongolian Girl's bootcamp, we'll all chip in a buck to get her to twenty, MG might even pay her twenty to do it.

  4. FF: I assure you, she would pay and she would like paying.

  5. MG - I'll support your boot camp idea if you let me maul the ones that fall off the wagon.

  6. J Raptor: But that would defeat the whole purpose. The key with people like this is to turn all switches to "off" when they act up. Otherwise they get attention for their stupid ass bullshit. Any self-respecting therapist (or human being, for that matter) would accurately ignore the hell out of 99% of the crap that falls out of this woman's mouth (or keyboard).

  7. I still want to maul someone.

  8. I hear Crazy Brunette is available.

  9. Hi, All -

    I'll keep it brief since I know my words cause you to gag . . .

    Thank you for taking the time to do a review -- I did learn a lot! I learned why my writing appeals to only a select few. It's a good thing I like it that way . . .

    About the $20/wk . . .

    That is how much I can put towards therapy each week. If a therapist charges $100/session, I get to go every five weeks. It's not that I'm asking a therapist to work for $20/hour.

    But, I'm glad it gave you so much mileage!


    - Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

  10. My neighbor is available as well.
    No, wait, I think I'd like to handle that one myself.

  11. Actually, Marie? I'm actually in the exact same place (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc...) I was prior to knowing your blog even existed. So no, no milage here. Sorry.

  12. Jolly good review, RedPen.

    I think my Fanny's rather fond of you.

  13. Sorry I was unclear . . . I meant mileage from the $20/wk thing . . .

  14. I so agree!

  15. Sorry Marie, but it's time for that "off" switch I mentioned above. Your attempts bore me.

  16. mmaaggnnaa:

    Stop being a passive-aggressive twit.

  17. My maid gets more than $20/hour.

    Also, MG--come sit over here by me look at the new crowbar catalogs.

  18. Okay . . . you win. I'm going home to lick my wounds. I guess that means I'll have to shell out an extra $85 this week to tell my therapist how mean you all were to me.

  19. Oh, wait . . was that passive-aggressive . . . ??

    So sorry . . .

  20. Well, would you look at what happens when guest reviewers are asleep!

    Too nice? Probably. I must admit, Marie looks scarily like a lady I work with who would file a grievance against you as soon as look at you. A misplaced case of PTS?

    More red pen next time.

    PS: Forcemeat - I am glad Fanny likes me. I do have my suspicions on who you are...any clues for this nosey bastard?

    PPS: Has anyone enjoyed the musical stylings of John Williamson yet?

  21. Good review. I myself am well versed in the John Williamson song and will now regretably have Rip Rip Woodchip stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Many thanks. As for Marie, I think she maybe needs to spend a bit more energy living and a little less energy about being crazy. The whole thing feels pretty contrived, and not to disrespect her issues, but some things are best kept to oneself.

  22. And god knows I've got skeletons in the closet, we all do, but fark, to make that the sole focus of your life is just not constructive.

  23. I guess we should have made it more clear -- this review process isn't therapy. We aren't going to validate you or provide you with a daily affirmation. We evaluate your product and make an assessment of it. If you're stinking it up, we're going to tell you that. If you write wonderfully, we're going to tell you that as well. But it has nothing to do with you, only your product.

  24. From the 'Submit' page on this here blog:

    "Blogs are personal, and thus, we also may not much like YOU. By submitting your blog here, you are opening yourself up for any and all criticism we may decide to dish out. Be aware of this, and don't act like a whiny pansy-assed bitch."

    In other words, I think it might qualify as a wee bit more than evaulation of a product.

  25. It's a fair cop.

    But it doesn't change my primary point -- our reviews are not therapy. We are not licensed therapists. We don't care about validation. We don't care about affirmation.

    We reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.

  26. MR! You should blog about those skeletons.......hang on a minute....

    Oooh, do the bees just talk to anybody, cos I wouldn't mind knowing either. Although RedPen, is Fanny liking you a bit of a barb cos you are too 'nice'? Just saying.

  27. Oh boy.

    I don't understand why someone whose sole purpose in writing is for therapy would come _here_.

    Unless their need for therapy is strictly related to masochism.

    I'm sad.

    I totally thought with the name "Coming Out of the Trees" would be so much more... entertaining?


Grow a pair.