Thursday, September 09, 2010

This is not your review. This is me blogging about blogging about blogging when I'd rather be blogging about blogging about something

Imagine a friend wants to meet you for coffee because she wants to have a serious talk with you. Your curiosity is piqued and you await your friend eagerly at a coffee shop, wondering what on earth is going on in her life that she wants to tell you about. She walks in, sits down and proceeds to tell you what is on her mind:

"I wanted to meet with you today for coffee to have a talk. So I am going to sip my coffee now and then now I'm setting it down. Now, what I'm doing right now is I'm opening my mouth and closing it in an organized way that I learned by watching others when I was a child and there is this sound that comes out of varying acoustical properties. My mouth opens and closes and what I'm doing is I'm vocalizing, see. It's really quite something. By moving my mouth and folding and clicking my tongue, I'm essentially creating all these sounds and my teeth are involved somehow. Those sounds that you hear are these speech things I'm making which you then comprehend and these are words and with said words I make sentences that have meaning and it's all very syntactical. My goal at this point is to say ten more words. Do you think I can manage? Do you want to bet that I can say ten more words after this? Did you notice how I raised the intonation at the end of the last sentence? So you see, this was the important thing I wanted to talk to you about and so that's why I decided to ask you to meet me for a coffee."

How can you possibly respond to this person?

You see, this is exactly what it's like to read someone's blog when they constantly blog about blogging: what they thought about posting, how they feel about what they decided to post, what they are doing to generate traffic, the contests they are thinking of doing, how many followers they have, how many followers they hope to have by the end of the year, what they read about in their book about blogging, when their two month blogging anniversary is, conversations they've had with others about blogging, reflections on how certain followers have found their blog, ideas about blogging that they got by twittering and on facebook, etc., etc., etc.

I can't do it. It gives me a splitting headache and it confuses me because it makes me feel like space itself has curled inward and all I am is a person staring into a mirror of redundancy and I no longer know if I am really standing here at all or if I'm just one more of the reflective images and it's all infinity forever and ever collapsing around on itself and suddenly I live in a world where painters paint paintings of themselves painting paintings of themselves painting paintings and people are only allowed to talk about talking and books only contain essays on how to write books and shows are always about shows(*) and everything is a double helical shaped hermeneutical circle that devours itself in nothingness and the universe is all just reflections of reflections and copies of copies and I begin to feel immensely uncomfortable and begin to doubt that there's any point to any of it EVER. This philosophically FUCKS with me, because I'm not a nihilist. Or maybe I am. I don't know, but dammit, I don't want to be one.

Carmen, you're a well read film buff with a great sense of humor and I know you have a million real stories to tell that are funny and heart warming and heartbreaking and inspirational and thought provoking and that could pull readers to you like a magnet if you wanted. But you aren't telling those stories because you have not stopped talking about talking long enough to actually say anything at all. I could not to weed through the blogging about blogging to find the stuff that comes from the heart that was not wrapped in bloggerwocky. And I really desperately want to see that heart that I know you have. I want to know what it was about the baby and the dog that you sat near in church that made you happy. I do not care what it is like, as a 40 something diagnosed schizophrenic named Carmen, to experience facebook, twitter, and blogging and I really don't think anyone does. I am, however, dying to know what it is like, as a 40 something diagnosed schizophrenic named Carmen to experience life, in the world where painters paint paintings of flowers and windmills and dogs, and people write books about pirates and aliens and secret societies, and people talk about sex and food and rollercoasters. YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, CARMEN, THAT IS WHY YOU WERE DRAWN TO BLOGGING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

My advice is: stop blogging about blogging. COMPLETELY. I realize that eliminating all of the blog talk would leave you with the problem of having to figure out what to fill the gap with (Welcome to my world of posting less frequently than I want to. Of course, to embrace this, you have to fully give up on obsessing about followers, how many comments you get, traffic, etc. and just blog when you have something interesting to write about). While you're eliminating, go ahead and shave off the part that is completely uninteresting to anyone, including people who know you personally (advice which you've already read about in blogging books, i.e. not to blog on what you had for lunch). Then eliminate information that could be interesting ONLY to people that know you personally (unless you only want to blog for those people, in which case, have at it. But since you submitted here, I assume you want a take on what the random blogger would be looking for). You are now left with what could be a pile of shiny gold, or it could be a pile of bland white rice and people will either connect with it or they won't, but whatever it is, it will be authentic and it will be all you and will hold intrinsic value just because of that. The truth is, I cannot even speculate on what that kind of content would be like or is, because I never found it on your blog. If it's there and I missed it, it's because I gave up before I found it, which I can only believe would be what a typical random reader would do.

Focus now on real content, real you from the heart, then resubmit your blog in a few months so that we can at least review what is really you. For now I can't do this review, that's why I haven't even linked to anything. And I can't give you a rating either, because none of them are appropriate.

But i will show you a little inspirational poster I like to look at whenever I'm tempted to blog about blogging.
















(*) Seinfeld managed to pull this off. But you know, it was Seinfeld.

45 comments:

  1. im not done reading this review. but im sensing its a great one... im just taking a break because i got tired from reading this sentence

    "It gives me a splitting headache and it confuses me because it makes me feel like space itself..... philosophically FUCKS with me, because I'm not a nihilist.

    THAT WAS FUCKING LONG ONE! *phew* .. lol ... not even a single comma, and i just kept reading it continuously. lol

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  2. done reading... i was right it was a good one.

    very tiring too.

    great advice and point of view

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  3. This shit should be required reading.

    BTW, I have friends (okay, not friends -- alternative personalities) who are really into linguistics. That scenario at the coffee shop? I could see that happening with them.

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  4. Oh, and about this: "I have a goal of 75 "official" followers by my 1st anniversary of blogging (Jan 6th, 2011). Please help me reach my goal."

    Umm. Yeah. About that.

    Bugger your "goal."

    Now go get a real one.

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  5. "...and suddenly I live in a world where painters paint paintings of themselves painting paintings of themselves painting paintings" is basically my favorite thing anyone has ever written. Ever. Because it's so much more fun than saying "infinite mirrors."

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  6. HAHA i went to see the blog :)

    this WAS EXACTLY what you were talking about

    quoted from http://catstuff-carment.blogspot.com/2010/08/im-back-and-im-so-excited.html

    "Well, minus the short post from the 4th of this month that I just posted, this is the first post in exactly a month"

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  7. that made my head hurt. lol

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  8. All of those adorable puppies on her sidebar are horribly misleading. I want more puppies, dammit.

    I want anthropomorphized puppies painting paintings of puppies painting paintings of puppies painting paintings, and the whole thing will be very Cash Coolidge.

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  9. @scorpio, i found out she has a better goal.

    "Maybe this will be the start of something greater (LOL). Perhaps they will send me more stuff that I can review and then I can really call myself a "professional" blogger." <----- see? or is it more of a dream?

    (still from http://catstuff-carment.blogspot.com/2010/08/im-back-and-im-so-excited.html)

    and I still don't get what she meant by this :( -->"Well, minus the short post from the 4th of this month that I just posted, this is the first post in exactly a month."

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  10. Word!
    Word to the turd
    Word to the wicked
    Word to your mama cakes
    and word to the sick-ed

    Word to your daddy
    Word to your sugah pops
    Word to your dirty girls
    lickin' they naughty chops

    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha
    What the hell is this anyway? One of the best damn reviews in the entire universe ever. THAT'S what it is.

    Fuck, it inspired a 44-year-old woman to rap, for chrissake.

    I do mean FUCK!

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  11. read the guest post :)

    http://catstuff-carment.blogspot.com/2010/07/100th-post-guest-post-by-fj.html

    and you THOUGHT it would be a different writing style... lol ... :)

    disclaimer though: it's just guest posting about guest posting. LOL and then plugging the guest poster's blog.

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  12. ohhh the fridge magnets are cool!!! lol .. i think im gonna get one

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  13. This comment is intented to state that commenting is a fine art.

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  14. Commenting can be done by way of computer, smart phone and, I'm sure, many other electronical devices of which I am not aware, but would comment about if I was.
    I would probably also comment about using said unknown electronical devices as masturbatory tools if they did what half of them say they do, but I'm not sure that would be the proper use of a comment.

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  15. Oh Madame Bellicose, I'd propose to you in a heartbeat if it weren't for my Fanny. She gets terribly jealous you know.

    It's reviews like this that make me think some sort of book should be compiled.

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  16. Great review.

    Did anyone else find they read all of Carmens posts as though the writer didn't draw a breath? It was exhausting.

    My favourite quote at the end of a long rambling tale was: "This turned out to be only slightly less (I counted paragraphs) longer than my opuses on LiveBridge."

    Glad we sorted that out.

    This comment is slightly less longer than my last comment on the post that I commented on last.

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  17. I suspect the word comment can be used in many forms:
    -I have a comment about that.
    -Comment on THIS, fucker!
    -Don't make me comment, bastard!
    -I outta slap that comment right outta yer mouth!
    -Oh fuck, she's commenting again.
    -Damn, I commented and regretted it.
    -I am commenting as we speak.
    -I would comment, but currently cannot due to have a spontaneous and severe headache due to Rass mentioning cat dick several days ago.

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  18. Comment to yer mama
    Comment to yer daddy
    Comment to yer preacher man
    and comment to Aunt Hattie

    Comment to yer dog
    Comment to yer cat
    Comment to yer ass
    and comment to Pat

    Man, Pat's a real weirdo. I don't even know why I included him in this latest raptastic creation.

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  19. If I didn't have to go hit my man up with some smokes I would go all smackdown on rappin' all day long.
    Maybe I'll get back to it when I come back. Maybe not. It all depends on whether or not I still have this severe cat dick headache.

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  20. I'm exhausted by my own review. That sentence was really really long on purpose because my whole mind turned into a giant run on sentence of nothingness.

    Now puppies painting paintings of puppies, that is something I could go for. Or sex for the purpose of further sex. That I could go for too.

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  21. The reason why I didn't review this and was able to write so much on it is because it's incredibly common for people to blog about blogging. It's not like Carmen is the only one guilty of it. I'm certainly tempted to do it from time to time, but then again, I have this outlet, where it is permitted to blog about blogging.

    What was so frustrating about reading Carmen's blog was knowing that there were real stories that you weren't getting. I honestly hope she does begin to write because I would definitely be interested in hearing her point of view on life.

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  22. Madame Belly Dancer: Is this your story about a story about telling a story? Or a story about a story about a blogger who isn't telling her story?

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  23. I knew after reading the title of this review that if I actually went to the blog, I'd end up shanking someone in a kidney, and no one needs that, especially the people I work with.

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  24. Mongo, if I begged you, would you make me pumpkin muffins and drop me a rapping e-mail? pillars_of_color@yahoo.com.

    kthxbai.

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  25. I'm sorry Mongobaby, but I only talk about talking about talking. My conversation is now limited to this.

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  26. How much would it suck to take this approach to fucking?

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  27. @womb for improvement. i love your comment about lesser comments thing .LOL!

    @mongolian girl. please stop! lmao

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  28. on Carmen's defense... she does realize her problem.. and states

    "I just can't help myself. I become a posting maniac. Not that everything I post is necessarily golden but I just wanna post. "

    http://catstuff-carment.blogspot.com/2010/07/in-news-cemetery-assault.html

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  29. LB: This approach to fucking would indeed suck a great deal. As you can imagine, my hubz would like it very much. I mean, sucking a great deal is kind of up his alley.
    Word to the suck!
    Word to the fuck!
    When he starts cumin'
    Yo ass bettah duck!

    ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa hysterical me

    Hotcakes: Stop bein' such a wanker. I have no fucking clue what you're doing. One minute you're reading, then you're writing, then you're commenting on how much the reviewee's blog sucks, then you're defending her.
    I mean, I really know what I'm talking about and have every right to say this because, obviously, I know what I'm doing with all of this rappin' shit that has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
    Oh, and I'm gonna email LB now with some rappin' schtick 'cause I lurrrrrves me some LB.

    Word to yer hot tub!

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  30. Bloody hell that review made my head hurt. In a good way.

    I think I have blogged about blogging once. And it was just to tell everyone that I had pissed relatives off with a post.

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  31. Oh for sweet tap dancin' Jezuz on a rubber crutch! Grumpy, seriously? Tell me you didn't post about pissing off the relatives with a post. Blah.
    Seriously, I've often thought any and all of my blog posts and/or comments should cause members of my family to cry, cringe or dislike (understatement of the century) me even more than they already do.
    Of course, I don't even write on my own blog anymore and my mother would fall in the floor at the sight of that little grim reaper dude on the front page of this place so...what the fuck do I know?

    Word to yer mama
    She don't want no drama
    Posted on the net
    she'll kill yo ass yet

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  32. LB: You've been emailed, you sweet lil' heifer you. And I'll send pumpkin muffins to anyone who requests them. Just send your address to thecusp@yahoo.com

    Also? I probably won't actually mail anything. Wanna know why? 'Cause those two pound muffins of pumpkin goodness are so fuckin' good that I normally eat them the moment they come out of the oven. Those that I cannot eat are slathered over my nekkid body as I stumble into the front yard in a stupor of sugary pumpkin happiness.

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  33. Are we supposed to be commenting on the review? Or the reviewee's blog? Or comments from other commenters about the review or the reviewee's blog?
    Or is this pumpkin muffin, rappin', sexin' LB up boo-ray OK?
    I just think it's humble to ask for direction sometimes. Not that I'm humble enough to follow direction, but, ya know, it's polite to ask.

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  34. The comments here have always been a splooge-covered nard-rending free-for-all.

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  35. Mongo's got me goin -read my comment using your best Eminem cadence:

    Then I read the words on the internet paper and I knew her mind was fucked cuz the blog tried to rape her,

    But she didn't let go, oh no she didunt, she strung her words together like poetry even coudunt,

    Madame's got some style, yes and
    even though, she's not a nihilist,
    She made me see shit like I've never seen before yo
    like how I feel when I see my ex, the man ho
    I drop into mirrors and reflect shit you know
    Cuz I've been here before, but now I gotta go

    But not before I tell ya MB reviewed me once,
    she gave me three stars cause she didn't agree much,
    with my views but she dug my words and my writin' side
    And I loved her and wore her advice on my fingers
    and now I see what a fuckin brilliant bitch she is
    making me all tingly inside,
    like I want to fuck her words with my mind,
    and it still lingers....

    Word.

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  36. Meant to say....and the smell, it still lingers.

    Why can't we edit when we experience premature commentation?

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  37. Ouch. Advil?
    That was the most articulately convoluted review EVA.

    Also, verbose.
    Jesus.

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  38. Mind blowing perfection.

    The review that is.

    I saw this blog poking about in the review queue and shuddered when I peeked in and then quickly exited pretending to have never seen it. Madame, you are a better man than I.

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  39. Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Zen! "Premature Commentation"!!!
    I am in heaven with that following your raptastic goodness.
    I swear to the all praising, non-Koran-buring Jay-zuz that I am on the verge of being able to pull myself together just enough to mail pumpkin muffins to everyone because you, Zen.
    Not really - but it means a LOT for me to even think it.

    Zen!
    Praise!
    Premature Commentation!
    Praise!

    Somebody get me a spatula!

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  40. I am a buttery, ooey, gooey bastion of pumpkin muffin goodness.

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  41. Allow me to review the review of my review of the blog that blogs about blogging: if you think I'm a wordy motherfucker, you can fuck yourself fucking yourself fucking yourself.

    It hurts my head more to think those long winded thoughts than it hurts yours for you to read them. Believe me.

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  42. Oh, I believe you Madame Belly Dancer. That was some straight up brilliant shit right there.

    Pumpkin muffin? Madame? Anyone?

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  43. I am very sad. Now I can't even use the phrase you used about me two comments ago - the blog that blogs about blogging! - in my "advertising/shilling" for my blog. Not if I'm going to be a good reviewee and try to follow your advice about posting about non blogging things and then re-submitting.

    I am also sad that you didn't manage to find at least a few little gems amongst all the "blogging rubbish". I'm sure I posted at least a few times in my roughly 100 posts about something other than blogging. I swear.

    One thing I am not sad about is that, in spite of getting a bad (non) review I laughed so hard reading it that I started gag laughing till I had to throw up. Seriously. It was that funny.

    Also, another thing I can be not sad about is that BEFORE I get back to blogging (but this time about things more weighty - whatever they may be) I can take some shameless blogging about blogging pride in being "so uniquely hard to define that I needed a new graphic made for my (non) review." Woo Hoo. LOL.

    Oh, and I guess I can be thankful that you hated my blog so much that you forgot to even notice the pink template that you all here seem to hate so much. That's good because I have no idea how to change that. At least I can try to write about something "substantial"

    Just out of curiousity, before I go, I was wondering, just how many posts did you read?

    Well, I guess that's all, except to say I will indeed be resubmitting after doing perhaps another hundred or so posts after turning over a new leaf. I WILL be back. Maybe next time, I can get a link or two in the review itself (I can't go completely over to the other side - I do and will still care - at least a little - about readership) And thanks to the commenters who gave my blog address in their comments.

    Finally, to any one who does use the address to check out what a "train-wreck" my blog supposedly is - check out my two favorites Life At LiveBridge Part III (don't necessarily bother with Part I and Part II) and Vomit and Vaginas.

    Thanks for the review, see you again in about 6 to 9 months probably. Bye for now. :)

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  44. Carmen, you put a lot of stuff in quotes that nobody said.

    I didn't hate your blog, believe me, if I had you would have gotten some flaming fingers. I just don't understand the blogging about blogging. It confuses me, it doesn't make me hate it.

    I can't tell you exactly how many posts I read, I can tell you that I started at the beginning, read and read and read and read and kept seeing the same things. At that point, I started flipping through posts randomly and kept seeing the same thing, then I looked towards the latest to see if things had changed and noted that they had not. It's quite possible that in all that, I did not happen upon one of your gems. But a few gems hidden in a blog full of talk about blogging does not make a good blog.

    By the way, to me, as a reviewer, the template means very little to me if I like the writing, and no rocking template is going to make me like writing I just don't like, so it's definitely secondary to me.

    I'm really glad that you plan on trying to make a change and resubmit. Best of luck in your next review and I mean that for real.

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  45. Thanks MB. I didn't actually say you hated my blog, although when I re-read my comment to see if I had said it and forgotten about it I did see two comments that were similar.

    And you are right, you didn't HATE on my blog. I forgot to mention in my previous long comment that I appreciate not getting any fingers. The specially made picture was much appreciated as well.

    Finally, thank you for the nice words of encouragement in your previous comment as well as the nice things you said in your review (which I also re-read). BTW, I still couldn't read it without laughing profusely, but I did calm down enough that I didn't have to go to the bathroom because of the gag laughing. Take care.

    Carmen

    P.S. Upon re-reading the review I also noticed that while you stated that you weren't going to link to anything specific (and didn't) you did highlight (link to my blog) my name. So I was wrong there too. Next time I get reviewed I will try to read the review better/read it twice before commenting on it.

    The C.A.T.

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Grow a pair.