Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Helicopter Mom

I want to get this out of the way:  I avoid advice columns, and I avoid blogs that read like advice columns.  Blogs, to me, and to most of the reviewers on this site - are about people sharing their lives creatively, with the semblance of honesty and a penchant for story.  This means, you semantic bastards, that even a manufactured personality writes with honest vision, a fictional persona is written to feel real. 

To most of the world (I AM LOOKING AT YOU, APRIL!) blogging is know what? I don't know.  I don't fucking know at all.  It's about book expose's on single parents, or being angry that you're bored, or sad that teachers don't try hard enough or impressed with your daughter's ability to feel things.  All things that are probably worth discussing, but couldn't you find some way to do this with a little more pizazz?

It's about irrelevant updates and opinion pieces, it's about pushing your transcendence into the internet because you must share what you have learned because no one has ever fucking learned it before ever.  It's step-by-step summaries that are about as interesting as filing cabinets (I went to a hotel and there was good food I met people and they were good My hotel room was good because it had stuff Lunch was good because it was food I went for a walk and it was good). It's all very straightforward and unimaginative, but I get the sense that she's just systematic hovering over everything in an effort to appear balanced.  I get it.  You are balancing your blog topics because "It's All About Balance." Very clever. 

Balance is delicate and shifting, it's a feat. I don't think it can be scheduled.  That's a regiment, not a balance. 

Right now April's writing suggests that she is the type of person who glances down and takes things at face value, and someone who is struggling to overcome her previous role as a victim by writing aggressive essays opining everything she sees without really taking the time to see things from another's perspective.  It makes sense, wanting to take control of her future without being in control for so long.  On the whole though, except for very few pieces, I'm not the biggest fan. 

And that's just because April is not my style.  And my style is the best style.  April, you are well-suited for mommyblogging because you write about things that mommybloggers care about and you aren't a bad writer.  I think your no-nonsense approach to writing is good for what you're going for.  But I like nonsense.  I like a lot of nonsense, actually, and I like individuals that light my brain on fire with nonsense and then drunkenly spray more nonsense across the screen with a fire extinguisher.  

What was so fucking delicious about your mini burger? Or is it just that the novelty of tiny food makes you giggle and tastes better because it's quaint?  Did you utilize all that business in your hotel room, or were you just glad it was there?  Details like that can turn posts from one of those End of the Year Bragging Letters (the ones your acquaintances send during the holidays with pictures of their children wearing matching sweaters or Being Spontaneous) to little glimpses of insight into someone's personality. We'll get the sense you were there instead of just hovering, passing through. 

So if I were you, because like my previous reviewee you have well over 500 posts - create a page with direct links to the best things you've written on your blog, or the best things you've written on any other parenting blog.  I would create a page that has a more in-depth profile detailing why you're blogging and what you hope to accomplish.  I am sure you will use the phrases "I hope to accomplish" and "I am blogging because" when you do this.  Move all of your personal template widgets to the left column, and keep the Blogher shit and links in another.  Consider a header image that reflects your blog.  Perhaps a woman sitting at her laptop with a cup of coffee, while two children play in the background.  That would be new.

Because you are good enough at what you want to do.


  1. Your style IS the best style. You crack me up Shiner.

  2. Sometimes, I get stuck in waiting rooms. So it is not an entirely alien thing for me to read women's magazines. Ladies Home Journal. Women's World. Studs and Power Tools. You know.

    April's blog reads like one of those magazines. They certainly have their audience. And I am certainly not in it.

    So be it.

  3. This is actually better than I expected. Thanks for taking so much time to read it!

  4. At what point does everyone stop saying the exact same thing as everyone else?

    I also would like to be set on fire, preferably with nonsense... though I'd probably take kerosene and a lit match before going back to this particular blog.

  5. One of my favorite things is when bloggers use their flaming nonsense to convey sensible opinions.

  6. Mongolian Girl1/20/2011 6:30 PM

    The only exciting thing I've ever done with a fire extinguisher is hold one up to my crotch, hold the handle down, and pretend I was taking some sort of extra special (possibly very infected) man-like piss.
    I wish I would have thought to use one to spray nonsense.


Grow a pair.