Saturday, August 15, 2009

Humor-Impaired Commenter Syndrome

This rare condition can strike without warning:
If you want to know why Erik Erikson was invited to speak and not you, go to Alexa and compare your stats to Redstate. Orders of magnitude, buddy.
Why the difference? Redstate is about issues. This blog is about three things: 1) Who does and doesn't link to you, 2) Your resentment over real and imagined insults, 3) Begging for money in every post.
You want to be a player in conservative circles? Write about something that matters to a national conservative audience. And no, that would not be a two-part, line-by-line dissection of a column written two weeks ago by an unknown kid in a newspaper read only by people who eat whale blubber. Nor would it be a book-length rehashing of your personal disappointments at the Washington Times.
Seriously, this is the fourth time you've posted profoundly juvenile fantasies about hurting Telford because you're not on the program. If you ever do make it, your blurb will say, "We invited Stacy so he would stop whining."
-- "plarson," 7:55 a.m.
Research indicates that anonymity is closely associated with Humor-Impaired Commenter Syndrome, perhaps because people are afraid to advertise -- under their own names -- the fact that they are too stupid or ignorant to get the freaking jokes.

Or that they are too stupid or ignorant to tell the difference between (a) a Republican discussion board about "issues" and (b) the personal blog of a journalist who has been called (by L.J. Miller of Red State, ironically enough) "the conservative Hunter S. Thompson for today."

And speaking of "issues," let's have an informal poll. Please read the following statment aloud:
A major problem of the Republican Party today is that in recent years the GOP has attracted too many humorless self-important blowholes who take everything literally and who only want to talk about "issues."
Do you (a) strongly agree, (b) agree somewhat, (c) disasagree somewhat, (d) disagree strongly, or (e) froth with rage because you're the humorless self-important blowhole "plarson" who is belatedly realizing what a complete fool you have made of of yourself?

Of course, a poll measures what is merely a matter of opinion. As a professional journalist, I am trained to deal strictly with neutral, objective facts.

Important fact: I arrived late to the blogosphere. In 2003, one of my interns at The Washington Times, a promising young feature writer named Amy Doolittle, came to me with the suggestion of writing a story about something called "blogs," a term she had to explain was short for "weblogs."

Miss Doolittle began to explain the concept of these do-it-yourself personal online journals, and my reaction was, "Oh, you mean, like or The Corner at NRO?"

Yes, kind of like The Corner, answered Miss Doolittle, but she then told me that, although some of these "blog" things were about politics, they could also be about . . . anything, including the personal hobbies and daily activities of the individual bloggers. Some of these sick freaks even blogged about their cats.

This seemed rather an obscure sort of topic for a feature article in America's Newspaper, but young Miss Doolittle had her heart set on it. So we presented the idea to assistant managing editor Maria Stainer who, while perhaps even more mystified than I -- "OK, now, explain to me one more time: Why do we need to do a story about this?" -- nevertheless approved the proposal, rather than to break poor Miss Doolittle's heart.

Fast forward to December 2006: Having survived the final deadline required to complete the manuscript of Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, I'm on the phone with my co-author Lynn Vincent, discussing the promotion and marketing of the book.
"We must have a Donkey Cons blog."
"Well, a Web site, maybe, but why a blog?"
"Because we must. Everybody does blogs to promote their books nowadays."
"Stacy, a blog will eat your life."
Lynn had been assigned blog duties at World magazine, where she was features editor, and thus knew whereof she spoke. Did I heed her warning? Oh, no, no, no.

So at 10:55 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2006, the Donkey Cons blog made its inauspicious debut. Immediately, I was confronted with a problem: If an author writes in the blogosphere and nobody reads it, why bother blogging at all?

What followed was a crash course in what are known as Traffic Enhancement Strategies, a subject subsequently explained as "How To Get A Million Hits On Your Blog In Less Than A Year."

There are people who make money writing books and teaching seminars about this topic -- including the kind of important people who get invited to RightOnline -- but I am notoriously averse to expert advice and, indeed, have been known to share Hayekian critiques of the entire concept of expertise.

Having never been a big fan of self-help books ("Dr. Phil's Guide to Sexually Abusing Interns"), the last place you'll ever find me is sitting in a hotel conference room listening to some neurasthenic geek drone on about SEOs and Web 2.0 social networking technology.

Sorry, geek-face, I don't roll that way. What I know, I learned by the bootstrap trial-and-error method and, proud though I may be, I am not too proud to occasionally display the scars that are the inevitable result of the "error" part of that process. Mr. "plarson" is invited to read the motto atop this blog:
"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."
-- Arthur Koestler
It would be a disservice to my readers if I were less than honest about my own motives. "I Write For Money," as I once explained to that notoriously self-important blowhole Rod Dreher. Tthere is nothing I hate worse than a professional writer who, in a sort of bait-and-switch marketing scheme, endeavors to attract a gullible readership prone to believing that he, the writer, is a disinterested philosophe who has no interest in grubbing for filthy lucre.

This is not a blog for chumps and suckers. If you're too stupid to recognize that "crunchy" conservatism is a crooked game of three-card monte, if you don't get the ongoing schtick when I indulge in self-deprecating mock-Gonzo humor, you are obviously reading the wrong blog.

The correct reader for this blog is a certain mischievous resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, who just hit the tip jar for a full Benjamin, and included this double-dog-dare-ya message: "Roadtrip to PA. GO! Tell MM, Hi from Sharon. She does not know me."

So while I would like to stick around here and expend another 1,500 words explaining exactly what I meant to say when I started this post, there is now no time to waste. Sharon in Cincinnati must have a personally autographed copy of the Best. Book. Evah! and there is only one man in the blogosphere who can get it for her.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro . . . and hit the freaking tip jar. Erik Telford's going to be buying the beer in Pittsburgh tonight, but man does not blog for beer alone.


  1. One line summary: "Just be true to yourself."

  2. Some of these sick freaks even blogged about their cats.

    While I have never objected to anyone labeling me a 'freak', I do strongly object to being called a 'sick freak' just because one of my cats has her own blog [].

    To quote myself:
    Debauchery is something that should only be practiced by those who understand the limits to which it can be taken, who appreciate it is not the grant of full license. Anything straying beyond these limits is depravity and this can lead to madness. The practitioner must also realize, both by instinct and by reasoning, that debauchery must be kept in the shadows, kept away from those, the vast majority, who lack the necessary and proper understandings, least these souls be tempted beyond their limits. For if they are, they will pass directly into depravity.

    As a fellow musician, I am surprised at you. Depravity = sick; debauched = freak. Do the math Hayekian Boy.

    PS: 'What are we going to do!?'
    Otter & Donald: 'ROADTRIP!'

  3. I have to say I agree with them here, RS. I mean, hell, over at Three Beers Later I NEVER indulge in humor or frivolity of ANY sort and look where it's gotten me...

  4. If a blog goes without a hit in the forest of the Internet, does it make a sound?

    Yes, the wimper coming from the author when they:

    1. check their sitemeter and it's zero.
    2. Check their email for a donation notice from Paypal and their aren't any.

    blogging and blegging; it's the new street corner entertainment.

  5. Could plarson perhaps actually be A.Pundit? Maybe he really does hate you...