Tuesday, January 15, 2008

bleating bloggers

Is there anything more self-referential than the blogosphere? The ultimate meta-narrative: blogs talking about blogs, a commentary on commentary. Does mentioning this phenomenon make it commentary on the commentary on the commentary? And if I expound on that last sentence, does it then become commentary on commentary on the commentary on the commentary? Argghh! Stop it! My head's spinning. Like two mirrors facing each other: endless reflection of a reflection of a reflection... ad infinitum. Yikes, cease this train of thought lest people think I'm a philosopher and ask me to join the Libertarianz.

But isn't the blogosphere's self-interest vain? and aren't bloggers narcissistic? E.g, someone blogs about format changes: "I'm altering the font & colour scheme, and updating my link bar." How pointless and self-absorbed! Your regular audience will already notice, and first time readers won't know or care. Now, I'm not talking about YOU in particular, fellow blogger, so don't get all paranoid (a characteristic of narcissists).

And there's nothing wrong with blogging about blogs. But gawd! So many New Zealanders are whiners. It's OK to whinge, I s'pose. Why else did God invent Poms? Perhaps our British heritage predisposes Kiwis to constant squawking. But some blog groaners just make me groan about bloggers. So here I go, moaning about moaners. Here are my complaints:

# Stop grizzling that some bloggers won't 'debate'. Some blogs invite lively discussion, others actively encourage it. But never assume all bloggers relish argumentation. Perhaps they sense futility: often left/right positions are irreconcilable. And the religious/atheist divide may be unbridgeable. Myself? I opine on my own blog. Don't like it? Bleat about it on yours. If you leave a comment on my blog that I don't like, you can 'debate' with my delete button, and you'll lose every time. End of argument.

# Don't whine if your comment gets deleted from someone's blog. It could be for many reasons. Maybe you're deficient in social graces, off-topic, link-whoring, a flaming troll, or merely an idiot polluting the thread. Guess what? They didn't like you, your nasty attitude, or potty mouth. It's their party and you're not invited. So shuddup! Likewise, don't cry about someone moderating or disallowing comments. It may be to avoid weirdos, creeps & perverts (or complainers like you). You may think you're omniscient, special and important. Want the truth? You're not.

# And how about those snoots that post using their real names, who feel morally superior, sneering at us who choose nom-de-blogs. Protection and privacy issues aside, how do we even know a 'real' name is genuine? My handle is "Phil." If I used a 'real' name such as "Phil Goff," how would you know it's bona fide? Are we to insist on birth certificates? For me, the message outweighs the moniker. If I think you're a twit, it won't matter whether you're "anonymous," a pseudonym, or a 'real' name - you're still a twit.

# Some people moan that a blogger posts too infrequently. Now, all blog software comes with 'terms and condtions'. But not one, to my knowledge, stipulates a strict regularity schedule. You may live a life of luxury & spoiled entitlement, with every wish & whim fulfiled. Well I'm sorry, princess! But there are some things even your rich daddy can't fix; a blogger's posting habits may be one of them.

# I'm unsympathetic when people say: "This/that/your blog disgusts me. The language/ attitude/ content is repugnant." If so, become acquainted with your browser's 'back' and 'home' buttons, and resolve never to return. Failing that, call the I.T. people regarding the computer virus which keeps directing you to that URL. Or ring 111, ask for the police, and tell them someone has a gun at your head forcing you to read an offensive blog. How 'bout a leedle responsibility for one's own surf habits? If you keep returning to upsetting blog(s), ask yourself "why?" Or maybe you should attend Masochists Anonymous meetings.

Yes, it's true some NZers are repulsive, foul & obnoxious. But the Treaty of Waitangi grants them all the same rights as British citizens. It's noble to strive for peaceful cohabitation, but forget about any 'code of conduct.' Who needs more restrictions in Helengrad's never-ending ever-burdening rules & compliances. All the nagging, hectoring & bossing around. It's enough to make me wanna join the Libertarianz (even though they'll confiscate my Bible and send me to atheist indoctrination camp for re-programming). Count me out of a 'blog code' or calls for even more PC social engineering. Speaking of which...

# Who cares if the blogosphere doesn't mirror social demographics? Is skewed representation so bad? Anyone can blog. The fact that white men dominate NZ's blogosphere just means that more white men make the effort. Why fret over parity? What if we arrived at perfect gender balance?: 50% male, 50% female. What if some men decided to stop? Do we panic and insist some women also desist to restore equilibrium? Or what if we achieved 15% Maori blog participation, reflecting NZ's population. If another Maori wanted to start blogging, would we say: "Sorry, you can't. The quota is already filled. Please wait until a vacancy becomes available."

Does it matter if most bloggers are dissimilar to you in culture, lifestyle, or outlook? Personally, I'm unperturbed that I'm possibly the only fat, chain-smoking, cheap booze-swilling, kiwi blogger with an English pop. But if it bothers you, then put down your cigarette, your can of Tui and plate of pastries, ignore your father's moaning (if he's a Pom, he'll be moaning alright) and send me an e-mail. Maybe we'll form a support group to discuss how lonely & misunderstood we are amid all those other svelte, non-smoking bloggers with classy drink habits and non-Brit dads [rolling eyes].

Oh, listen to me gripe (did I mention my dad's a Pom) & grumble about bloggers! (told you the blogosphere is self-referential.) I'll shut up now, but one last word:

Dear blogger, I hope your experience is enriching, entertaining, educational, and enjoyable. But if the blogosphere becomes too depressing then do what I'm about to: turn off the 'puter and enjoy a smoke, some snacks & a few Tuis with my non-stop complaining old man.


Anonymous said...

Excellent! The outrage-o-matics are pure theatre in my book ;-)

Phil said...


hee hee, I like it! Definitely gonna plagiarise that one. Hope ya don't mind :-)

bruddah said...

I find this blog to be a disgusting, offensive outrage!! I am always right, what kind of foul pervert would dare to question MY omniscience?!

PM of NZ said...

Well done

Just what I have been looking for in a posting policy, with some mods.

I will be flogging this, with or without permission.

Cheers, bro, keep up the good work and I will put in a link to this as the source...

Phil said...

Peasant - I humbly submit to your All-knowingness.

PM of NZ - "I will be flogging this, with or without permission."

That's what I like to hear! Love the attitude - very Maori-esque :-)

Feel free to pinch anything you like. This blog is completely free and the one thing Greedy Cullen hasn't managed to tax... yet.