I'm discovering that having a full-time job means a lot less time to write out here. I'm clam-happy to be gainfully employed, but I do miss having time to post decent stuff. I've been trying to get more people to interview for "One Dozen Questions," but I've actually been turned down and/or blown off by a couple of celebrity-type people I actually know. (Maybe they read my blog and have come to the conclusion it would Not Be A Good Career Move. Who knows?)
In other news...
I've been thinking alot lately about what I call the "Cult of Blogger-ality" where well known bloggers get heaps of praise and slavish comments even for the crappiest posts. You know the type:
"Awesome! You rule!"
"You totally rock, dude!"
Yeesh. These folks don't really seem to care if their icons just type "blah blah blah bleh bleh bleh" for a whole page or offer a videoblog of them just making weird sounds for a minute. (Unless you're Laurie Anderson or David Byrne or somesuch, it's not art - you've just hit a creative wall.) No matter what the post, these guys will still fight to be first in line to say that it's the Best. Post. Ever. I think a lot of the commenters do it in the hopes of getting recognized and somehow feeling connected to the blogger in question. (Uncharitably, I think of it as the "Rosie O'Donnell Syndrome." "Please, Rosie! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!") Oy vey. It makes me sad for some of these folks.
I've actually culled the herd on the high-volume blogs I read because I can't stand the cult of bloggerality that has grown around some of them and the wild acclaim that follows each random fart into the wind. Look, for most bloggers who post every day, not every post is Hemingway or Faulkner. Don't b-s the writer into thinking that his every word is a golden gift! Fawning over each post does the writer no favor (unless said writer is just a raving egomaniac) and makes the reader look desperate and sad. It also makes me wonder if the superfan has even bothered to READ the post.
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed this, too? Maybe I'm just getting really crotchety with the cold weather.
I've read a number of contemplative posts in recent weeks about "why we blog." (I've said before, for me, it's fun and cathartic, and I like to write. I have a lot of silly stories to tell, and I'd like to build my skills to the point where I write a book eventually. Blogging is never going to make me famous and no one is going to pay me $3K a pop to put ads up here, but it's nice to know that a handful of people enjoy the words I churn out.)
A good deal of the recent navel-gazing comes from folks with high-traffic blogs, and I cannot help but wonder if the introspection comes from the unending praise lavished on them for even the lamest content. I think it has to ring very hollow after a while for any normal person and must be disconcerting. Frankly it would creep me out if people heaped accolades on the crummier stuff I produce. It would start to disturb me - especially if it was the same person or persons doing this time and time again. As a writer, I simply wouldn't trust - or want - feedback and comments from the blown-pupil crowd. Hell, I'd turn the comments off, like Dooce did. (Not a big Dooce fan, by the way - I understand why she became popular, and I visit every once in a while. Friends tell me she is a consistently good writer, but I'm just not that into reading about the growth of her toddler. So, sue me.)
I'd love to know what some of the popular bloggers think about this - there are a number of people who seem to be able to ignore and filter the drooling fan comments and continue to write solid content - they're not just playing to the lowest common denominator, in some "bread and circuses" move. Interestingly, many of these bloggers are folks who don't post every single day - there are pauses between their well-considered writing. And I'll continue to visit their sites again and again. I may not comment very often, but I always appreciate Good Writing.
So, is it just me? Anyone else feel this way?