Whatever that means.
We are still accepting entries to our header contest. We already have some great ones, and would love some more.
I have been kicking around some mild annoyances/social critiquing of our tiny internet universe, but can’t quite form a post that doesn’t look like I am just pooping on everyone. Given that our lovely arena of personal expression is now being driven by market forces and becoming a much larger cesspool of the usual crowd pathologies, I start to be constantly degraded by particular content providers, even if I have once been having super crushes on them. I’ll be anonymous for now, and you can fill in the blanks yourselves, or just lie to yourselves and answer Three Bulls! to everything, and not just the ones we deserve.
1) Name misspellers . Of those people writing wonderfully about policy and our current political culture, who generally are nailing it, I just can’t abide the misspelling of people’s names. These names one only knows from reading them somewhere on the internet, thus their spelling should be quite easy. Please don’t spell Hitchens as “Hitchins” or Beinart as “Beinert.” These are not names you ever hear, only names that you see. Why come across so lazily?
2) One track rantmotrons/phoner-inners. NOT A CRITICISM of Somerby. The Howler has been must read for the last several months, as I expect it will be for the next year. I’m more talking about people that built names for themselves providing interesting and thoughtful extended posts about particular aspects of their craft, much to the erudition and delight of their readers. Now, nothing is ever covered, really, except occasional reposts of great old material, while seemingly automated posts calling idiots idiots are the rule, rather than the exception. They provide even less ass than we do.
3) Fake phoner-inners. Certain bloggers that actually nicely provide effort and quality content, all the while affecting complete aloofness, concomitant with complaints about non-engagement from readers. Admit that you put some effort into your posts, hang out in your own comments interacting with folks that you practically beg to show up, instead of kind of sending the message that no effort is really worth it, especially efforts by less cooler than thou regular commenting joes. The Editors, Generalissimo of calculated yet humorous aloofness comments more on his own blog than you did on yours. Take a break and then get back on your horse, or not. Would we be committing a hipster faux pas if we said we missed you and like your stuff?? We actually really do like you.
4) Sociopathic (all of us) commenters. You know, the people that act like a particular blog is their beloved high school football team. People that are really only mimicking what they think they should be saying, like most anyone that ventures to say anything whatsoever about, say, the NFL draft, or NASCAR, or Bassmaster Professional Fishing. We are all the same. There are certain unexamined corners of our lives where we might just get cliquish or clannish or what have you, but it is certainly annoying to have to watch train wreck quality discussions everyday. Take for example a blog run by experts in a field, with non-expert commenters. Perhaps a very much qualified but anonymous expert might show up in comments with a polite yet slightly critical take on a post by an expert blogger, something that might actually engender a discussion. Oops, on come the attack dogs with the “I don’t see you commenting here regularly” or “concern troll” or “something so stupid and inexpert that to even engage with it would be a several ridiculous hours wasted.” At some level, in all social interactions we are all just plugging in prewritten social algorithms around arbitrary topics of complete stupidity (any beloved pastime, my own included). Some of us have at least a minimal ability to attempt either objectivity, or at least somewhat dispassionate discourse. Others don’t. I root for Jeff Gordon in NASCAR, specifically to increase the suffering of this type of person.
5) Sexist Choads. Sexism if of course the most common allowable/tolerated ism within our web log world and also of course our real one. There are many incredibly funny, talented and smart dudes out there who occasionally or perhaps more than occasionally just completely sh*t the bed with mind-clangingly unfunny, totally sexist posts. And they don’t even see it.
6) Total hypocrisy. You’re soaking in it, and so are we. There are always instances where perhaps people can be called to the carpet for various humorous or non-humorous posts, as it were, regarding giant sandwiches, vaginas, wieners, isms multiple and varied. And many times they certainly should be, but since there is clearly an inability to enforce the law, maybe these style posts should be written in different ways, such that perhaps a problem or practice can be exposed, but more generally, so there can be a discussion or perhaps room for contemplation and/or contrition on the part of an offender. I could easily think of a million ways to attack a certain hilarious video of Ms. Ann Altmouse discussing her critics based on apparent blogospheric (and real world) hot buttons. In this case, it appeared that the humor received a green light from many sources, perhaps leading to a false demarcation of where the gray area actually is.
7) Wandering, illogically demarcated posts in the form of lists by certain bloggers. Bloggers that can’t or won’t bother to collect their thoughts in a clear or concise fashion, instead opting for meta-clarity and rambling pseudo-intellectualism. Even if there is a nugget of possible truth, the rest is so muddled (OR IS IT??), the post is rendered unlinkable, if even read by anyone.
8) False modesty or ironic self-criticism. See above (OR SHOULD YOU???).
9) Useless or imprisoned co-bloggers. Mysterious bloggers that never post, or perhaps don’t even own computers, or are currently accidentally blogging in the anti-verse with stupid goatees. Get over yourselves. F***, you are the most annoying of all.