Wednesday, April 20, 2005


It isn't like this website thing is really new to me. I've been doing it in earnest since April of 2002. But the whole blog world -- or should I say, "underworld" -- that's a new experience for me.

I figure, since I'm benefitting from "NavBar" hits on my own site, I owe it to my fellow BloggerDotCommers to check out their sites as well. So, I hit "next blog" and I'm off. And what do I find? Well, there are some damn fine blogs out there, and we'll get to those in a moment. What I find a lot of, though, are blog entries that run on and on about the lady at the dry cleaner who cut you off in line, then took 10 minutes looking for her favorite pen so she could sign the VISA slip, and then stepped back and accidentally (NOT) dug the three inch heel of her $600 Manolo Blahnicks into your sandaled big toe (it being the first warm day of spring and all, and you just having had a pedicure on Sunday because you knew the weather was going to turn, and now you can't wear your cute summer sandals because your big toe is all black and blue.

Let me explain something, people. And I'll be as gentle as I can. Back in the olden days... before blogs... before personal webpages... before journals, even.... back in those days, they had these things called "diaries." The diaries frequently came with a lock, to keep prying eyes away from a) honest rantings that could hurt other's feelings unnecessarily, and b) written testimonies that could result in your prosecution on any number of Class D felonies. But the point was this -- that's where the rantings and ravings over dry cleaner ladies in Manolo Blahnicks belong, not in the broad light of day, where people can see them.

I'm not talking about keeping tabs on one's mundane life. Frequently, some of my favorite blogs concern the daily activities of a family or a person who just has a normal life going on, though sometimes in an unusual way (witness, for example, The Wendy Lady's The Poland Diaries and my friend Kathy's A Twist of Kate). I'm talking about rants. Vents. Tantrums. Any blog entry that begins with the words, "I just had to vent...," or has as its subject line any form of the word "rant" must be deleted for all time.

That doesn't mean you can't express what you think. It just means that you can't vent or rant. Discourse should be conducted in a reasonably civilized fashion. Not only because intelligent verbal exchange is what separates us from the great apes, but because it is simply better writing. Normal people doing ordinary things but relating them in amusing ways is at the heart of extremely popular newspaper and magazine columns written by the likes of Jack Anderson, Dave Barry and Erma Bombeck.

But bad writing is indefensible under any circumstances, and unless you're Andy Rooney or Jerry Seinfeld, the odds are good that your rants and vents are going to be boring little tirades that no one cares about but you. If you're ranting, it better be damn funny, or I'm never visiting your petty little blog again, and neither are the majority of people who happen to click "next blog" and have it inflicted with your tantrum.

Keep it funny. Keep it fun. Keep it updated. Check your spelling. Check your homonyms (note to self). And that, my dear littles, is the end of my rant.


No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments subject to moderation. Anonymous comments will not be approved.