Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reading Blogs

None of it in jest
Photos, phrases offered up
Oh my. Serious.

There is  a sinking feeling one gets the moment you realize that the blog you've been reading is not self-satire, is not ironic, is not a brilliant parody or astute study, but is offered up as is. Genuinely. Earnestly and unblinkingly serious. My God, they mean it. They really mean it.



  1. Now you've really got me wondering which site you're speaking of. :)

  2. ditto, come on ywp...give us a hint

  3. I can hypothesize as to the Blogs to which you refer...and bet I would bat .750

  4. At any rate, now you know why you are needed as a leaven to those blogs (and commenters) that you have so brilliantly skewered. Come to think of it, make that "as a deflater" to whatever has become too puffed up.

  5. The important thing is that you each have a theory. My specific ideas are only shared over drinks and are irrelevant for the discussion, because I feel that any guess you have means that you also feel that way, or are at least suspicious. Suspicion and skepticism remain essential tools in this increasingly virtual world.  The blogosphere is rife with accusations of fraud, as in "He's a fraud" or "She is not a true whatever". This discussion is pointless, because the credentials or bona fides of individual bloggers (or commenters) is largely irrelevant ( though sometimes it is VERY important).  There is NOT enough commenting calling out desperation though.  Striving, anxious, choreographed propaganda is marketing, and while there may not be a large retail product behind the message or the angle, you can be damn sure that there is a product of some sort, though not in the traditional sense of "drink Ovaltine" the way Randall recently pointed out.

    Again, who cares whether or not someone thinks someone else is a fraud.  I think that blogs are very obviously the new social climbing, the new reinvention vehicle, and the new tool to finally control and to present the world and the face that you want to mass-market for a number of purposes.  Sometimes the product seems to be little more than one's own ego.  

    So in all of it, it's still fun to read them, desperation and snobbery aside.

    When I get too puffed up, I like it when someone chips me down to size.  Thankfully in the real world, I have no shortage of family, friends, and a wife who correctly call me out for being an ass when I am being an ass.  Lately, they've had to form a line.

    1. I'm flattered by the reference, but in all honesty all I was trying to do was make a tangential joke by "translating" the Morse code message buried in that particular post. I guess, if you have to explain it...

      On to the general sentiment of this posting. I agree wholeheartedly and can think of several blogs, which I do enjoy reading, but which are also thinly veiled ads or the modern equivalent of the kid at school who was always showing off the "cool, expensive" stuff they had.


  6. I read some of the same blogs as you do, Y-W-P; however, I also read some that you do not.
    On the whole, I agree with what you are saying, vis-a-vis how many of them appear to be pushing a "product" and that product IS the ego inflating, "I'M BETTER THAN THOU" "product". And some of the commentators go far beyond what the blog owner posts.

    All in all, the whole thing is silly, in the extreme; not to mention gauche and after a while, becomes just downright boring!

  7. Was it anything to do with "Princeton invents trousers"?

  8. As a blogger, posts like this (and your follow up comment) are terrifying but also probably very important to read.

    It can be a tricky balance to strike, though. Is it dishonest of me not to post about the days when I sit on my sofa in a tshirt eating pizza? Maybe, but what little readership I have are (presumably) interested in my views on traditional menswear and not in the real minutiae of my humdrum life. A warped view of any blogger is therefore inevitable, indeed sometime it's frustrating to have to actively fight the urge to post about something off-topic that interests me (and I promise you there are many more things than clothes that interest me), but my belief has always been that retaining a fairly narrow focus is important.

    Or perhaps I'm just making excuses.

  9. Jake, you're making excuses.
    Just because your blog is about clothes, that doesn't mean that you can't/shouldn't also write about something else that interests you. Use clothes as the jumping off point to delve into other interests, if it fits and if not, I doubt that most readers would object. This would make you more than just a one demensional, one issue blogger and more interesting to read.

  10. Actually, I would enjoy blogs more if bloggers didn't feel this need to try so hard.

  11. I thought about this for a while today, mostly because of the comments being left. It's interesting that people can get so chapped about blogging, unless it's their job, or they're trying to make it their job. Other than that, it's precisely because ego in someone who, seeing something presented in a way that is so at odds with their character that the reaction is nothing but emotional promotes them to write something about it. Sure it's the problem with the world today or some such, but let's be honest, the world is far more complex than that. More than black and white, the world is about 6 billion shades of gray, one for each human being here. Each with a different story, each with a different motivation for what they do.

    I'll admit, there was a time when I did care seriously about it because I saw it as a serious outlet and voice to the world, and a chance to explore interests that might lead me somewhere in life. But after a forced hiatus (i.e. life called) I realized that I do this because I enjoy it, because it's fun, because it gives me a chance to focus on things not involving work and school. That allowed me to loosen up a bit from trying to impress other bloggers, to post about the things that I personally like and not what I thought my readers wanted to see. I now follow a creative vision that I personally enjoy and can use to explore other interests of mine in a way I see fit.

    You see, opinions, like everything in life, is a blessing and a curse. A blessing that we should be able to think freely and for ourselves, and a curse because it blinds us to the perspectives of others. You say that this blog is not a self-parody or study, but that they really mean it. I have to say, it's a bit difficult to get a completely read on someone via text and pictures. There are subtle nuances and idiosyncrasies about a person you can't pick up without human contact, not to mention their entire life history. Those nuances can give a completely different tint to a person than what was once thought. Unless you know where they came from, it's a bit difficult to know where they're going with any of it.

    Jake, I agree with you completely. You're not making excuses. Excuses are something you make when you're trying to lessen guilt or blame. If you feel you're doing what's right by your blog, then there are no excuses to be made. If you start listening to anonymous commenters, they'll have you doubting everything about your blog and why you enjoy doing it. You know, something about pleasing all of the people all of the time. However, anonymous also has a point that you shouldn't feel compelled to stick to one area of posting if you really would like to branch out. It may not be popular, but again you have to assess why exactly it is you blog in the first place. You too have a creative vision for your blog, and choose what to post based upon what you think suits that vision.

    Sure, posting about what we do everyday might be more "real", but "real" isn't always the most fun, nor is it always the most creative. It also may suit some bloggers better than others. You know, other than our similar tastes and interests, we could all be completely different people. Also, while it may seem like I'm personally pushing a product, I've never gotten a kick back or free anything from anyone out of it. I talk about what I like and I hope that others might also find it interesting. None of this is meant to be an affront to anyone, just perhaps a different look on things. If I'm out of place then pay me no mind.

  12. David, thanks for the mention and your agreement thereof.
    I more or less agree with what you posted, the caveat being that oh HELL YES, you really and truly CAN tell a lot about a person, whilst reading their blog; not to mention those who posts comments...especially after doing so for a year or more.

    Sadly, many bloggers and some of those who post comments, thereto, are poseurs out to impress; impress others as well as themselves. Quite a few commenters ( though not on this blog, as far as I've seen ) post utter CRAP, just to incite others, puff themselves up, and enjoy a fight over nothing, with themselves usually in the wrong anyway. And I do think that the aforementioned is what WTP's post is about.

    The very best blogs ( well, in my opinion ) are by people who keep it "real" ! They talk about what interests them, some of what they have or haven't done, and don't try to make it appear as though 1) they are the be all and end all re the topic and what/how whatever is 2) nothing "bad" or even embarrassing ever happens to them and/or theirs 3) to convince themselves and others that they are the ne plus ultra of all things ! And so what if a reader or two doesn't like one or two posts ? After all, when all is said and done, the person who puts the time in, IS the only person who must be pleased by the actual BLOG !

  13. The worst and most boring blogs are by ppl who keep it real, who are not imaginative enough to talk about anything else than their immediate life and troubles and the things they see or -the worst- buy. Of course, most ppl are shallow, uneducated barbarians- may they have been in college or uni or not is irrelevant- so they enjoy reading or rather: perceiving what others who are as simple-minded as themselves 'experience' quite unthinkingly and unreflectively.


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