To err is human, to blog is . . even more human

I was recently asked by a friend what this whole blogging business is about. I replied with something to the effect of it being a place where I can write whatever the hell I feel like writing whenever the hell I feel like writing it.

This dude is way more social media savvy than yours truly, and yet, the blogosphere pretty much escaped him. And he ain’t alone. In spite of the fact that every news agency worth its circulation has its mitts in blogging to some extent, along with most major celebrities and a shit ton of brand businesses, blogs remain a curiosity.

I’ve listed a few reasons for this, completely unsubstantiated and totally unverifiable. Which makes me overqualified for a cable news position.

1. Fucking People- We have something like 7.5 billion people who call planet earth home. Way too many fucking people. Especially when you consider that only a couple hundred million of ’em are blogging. Imagine a banquet facility that can seat 750 people and then imagine a small table in the corner. The blogosphere would be the waiter who serves that table.

2. Content- This blog post is the perfect example of what my friend Bill likes to call “fluff”. In a newspaper article, I wouldn’t be able to say shit like “Fuck Wolf Blitzer’s talking beard,” and “Grade A Kardashian Ass!”. But on my blog, I can say whatever in the blessed fuck I want to say. This freedom is both defining and problematic. As I’ll explain . . .

3. Perspective- This freedom is defining in that blogs are living, breathing platforms for the freedoms we hold truest. But the very thing that makes it great, also mitigates its strength. The vast majority of the world ain’t blogging, and in a great many instances, this is because they’ve got more pressing matters to attend to. Like finding food, water and shelter. Their stories would be fascinating reads if they weren’t so preoccupied with remaining upright to tell ’em. Instead, we get Bill’s search for the perfect Reuben, and Jane’s “fat day”, and “How to order at Applebees”. Don’t get me wrong, there’s great content on here. But the reputation still precedes . .

4. Elliot Gould- Okay, I can’t blame Gould. It was his character (Dr. Ian Sussman) in the crap film Contagion who threw the entire blogosphere under the bus with a single line-  “A blog is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation,”. It’s the only memorable line to come out of that flick and it spawned more shade than E.L. James.

5. The Term- What in the blessed fig of Newton’s apple were the creators thinking when they had the gravitas to coin the term “weblog” and then condense it into “blog”? Its economy ain’t a sexy looking thing. There’s zero romance to the word. Which isn’t to say you have to be sexy sounding to be appealing, but still. A ‘blog’ sounds like something you contract when eating shellfish. If I didn’t know anything about it, I wouldn’t want to know anything about it.

Add in the fact that other social media platforms (most notably Facebook) get lumped in with the term ‘blogging’, causing even further confusion. And speaking of confusion . . shit, I’ve had blogs on and off for more than a decade and even get confused as fuck when someone says they wrote a blog. Some peeps use blog as a verb, for whatever the hell reason. As far as I’m concerned, this ain’t helping matters any, if a blogger doesn’t even know how to describe the shit they’re putting out there. Woodward and Bernstein weren’t like “Yo peeps! We wrote a Washington Post about this Dick in the White House!”. Credibility comes with being consistent. Reference the New England Patriots . . Amazon . . a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

All that said, I think I’ll stick it out on WordPress for a while longer. It’s the only social media site I truly believe in, and I still dig the efficacy of having a blog. No deadlines and no rules. Just writing, whatever I wish.

The hell with Dr. Sussman.

 

 

Excuse my French, but the (Pre)fix is In

Marion

Some words have all the luck.

If you shout “Fire! in a crowded theater, you’ll soon find yourself all alone. But if you shout “Bacon” in an empty kitchen, you will instantly achieve the opposite effect. No one likes a “headache” but everyone loves “chocolate”. And while “water” is great, it doesn’t elicit the same passionate response as “wine”.

And speaking of passionate responses, is there a better example of how a simple word can take our hearts hostage than the word “French”? If you live in the lower forty eight, the answer is non. Which is French for hell no.

French fries

White bread is popular, but French bread is the belle of the bread ball. And Vanilla is just a plain Jane until you give it a makeover by placing the word French in front of it. And everyone loves onion rings, but they place a distant second to french fries. If you’re a restaurateur, feel free to add a couple bucks to the menu price by calling ’em frites. Which no doubt means “swindle” in French.

It’s no wonder French is called the language of love. I actually have video footage of me in the first grade. I was talking about kissing girls with some friends of mine in the cafeteria when these two older boys brought up the subject of french kissing. Take a look . . .

Yes, I had facial hair in the first grade. Which is why I was able to inquire as to the finer points of the french kiss. Before too long, I was learning about the history of the french braid and french twists from the greatest teachers imaginable. Girls. They introduced me to hair styles that effectively transformed thousands of years of same old into something provocative and sophisticated. It was the best education, ever.

Daenerys

Upon graduation from first grade cafeteria talk, I learned first hand all about the french manicure. It’s not just any old manicure, nope. Whereas the typical manicure refinishes the cuticles and then dresses them up, the french manicure lets them go nude. Sold!

The alchemy of this lovely word turns plain old toast into a gloriously rich and sweet breakfast treat. Whereas I can eat a piece of toast on the run, I feel the need to commit to French toast. And once married, it spawns such glorious children as butter, maple syrup and yes . . . bacon!

French Toast

And let’s be honest, would you eat anything called a cruller? It sounds like something that was dredged from the bottom of the ocean. But hey . . put a French in front of this unfortunate sounding word and you have something that was dredged from the bottom of your heart. And if you want to experience what the power of the press really means, add a French to it and enjoy!

This power of the prefix is the result of the romantic entanglement we’ve always had with French. It’s so powerful a thing that the word doesn’t even have to make the scene in order to get its point across. Guldens is a spicy mustard you pass down the seats at a baseball game. Grey Poupon is a dijon mustard you pass from one Rolls Royce to the next . . . ’nuff said.

Horn is to traffic what French horn is to music. Maid is to Roseanne Barr what French maid is to Marion Cotillard. Dressing is to morning rush what French dressing is to kicking back. And while we need windows and doors, we luxuriate in French windows and doors. I mean . . it’s really not fair.

It’s like Napoleon’s Revenge, in that battles were lost in order to win the war of words. Because all this time later, we find ourselves under French rule when it comes to the most important things. Words!

Losing never sounded so good.