Wednesday, February 01, 2006
State Of The Thingy
Look, I've had to endure all kinds of speeches this time of year from the State of the City address by our mayor, the State of the State by that guy who was in Twins, the State of the Franchise address from the president of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hockey team (it was in the paper, I swear) and now last night with this "State of the Union" thing. Imagine how disappointed I was when it wasn't about a secret agent played by Ice Cube. I didn't actually SEE the president's speech, but I can guarantee you it needed--needed--a sequence where a motorized rubber dinghy jumps over a suspension bridge while exploding.

Since I've had to put up with all of theirs, they have to put up with mine. Seeing as I am the inernets' pre-eminent voice among bloggers, I hereby nominate myself to give the first ever State of the Blogosphere address.

Any objections? None? OK, let's start.

If you feel the need to stand up and applaud at any point while reading this, I encourage you to feel free. I may even prompt you.

My fellow Americans, foreigners, bloggers, eBay addicts, porn freaks, spammers, Nigerian e-mail scammers, desktop publishers, fellow housewives, college students, professional drunks, shut-ins, fantasy football dorks and skeevy fetishists of every disgusting bacterial stripe, I thank you.

We gather here this (morning/afternoon/evening/night) to report on the state of our beloved blogosphere. I am here to tell you that never have we been so many. A new blog is created roughly every second. Because of this, I'm happy to tell you that the state of the blogosphere has never been quite so diffuse, unfocused, compartmentalized and ridiculously confusing.


We live in remarkable times, but it is not without its dangers. A dark cloud looms over the blogosphere, lurking in its very midst, threatening to undermine and destroy the entire enterprise. Right now, without even knowing, there are elements plotting the destruction of the blogosphere. Who are the people who constitute such a dire threat to all our means of self-entertainment?

Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest threat to the blogosphere today is other bloggers. And they must be stopped.


Not you guys, of course. Or me. We're all good. It's the other ones. You know who they are. All they ever want to talk about is them, them, them. What about us? It's as though they don't realize that the main reason we got into this whole blogging thing was so we could read more stuff about ourselves, mostly as written by us, but occasionally--hopefully--recognized by others even though there's no earthly way any of us could warrant it.


I mean... uh... deserve. We all deserve it.


Like most State of the _____ speeches, now that I've identified a phony-baloney problem and couched it in the silliest, most unnecessarily hyperbolic of terms, now is where traditionally I should lay out a plan of action to defeat my manufactured threat and browbeat you all into going along with it.


Keeping the blogosphere competitive against other forms of self-referential media--our e-mails, our written letters, our collages of magazine pictures of cute guys, our Hello Kitty diaries--requires discipline and a new way of thinking.

The blogosphere is addicted to popular culture, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world, like Hollywood. Each and every day there are thousands of blogposts all about the exact same thing, whether it's Lindsay Lohan cutting her leg open with a teacup in the least plausible celebrity injury story since Richard Gere denied that gerbil thing or talking about Lucy Liu walking around quake-ravaged Pakistan instead of talking about the actual earthquake or who got nominated for what award or who is getting fat or who is too skinny or who retained the services of whatever lawfirm to defend them against new charges of child molestation.

What we need to realize is that popular culture is a finite, non-renewable resource; not in the long term because we'll always have people to build up and then knock down. I mean in the short term. There's only so much to draw from in a 24 hour period. We can't count on one of the Olsen twins going in for some kind of rehab every single day. There's only so much we can draw from when we're posting daily, if not more often.

Take Britney Spears, for example. What else is left to say about Britney Spears? Yeah, maybe she's getting fat, maybe she can't really sing or act, maybe she's married to a wigga himbo man-whore. Fine. Now she's guest-starring on Will & Grace. Let's not all lose our heads now. First of all, is there anyone left who hasn't guest starred on Will & Grace? And second of all, does anyone still watch that show? Along with John Mayer and Barbecue Flavored Potato Chips, Will & Grace is something I've never understood the appeal of. It's not that I object to the gay content, I think I've made that clear here by now. As far as minorities of any kind go, you know me, I say "The more stereotype-y the better." It's just that the whole tone of that show has always been so shrill and self-congratulatory, well, it's practically a blog.

Which brings me back to my point. We run the risk of dropping into cultural irrelevancy if we can't find ways of distinguishing ourselves from one another. It may seem like your blog is relevant because it's all about you, but trust me, you aren't the first one to feel angsty and alienated because your parents suck or the boy you like doesn't like you back. That's the whole reason myspace exists.

Once that realization hits or we start to bore even ourselves, the plan of first resort is popular culture. We've all been there as well. Sloppy seconds is one thing. Sloppy 4,664,890ths is something else entirely.

I foresee a future where blogs are about totally random non sequiturs fed by people engaging their imaginations so we don't get a bunch of lame, gimmicky posts based on and limited entirely by things that happened to happen the day before. Like this one, for instance.

Really good blogs are about random crap other people aren't talking about like, for instance, breakfast cereal boxes or what kind of fruit we might like or whether or not it's windy where you are.

That's the good stuff.

Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like bloggers before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance, mostly with puns and pictures of monkeys wearing people-clothes. We will compete and excel in the global infotainment techno-highway. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this movement by sleeping late and reading other people's blogs instead of working. And so we move forward -- optimistic about ourselves, faithful to our cause, and confident of the victories to come.

May God bless the blogosphere.


This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.5



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