An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Uh-Oh, It's Crisis Time

So, I had this great idea for a post about funny banner ads that appear over my Yahoo! Mail account:

There's the one with the picture of a comely Indian girl who is, allegedly, "Sonalii: 22" and the text below implores you to: "Make her a propose now."

Then there's the one offering me durable medical and home safety supplies.

And the one aboue the Christian mom making $5,000 a week from home. I mean-- why would I even need to click that to "find out more?" She's obviously a prostitute, right?

So, I had the idea and then I just... didn't feel like it. You know? I just... didn't. And there was no editor chomping on a cigar or angrily shoving his thumbs in his suspenders or into my eyes, compelling me to meet my deadline. Nobody threatened to fire me or dock my pay. No newspapers discontinued my circulation. You may have noticed that in recent posts I haven't been putting much, or any, energy into searching for funny pictures with which to hyperlink. I'm lazing off. Saturday was a re-run. I didn't make a post Sunday, and nobody kicked up a fuss. I kind of don't feel like doing one today either.

I don't know.... it's hot. And I'm at work. Shouldn't I be working?

Aren't I a bad person?

Here's the thing: from June until today, after 363 Pudd'nhead Nathan blog posts and 76 My Masonic Apron blog posts, I suddenly started to think about what I was doing, and why. Here's the answer to the latter at least: I don't know. I'm "anonymous" right? The quotes are because old friends of mine that I want to read this blog can read it and know who I am, but new people can read it and have no idea who I am. It's personal, but anonymous. I hope. I keep work out of this because I don't want to get fired and because I have a big, obscene mouth.

Fuckin' aye.

Why do you blog? I don't know. Maybe you're a poet, maybe you have some personal shit to work out, maybe you have frustrations and anxieties and dreams that you want to share. Not to sound like an arrogant sonofabitch, I blog because I'm a reasonably effective writer. I can make a reader feel things-- not always good things, admittedly. But I blog because I enjoy writing, and I've come to terms with the fact that the chances of getting hired to do it professionally are pretty slim, especially in the current economy.

I don't know what my blogging is becoming. I'm obsessed with my statistics-- who's reading and how often, where are they coming from, how did they get to me, how many 20something bloggers "friends" do I have, how can I get more? What can I do to blogvertise without becoming unanonymous? I know there are bloggers who've been out there doing their thing for four, five, six, seven years-- they have a hundred or two hundred followers, thousands and thousands of hits a day.... Comments after comments after comments after comments--

Comments are the golden nuggets, aren't they? And we seek them hungrily. Why?

What's happening to me? Is this healthy? No, I don't think so.

Maybe it's burn out. My average output is two significantly-sized blog posts a day-- and a three-post-day is not wholly unusual for me. Is that necessary? Is it any wonder sometimes I struggle for content? I mock bloggers who post a YouTube video and write maybe a paragraph under it-- is that blogging? I don't know. I don't think it is. But who am I to say?

I suppose every blogger confronts this particular animal at some point in their non-career. Humans are often bothered with existential bullshit questions of the "why am I doing this?" ilk. Animals only have instinct-- they're not so easily troubled or conflicted.

I started blogging because I thought it would be good for me. A situation arose where I got into serious professional trouble because of a personal essay of mine that got published in an e-literary journal under my real name. Some of the things I said in the piece were not very nice, as I'm sure you can imagine. I got in deep, deep shit. So, in an effort to reclaim the power of my pen and my voice, I took to the blogosphere under a bullshit pseudonym, because I needed to get my legs back again. And it was good for me. Now, though, I'm not so sure it's good for me anymore.

Maybe I can keep going, just not at the same prolific rate at which I was blogging before-- because that's just nuts. And I know most of the reason I put up new content as often as I do is because I want to keep peoples' interest. But why? Why does that concern me so much? I don't know. Maybe because I've always seen myself as an entertainer, someone whose role is to engage an audience. Maybe that's the trouble.

Maybe I need to give up looking at the blog tracker, too. Just-- pretend it isn't there. If people want to read, if they can be cool with variable interval reinforcement, then that's fine. If they can't, well, there are only 78 gabijillion other blogs out there to be enjoyed. And some of them actually have content by competent, capable, courageous writers.

Most of them just have fucking YouTube videos, though.

I guess this post is a message that things are going to change around here. It's also a ramble, and it's a cry for help, and it's a question, and it's an answer, too. To those of you whom I'll be inevitably losing as My Masonic Apron becomes a different place: a place where I'll be writing only when very, very moved to do so, thanks for hanging around-- for giving me a chance to bend your ear, for sharing a little piece of me with you. I mean that. Thank you. For those of you who will stick it out for a while yet, well, you're pretty great, too.

The blogosphere is a strange place. It's one I never thought I'd enter, but I'm glad it's here. And I'm glad you're here, too.


  1. What if blogging evolved to be an animal instinct? We'd be finding crappy mock-pictures of You-Tube Videos that they saw through a window scrawled in the dirt that once was your lawn of some woman squishing grapes or singing a song. Then the comments would inevitably contain a heaping pile of shit from a discontent follower.

    I wonder what the frogs would say. They croak 24 hours a day. Is this some form of audio-blog. Or is it more of some animal-blog's advertisement - horny frogs looking to get laid? Yet another instinct.

    My dog lacks the blogging instinct. I put him at the computer and he shies away, afraid to type with his cumbersome paws. He says "live in the now, bitch". But I disagree with that. He'd do very well on Twitter.

    So why do we do this? I'd say who cares... but then someone would say 'I care' and throw a wrench in my whole dismantling of this existential machine. I think you approached it. THe real golden nugget. Not comments - but connections. Knowing that you've found people's work to read and that people have found your blog and read it. It almost justifies being an author of sorts, published or not. You've made connections. Comments just affirm that readers agree or disagree with your post, or answer a question you leave for them. But if that's not your style, then comments are just there because the reader really felt the need to express that they appreciate your blog.
    This is why a well-written blog will never amount to the number of comments as posting a picture of Courtney Love high or a You-Tube Video of David Hasselhoff drunk.

    Back to animal blogs...

  2. You're such a girl. Quit being so damn introspective about blogging, make peace with your inner attention whore (i have), and post something to distract me from the hell my life is fast becoming. Now.


  3. What the fuck? I am hooked on this blog. I have said it numerous times that I enjoy this blog. I hope you keep it up. I for one am an avid fan of your work but unlike a book when you shut this down I wont be able to peruse old words that made me laugh.
    Either way I will always have a look everyday to see if you posted anything and will be saddened when its all over.
    The End for now..

  4. ...sigh....nothing I say is going to change your I'll leave you with...I enjoy your blog. When I get to work in the morning and all the chaos has died down, I open your blog and read and read. It's something I enjoy...something I look forward to.
    I understand about just not wanting to do it anymore...the reason your writing is so good is because you want to write...if the desire goes've answered your own question.

  5. blog crisis!!!

    don't quit!

    and hey, i don't JUST have youtube videos on my blog :P

    i get that way too.. obsessed with my statistics.

    dude, just chill.

    yeah, blogging is for narcissists.

    we all are.




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