Thursday, 8 January 2009

...when it's so bad it's good

I'm back (yayyy!) at work (boooo!) after a lovely camping trip to the Grampians (yayyy!) which went all too quickly (boooo!). The east Gippsland trip didn't eventuate, so we headed west to the trusty ole Gramps, into the heart of the Victoria Valley and away from the crowds. It's funny how when you plan a trip you think about doing some bushwalking, climbing a mountain or two, ride bikes around, etc (or is that just me?), but in the end you spend most of the time dozing in a hammock, drinking cold beer and wondering if 2 hours is a long enough gap between breakfast and lunch (yayyy!)
And hats off to those involved in the protection of one the worlds most unique and endangered forests with the recent announcement of the long overdue Barmah National Park. The folk at the Victorian National Parks Association should get a bloody medal for this. In fact 160,000 hectares across the state has been protected from the type vandalism that used to be called 'a few local jobs for the boys'. May the earth's splendorous biodiversity that remains in the few surviving wild places live long and prosper, albeit under extremely trying times and with a most uncertain future.

So now I look down the barrel of 2009 and from the outset it's looking much like the previous year and aside from now being a married man, impending plans to buy a house, quit smoking, find a new career and conceive a child, its business as usual.

On blogging, I'm still waiting for that rich, eccentric, old spinster to offer me $10,000 per month to continue spewing my try-hard witticisms into the interwebs. Old lady, I'll do two posts a day if that helps and I can't wait forever. That's a threat, not a promise.

Now I read other peoples blogs a bit, though not as much as I used to. There's a few I like to follow because they are consistently a good read. And there's a few I follow, not because they are a particularly good read, but as a courtesy (bloggers need bloggers). But there's a few I have followed not because they are a good read or as a courtesy, but because they are so goddam awful! They are so bad they are beyond belief, and therefore are kind of funny and memorable and piques ones curiosity. Woody Allen is known for saying "Sex is like pizza. Even when its bad, its good" and he's obviously saying that as a man and not a woman, but maybe blogging is the metaphorical pizza. Here's what I mean...

1. The Quest for Comedic Stardom

I don't know how I stumbled across this one but this US blogger decided to start a blog charting her anticipated rise to fame and glory to become the greatest US comedian ever. Only problem is that she's not funny. I always assumed that being amusing was a prerequisite to being a successful comedian, not just an unwavering belief in one's own capabilities, though I'm not sure if she was actually trying to be funny or was just incapable of being even the slightest bit amusing. Her posts consisted of links to other blogs from people that may have been slightly amusing to someone, interviews with successful comedians and YouTube videos of apparently funny people and things, with the occasional rant about how disorganised she is and how one day soon her career will take off and how you should subscribe to her (no doubt hilarious) emails and RSS feeds. I had to check back every now and then, just to see if one day she eventually figured out what the job description of 'Comedian" actually was. The blog was abandoned last year for a new and improved site Standup Comedy 101, which lasted one post and also appears to have been abandoned last May. Gotta love those Americans and their unshakeable optimism for self improvement.

2. The Other Cheek

I rarely look at this one because visiting blogs is tantamount to supporting them, and Andrew Landeryou's blog deserves no such support. At first I seriously thought he was taking the piss out of angry, right-wing bloggers, then I realised this guy is the ultimate aggro right-wing blogger. For those who don't know, Landeryou is known in Melbourne for bankrupting the Melbourne University Student Union in 2003 and for being sued by Solomon Lew for $3 million over a shonky business. Needless to say, the bloke has a few enemies. But rather than gracefully fade into obscurity, Landeryou set up 'The Other Cheek', his "Blog of Freedom!" which he shoots barbs from the windows of his mysterious "Tower of Power". His rants take aim at his plethora of enemies in politics, the media and business. The Labor Party (of which he was once a member) takes a pretty big chunk of Andrew's hateful venom, and the left in general. Solomon Lew took up a fair bit of blog space a while ago, though he cut that out after legal threats and now Sollie doesn't get a look in (so much for AL's strong belief in freedom of speech and anti-censorship beliefs) and predictably, The Age newspaper gets a fair bit of mention for it's left-wing bias, which apparently has nothing to do with the paper's investigative reporting of AL's dodgy dealings. Oh, and the Republican Party is regularly showered with praise for "defending our freedom" in Iraq and Sophie Mirabella is a Saint and anyone who thinks otherwise is smelly, leftist, commie, arab filth. Pretty nasty stuff. Sure I support everyone's right express whatever they feel about things, but when your blog is so bitchy, hateful and negative, it becomes a bit of a joke. Ah blogging. The last refuge for the disempowered scoundrel!

(This here criticism is likely to get me a nasty response from AL, from the fair assumption that he Googles himself daily, being the narcissistic, meglamaniac he is. But I'd be honoured to make his ever-growing enemy list and I could do with the publicity. "Game On!")

3. Lucy, I would like to improve my English

This one really shouldn't be here because it's not a bad blog and is actually quite sweet, though if I were an English teacher or pedantic about correct spelling and grammar, it would be pretty crap (evin thogh pobodys nerfect). Lucy is an average Japanese working Mum, making her way through life in Kawasaki, Japan and dedicated to the cause of learning English. Lucy gets top marks for dedication, as I've learnt through some of my OS friends just how much of a bitch of a language English is to learn, and she set up her own blog to help her. Here posts are short, sweet and whimsical, almost Haiku-like in structure, though I'm now sharing a blase, highly western-eyed observation. She loves food, and stuff', and you can learn a lot about Japanese food, the real stuff, not just Teriyaki and Nori rolls. I am fond of Engrish (its so endearing) and I know that could be seen as condescending, but I like to help Lucy from time to time. Perhaps you should too?

There's lots of other blogs that could rate a mention for me, but some may be too close to the fractured blog 'community' that I generally revolve in so I'd better not (yes, like AL, I self-censor). Surely I'm not alone in this? Do you, dear readers have any 'bad' blogs you would like to share with me, ones you have checked out more than once because you are stunned by it's complete and utter awfulness? Or any good ones for that matter? I need a new good blog or two, ones that aren't too self-obsessive or arrogant or high-brow (unless they are so much so they are fascinating), but are written well enough to get away with almost anything. Please induldge me.



At 9 January 2009 at 15:09 , Blogger The Blakkat said...

I thought you went out of blogging commission yikes ago. Pleasantly surprised to see you're back at it. I haven't been doing much blogging - good, bad or indifferent - myself so haven't found any God-awfuls to report, but the moment I find one I'll be sure to let you know.

At 9 January 2009 at 22:21 , Blogger meva said...

I keep cruising in to read the same old, same old. And if I do it's because they're good. (I'm reading you, aren't I?)

Noone reads me, so I guess I'm not even goddawful! Which is okay with me. I'm shy.

At 9 January 2009 at 22:38 , Blogger Terence McDanger said...

Personally, it's the sex and the city bloggers that get me. All pink, sparkly schlock about shopping and eating chocolate and every one of them is just the same thing over and over again.

I've never surfed there voluntarily or anything, I was using Now there's an experience that would open your eyes to some SHITE blogs!

At 11 January 2009 at 20:00 , Blogger kiki said...

she's terrible.
she's gone on this big adventure overseas and has the most over the top diary ever

as for your holiday, i was in the Grampians too. Love it

At 12 January 2009 at 10:38 , Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

Blakkat - I've been recommissioned. It's a bit like one of John Farnham's farwell tours he rolls out every few years.

Meva - I read your blog, just I haven't done so for a while (will pop over in a minny). Anyway, you get more comments than me, not that I'm jealous or anything :oI

TD - There are a lot of Sex and the City type stuff going on. I somtimes check them out, though I don't understand a bloody word they are trying to say (something about shoes usually). They'd probably feel the same if they ever stumble across mine. Blogexplosion eh? Sounds like a veritable goldmine of awfulness.

Kiki - Thanks for the links, they are terribly fascinating. Jennifer's is particularly intersting. I didn't know it was possible to say so little with so many words.

Re Grampians, great minds think alike. You don't have full arm tattoos do you?

At 12 January 2009 at 19:40 , Blogger kiki said...

i'm clean. we rose at 4am one morning to catch the sunrise at Mt William. glorious.

Jenifer and the other blog are the same girl.

At 13 January 2009 at 09:05 , Blogger Melba said...

Andrew Landeryou used to google himself regularly. I know this because he left a comment on my blog when I started it, because he'd found it, because I'd mentioned him. The only reason I had mentioned him was that I'd read in the paper that he had a blog and I'd gone to look at it, and seen that it was the same template as mine (at that stage, godawful green.) SO, it became like a game, I would sometimes say in my blog something like "I can summon Andrew Landeryou at will, just like clicking my fingers don't you know?" and then he would appear in the comments saying "You rang?" kind of thing. So apart from that glimmer of humour, I agree, his blog is scarily vitriolic and right-wing and I haven't been there for years.

I wonder if you'll get a comment now from him, and I may even get a wave across the comment box!

Sorry for the blathering.

At 14 January 2009 at 23:43 , Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

Melba - And I thought you'd need a pentagram and some goat blood to summon AL. Ah well, it's bit like fishing really.

Please come and blather away here anytime, blatherer.

At 16 January 2009 at 14:35 , Blogger eleanor bloom said...

Sorry. I don't like bad blogs clogging up my aura, as mesmerising as car wrecks as they may be.
(Oh, except for mine of course)
The ones I've seen are usually about patchwork quilting, Christianity, scrapbooking or completely ego-ridden (and if someone has a powerful ego I prefer to deflate it than encourage it by increasing his/her I'm-so-great-o-meter by visiting their blog).
(oh, except for you of course)


At 17 January 2009 at 18:00 , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

As with Terence McD, the shockers I've encountered are always courtesy of Blog Explosion or 'Battle of the Blogs' for some optimism over shite. If you have a couple of hours to waste and can eat and drink whilst surfing them, you'll find plenty more boggy blogs, I assure you.


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