November 17, 2007

Reason number 19: There are better ways to ask girls out

Gawker on the trend among some in New York to blog about cute girls on the subway, in the hope that attractive women who want to meet men are - what? - taking RSS feeds from crazed people.
First of all, if you're blogging about a cute girl instead of saying hi to her, you're a pussy. We want to date men. And men do not see a cute girl, do nothing, and then go home and blog about it.

November 18, 2005

Reason number 18: Just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should

I'm back, and I don't even have to write this one. Thanks to Go Flock Yourself, for this and everything else.

November 13, 2005

Reason number 17: More people to misunderstand you

marcelmarbella has a few things to say about our blog.

someone says that there is no point in establishing a blog .... rather dumb if this is beeing argued on HIS OWN BLOG

He's got us bang to rights on the logic, but fails to appreciate some of the subtleties. There are enough people in London (where I live) who fail to appreciate all of my subtleties. Do I also need them in Marbella?

Reason number 16: Comment spam

Minutes after the last post, I got this comment.

You have a great blog here! I have a scented candle site. You can find everything about scented candle as well as candle supplies, gel candles, jar candles, and how to make your own candles. You'll find it very informative. Check it out when you can :)

There are so many things wrong here. It is deeply irrelevant and - what's worse - there is some software that thinks a post in praise of misanthropy equates with the kind of people who buy scented candles. Artificial intelligence has a hell of a long way to go.

Reason number 15: Misanthropy is frowned on

I like misanthropy, I believe it to be healthy and under-appreciated. What upsets me is when people are relentlessly positive and bubbly and think everyone else should be too. They think everyone is lovely, all their friends are beautiful (there are sadly few poeple for who this is true) and anyone who deviates from this worldview is some sort of deviant.

I came across a thread vanity-googling for this site that, I think, provides a good illustration of the kind of abuse that misanthropes have to put up with in their daily lives. The Dutch, a poster, makes the entirely reasonable proposition that blogs are shite and "Google [has] been fucked right up by a shitload of whiney blogging twats who, for some reason, want to share EVERY bloody moment of their vapid little lives."

He goes on to describe blogging as the "most self-obsessed, masturbatory thing you could possibly do" (surely not more than wanking?) and therefore gets a lot of people telling him he is evil and wrong. Best of all, that if you don't like a blog then don't read it. I'm still crying with laughter at that last point. Who reads diary blogs anyway? His reply warmed my cold cold heart.

But then I don't get to act bitter and hateful towards a bunch of strangers, and if the internet isn't here for that reason then I don't know WHAT the hell it's for.

Reason number 14: This blows

I've been thinking for a while that we're never going to find the 101 distinct things wrong with blogs that will allow this blog to fulfill its destiny.

What I (or we, if Gutenberg ever gets back on board) may do is begin to post links to the worst blogs we find. This is perhaps a bit meanspirited but this is is a blog born of mean spirits. And we think it is pretty shite too.

The first in this series (if you ignore the post about Puppy Dog Tales) is the blog of the HK delegation in World Harmonica Festival 2005.

This is how it describes itself.

This is the first of many Blogs created by the Delegation. As the story develops, it has become apparent that one single Blog is not the best way to present it. Consequently, this Blog has become the trunk of a tree, with off-shooting branches that record individual events or describe more special topics. These branches can be found as Links to Related Sites in this Blog's side bar.

But that really doesn't do justice to the pictures.

November 08, 2005

Reason number 13: Small but unexpected addendums

From the blog recounting Guardian Unlimited "political blogger" Matthew Tempest (as his Wikipedia entry has his job description) at the 2003 European Social Forum - a place where lots of leftwing types get together and imagine how much better the world could be if more people thought like them. Despite the peace, love, harmony, etc. it is also the kind of place for the kind of people will write a "small but unexpected addendum" on the delights of the French communist party HQ.
A small but unexpected addendum to the blog. After a very pleasant afternoon admiring the architecture of the Paris office of the communist party - I can't find any piccies online, but this is the sort of thing Niemeyer does - it was home time.

Yes, I know Niemeyer is bigger than any political creed but while the day of leisure write up is a straight out of reason 4, it is this blog's contention that only a political blogger (see reason 10) could write anything quite so strange.

October 13, 2005

Reason number 12: I can't text a podcast

The audio version of Blogs are shite is at the development stage at the moment, very probably never to see the light of day. This is not because we feel a similar level of hostility to podcasts but because they can be quite useful. For example, if I miss something I want to hear on my Rapid Audio Download In Operation device (which I also refer to as a radio) I can perhaps find it somewhere as a podcast.

The problem in the future of these things is that they are actually less interactive than the existing technology. For example, a radio - especially a pirate station - will build a community of listeners (ok, ok "users") and employ texts, calls, and shout outs to maintain a dialogue. A little, in fact, like the comments section on a blog.

The podcast suffers by comparison. In a world of emerging two-way media it is no more than a monologue. If you don't believe me, try calling one up and asking for your favourite song.

Reason number 11: A lot of them are dead

OK - so it has been painful, painful, painful but we needed to demonstrate how easy it is for these things to die. As a situationist prank we decided to add nothing at all until today.

Please add something in the comments if you are actually reading and feel this post has improved your day.

March 01, 2005

Reason number 10: Political bloggers are insane and yet boring

These are busy times: Gutenberg has just renounced movable type (the reformation-era technology, not the CMS) and is doing some very hard thinking about his future; while I am preparing for an extended blog break (a holiday). So the latest reason is not from us at all, but from Wonkette. What follows is a conversation between the site's returning author and the "fake" standing in for her over the previous four weeks.
Fake Wonkette: [...] you know, I'd never read political blogs before. I had no idea these people were so utterly fucking insane.
Real Wonkette: Insane and yet boring. Which is impressive, in its own way! So glad blogs exist for those people.
Fake Wonkette: Truly! What did they do before blogs?
I'm sure Gutenberg would agree. Wherever he is.

February 21, 2005

Reason number 9: 'Global blogging action day'

A pretty scathing summary of the "Global blogging action day" from our friends over at Threadwatch, which accuses the organisers of thinking less passionately of the Iranian bloggers they claim to support than they are of their own "marketing". An equally good question is: what kind of "action" are they going to get up to? Are they going to put even ruder words in their internet diaries? Post more than twice in the same day? Get, you know, really, really angry and like, do stuff? It's enough to make you think maybe blogs are a good thing. What if these people weren't writing them, and directed their energies into getting up from their computers?

Reason number 8: The vast rightwing conspiracy

Iain Duncan Smith, perhaps the most unsuccessful Tory leader ever, believes British conservatives can imitate their American soulmates in order to, I quote, "put the fear of God into the metropolitan elites." Quite how an MP of many years standing who represents a constituency in the south-east and is no doubt on good terms with plenty of "elite" types himself (have you ever seen the Tory party?) can think of himself as an outsider is beyond me - but I guess politics is all in the illusions.

Note also the solipsism of the defeated politician, he believes that everyone who is not with him is against him. Even the British media (which can be quite conservative) deserves a challenge from his political bedfellows, according to non-Metropolitan, non-elite Mr Duncan Smith. Keen readers will also detect elements of reasons 3 and 5.
The blogosphere will become a force in Britain, and it could ignite many new forces of conservatism. The internet's automatic level playing field gives conservatives opportunities that mainstream media have often denied them.
It's like the Daily Mail never existed.

February 17, 2005

Reason number 7: Nihi sub sole novum

We knew this wasn't particularly revolutionary, but it was with a mixture of sadness and delight that we found this post over at Threadwatch, which eloquently sets out our own Reason number 1 and Reason number 2. Go that man, or rather "hat-tip".

February 15, 2005

Reason number 6: The phrase 'hat tip'

While this blog supports giving credit where credit's due, both Gutenberg and I have problems with the phrase "hat tip". This, of course, is form by which one blogger tips his hat to another for a good find. Our issue is it is the kind of folky-colloquial nonsense no one ever says. It is only one step away from "a tip of the proverbial", for goodness sake. In common with all other uses of the word "proverbial" (except where you are describing the nature of a proverb) it is almost always used in the joshy-matey register of one who seldom speaks to others, but wants to give the impression of being a raconteur on those rare occasions that they do. So don't put your social insecurities out on show - if you want to say 'thanks' say it.

Reason number 5: They're SO self-important

Try this from Rony Abovitz's post on his part in forcing the resignation of Eason Jordan from CNN:

The last few weeks have felt like an epic, widescreen, pitched battle, with the uncontrollable blog swarm Huns overrunning the decaying Rome which is the mainstream media. Having breached the gates, one of the Ceasers is toppled. Inside the temples, the great works, the Huns set about to pillage. The priests quake, shout. There is great confusion. The world is a new, different place. There is a frightening speed to which this occurred, and a revolutionary tone colors it all.

My role? I can not claim to have been on the sideline of the avalanche, having accidentally set it off with the toss of a snowball. I rode in the with the blogger Huns, pointing out weaknesses in the gates of Rome, breaching it with all of them.

Is there anymore to add?

February 14, 2005

Reason number 4: I don't care about your dog

There. I've said it. I like dogs in the flesh but I find them tedious to read about: as far as I am concerned, Lassie is the exception that proves the rule. I also do not want to see pictures of dogs dressed up "for the holidays". Puppy Dog Tales is the first piece of evidence in the case for the prosecution.

February 03, 2005

Reason number 3: They're so self-important

Chris Alden discusses what happens when bloggers' rights are infringed.
Now, if I work for a business and spend my weekends putting signs up around town discouraging people from using their services, or deliver regular speeches to that effect in a pub, or use any other means of publicly and indiscriminately communicating my distaste for my employers, I would expect to be disciplined at the least, and possibly sued for slander or libel. If I do this sort of thing on a blog (which is a saintly process no one would ever use to settle a score) then it would seem I can rely on a special privilege, under which it is my rights which are in danger, and not the rights of my employer to go about their lawful business without unaccountable attacks being made on their character.

February 02, 2005

Reason number 2: Formats are not in themselves interesting

Most people are familiar with the idea that you cannot believe everything you read in the newspapers. Just because what you are reading is black ink on white paper under a fancy masthead it does mean it is true.

So why are blogs interesting? Because someone is typing something on a computer and publishing it with plenty of links to people who do the same thing, that does not mean they are plugged into some sort of superior thought system. It does not make them very 'now'. When you factor in the lifting from and commentating on other blogs, it in fact makes them very 'then'.

It is this blogs contention that blogs are not inherently interesting. And that bloggers themselves are only as good as the last thing they wrote.

Reason number 1: It's just a content management system

It's a nice content management system. It's very simple, and very easy for laymen to use. But it's just a content management system, and at base it's not that different to just writing in html and using ftp to put the result on a webserver; for the purposes of this blog, for instance, we could easily have an html page, update it with a new paragraph every other day and re-upload it. (Don't ask why we don't. Or do, it'll give us an excuse for another rant.)

There are better content management systems, and there are simpler ways of publishing idle thoughts. So welcome it as a nice, user-friendly CMS, but don't call it a revolution.