Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Now I Get It!

Do you folks get the feeling sometimes that a lot of blog entries are pretty similar? Like, "last fall I went on vacation and met this guy," "We went to Bermuda on vacation last fall and rented scooters," "I had a bad fall on my scooter and missed out on vacation." It makes me feel like such a loser, sitting at home and googling around for material to write about while the cool kids race laughing through an eternal vacation festooned with beautiful autumn leaves.

Well I just figured it out. Down at the bottom of Blogger's "New Post" window is a little line that says

Labels for this post:

e.g. scooters, vacation, fall

If you use Blogger, check it out the next time you post.
Why even google? There was a fertile field of discussion right under my nose the whole time.


Blogger HA HA HA said...

What you don't know is that the cool kids, lost eternally in their own private autumnal hell, are making that stuff up about the scooters.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

LOL private autumnal hell.

But, no, right, yeah, exactly! I mean those particular three words "scooter" "fall" and "vacation" are the SAMPLE keywords at the bottom of Blogger's "new post" screen.

10:52 AM  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

I did actually figure that out, though it took a while. Once I did, I realized it was a very, very good post.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Cool. I'm a little worried about my uneven post quality lately.

Do you just flap posts out there as soon as you finish typing, or do you let them kick around as drafts for a while. Because I think I need to do the draft thing.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

And have you seen Desargues around lately? I think it's been a few weeks.

DA? You still there?

11:30 AM  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

Well, I revise varyingly as I write them, usually pretty obsessively. Then I post while it's still steaming (er...) and re-revise later (quite aside from UPDATEs, I mean) in cold blood. Hutton does that too, I've noticed.

I don't think people appreciate just how much thought I put into my careless mistakes. This is why I take 45 minutes to make a quesadilla. But it's a damned fine fucking quesadilla, let me tell YOU.

Haven't seen D.A. anywhere either. I think the last I saw him you were tactfully gouging him in the eye about Internet Political Polemic Syndrome. I hope he didn't take it personally.

12:18 PM  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

I was thinking actually this morning that you're on a roll lately. Even if you weren't, it's better to post stuff that's at least readable and vaguely amusing than to post nothing at all and lose readers.

All of it has been vastly better than my muttering about onions. At your best (e.g. autumnal scooter vacations) you're a bit subtle for the average reader, but that's what you do well (and hardly anybody does), so run with it.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Yeah I've been doing it something like that. But I think I've been flapping stuff out there earlier in the process than you have, or else putting it out there suddenly triggers a big "oh shit" response.

SO I've been finding that I revise a LOT after posting. And now this business of the comments softly and silently vanishing away on every sixth edit has got me pondering that approach.

But not only because of that. I've been reading some "humor blogs" at something like humor-blogs.com. And parts of them are hilarious, but somehow mixing in a relatively small dose of pathetically bad comedy can really mess up the overall mix.

Like some of the questions on my Personality quiz are really funny to me, but some of them are just trying to be funny. So maybe if I let things cook longer I would take the time to fix that. (I don't mind if the stuff isn't funny to other people, after all, I'm doing this to entertain myself. But I don't want to fail at THAT!)

12:30 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Well I really only intended to nudge DA. If I'd realized, I would have popped the eye back in. That's a great way to let people know that it's all in fun!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

I don't know about onions. I don't really 'get' the onions, but there's nothing sad or pathetic about them either. But

The great thing about personality quizzes as a literary form, though, is that the writer very easily takes the mantle of total authority. At least for a susceptible segment of readers.* There are limitations to what you can do with the format, but that is a major, major plus. Sooooo maybe I got away with the more pathetic would-be jokes better than I might have in another form.

*When I read those things I don't just answer the questions, I want to know how I scored. Even when I was digging up 'models' to ridicule last night, I took three or four tests and dutifully checked my results.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

So like the Wilford Brimley thing. I think I stole that from some old comic strip from like fifteen years ago, and it wasn't that funny even then. Blech. I can't even bear to edit it out now.

AND anyway it wouldn't be fair to people who have already taken the test! The scores need to be comparable.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

"sad or pathetic about them either. But" ...

Oh, right, I spaced there. I was going to say, ... But they are in the Harridan style that people expect from Bogol. Same for the guy eating the cross, IMOSHO. It's immediately recognizable as Arlington, and that's what I go there for. So maybe it's over my head, but I got my nice bolus of Bogol. See?

12:44 PM  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

Well, I think the thing with humor blogs is a lot like the thing with comedians, which is that if you're looking for something that's amusing you're at really kind of the wrong window.

Except political humor, which mines the ever-rich vein of "Gee, people who disagree with me are STUPID, aren't they? STUPID STUPID STUPID!" Which, I never get tired of that, except the ones who have stupid views themselves. I don't know what their problem is, but they're not funny at all. I think it says a lot about people who disagree with me, that they're not very funny. But it must be hard, being wrong, and knowing you're wrong, and that the only way you'll ever stop being wrong is to change your views until they're the same as mine. It drives them mad, I suppose, eventually. Poor devils...

w/r/t onions: Thank you. I vaguely felt that "damnable" excused it, somehow. I love that word. Maybe I'll do something about felt.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

No, and, yeah, I have sometimes wondered how long it takes you to get the Arlington* posts right at the edge of comprehensibility. People typically can't understand half of what I write, and I am not even trying to do that.

*Do you prefer Arlington or HA HA HA? I just assumed that the latter was not a name but the result of Arlington typing HA HA HA when his dumb computer insisted that username was a "required field." I have this whole picture in my mind.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Yeah, I guess the "humor blogs" thing is more a support group for people who want to be comedians, rather than a place to go for something funny. I dunno, the site gave me the heebie jeebies. (Wait a sec while I type "Heebie Jeebies" in as a draft post title. Content TBA.)

"I think it says a lot about people who disagree with me, that they're not very funny. But it must be hard, being wrong, and knowing you're wrong, and that the only way you'll ever stop being wrong is to change your views until they're the same as mine. It drives them mad, I suppose, eventually. Poor devils..."

Heh. I agree, political humor blogs that ridicule something that bugs me can be an endless source of amusement. Sort of like drinking heavily back when I used to do that. But yeah it's mostly a schtick, because when you go and check the links and stuff, the whole house of cards starts to get very wonky. (Which, if we had powerful enough brains to remember that it was only HUMOR, would be fine. Who analyzes Monty Python?) And but then it becomes less funny.

My technique is I try to read all the entries very fast, back to the founding of the blog, before I have a chance to think. That way I laugh myself sick for 36 hours and feel kind of ill later.

I sort of had this problem as a scientist too. I like doing good original research, it's cool, but I don't like it that much more than just reading about other people's good work. Maybe about twice as much. And it takes a hundred times as long.

1:13 PM  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

"HA HA HA" was what popped into my head at the moment when he sprang from my brow over in Hutton's comments back in 2004. I didn't at the time anticipate having to live with it for more than three minutes. But then when I created the blog I had just walked past John Singleton Copley's grave on the Common, on my way to the Arlington St. Green Line station, and it all meshed. Glad I thought of the name; it humanized him. Er, me, Arlington, are humanized. Right! Heh heh. Ummm... Heh.

I've seen some things on political "humor" blogs that I do believe were actually funny, but it's so tough to be sure, with all the partisan miasma, I'm not even willing to provide an example.

Of course, it's also possible that political humor is just fine, and it's our perception of it that's warped by partisanism.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

So 'you' go by either name?

Dude, if my perceptions were warped, I think I would, like, be the first one to know about it. Sheesh!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Er, so that second part there was satire ....

2:13 PM  

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