A smarter person would have stopped making fun of things by now. Because sure enough, anything that I really commit to open mockery, especially if I have done so on the record in a public forum (say, Thanksgiving dinner), is something I am sure to end up embracing later (with the exception of being tall… somehow no matter how much I blather about how stupid it must be to be able to reach the top shelf, I have remained a bottom dweller in the cereal aisle). The examples of this phenomenon in my life are many and varied — stick around here for a while and I am sure you will spot them.
But to the point at hand. Why would I have mocked blogging? Well, first of all, because it has an ugly name. I assume Al Gore came up with it, right after he invented the internet, because who else would think such an ugly word was clever? It is bad enough that we assume that anybody cares about our many and varied thoughts about (fill in the blank). But then we give it an ugly name and call it self expression.
I am more prone to reading food blogs than any other kind, and I have oft been made to wonder if infantilizing one’s readers is a prerequisite to writing a blog. Was it actually necessary to post 18 pictures of how to scoop flour into a measuring cup? Who uses measuring cups anyway? If you’re lucky, the man who handles my website (from here on out, we shall refer to him only as the Superior Nephew) will stick a picture up every now and again, so best to start sending him fruit baskets and tickets to Broadway musicals now if you are hoping for even a glimmer of visual respite from my wordiness.
This leads us, obviously, to blog hair. It is one of the greater mysteries on the internet to me, and one of the most challenging issues when I attempt to stop mocking blogging: every blog seems constructed in basically the same way — cutesy name at the top, ads all aflutter, too many pictures of absolutely nothing or of the author’s adorable kids (because seriously, what are you supposed to say? Gee whilikers, I am glad I saw your toddler stuffing his face with what I hope is peanut butter. That’s… adorable…), and then a little box off to the right introducing the author with something like, “Hi! I am Kayliee! My parents had trouble with vowels and I love the simple life” and so on, and then there is a picture of their smiling face. And now to the mystery: they all have the exact same haircut! How is that possible?? These are blogs written by women from around the country, different ages and situations in life, different blog content (sometimes), and yet somehow they all go to the same hairdresser? The mind reels.
I have prepared my crow with care today and plan to chow down. That’s right. Meet UnPublish: the blog of Barbara Braendlein. I expect at least one of us will have a ripe old time here, peering at the world through the squints of old age and belly laughter, and commenting on what I see (don’t worry — with each passing year, the number of things I see gets fewer. This could end fairly quickly). You might glean encouragement or Biblical knowledge, you could get inspired to go play in your kitchen, you might decide to name your car or to attempt liquid eyeliner. You might just be driven to mock blogging.
Beware about that last one, though. In my experience, it comes back to bite you.