Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Content With Self Gratification

My father didn’t live with us, my mother was at work, my sister was with her friends, I was playing Risk by myself. I was only nine but displayed an intense code of honor and integrity as I fairly represented the interests of each color army in turn. I had an internal dialog about each army’s strategy, which I kept confidential from the other players. I was a solitary kind of guy. Look it up: solitary is not synonymous with lonely.

One year in high school I ate lunch every day with the same kid. Just the two of us. He did not like eating. He ate a tuna fish sandwich for lunch. Every. Day. All. Year. I thought about how, at least, I wasn’t that guy. I told my daughter about that recently and she nearly cried. I had never thought there was anything sad about it. My part, that is.

I took a creative writing class in college. For fun. For one assignment I wrote a satiric piece in which I severely disappointed the muse assigned to inspire my writing. The subconscious moral to myself, according to my internal shrink, was that it’s not really failing if have pretended you have no goal.. The piece also included a paragraph subtly mocking the writing of one of my classmates; he was compelled to laugh and so could not hit me.

I loved creative writing but I majored in economics because it was fascinating and also a better career path. I never missed an “early-Friday” Thursday party in the dorm or a Friday party, for that matter.. Consequently I had a lot of b-pluses in my econ classes. I joked with my advisor about how that hurt my feelings, so on my next term paper he gave me a B +++++++. That was pretty funny. Right?

Sometimes at a party I may be sitting by myself. It may look like I’m thinking about how hard it is to meet people or make small talk. Possibly I’m just making up parody lyrics to whatever song is playing. Interactive communication is hard. At a comedy club though, I can talk to people. From the stage. When they laugh, it’s a heady concoction of approval and acceptance that makes people willing to jump off that cliff and risk rejection. In that moment, I understand drug addiction.

This blog doesn't have much of a consistent theme but i try to be humorous. I joined HumorBloggers dot com to, admittedly, try and expand readership. that group was a nice social network who all supported each other and wanted to write quality humor. I am just not much of a joiner and eventually dropped out. It wasn't them, it was me.

Many months ago I saw this site called “Ask and Ye Shall Receive”; it’s a blog review site. I submitted my blog. I didn’t really care that much what they thought. I was just curious. I read a lot of their reviews of other blogs over the intervening months. They like stuff that is different than what I write. More revealing. In fact, they have now reviewed this blog and found it funny, but lacking in personal, visceral exposure. It’s a great review, though; amounting to a grade of B++++++++++

That’s pretty funny. Right?

I’d say I was pretty happy about it but, you know, it’s not that important what people I don’t know think about my writing.

(I don't quite understand what AAYSR has against HumorBloggers - or had. HumorBloggers has disappeared which I fear was not because i left them, but may be because of extended illness suffered by founder, Chelle. I really hope she's doing okay and I think there were a lot of nice and funny people in the group).


Susan said...

Who was the tuna sandwich person?

JohnnyB said...

Steve Glicklich

Madame Bellicose said...

Lovely response. I think you underestimate what 4 stars is though. Rather than being a B++++++++++, I think it's more like an A; an IFLY being more like an A+++++++++++++++++. To be honest, I've never yet given out an IFLY in my reviews because I think it should be reserved for blogs where I can't see any point of possible improvement, in fact, your blog is the highest review I've ever given.

My complaint with humor bloggers is the rating system. How often readers can be convinced to click on a blog hardly determines how funny that blog is, or if it is indeed funny at all. Most of the humor bloggers I came across seem obsessed with this idea of getting higher up in their ratings and I found it strange. I have found that some bloggers association with humor bloggers has hindered them from doing ANYTHING other than a certain flavor of humor, and like I said, I think humor can be found in many places where it is unexpected and I think that's a kind of humor I find the most admirable, probably because I ain't got it. Maybe I'm just dark or something.

I get it that humor bloggers was a social networking community for people, and maybe you came across some really talented writers that way, maybe you thought it was a good outlet for exposure. I've never been one to try to expose my own blog in any other way besides simply commenting on other bloggers sites that I enjoy. I understand the appeal though of wanting your voice heard by the more the merrier.

I guess the blogs I enjoy are much like the people I enjoy: funny a lot of the time, funny most of the time, but with a million other things about them that also make me love them and especially identify with them.

Anyway, I was delighted to review your blog, usually it's quite the chore but this time not at all.

JohnnyB said...

Madamn, Thank you. That you gave my blog your highest ever rating is very cool, even if it blows my B+++++++ econ grade analogy. But, of course, it's not about the ratings ;-)
I get your comments on humor blogger blogs though I think Humor Bloggers dot com was less about ratings than others - but no reason to belabor a moot point.
Thanks again, IFLYour review.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Blog and review!