jimagain

Rants & ramblings of the disaffected

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

How to Write Blogs That No One Reads!

Over the course of the past two years I have managed to distinguish myself with an impressive portfolio of mediocre blogs that have been largely ignored. To the untrained amateur, it would appear to be largely due to my complete lack of literary ability to string together a few coherent sentences but my wife assures me it’s only because I suck at writing. While other bloggers routinely produce quality efforts that attract a large segment of the readership, my posts have mostly floundered in anonymity and neglect.

I however refuse to indulge in excessive self-pity but rather have resigned myself with a certain savoir faire to my marginal place in the literary universe. It is my karma! And so now I seek to attain a Zen state of mediocrity which I would be content to occupy. That is, as long as I don’t think about all my unread posts languishing in cyberspace.

Part of the problem I face is that I have been forced to compete with impressive titles like, “Laundry Lists of Former Celebrities” or eye-grabbing articles that would make the National Enquirer blush. Then there are those scintillating topics, such as how to create artful crafts woven from excess nasal hair. I frequently find myself repeatedly smacking my forehead with the palm of my hand and asking myself why didn’t I think of that first?

Oh, I admit at first I was really miffed! I confess I too wanted to be popular and attract large numbers of readers who would deluge me with gushing reviews of my work until I blushed. I admit I was jealous of the other writers; the ones not like me who actually didn’t suck at writing. All of which left me to sulk from my petty perch of petulant self-pity as their blogs attracted significant number of readers who actually READ them.

There is however several advantages when it comes to being an anonymous writer that no one wants to read. For instance, I frequently make up completely bizarre and unfactual facts without fear of slander because no one will ever know.

I Love Conspiracy Theories!

I was desperately in need of something to write so I concocted an act of literary sabotage with complete impunity by reinventing history. Journalism, as a writing endeavor, is just a little too constricted for me since they expect you to maintain a semblance of integrity and at least appear objective. They actually frown on reporting events without actual evidence unless you happen to be Dan Rather or a Jayson Blair. All this means you are required to do painstaking research and cite your sources. This is why I prefer to hatch up kooky conspiracy theories so bizarre that only an idiot would believe. And so I surmise that my writings are largely ignored due to some obscure conspiracy theory based on some arrangement between Hubpages and the…um…the Illuminati. Yes that’s it! That must be why no one reads my Hubs. Darn those secret societies!

And then there was the blog I wrote about my most recent alien abduction which only appeared to be similar to the one I wrote about a recent UFO sighting. Fortunately I was able to write about these incidents in complete anonymity without all those annoying media satellite trucks parked in my front yard. Not to mention the incessant demands for interviews! Alien abduction stories are not considered the forte’ of intelligent readers but again, no one will ever know I wrote them.

I once hid out in the woods after dark in a desperate attempt to garner material for a Sasquatch sighting. Oh sure, you say. Another Sasquatch sighting? Ho, hum! This may not seem significant until you consider all the other fakers in the big fuzzy gorilla costumes you see in those badly blurred photographs are in on the conspiracy to discredit true Bigfoot sightings like mine. Actually there is no conspiracy which I surmise may be part of a larger conspiracy itself. No, wait! I remember now. It was Sasquatch and he was spotted…in a UFO and he’s engaged in some apocalyptic war with the Yetis . . .Yetis with light sabers!! Ok. I admit that was not one of my better efforts! I’d be really embarrassed about that one but since no one ever read it, I have not been banned by the Writer’s Guild. If I had really seen Bigfoot, I would have asked him to write my Hub for me. How about that, all you talented overachievers! Ha!

Oh, wait. Don’t tell me, you never read that one either!

Napoleon Flunked Geography!

And then there was the time I wrote about dating Brittany Spears…once. True story! I haven’t told any because after I broke up with her she was so despondent she shaved her head. Don’t go ask her about it; she can’t remember a thing since she was still in rehab at the time. But we had a great time together. In retrospect it may have just been a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Brittany but that’s beside the point.

I won’t stoop to the level of those who would insult your intelligence with worn out recounts of time-travel or the same old boring reincarnation drivel. Even I have a semblance of scruples as a writer however in a completely unrelated incident from my former life; I did know Napoleon in the third grade. That at least seemed like good material for another Hub. Back in the 17th century we used to hang out. After class we dusted erasers and talked about girls. Napoleon was actually a little dweeb which is why the other kids refused to sit with him during lunch, mostly because he insisted on wearing that funny sideways hat. So he resorted to organizing full scale armed revolts during recess when he should have been doing his book report. This made things difficult for the Principal since he often had to thwart his mad maniacal plots to take over grammar school and declare himself dictator. Once because he got a D-minus in geography – -he thought Russia was supposed to be a part of France- – he was so livid. Years later he invaded Russia just because he couldn’t admit he was wrong. This, even after two decades of therapy!!

And the famous pictures of old Bonaparte with his hand inside his jacket? I refuse to tell why . . .OK, OK. You made me blurt out the tawdry little secret. He was adjusting his brazier…or maybe his hand was cold. I can’t remember. My memory gets a little fuzzy after several centuries have passed. Secretly he did suffer from hot flashes and severe mood swings which is why he was so hostile and occasionally felt the need to invade other countries. Now I regret telling you this since he made me pinky promise not to tell anyone.

Most writers would have already received an angry letter of protest from the French Consulate for what could be construed as blatant lies which under normal circumstances would have created an embarrassing international incident. But since no one reads what I write, they never found out. Crisis averted. Otherwise I would have had to enlist the expertise of Susan Rice to cover up the whole mess. If only I can get the media to look the other way until after the election

Since I have nothing else intelligent to say, now would be a great time to insert a pointless bullet list; This si supposed to help you gain more notorerity as a blogger but it hasn’t worked for me…and I tried everyone of the tips below.

How to Bolster Sagging Readership

  • Change your name.

No one reads anything written by Sam or Bob… You must have a fancy moniker. I prefer an unspoken name or you may refer to me as, ‘The Writer formally Known as Jimagain’.

  • Be a deviant. Any kind will do.

Develop some kind of lurid, crippling psychosis. Normal is so blasé’. Psychopaths and sexual deviants have the inside track when it comes to notoriety. Attention, please. Morally upstanding writers with talent, please step to the back of the line.

  • Be declared mentally insane.

Writer’s have the inside track on the insanity plea. Just try it with the judge the next time you appear in court. This used to a lot harder back when they made you undergo psychiatric evaluation or endure endless sanity hearings. Now you have no excuse.

  • Go on a few well reported drunken or drug induced binges.

It helps to have at least one really bad celebrity mug shot splashed across the five O’ clock news to keep up your public image.

  • Angry or dysfunctional relatives or spouses are a huge plus!

This reminds me how my wife frequently beats me about the head & neck with a cast iron skillet. My psychiatrist didn’t believe me either until after she called him a ‘nutty old fruit cake’ and ‘bonked’ him on his bald goateed head.

My latest project…

I probably shouldn’t divulge sensitive information like this about my many aberrations of good judgment and the numerous death threats I have received from the Writer’s Guild not to mention the injunction they filed against me for defamation on behalf of all the legitimate writers. This is why the judge signed that stupid restraining order forbidding me within 500 feet of a word processor. But of course, no one reads what I write so the world will never know!

Because frankly, as I have discovered, no one is even remotely interested in reading anything I wrote. And if you don’t believe that just ask my wife and she will tell you as much.

And now if you will excuse me, I must return to my latest really big project destined to propel me into fame entitled,”Artful Crafts Woven from Excess Celebrity Nasal Hair.”

Betcha’ wish you’d thought of that one!

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Kaopectate for the Brain: stool softener for the narrow-minded

I love great quotes.  And here for your entertainment and edification are a series of random quotes from some great minds. And what list of great thinkers would be complete without Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Soren Kierkegaard, Isaac Asiminov, Albert Einstein, and, yes, Winnie the Pooh.

I must however exclude myself from the list of great minds, but hey…where else can you get blogs with great titles like this?!!

 I’ve found that often quotes made from those who entertain views with whom I would most vehemently disagree are by no small irony the most provocative and invigorating. The ones that sting the cerebrum like a slap in the face with a wet salmon are more likely to jolt the forebrain out of its mental stupor and stimulate neural activity. You may conjecture there to be an amusing anecdote about an alleged incident involving myself and a cold, wet salmon however I will leave you to the amusement of your own imagination.  Even if diametrically opposed to opposing views, the discomfort they bring may force you to re-examine or at least clarify your own.

I think it was Oliver Wendell Holmes that said something to the effect that every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by some new thought or idea and never shrinks back to its original dimensions.

In this vein, I put forth a bold proposition; thinking that stimulates the mind should create some discomfort. Think of it as intentionally giving yourself a mental wedgie!  Opposing points of view lessen the painful condition of bloating and pretentiousness that results from only entertaining points of view compatible with your own. This is Kaopectate for the brain. If you haven’t done any push-ups recently, do a few more than you know you should. The next morning when you wake up with aching muscles you forgot you had; this is how your brain should feel afterward.  And who wants flabby brain cells?

Here are some great quotes on the subject of thinking and writing that I culled from a few sites, arranged in no particular order.

  “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” — William James

“A good listener is usually thinking about something else.” — Kin Hubbard

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” — Thomas Paine

“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” — Oscar Wilde

“A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Belief is when someone else does the thinking.” — Buckminster Fuller

“Believing is easier than thinking.  Hence so many more believers than thinkers.” — Bruce Calvert

“Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.” — Niels Bohr

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” — Rick Warren

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”– George S. Patton

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth; only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” –  C.S. Lewis

“Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking.” — Anonymous

“Ours is the age which is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.” — Howard Mumford Jones

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” — Soren Kierkegaard

“People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.” –  Anthony de Mello

“Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference.” — Karl Von Clausewitz

“Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness.” — James Thurber

“The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it.” — H.G. Wells

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” — John F. Kennedy

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

“Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.” — William Zinsser

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” — Isaac Asimov

 

The last quote I leave you with should be mandatory reading for all ideologues; “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” — Winnie the Pooh

Quick. Somebody get the jumper cables!

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