Monday, May 03, 2004

Perverted Peevers, Recurring Crap


Always complaining about your pet peeves, I guess, is akin to seizing an elephant by the tail and bashing half a dozen gnats to death with said elephant. It’s extremely satisfying to the peever, but probably seems like extreme overkill to any innocent parties that happen to be watching. Well, after all, the word Peeve is derived from Peevish, which in turn is supposedly derived from the French for Perverse. I never claimed it was normal!

A few weeks ago, one site on the web was advertising for a new columnist. Let’s call them BlunkyBlonky. They had a list of characteristics they didn’t want in a columnist—no advice to the lovelorn, no politics, no pet peeve ravers, and so forth—and I wrote to them, referring them to my blog. I was in fact only a little impressed with their material, but I figured I’d be more impressed with them if I was writing for it. They were offering zero money for this, so it was all for the ego. I could be more famous. (More famous than Zero? Sounds pretty easy.)

For the same reason, no pay, I figured it would not be very damaging to my ego if they turned me down. A man answered via email that very day and said he liked my writing, but that they were interested in someone who would write them a column with a Theme. He said to check back with them if I came up with anything along that line. I took it that he was just brushing me off in a very polite manner, and I appreciated the politeness. It’s always hard on my constitution to get beaten up by strangers. I have a theme, of course—it’s called Chaos, but you can’t tell that to people who’ve begun to think in terms of Themes. Chaos is not amenable to much editing or direction.

I started thinking. What kind of blogger was I? I think I am sort of a columnist, because I won’t stick to the subject—not even if you consider that the subject is Me! I am heavily into that Pet Peeve thing, I admit, but I find it so enjoyable, in myself and in other bloggers, that it was quite beyond me why it would be verboten among the editors at that web site. If you get a good enough writer for a web site that doesn’t pay anything beyond free copies of the web site (?!), what the hell difference would it make if he wrote about his pet peeves?

I must be suffering from the illusion that some of us Pet Peevers are Good Writers. Yeah, that’s it, and the guys over at know better. They had placed their ad for a columnist at a blog-related site and yet they evidently wanted some blogger who could transcend mere Blog aspirations! Well, hell, so do I, but what’s good over Here is good over There, that’s my thought. Excuse me if I’m breathing up all the air that your damn snuffling porcupine needs!

But I wasn’t upset. By then, I’d read even more of their web site and I’d begun to get pretty big-headed about who was good enough for whom. Their writers weren’t bad, but they certainly bored the chrome shine off of me. For no pay, I was by-God too good for them! That was my conclusion.

I could be full of beans. I often am, though not for long. It’s in the nature of things that get overstuffed to either self-evacuate or explode eventually. Don’t stand too close. You don’t want blogger all over you! Not even of the columnist variety.

That’s the very long preamble to this short blunt blog rant. Another typically selfish pet peeve of mine.

(Sung to the tune of "Don't Forsake Me, Oh My Darling")

Why does the whole wide world Reply my email messages back to me? If we were doing business of some sort, about soup cans or bolts or 3-copy forms, I might not remember what I wrote you last. But I remember what each of you has said or can easily find out. I don’t DO EMAIL with people I despise. I generally remember what I said and don’t need two copies of it!

My email system allows only a very limited storage. My long-winded messages, twice to five times the length of some of the ones that I receive, are filling up my inbox! It’s not the beautiful welcome words of my friends and friendly new acquaintances, but my own damnable endless crap, layer on layer, burying me! Fireman, fireman, throw me a rope! Save me, save me from the Reply Me!

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have always fallen. Always." -- Mahatma Gandhi

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