Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

I was reading a very good Tasmanian Blog Frog Ponds Rock and discovered that there is a place to which you can submit your blog for review.

Now I have heard of some crazy things – (I have a whole set of bookmarks under the category ‘Right Wing Looneys’) but this is one of the strangest concepts I have seen.

I have had a look and it appears to be the work of a group of bloggers who have decided that they are the arbiters of taste and style in blog world. Which is just fine – it’s still a free world (well – some parts of it) and if you want to review blogs go for it I say.

But – here is the really crazy part – bloggers actually submit their blogs for review. I cannot imagine any circumstances under which I would do this.

Well – that’s not true – I can imagine one circumstance - but I am not drinking at the moment because I still have a headache from last week.

Isn’t the whole point of blogging that you want to tell people about something or keep people informed about what you are doing - or just have a point of view – or just a rant. I mean – what is the point of asking someone else to review what you have written. Beats the shit out of me.

The last time I did something like this was for my Master’s Thesis and the result was most unsatisfactory and caused much angst – for both my Professor and me. It took us months to resolve our differences and we were both glad to see the last of each other.

I left with a Masters degree and he left with a vague feeling of uneasiness that something unpleasant had happened to him. He moved to Queensland almost immediately and now grows vegetables and goats and smokes dope.

But – people do submit their blogs – and some of the results are unpleasant because the blog reviewers have really ripped into bloggers who were silly enough to submit their work. The reviewers have set up their blog as a place where they can be oh so clever and witty and destructive – and they do a very good job.

I imagine most bloggers like their own work. But - I have read some enormous tosh of late (not all of it on my own blog) and can assure you that there are very few good bloggers out there.

The thought that some of these poor misguided Possums may submit their work for review fills me with dread and fears for their well being after they get the results.

Still – no one has to submit - but if you feel so inclined the site is Ask And Ye Shall Receive

I made a joke about Pauline Hanson moving to the UK and joining the British National Party – because she is a right wing nutter. Imagine my surprise to read in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday: (This is an edited version)

“The leader of the British National Party has declared that Pauline Hanson would not be regarded as an ''immigrant sponger'' if she moved to Britain, and if she wished to play a political role she would be ''very welcome''.

''I feel very sorry for her … that she has been forced out of her country by this politically correct intimidation and bullying … she would not be a sponger. We would regard her as a good addition.''

The Brit Awards were held within the last day or two. There are so many music awards that I lose track. But anyway – the pool was scooped –as they say – by Lady Ga Ga.

Now I must admit Lady Ga Ga has some catchy tunes but I hope she lasts longer than the current 'big thing' usually does in the ephemeral world of pop music.

Now that she is really famous she will be photographed staggering drunk out of London nightclubs, or not wearing underwear or sniffing Cocaine in Annabelle’s or whatever it is that young pop singers do these days as soon as they become famous.

For her sins she will appear on the front pages of the Daily Grossout in living colour probably legless and knickerless at 3:00 AM.

In my day pop stars just went to the pub and got drunk. In some cases – such as Elvis – they just ate hamburgers and ice-cream until they exploded. No one snuck around their gardens taking pictures. Who in those days wanted a picture of a fat old guy eating hamburgers?

These days they will photograph anything at all and there is no indecency to which anyone of note cannot be subjected. The gossip magazines have a voracious appetite for dross and schlock of any kind and will pay handsomely for it.

This is why photographers hide in trees and cupboards and public toilets and underwear drawers just waiting for the money shot.

But I digress.

The interesting thing is that Lady Ga Ga is one of these entertainers who dresses up. She is always wearing eye masks (and indeed met the Queen while wearing one of these).

The Queen took this very well - at her age she has seen everything – including (probably) Prince Philip in his underwear - and after that nothing else matters much.

Lady Ga Ga excelled herself at the Brit Awards and went dressed as the only survivor from a catastrophic explosion at a chicken farm.

What I admire is that someone could go out of the house dressed like this. Not just out of the house but into the limelight – on national television – beamed into millions of households. This takes exceptional boldness, conviction, courage and self esteem. It is not something I could ever do.

Good on you girl!


  1. Badger: From a Christian viewpoint (which is a viewpoint that I strongly recommend in these ungodly times), it wasn't particularly charitable of you to mention the Tasmanian frog-pond lady and the blog-review thing in the same breath. I had already noticed, a week or so ago, that she got singed (not as devastating as "burnt" or "flamed") by the reviewer to whom she submitted her opus. The most hilarious thing was that she has a daughter who had received good marks from the same examiner, and the mother was not happy. In fact, the lady in question is an artist, I admire the very idea of creating a blog with such a title (which evokes, in my imagination, Thoreau's legendary Walden Pond), and I would be happy to drop in on her blog from time to time, to see what's happening... but only if she were to destroy the nasty gadget, attached to her blog, that screams out the approximate geographical identity of every visitor. I detest the idea of my visit being recorded by a Tasmanian devil of the Big Brother kind.

  2. Badger: You ask rhetorically: "Isn’t the whole point of blogging that you want to tell people about something or keep people informed about what you are doing - or just have a point of view – or just a rant." Yes, you've provided us with a terse but excellent definition of blogging. In any case, we're certainly not in this business with the aim of receiving diplomas. On the other hand, you might be willing to team up with me in the establishment of a committee whose purpose would consist of awarding an annual Possum Prize to Aussie expat bloggers. It goes without saying that I would not hesitate in giving you my vote for this year's award... provided that you promise to vote for me next year.

  3. Has any of you seen the movie "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"?

  4. I once saw a fundamentalist's blog whose post title was "I've been critiqued". Since when was critique a verb? Nearly as bad as a question I received asking "When is Sylvie performancing again in the States?". But I guess none of these is as bad as GWB's "misunderestimating me". Or confusing faeces with foetus in a discussion about abortion. Crazy world.

  5. Hey, if ever Pauline Hanson were to start a blog in the UK, she would automatically become eligible to enter into the hallowed domain of our AEA [Aussie Expat Academy]. Come on, Pauline, get started! Our distinguished Possum Prize is up for grabs...

  6. I submitted to Ask ages ago, knowing what they're like. 6-12 months ago they took great pleasure in 'tearing blogs apart' but they also had good constructive criticism. That's why I submitted, to get fresh eyes on my work, someone who had never seen it before and have them tell me what they thought (in their opinion) needed working on. I got a good review and not much constructive.

    Frogponds (Mum) submitted for the same reason, to have someone who's never seen her blog before tell her what needed tightening up. She got someone who couldn't be bothered reading, let alone giving contructive. Bleh.

    So, that's why we submitted.

  7. Veronica: Well you are very brave - but you have something of substance to say. I would never submit my drivel to close scrutiny as I could not stand the pain of the beating I would receive - but then again I am a lot tougher now that I have people laugh at my German every day.

  8. Excellent Prize William - that is what I would like like after submitting my blog.

  9. Meh, bugger blog critics. I'm with you on this one.

  10. At least she asked for the @$$-whipping she was getting there. As opposed to here.

  11. Maybe Mrs Frog-Pond or her daughter might tell us how much they pay for that obnoxious realtime gadget that displays the geographical origins of visitors.

  12. Step said: Meh, bugger blog critics. I'm with you on this one.

    Hey, writer, write English!

  13. I read this post this morning but didn't have time to comment then. Hi William thanks for the feedback re the feedjit thingy on my sidebar. I hadn't even thought that having that on my sidebar would be offputting to visitors,I am just a stickybeak who likes to know where and how my readers find me.So I heeded your sage advice and took it down, then raced out the door to go and play in the mud. Dragons eggs and dead albatross bowls wait for no-one. cheers Kim