Will's Coffee House

John Dryden, Dramatist, Critic, Poet Laureate, and my ancestor, frequented a coffee house called Will's almost daily, where he would hold forth on sundry subjects with great wit and aplomb. Same deal here, only without the wit or aplomb.

Location: Large Midwestern City, Midwestern State, United States

I am a stranger in a sane land...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Actus Primus

A warning at the outset--much of what follows will be erudite and abstruse, insensitive to the point of bigotry, or both. My interests are obscure, my opinions irascible, my general attitude arrogant. All of which would be perfectly forgivable if these qualities didn't make me pretty much like everyone else on the web. Wonderful thing, the blog. Where else can so many be so self-important about so little? Oh, you may run across the occasion work of genius like www.thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com (go there and read that, it's much funnier than you or I will ever be), but for most part, it's hyperbolic or emetic navel-gazing deludedly presented as relevant discourse. (Kind of like the more appalling forms of reality television--you're never quite sure, watching, say, "The Simple Life," whether you're laughing at them or they're laughing at you--whether the joke is that these people are fools for revealing themselves to be so utterly vacuous, or whether they're shrewdly, correctly banking on the fact that we're foolish and vacuous enough to watch this low-rent freak show. My guess, since they're the ones getting paid, is that we're the joke. Oh, and for the record, I don't actually watch "The Simple Life," which I mention not because I'm a snob--I am, yes, but don't change the subject--but because, since I never watch it and have no real idea what it's like to do so, it may well be an absolutely brilliant show, and I'm just too easily turned off by the promos to realize it. If this is, in fact, the case--if the show is the greatest thing to happen to television since the birth of Dennis Potter--then my profound apologies to all involved in its production, and please substitute "The Swan" for all the above references. No, I don't watch that one either, but any show in which people get cut in order to compete in a beauty pageant is unquestionably foul.)

(A long digression, that--I make them a lot. Addicted to parentheses--got hooked when I was in college and never was able to quit, not even with detox. Plus, I ramble. Get used to it.)

(Sorry--I meant, "get used to it, please." Shouldn't be rude, I suppose--you're wasting your valuable time reading this, and I've no place scolding you--unless that's the sort of thing you like, in which case, bop on over to Dr. Laura's website--I'm sure she can find some way in which you're a deficient specimen of humanity, and unforgivingly tongue-lash you for it.)

Now. Where the hell was I? Oh, yes, blogs and the fact that they suck almost to the point of ubiquity.

"But," you say, "if you feel this way, why contribute to the problem?"

"Are you implying," I respond, "that I share the faults of the bloggers I earlier implied?"

"Mmmmmaybe," you say, avoiding eye-contact.

"Hmm," I muse, taking the time to throw a full mug of hot coffee on and around your groin (assuming you're male--no violence against women, not even in snide jest--for female interlocutors, I'll content myself with a meaningful glance at your thighs, the kind that says "Put on a few, have we?" That should be retribution enough, I think. And you can always respond with a meaningful glance at my nether regions that implies an absence of excess tackle--fair's fair.)

"Well," I say, following this bitter exchange, which has already done irreparable harm to our fledgling friendship, "there are two possibilities. One is that I'm seeking to cure this trend towards inarticulate self-promotion of glaring character flaws by offering a place of well-reasoned, carefully worded discourse on subjects of substance and merit. Two is that I'm just another overweening troglodyte in love with the sound of his own voice--textually speaking--and hubristically unaware of the hypocrisy in which I'm wallowing like a glutted hog."

"I know which one I'm going to guess," you say, but don't do that. We may still have time to get things off on the right foot.

Note to any bloggers I may have offended: I didn't mean you. Your blog is one of the good ones. Of course. I mean, that goes without saying. I was talking about those other bloggers. Bastards. God, don't we just hate them?


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