Good day, blogosphere, I'm Reggie Hartner -- you may remember me from last year's report on BlogHer 'o8 -- and this is a special edition of IWitless News.
Today is March 11. A day that will live in infamy not only because it marks the death of the original meat packer, Oskar Mayer, but also -- to a much lesser extent -- because it marks the birth of a far inferior maker of bologna -- the "Always Home and Uncool" blog.
Here's IWitless News correspondent Todd Zalinsky with our story. Todd:
(Cut to REPORTER sitting in front of computer.)
REPORTER: Thanks, Reg. It all began with a sacrilegious rewrite of the opening chorus of the beloved 'Brady Bunch' theme. Later that same day -- good gravy -- he spewed out something about his days as a Dungeons & Dragons geek. Why, dear Lord, why?!
(Cut to man with three-days of growth on face, wearing eight-year-old faded Brew-Thru beer shop T-shirt with black paint stains on it.)
UNCOOL: I needed to do something to prove to My Love that I didn't spend all day surfing adult Web sites in search of free 20-second previews.
REPORTER (off camera): Did you have a longer-term goal?
UNCOOL: Well, yeah. Like most people, I hoped a well-connected wealthy patron of the arts or talent agent would recognize my genius and lead me down the path of not-so-well-deserved-but-not-worth-losing-sleep-over riches and fame.
REPORTER (off camera): And then?
UNCOOL: And then, I could finally afford full-access membership to those adult Web sites.
(Cut to UNCOOL rummaging through refrigerator. He starts to shovel cold, leftover pizza in his mouth. The toppings drip onto his droopy, tube-socked feet.)
REPORTER (voice over): But the primrose path to blogging fame is littered with people far more sexually and scatological explicit, trippingly more drug-induced and -- yet -- generally just as marginal as he …
(Cut to UNCOOL, padding around with a half-filled beer, scratching his sweatpantsed ass.)
What could make this former reporter, laid-off corporate cubicle dweller and father of two stand apart ? …
(MURPHY THE YELLOW LAB enters frame from left, sticks nose into UNCOOL's sweatpantsed ass.)
We went to the REAL source.
(Cut to MY LOVE in corporate professional pantsuit, looking very serious. Superimpose title: "Blogger's Sugar Mama.")
MY LOVE: He tries really hard. I think that's his problem. Hard isn't his strength.
REPORTER (off-camera): That's what she said!
MY LOVE: Huh? I don't get it.
REPORTER (off-camera): Apparently not. (Snickers.)
(Cut to UNCOOL, now in "Joe Sucks, Bring Back Steve" Blue's Clues sweatshirt, four-days growth on face, wearing glasses with visible fingerprints on lenses, typing at computer.)
REPORTER (voice over): Trying hard but typing poorly about his issues with perfectly legal drugs, teaching his kids how to fracture bones while having fun and his putting a dead dog in his luggage -- it's a part of his grand strategy … for Internet obscurity.
(Cut to REPORTER interviewing UNCOOL.)
REPORTER: You don't take advertising.
UNCOOL: It's not that I don't take advertising. I don't seek it. If anyone wants to spend money advertising on my site they're welcome to fork it over. I mean, can the world have enough animated GIFs of women shaking their booties to promote mortgage scams or blooming flowers to illustrate that great fresh smell from your pantie liners?
REPORTER: Definitely not. And payment from that stuff is -- like, lucrative -- I hear. Sometimes four digits. If you count the places to the right of the decimal point.
UNCOOL: Beside, as a minority blogger. I'm neither a propeller-head, a politico nor of a gender loaded with an ovary full of potential TLC reality shows. I'm not exactly a marketer's wet dream. I'm, well, me.
REPORTER: Just a man?
UNCOOL: Mmm, no. Just a guy.
(Cut to REPORTER walking though cluttered garage.)
REPORTER: So, after a year, what keeps this 'guy' of 40 plugging away? (Accidentally kicks over pile of empty bottles and cans.)
(Cut to UNCOOL -- now with five days growth, wearing a black T-shirts reading "The Figgs" bearing an illustration of Phil Spector sporting a honking white man Afro -- being interviewed by REPORTER.)
UNCOOL: Not a clue. (Hiccups.)
REPORTER: Has this past year changed you in any way?
UNCOOL: My wife says when I vent my sarcasm on my blog, I'm nicer to her. Leaves me kind of strapped for dinner conversation, though.
REPORTER: Have you ever meet any of your readers?
UNCOOL: A few -- locally and elsewhere. They all seem, believe it or not, disarmingly normal in real life. Therefore, one is definitely a serial killer. I'm thinking it's probably the guy in Chicago. I'm hoping it's not the woman who gets me naked twice a month.
REPORTER: Now we're talking!
UNCOOL: Pfft! She's my massage therapist. I write for her spa's newsletter in exchange for free rubdowns.
REPORTER: Really …
UNCOOL: Considering the only writing most people want me to do them is for free, it's actually …
REPORTER: You get fully naked for her? I mean: You. In. The. Buff.
REPORTER: Excuse me. (Ducks off camera. Unintelligible sound in background. Comes back, wiping mouth.) Any other great lessons learned from the blog-o-sphere?
REPORTER: That's it? No grand pronouncements on building virtual community and finding your inner child online. Oooo oooo -- life is grand! This has been great therapy. Now it's all Cheese Nips and sunshine. La la la la!
UNCOOL: Nope. I'm pretty certain I'm as screwed up as ever. Just more people know it.
REPORTER: Yeah, you're going places, Mary Ann.
UNCOOL: Actually, that reminds me. I've got a biweekly column starting in my local newspaper starting on Friday.
UNCOOL: Yep. One Friday it's my local buddy, the multi-talented Sarah Darer Littman writing liberally about politics; the next, it's me writing about, pfft, probably about the same (bleep) I write about here. Except I'll get paid for it. Starts Friday in The Advocate.
REPORTER: The magazine for, uh, Clay Aiken types?
UNCOOL: No, but that is a common point of confusion. It's a daily newspaper in Connecticut. (Sighs.) Lifelong dream come true, sort of. That is if you exclude all those ones about trading vocals with Roger Daltry on "Dreaming From the Waist" followed by an after-party involving lingerie-clad supermodels and butterscotch Magic Shell. (Tongue hangs out.) Uuuuuuh, butterscotch.
REPORTER: (Bleep)! Why didn't you tell us before we started this (bleep)ing interview?
UNCOOL: Well, I have learned one thing in the past year. I'm extremely terrible at self-promotion.
(Screen goes black. REGGIE HARTNER back on camera.)
That was Todd Zalinsky reporting.
For all of us here at IWitless News, I'm Reggie Hartner and this has been a special report.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming of women in bikinis dancing with people in gorilla suits.
Video: "Monkey to Man," Elvis Costello & The Imposters
My Uncool Past
- ► 2012 (61)
- ► 2011 (57)
- ► 2010 (100)
- The Joy of Proficiency
- Fame - Is It Any Wonder
- Everywhere at Once; Nowhere at All
- Shedding Extra Light on Your Seasonal Demise
- She's Not Testy Over Standardized Tests
- First Day. Rest of Life. Blah, Blah, Blah.
- My Blogiversary -- Exposed!
- When Blood is Not Enough
- Between a Hug and a Choke
- Around the Block
- ▼ March (10)