Friday, September 15, 2006

Jealous Again

If you look over to the right at the list of blogs I read, you'll see a link to Dooce. Since you might not know what Dooce is, I'll explain briefly.

Dooce is a blog written by a married woman in Utah named Heather Armstrong. Way back in like 2002, she got fired from her web design job in L.A. for blogging about her co-workers. I laud her, without a shred of sarcasm, as a talented writer, and she frequently writes a phrase or line that I would cut off a toe to have thought up. Her blog is at least as funny as it is self-indulgent, but what's most compelling is that its popularity has allowed her and her husband to become self-employed. She flies all over the place speaking about women-oriented blogging, and generally has it pretty sweet.

I was hesitant to link to her, because A), it's not like she needs another link, and B), I don't always agree with what she's doing. She is bipolar or something, and she had a miserable bout of post-partum depression, and her child is difficult, and she writes about this and a lot of the time her posts are funny. But the part I find ridiculous is that she makes a living off her blog.

Now I don't find fault with that in an of itself. If I could pay my bills (or even a bill) with this blog, I would be on here boring everyone to tears five times a day. What I take issue with is that she complains (albeit humorously) about a lot of stuff. She needs her meds. Her kid is bratty. She doesn't have insurance (welcome to self-employment!). The pipes burst. Her TiVo screwed up. Blah blah blah. In other words, it's the sort of thing that happens to plenty of other people (men, not just women) who have annoying children and plumbing mishaps, but who also have to keep their day jobs, because they don't get to sit around listening to Interpol while ad revenue keeps the lights on.

If you've detected a bit of envy within the paragraphs above, consider yourself sensitive and perceptive. Like I said, I'd love to make a living off this. If traffic merited it, you can bet there would be ads for movies and bonerpills and whatever else alongside the link to Valient Thorr. I'd think you guys would understand. I would not, however, bitch and moan about everything without giving thanks to God for my fortunate new career.

You know what? Fuck it. She makes me laugh most of the time. Her kid is adorable, and I admire her husband's patience. He seems like a pretty cool guy, especially to weather his wife's meltdowns. What really pissed in my cheerios this morning was this post. It's about how she dated a guy who turned out to be gay and broke up with a different guy who turned out to be against gays. That part was funny, but the thing that irked me was her opening reference to her friend Maggie's recently published book, which apparently is a list of 100 better blog topics.

Really? You wrote a book on blog topics? Do you also watch commercials about commercials or click on links advertising free porn that link to more links advertising free porn?

This is what I think is stupid, and ultimately why I am jealously bothered by Heather Armstrong's (or at least her friend Maggie's) source of income. A 112-page list of blog ideas is not something anyone needs to buy, and shame on you for thinking someone would (as of this writing, I suspect that her inventory has already been cleared). The book's main title is No One Cares What You Had for Lunch. Well, what people care about is totally subjective, and I'll bet, Maggie, that you've probably blogged about some pretty uninteresting topics yourself . I don't care, for instance, what Heather Armstrong watched on TV last night, yet she persists in writing about it, and I persist in reading about it. In context, what you two girls are doing is making the mundane worth reading about, which I think is a better bit of advice than a list of topic suggestions. If you wanted to do that, why not teach a 9th grade remedial English class?

I'm just saying is all.

--The Robo-Pirate

Then again, what do I know? Dooce is obviously doing something right.


jen said...

Your funny. No really

Wink said...

Right or not - she's annoying. Entertaining from time to time. But generally annoying.

Liz said...

I already have a blog where I just complain about the boring bits of my life, why am I not getting paid? Oh because I suck, I forgot :)

Robo-Pirate said...

Yeah, but I like your blog.

Rand said...

Look, I complain about my life in my blog too. Nothing wrong with that. But bitching about someone else's success is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Why don't you just focus on writing something interesting that drives traffic. Maybe one day you'll live off blogging too.

Robo-Pirate said...

Huh. Well, whatever.

danielle said...

You know how i feel about Dooce and despite our differences i'll still call you a friend...albiet a grumpy one who doens't realize it's fun to gripe about your annoying kids and tivo.

amanda said...

I read Dooce all the time. While I enjoy reading about Heather's life, I don't think I'd want to be her friend. She's a little intense for me. But yeah, everyone is self-indulgent and "funny" in the internet world. My question is: Do you think that she'll be able to sustain her "career" as a blogger? I mean, will there really be money in it for any length of time? Will she get to "retire" from blogging?!? Is there a 401K plan for that? And before you ask, yes, I am envious as well.

Oh, and Lauren was at my house last night reading your blog, and she complained that your word verification rule makes it hard for her to comment when drunk. I told her I thought that was kinda the point. That, and she needs to stop drinking.

Robo-Pirate said...

I'll bet she will have a steady readership until blogs become prolific that no one reads them anymore. But I don't see that really happening either, because most people like to waste time. And I like giving drunk people a challenge. And stopping drinking is hard.