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Whose Blog Is It Anyway?

12 Oct

Lately I’ve been participating in this blog contest, Blogger Idol.

In order to enter the contest we needed to submit an audition, explaining our blogs and inviting the judges to take a look at them. Somehow I managed to make the finals, over the course of which I am tasked with a new assignment every week that is meant to stretch my writing abilities. Our assignments are rated by a selection of judges, whose scores are then combined with at-large votes from the online community.

I am still alive, but none of the assignments so far has exactly been in my wheelhouse, and several of the judges have professed reservations about some of my drinking-related and/or fatherhood-griping-related content. Which has confused me a little, since I auditioned and all. But it’s not their fault if they don’t like my blog or my sense of humor. It’s the luck of the draw.

But now I am faced with a bit of a dilemma. Because I want to win the contest. But not by changing my style.

Ricky Gervais, The Office, blogger idol, blogging, writing, comedy, funny, toddlers, parenting, david brent

I’ve been writing this blog for just over two years now. It started out as a way to both document the impending arrival – and subsequent existence – of my son, and also to track the changes in lifestyle that my son brought with him – or, as is the thrust of the blog, the attempts to stave those changes off.

Most of the content is meant to be funny, and, as such, is often over-the-top. Occasionally I get serious, and I think there’s room for both, but getting serious is not really the point of this blog. I like to make jokes; sometimes those jokes are absurd and maybe even borderline offensive, other times they are intended to make a point. But there will always be jokes. You either get them – and, by extension, get me – or you don’t.

A lot of jokesters struggle with the dilemma of whether they should explain when they’re joking or dial things back should they offend someone who doesn’t get it. I’ve had issues with that my whole life, thanks to my sarcastic personality, and I see the arguments for both sides. As a human being I certainly try to temper the sharper edges of my personality in order to more comfortably interact with society. I mean, being Andrew Dice Clay in real life is a lot different than being Andrew Dice Clay on stage. And at the risk of being (more) pretentious, this blog is my stage. I write it in character. And it’s not for everyone.

So this contest isn’t the first time I’ve brushed up against the issue of someone not quite “getting” my blog. Or just plain disliking it. I mean, I have parents. And a wife. writing, blogging, objectivism, Rush, Anthem, creativity, writing, universal appeal, comedy, ANdrew Dice Clay, Jay Leno, funny, blogger idol

When you’re writing a blog about your family, and most of the blog involves you mocking it – if not the individual people specifically, than at least the idea of them – the members of that family that are cognizant of said mockery might occasionally have their feathers ruffled. To be fair, when my wife comments on my blog, it’s rarely to call out anything I’ve said about her, or about her alter-ego “Mom and Buried,” but is instead usually to gently let me know if I’m going to far. After all, she’s seen me in action for enough time, both online as a writer and offline as a raconteur and bon vivant, to know that not everyone always gets the joke that is her husband. And often, when the joke is about my son or our parenting techniques, a little more sensitivity is called for. I can say whatever I want about myself but I need to take a little more responsibility when talking about them. And I do. But I don’t let it effect my general approach. And my wife understands. Why should I care if strangers don’t?

The larger question is, as a writer, should I be worried about limiting my audience? I’m a firm believer in the idea that creativity is not borne from a desire or attempt to appeal to everyone. That never works. Ask Jay Leno. So no, being universally appealing isn’t really my thing. Which, if you’ve ever met me, you already knew.

Which brings me back to the contest. Yes I want to win it, and yes I want new people who visit my blog to like it and to stick around. But smoothing the edges won’t do anybody any good – I won’t write it as well, the people who like it as it stands now won’t recognize it, and any new followers I get will only get offended somewhere down the line, after I’ve abandoned the whole Jay Leno thing and gone back to being myself. blogger idol, american idol, competition, contest, pile of babies, martinis and minivans, interview, play-at-home, daddy knows less, parenting, dads, moms, toddlers

That settles it.

So I may not survive Blogger Idol, but it certainly won’t be because I’ve changed my style. It will probably because I swear too much. Because that ain’t stopping any time soon either, motherfuckers!

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12 Responses to “Whose Blog Is It Anyway?”

  1. Nancy October 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Well said! I love your blog. It’s my daily dose of humour and it makes me feel like I’m not the only one trying to claw back the effects of becoming a parent.

    • Dad and Buried October 17, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Thanks a lot! It’s great to know someone else besides me thinks I’m funny!

  2. thecheekydiva October 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I think your blog is hilarious. I also write in a character most of the time. Did you happen to read my at home challenge entry for this week?

    http://thecheekydiva.com/2012/10/10/keeping-it-real-with-anka-blogger-idol-at-home-challenge/

    I went above and beyond the call of duty as a shrieky perfection seeking suburban succubus, and the response was pretty good overall. But I hear you about writing about your family. That is a tricky one. I got in hot water for writing about my upbringing in a dysfunctional family, and I got Freshly Pressed for it. I also have been shunned by my surviving family members–that’s no lie. Mom and Dad are long gone, but my siblings never want to speak to me again. I guess the truth hurts, but it’s still the truth. I’ve only been doing this blog thing for a few months, and most of the things I’ve learned, I’ve learned the hard way. I know you want to win, but continue to do what you do, and I’ll keep reading, regardless of the outcome.

  3. ihopeiwinatoaster October 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    So true, D & B. I am actually glad I didn’t get into as a Blogger Idol finalist, especially when they make all the posts the same and so generic. I have read nearly all your posts and have never once been offended, although I have uttered a few “No he Di’int”s, to be sure. I think you’re hilarious, poignant, poetic and a bit of a dick, in a good way. I also admire the way you call them out on it. Fuck-em…

    • Dad and Buried October 17, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      Yeah, it’s definitely a tightrope, managing the needs of the assignments with my overall responsibility to myself and my blog. So far I think I’ve managed to do okay…we’ll see how long I last!

      I’m a little sad I’ve never offended you. Come back next week…

      And this isn’t the first time I’ve been called “a bit of a dick,” so don’t go thinking you’re original or anything, smart-ass!

      – D&B

    • Ewa December 28, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      Is the at home teeth whitening pens rlaley effective? How do you use it, do you use it like a real pen on your teeth? Is the at home teeth whitening pens by idol white perilous or not? You see I’m a chain smoker and my teeth are all yellow in color maybe due to nicotine, just like the color of my fingers and lips. If the home teeth whitening pens by idol white is real effective, then please forward me 3 boxes, OK?

  4. A Gracious Life October 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    lol! way to go. I was puzzled too. I voted for your post — the one about “drinking” which some of them didn’t like…but I thought to myself, “Hey, that’s what makes him a charming writer! His thoughts are nothing but ordinary. And that’s why I frequent his blog. And there’s a lot more where that came from! lol.” For that, you must NOT change your style.

    • Dad and Buried October 17, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      Wait, “the one about drinking” is a little vague. That describes nearly all my posts!

      Appreciate the compliments – I definitely try to be different than most “dad” bloggers, so it’s nice to hear I’m succeeding!

      I’m also pretty sure changing my style would be a lot harder than it sounds!

      Thanks for reading!

      – D&B

  5. Peaches October 13, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Here, Here! Stay true. I try to stay away from swearing because I already drop a lot of dramatic bombs and I need to hold *one* back for when I really want to make a point, but I dance right around it and talk about sex and stuff. Those who don’t like it, can self-select out. It’s a big web of world widedness.

  6. Dominique Goh October 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I too will say stay true to yourself. Blogging Idol or not your readers love you for who you are.

  7. Allfoto October 15, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    i have waited a long time to find a blogger with the ability to make me laugh out loud, so much so that my partner asks me if i am okay! i love that you have a sense of humour that i understand and i love that you can translate that into writing, which is no mean feat. i know you won’t change your style because i think it is part of who you are. so thank you for keeping me amused and although i don’t have kids alot of my family and friends do so i can totally relate. I don’t think it matters what the judges think, although i hope you win, as i think in the end when it is all said and done you do this blog for your self and to keep working your skills. so keep it up and don’t let others try and change who you are, we are adults now, we don’t have to succumb to peer pressure! well, unless its fun 😉 good luck.

    • Dad and Buried October 17, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Wow, high praise! There’s nothing better than hearing that I’ve made someone laugh!

      And yeah, I think I’m fooling myself to think I can change myself at the drop of a hat. I’m gonna stick with what I got!

      RIDE OR DIE!!!!

      Thanks for reading!

      – D&B

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