Before the Gates of Blog Heaven

Imagine (horror of horrors) that all religions have got it wrong. Imagine that there is a Heaven and a Hell, but morality doesn’t have anything to do with where you get to go. Imagine it’s all about the quality of your blogging (non-bloggers go to the Limblog). Right now I am before the gates of Blog Heaven, praying that I will be allowed inside. Bloggong, the dugong-like deity that controls access through the gates, hovers above me…

Bloggong commands you to blog on till the day you die.

Bl: What is your name?


Bl: Your real name!!

AK: Alakyl…Kelley.

Bl: Alakyl Kelley?

AK: Yes, K-e-l-l-e-y.

Bl: And how old are you?

AK: Thirty-five today. Or I would have been, if that cake hadn’t exploded.

Bl: Alright then, Mr. Kelley–

AK: Lord, actually. Lord Kelley…Oh wow, I never knew dugongs had eyebrows, even less that they could raise them in disbelief like that!!

Bl: Hmph, let’s begin. I am looking at your record here, and it’s clear you were a compassionate blogger. I don’t see you trolling others, or engaging in those wars at GRSI and the Forums that doom so many of your comrades to Hell.

AK: Live by the flame, die by the flame. That makes sense, yes.

Bl: But I do see a lot of complaints from your readers.

AK: I had readers?! I mean, complaints, really? For example?

Bl: Well, even though yours was an anime blog you would often post on things like idols’ birthdays. What do you have to say in your defense?

AK: OMG, you’ve just reminded me. Fan Bingbing’s 30th birthday is coming up. I have to write a post!!

Bl: You’re dead. It’s too late for that.

AK: Drats.

Alas, the Bingbing b-day post shall never be~

Bl: Next, some have pointed out that even when you did focus on anime, you managed to stray off the topic very easily. I have before me one of your posts on Mawaru Penguindrum. Here you’ve managed to discuss the Tokyo underground system, the character’s names, the etymologies of fruits and fruit trees…and yet you’ve said nothing of what actually happened in the episode!

AK: Can I make my case?

Bl: Go ahead.

AK: Well, when I write about an episode —umm, check that— when I used to write about an episode,  I usually assumed that my readers had seen it already. Not only that, but I also assumed that they already had millions of ideas about it bubbling in their heads. In my posts I tried to give them more soap with which to make larger bubbles. That’s all.

Bl: Granted that readers wouldn’t necessarily need a summary of the episode, it still doesn’t change the fact that they came to your blog to hear your opinion on what happened, not spout off on boring esoterica gleaned from the mystical libraries of Wikipedia.

AK: But you know, sometimes when I like an episode that’s all I can say about it: I like it.

Bl: You like philosophy, don’t you?

AK: Yes, I do.

Bl: Quote me the last sentence of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.

AK: Something about shutting up when—

Bl: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must pass over in silence.”

AK: Ouch!

Bl: Let’s move on. What do you say to the accusation that a large number of your posts were about obscure, never translated and never to be translated manga, so that pretty much all of your none Japanese reading public wouldn’t have a clue what you were going on about, and even Japanese readers interested in said manga, if they somehow stumbled onto your site, wouldn’t have had a clue either because the English you used in your posts was terribly confusing anyway?

AK: You’re being harsh, sir.  And be careful where you point those lightning bolts coming out of your eyes!!

Harsh dugong is harsh.

Bl: Mine is the rage of Blogging Justice.  Kelley, even your native-English readers complained that they didn’t understand what you were trying to say half of the time! If you failed at communicating with your readers, doesn’t that mean you were a lousy blogger?

AK: I suppose, but…

Bl: But what?

AK: Well, sometimes you can use a difficult word to express what would otherwise take three sentences. Sometimes a difficult sentence can substitute for the content of a whole post. My own posts were already long to begin with. If I had explained everything in simple language they’d have been tl;dr… And besides, any of my readers could have checked my ABOUT + CONTACT page and seen that I put my email address specifically so that anyone with questions could ask me (if they didn’t want to ask in the comment section). I was always willing to clarify things if anyone needed me to.

Bl: And did your readers email you with questions?

AK: Well, no.

Bl: Don’t know why they didn’t?

AK: No.

Bl: Because they read those posts and thought you were pretentious.

AK: Aha! Now, for once, I’m happy that Anthy baked that cake for me.  Why am I happy you say?  Because I get to ask you, oh celestial worthy, Bloggong the Great, what this word “pretentious” actually means.

Bl: ……………………

AK: Don’t be shy, I’m dying to know. Or should I say, I died to know?

Bl: Pretentious… You know what that means!

AK: No, I don’t. No, I don’t. What does it mean?

Bl: Pretentious… For example, questioning the meaning of the word “pretentious” is pretentious.

AK: What?? That’s no answer!!

Bl: Enough, the decision has been made, Lord Alakyl Kelley, if that is your real name… You are not fit for Blog Heaven.  You belong to a place far, far below.

AK: Nooooo, wait!!! I’ll bring you some eucalyptus!!! No, what do dugongs eat? Spinach?? Hay??? I don’t know!!! Ahhrgg!


~ by Haloed Bane on July 26, 2011.

36 Responses to “Before the Gates of Blog Heaven”

  1. Happy Birthday! 😀 Well, you could say that half of your life is over now, but still, so much time left! Think of the possibilities! ^_^

    This is preposterous! You clearly know that Hell and Heaven (especially Hell) were concepts gradually developed in the context of historical events! 😛 It is a fun exercise nevertheless 🙂

    My goodness… that Bloggong is actually a temporary deity. Just like many a blogger, he’ll quit in a couple of years! 😛

    Yup, flames are evil like that lol

    Excessive make up, but a nice photo otherwise.

    “you’ve said nothing of what actually happened in the episode!” That’s the way anime blogging is supposed to be done!

    “they came to your blog to hear your opinion on what happened, not spout off on boring esoterica gleaned from the mystical libraries of Wikipedia.” Objection, Bloggong! “esoterica gleaned from the mystical libraries of Wikipedia” is ❤

    "Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy" 😛

    • Thank you~

      It’s interesting you mentioned Bloggong quitting. Word is he already did. Nowadays he goes by the name of Tumblong.

      “Excessive makeup” is a phrase that hold no meaning for me.

      Wikipedia has made me into the scholar I am today.

      “Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy”.
      I hope by this quote you don’t mean that philosophy is BS, and that explaining it exposes its BSness. I hope that’s not what you mean, because you’d be right 😦

  2. Who knew dugongs were such merciless gods?

    • Oh indeed, it’s one of those awful truths the print media tries to keep from us. But the time to expose their tyranny has come.

  3. NOOOOO, AK!

    Don’t worry—one day, I too shall die and go to blogging hell (no way I’d go anywhere else) and then I will help you fight our way out of hell like Kratos from God of War! WE CAN DO IT!!!

    Pretentious means pretending to be greater than what you are, or pretending to be something you aren’t. You’re the opposite of pretentious: you’re just naturally insane.

  4. You’re not insane. You’re very sane. Digiboy is pretentious.

    Nonetheless, you scratched the core itch of your being a fan (putting out posts about the manga and anime you love), and scratched the peripheral itches of your being a fan (putting out posts readers can discuss with you).

    Your posts about Mawaru Penguindrum are valuable, in that anyone can interpret the content, but your intimacy with both the language and the landscape make for reading that can’t be found elsewhere at present. I’ve gotten my share of commendation for my posting style, but in terms of informative content I can’t hold a candle to what you provide and this is all very good.

    The readers who dismiss you as pretentious aren’t necessarily readers you want in the first place. But also make allowances for those who aren’t dismissive and yet find your language and content intellectually forbidding. The readers who are very young (as anime fans tend to be) haven’t taken up the ideal courses yet (relative to the appreciation of your posting style), those who aren’t as young tend to specialize in technology, and those who are older did not take the ideal courses at all.

    There is space for educating the reader, given that the common ground here isn’t the similarity in education, but a similarity in anime and manga consumption.

    • Interesting analysis!! I guess it’s pretty clear which side of the debate on what to prioritize in blogging (stuff I like, stuff others like) I’m on.

      Thanks for the advice. I think you do a great job of balancing your love (in the fullness of its expression) with a constant regard for your audience so you manage to say what you want to say without having to water it down and still make it readable. That’s an awesome skill.

      No one’s actually called my blog pretentious (that I know of) but god it seems people love to use the word/accusation in the anime fandom a lot!!

  5. [Belated] Happy birthday! And such a classy post, to boot.

    re: Bloggong, this is probably why dugongs are a threatened species. Assholes.

    My beef with the “pretentious” word is that it’s often used by the 4chan-weaned anti-intellectual crowd who use it derisively on works they deem LOLDEEP (whatever that means). It’s really taken on a different meaning in an Internet context.

    I don’t think you’re pretentious at all. I find your posts sincere, especially the obscure, untranslated Matsumoto works. It’s a labor of love, and it shows.

    • Thanks so much!!

      Look, I’ve still got over 2 hours left on my birthday where I’m at, so it’s not belated at all.

      NOTE I do not condone vigilantism. Please don’t go out and start clubbing dugongs to death. Manatees also.

      • Manatee. The most dangerous game… atee.

        • I always forget: which are the ones that suck blood and which are the ones that are touched by the full moon? Manatees and dugongs, or is it the other way around?

  6. Well this is a brilliant birthday post. Happy birthday! And nevermind the Bloggong, who can satisfy such a thing. 😉


  7. I read this while watching the first scene of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. The dugong shot his lightning at the same time that the ghost of Hamlet’s father raised his hand.

    • Kenneth Branagh is in my personal pantheon so I’m very happy to hear about this synchronicity.

      • It is a bit uncanny to see the same guy do all the leads for every Shakespearean play. I mean, he’s awesome at it and all, and Branagh’s inflections are impeccable, but his personal voice sometimes overpowers that of his characters.

        • Don’t you see? Every character is him! Shakespeare wrote all the characters for him!! Soon he will start doing the female roles…

  8. Certainly a pretentious way to announce one’s birthday…

    I keed, I keed. Were I the fascist dictator of the anihedron, the “P” word would be barred from use until people learned a little more about how to use it. Schneider is right, it’s an anti-intellectualism thing — and I get enough of that in American media that I hope to come to the Internet for something a little more meaningful. So, thanks for providing that, even if it sometimes veers in directions that confuse me (or requires high-grade knowledge of Leiji Matsumoto and the Japanese subway system).

    If a blood-sucking manatee can’t teach people the meaning of pretentious, I don’t know what can. Enjoy your birthday!

  9. Happy Birthday! Or Happy Birthday? I’m totally clueless on who’s birthday goes to which…

    Anyways, is this really a post about self-criticism? You’ve raised a few good points there (being pretentious, being wordy, preference in words, referencing source material, etc.).

    • Happy birthday is right. Thanks.

      Hmm… I would really like you to believe this post is about me dying, going to heaven, and being verbally grilled by a divine dugong.

      I’m responsible for what I said, but not for what Bloggong said. He’s a meanie.

  10. Hmmm, you should’ve followed Dante’s example and started from Hell, then maybe you’d have had a chance to get to Heaven somehow 😀

    I’m afraid I must agree with Bloggong the Meanie, though – wouldn’t let you in too. Look at it from the reader’s perspective – now, how often reading your posts ends for me in checking out four or five wiki articles? Every time. And reading and rereading essays, short stories, novels? Quite often. Not safe for work, no, not at all.

    And this is great. I’m awfully late, but all the same – many happy returns!!!

  11. […] Before the Gates of Blog Heaven […]

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