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…
Bl: What is your name?
Bl: Your real name!!
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.
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.”
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!!
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?
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.
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!
AK TUMBLES DOWN.