Ok, Metaphors ain’t everyone’s cup of tea, or cat’s meow, or whatever. Most folks are aware of the form; evoking a comparison to some similar thingie in an effort to better understand both.
But humanity seems to be divided between suckers like me who get all wet over a perfect metaphor on the one hand, and the (less fortunate?) who relate to the form with neither ketchup nor relish. As if someone were forcing them to buy a set of paste-on deer antlers and wear ’em around the clock. They just don’t see this fashion-choice as ‘necessary’ or ‘productive’. Un-metaphorically speaking.
Oh well, let’s get right to the punch line. A mix of drinks for everyone, although do feel free to discreetly add from your own hip-flask.
A: Xanga: A Room full of Friends.
Might as well start on an optimistic foot. Those for whom this shoe fits need walk no further.
Yes, on a good day Xanga is a hoppin’ public/private party. Your Subs compete to be the first to comment and complement your entry. Thrilling conversations ensue among them and with You, the host with the most. You pride yourself on your exquisite taste in choosing the classiest Names in town. But…
“But?” There’s a ‘butt’?” Yes, two, actually. First, 90% of the invited guests didn’t show up, not that you’d have had Pop Tarts enough to feed ’em, but still. And then, after everyone’s left, and your beloved post is just an archive called ‘Previous’, you find out that, hey, lots of your missing friends are secretly ‘dead’. Or ‘dormant’. Sad. They were, many of them, stars of previous galas, and you reflect on Life’s transient nature. Till the next bash.
You post and piss and moan till ‘it’ falls off… and the chilly waters don’t warm up even one degree, Kelvin, do they? (Well, at least I call you by your real name, buddy. That’s something.)
One of my seriously-admired Xangans here jumped overboard a year ago, and swam off to the deserted Isle of Blogger. There he posts heart-breakingly cogent Acts of God almost daily, to virtually zero applause. Average Comments/Post is in the 0.03 range. I’m trying to remedy that single-handedly, as well as offering my private plane to extricate him from Solitary, but he claims he gets lots of ‘hits’ there.
I don’t know, when I piss in a puddle, I like to see something happen. Frogs diving for cover, whatever. Blogging without feedback is like sex with no-one else there to be a ‘witness’, so to speak. I guess you could do it in the road though? Attracting attention is our next Metaphor.
You write what you consider attractive, clever, and endearing posts. Good for you. Now just throw the lasso out into the blog-o-dome. Shit, it got snagged on a spammer. Or fell ‘just this much’ short of a whole herd of prime beef on the hoof. That’s when you sadly remember what yer daddy taught you: ‘Ya cain’t push on a string, son’.
Sure, you can Comment the cattle to death, hoping they’ll be shamed into returning the favor. Or Pulse about the post. Or Plugz about the Pulse about the Post. All this feels somehow undignified though. In a perfect home on the range, the cows would trample your site in a feeding frenzy, and you’d be lassoing two or three at once on each toss. But yeah, Daddy wuz right. Ropes are for pulling.
Anyone who needs to re-introduce herself to her own diary every morning likely has some self-identity issues. But that’s not the point here. For many, Xanga is a Diary, but with a plus.
A diary read not only by your Mom , ever since she found out where you hide it, but also by friends and strangers. And secretly you’re dying to know what they really think of you. That’s why the persona you create skews all over the map: ‘Lemme try this on, and see if anyone bites, barks, or coos.’ There’s also the ‘fun‘ of “Oh no, I said too much.” Frantic early-morning ‘Delete Post’s, check Footprints. At least it’s exciting. Dramatic even.
You basically despise most of the human race. Wish them dead, if by suicide “Site shut down at the owner’s request” or murder: “This Site has been terminated for violation of Xanga’s Terms of Service.” Your nightly battles include pot-shots: “You suck!!”, skirmishes: Reply to reply to reply until both sides are calling the other really awful names, Block-ades, and HUGE FONT attacks naming Names. And you just love it. The smell of Napalm. All this and world war II. So there’s that metaphor.Xanga: Marketing for its own sake.
I find this one, oddly, the hardest to wrap my poor innocent mind around. I see the MGM lion bellowing and underneath him: ‘Analytics Gratia Analytics’. Content plays second fiddle, if its notes are heard at all. Yesterday Dan, The-Illogical Caffein ‘succeeded’ in getting a hundred Xangans to say Nigger, Spic, Kike, and whatever else they could think of. One dear Reader, Comment 107 or so, asked “So what’s next: “What’s your favorite child to rape?’ Bless her heart for trying but to the Marketeer it’s just another Page View and two more e-props.
A Junior version of the disease is the Front-Page entries which merely plead: “20 more Comments and Ten Recs till my next post. Thanks, guys!!”
This sad Game Metaphor kinda brings us to the burial-plot of the Xanga dream; to facilitate thoughtful interaction between friends and friends-once-strangers.
Thanks so much for reading, and as the title says, one of these templates might be familiar to you. On a good day, I pick the first option. Party Hearty. (Oops, ‘heartily’)