Ordinarily, a blog sadly lacking in credibility reaching the 100-story mark would be a cause for celebration. But one can’t help but feel pinned by a massive weight of self-loathing as we publish this milestone. Call it a 400-lb. gorilla that compresses the optimism, if you wish, although one wonders how such a gargantuan simian can remain well-stocked in bananas. On the other hand, if you were indeed a 400-lb. gorilla, it would be hard to fathom anyone wanting to turn down such a dietary demand for fear of being torn apart.
But as Fake News Item #100 hits the virtual tabula rasa, it’s time to rotate the lens on ourselves as we come to pains over why such a site is worth continuing. OK, full disclosure for starters: There’s no “we.” It’s just one person diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder using the Dirt as a platform to make sense of the world and hopefully get a few laughs out of it. Except of late, the funny ain’t happening, the Dirt has recently wound up creating a series of pieces drawn out of a desperation for attention and a futile attempt at generating shock value instead of trying to mine that vein of jocularity. In short, the Dirt’s messy composition is about as fertile as the sands in the Sahara.
So, dear readers, all 17 of you, here’s a samokritika of sorts as we undergo a self-examination of what went wrong.
The Dirt simply isn’t funny.
There you go, we admit it right from the start. Physiologically, it just might turn out that the funny bone we thought we possess is little more than a dangling piece of gristle that reacts only when triggered by a flurry of thoughts, resulting in a rush of blood engorging its cavities.
But in our experience, hilarity seldom ensues when that takes place. And that sensation is only fleeting when a whiny partner complains when we’re doing it wrong. Furthermore, if the aforementioned allegory still mystifies you, than maybe we are doing it all wrong.
The Dirt is incompetent.
It’s a given that a lack of competence didn’t prevent a billionaire buffoon from nabbing the keys to the Oval Office, but in the case of the Dirt, such barriers to entry in creating what is hoped to be an entertaining site simply don’t exist.
Anyone can create a crappy blog. Nobody voted us in to take on this task; we started out armed with nothing more than a wing and a prayer and hopefully some semblance of talent. And aside from a few encouraging spikes here and there, that talent, one supposes, is highly suspect.
The Dirt doesn’t get it.
Had this milestone not happened, today’s story would have been a cheap shot at Edmonton’s recent Pride March, on grounds that not a single LGBTQ person or group took part in the event. Nope, the assertion would have been that the only folks monopolizing the proceedings were straight people atoning for their guilt of having hetero double helixes in their genetic goop, and hipsters (Oh, how I love attacking these folks!) using the affair as a see-and-be-seen exercise to benchpress their arrogant hunger for cultural relevance, or some stupid stab at social stratification.
But I had second-thoughts over that one for reasons that even mystify a misfit like myself. I’m not afraid to attack sacred cows and I’m certainly not adverse to whatever reactions that would have come from the community or elsewhere over an exercise in fabricating a display of inclusion as a hatchet job on political correctness. The Limbaugh part of my psyche has long wanted to take on the gay community by addressing its poor taste in fashion, and especially music (like show tunes!). And yet, I balked. And I still don’t know why.
Anyway, while we’re on the topic of dumbass social cues, explain this one. How is it that the Dirt can create a piece that one hopes would generate some controversy, yet on a separate occasion the author can point out on someone else’s Facebook post that a comma is misplaced, only to get an endless slew of angry reactions, some nearly crossing the border of the thriving metropolis of Threatsville?
If this example of misplaced outrage is par for the course in this confusing world of social media, maybe there’s no place in the virtual world for the Dirt. It’s a notion especially pertinent when you consider that there’s no way to compete against a plethora of cat videos that idiots somehow feel compelled to share online.
The Dirt is hardly therapeutic
OK, here’s a full disclosure that’s been known only to a select few until now. The Dirt was created in part to simply get off one’s chest any wrath over current injustices (committed by both the right and left; remember we never play favourites here). Ordinarily, whether I get any reactions over stories would be irrelevant to the cause, but hell, like you, I do have an ego. Remember the worst thing anyone can say to a writer is “I don’t read your stuff.”
Furthermore, transferring such social baggage into a digital repository after what is hoped to be an arduous process of humour injection hasn’t manifested itself into creating a peace of mind. As my therapist commented recently, “Maybe this isn’t working for you.”
The Dirt is burnt out
Maybe this is the likeliest scenario. I’m not afraid to admit there’s been more gunk than gold in these offerings, but to do this for 100 days (taking time out for holidays and weekends) probably isn’t a small feat, particularly when compared to a giant corporate showcase that is Saturday Night Live needs dozens of writers to come up with about a dozen sketches a week for a 22-episode run annually. In all modesty, pound-for-pound, I’m a hell of a lot more prolific.
Wow, comparing the Dirt to Saturday Night Live. Expect some reaction on that. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? Most likely not!
So, is this the time when I ask for help? Like asking for contributions from folks I can’t even pay? That’s totally criminal, even for a fake news site. One thing I won’t do is play the Reactionary Fat Boy card and bilk an intellectually-challenged torch-and-pitchfork following out of their life savings to provide a daily dose of lies, hate and arrogant affirmation disguised as conservative common sense (and if you got this far and can’t for a moment identify that previous target, get the hell off this page right now). But if seeking outside assistance is an option, hell even crowdfunding, it’s certainly worth considering.
I’ve wasted far too much of your valuable time, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to contact the Dirt via the comment section below, on Facebook, Twitter or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I will probably continue this exercise for the rest of the week with some polls, questionnaires and publishing whatever feedback I get from this pathetic soliloquy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to continue feeling sorry for myself. At least until the pharmacist calls me when my refills are ready.