Monday, October 17, 2005

Blogging about blogging (how low can you go?)

This is fast becoming my favourite blog. I never knew just how satisfying it could be to rant without anyone actually knowing who you are.

I have just finished a book written by a blogger, Julie and Julia which I would seriously recommend to losers like me who trawl blogs in desperate search of friends and like minds and commenters. Her life was coming apart. She was turning 30. So she decided to go through the Mastering the art of French Cooking cookbook and try every recipe. Oh yeah, and blog her way through it of course. If you cook 524 spectacularly difficult recipes and nobody hears it in cyberspace, does it still make a sound? Is the number 86 possible or even necessary?

Anyway, she acquired quite the following very quickly (ah, every blogger's dreams, comments on what you are actually writing and not nothing, or stupid spammy shite) and her "readers" (she referred to them as bleaders) would get upset if she didn't post. They would say: "Julie, where are you? Are you alright? What about the aspic? And the crustacean murder? And the tarts?"

Well anyway, I liked it. It was like reading a really funny, zesty blog (a cross between Ah Yes, Medical School and Belle in the Big Apple perhaps?), but you just got so much more. I mean, it was not a post, it was a whole fricking book. And she would sometimes tell you what the commenters were saying (invariably hysterical and funny and thought provoking and sometimes downright ineffable), so it felt like reading this large, large blog. Her blog caught on and then the Christian Science Monitor wanted to interview her, and then all the various newspapers and then Almighty New York Times.

All that publicity, like puppies on her doorstep, tongues hanging out, tails wagging. And then the book deal. Wow. They came to her. What do you say to that?????

About the only things I didn't like in the book were the annoying insertions of scenes from the life of Julia and Paul Childs, which were, of course, fiction. They jarred with the tone of the rest of the book, making it slightly off kilter. I skimmed through these (which were all in italics for crying out loud) until I got back to Julie ranting about some kitchen emergency, where I would settle down comfortably and read with interest and attention again.

Why is it that we only want to read about people we identify with going through stuff we can relate to? Is that why blogs are so popular? You feel that someone can relate? You want to talk to other commenters and get a conversation going about the exact meaning of "flying under the radar"?

Anyway, liked the book. Pick it up if you're a blog addict. It costs $29.99 Aussie dollars and you can get it at Angus & Robertsons.


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