The Aggrieved Responds

[Editor’s note: Normally I reply to reader comments with flip one-liners having little or nothing to do with the substance of the comments themselves. However, I’m switching it up today on the off chance that Ms. Ellie checked off her “Notify me of follow-up comments” box.]

Original comment:

Ellie Says:
May 19, 2010 at 11:03 am | Reply edit

Now, that did make me chuckle. I like that you can lick your wounds with a bit of a smile.

Again, it wasn’t all bad, Remember, I said I thought you’d have interesting stuff to say if you didn’t try to be so funny all the time. EG – you make reference somewhere to you and your cousin playing at something as kids. That little reference made me smile. Can’t remember where it is now. Or what exactly you said, but it had potential.

Thoughtful response that I’ve taken way too seriously:

Dearest Ellie,

Firstly, allow me to express my astonishment that you were even able to return to my blog after presumably installing a permanent Write in the Kisser-blocker on your web filter. It must have taken some inordinate hacking skillz to get around it. I also appreciate your willingness to delay lunch before visiting to ensure that no partially digested foodstuffs would end up sprayed across your keyboard before you could finish commenting. I hope nothing went stale during your fast.

Secondly, I have to admit that — despite internalizing your advice to the point where I was persuaded to modify my sidebar and About page — I still don’t fully understand your and the rest of AAYSR’s perpetual objection to writers who self-identify as “humor bloggers.” Naturally, it’s one thing to declare that someone isn’t funny — even Carlin had his detractors, after all (reactionary simpletons though they were) — but that’s the nature of humor: none of it is universal. However, no one would tell a stand-up comedian, “Listen pal, why don’t you drop this whole business of calling yourself a ‘humor speaker’ and simply talk about things in your day-to-day[1] life — truth to power, and all that. I think you’d have interesting stuff to say if you didn’t try to be so funny all the time.”

Sure, this schmo may be the unfunniest thing since — well, me — but to say he shouldn’t advertise himself as a comedian if that is his ambition seems asinine. Likewise, I can see no inherent reason why a writer whose sole intent is to be funny shouldn’t openly call himself a “humor blogger” in order to give new readers an idea of what they’re in for. If they’re not looking for a laugh, then they’ll be able to click away before wasting any time on content that won’t interest them. And if they are looking for a laugh and it turns out that this particular blog (call it, say, “Shite in the Keister”?) is about as funny as being stuck in an elevator with a syphilitic Komodo dragon, then they can still click away with no more than a few minutes of their life having been wasted on such sophomoric endeavors. For the small percentage of viewers who actually stick around because they like what they see (even if they don’t necessarily find every post “rip-roaring, laugh-out-loud funny”), the Humor Blogger Freak Flag will not have flown in vain

To conclude, reiterate, and redundify, Ellie: I take no umbrage with your excoriation of my actual humorosity. Do I wish that you had felt the need to call the Depend® company and demand that they name a new line of adult diapers after me? Yes, of course I do, because that would be awesome. But I can accept your rejection of my LOLness on the basis of personal preference. What I doubt I’ll ever able to agree with you on is the overarching sentiment that, “If you tell me you’re funny, you already suck.” Granted, when one fails as miserably as I have in your eyes to reach this elusive, self-proclaimed standard, then the contrast is all the more glaring, but the fact that such a goal has been publicized in the first place by no means precludes the possibility of one achieving it.

By the way, have you heard the one about the humor blogger who threw a party and then ran out of drinks?

No? Well, that’s okay — there was no punch line, anyway.

P.D. La referencia a lo que refieres con mi primo y yo tenía que ver con nuestra emulación cinemática del actor más brillante de esta generación, Steven Seagal. No puedo creer que no podías recordar este hecho.

[1] That’s for you, El, honey.

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