Home > The Goofy Book 3: Writing Experiments > The Guide To Ignoring Guidelines

The Guide To Ignoring Guidelines

I used to be bored, I still am, but I used to be too (beginning a post by uncreatively ripping off the late, great Mitch Hedberg always seems like a promising lead).  I amazed myself tonight–which isn’t unusual given that I, myself, am quite the amazing guy with a horribly sarcastic egocentric writing perspective–in that I worked on a college project for three hours.  Doing real work isn’t something special, as it has come across as being fairly important for grades, but sacrificing my usual Wednesday drinks and good time at Awful’s Comedy Night with Anthony Quinn is nearly unheard of.  Furthermore, I demand anybody who reads this to come out to the club too… yes, demand or else I hope your next fortune cookie involves a message regarding fire and your hair (excuses like “I live 287 miles away” are only sometimes admitted).

Anyways, none of what I’ve already written was intentional or even remotely close to what I wanted to briefly discuss tonight.  I don’t change what I write once it’s down; if the first draft is good enough for me then it’s damn well good enough for you too until you start contributing.  As you may have noticed I’m also mentioning a Wednesday night when it’s clearly a day or two later, but my 88mph Delorean brings me to whenever I please because Christopher Lloyd believes in timeless creativity.

These gosh-darned internets are such a different place.  I can’t limit free speech in the personal sense.  Right this second you can yell out anything your special heart desires and nobody has the capability of stopping you because they didn’t know it was coming (unless they were preemptive and put a ball gag in your mouth while Maynard called over Zed… it’s time you found your way into more pop culture to understand what I’m referencing).  However, you can attempt to speak your angry or one-sided thoughts online, especially in comment replies, and I can simply delete them–wholly erasing any potential gaining followers and developing a rebellion against me.  It’ll be as if the time you took to carefully craft your inspirational message has been erased from history.  You could have been advancing your skills as a junior brain surgeon (you don’t get the “good” tools or healthy specimens at this stage; you have to earn them), yet you took the precious time out of your day to construct a blog post reply that will never been seen in the public eye.

I’ve stumbled upon (no, not the site that I’ve heard about but never felt like looking up) a blog here on WordPress that is making an attempt at promoting proper, wholesome commenting etiquette.  I would link it, but then you may be disinclined to accept my reasoning after reading the post.  First it tells us that we should craft specific, personalized remarks when replying to a post.  Right off the bat I can tell that this blog author has a dire affection for attention.  It is directly suggesting that we show we took the time to read their drivel, and should refrain from long-winded comments or at least use the Facebook “Like” button to “show our support.”

I gain respect for my own work a lot more when I can have a discussion about it.  True, I do like to know that my audience appreciates my writing, but I’m open to all forms of response… I already had returning jokes about messing around with a Queen in my last post and I think that is a good base level.  Perhaps I am insecure and I want to check my WordPress Site Stats a few times a day; that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to see a “good job” or “you’re writing makes me want to stab my eyes with a wooden spoon.”  These types of comments allow me to gauge my reader’s sense of humor and understanding, and I’m for it.

The next etiquette guideline informs us that self-promotion is trashy and likely to be ignored.  ForBetterGENiUS.  Quite hard to ignore isn’t it?  It’s like putting your company name on a twenty cent ballpoint pen–sure nobody cares, but at least your name is out there waiting to be handed off to the next unsuspecting consumer <– That last point is so good (are you picking up on this additional shameless self-promotion?) that I’m not even going to continue arguing this second guideline.

Step three of proper, good-natured post replies says we need to stay on topic.  Personally, I find this very hard to do seeing as my posts, in general, aren’t always “on topic.”  I’ll drift from one idea to the next whilst covering my tracks by creating the least little fragment of a connecting thought, so surely I cannot also expect any commenters to show better form than me.  Besides, there’s hope that your irrelevant ramblings at the tail end of my post will spark a new idea in my mind which I will later be able to deconstruct and leave you with no credit.

As I continue on with the two remaining appropriate comment tips (I’ve broken away from including “us” in this discussion as you need to leave a comment before it becomes a “we” endeavor), it’s apparent that I’ll soon be repeating myself.  Steps four and five mention “being nice” and “keeping it brief”… neither of which matter when, again, a comment can simply be deleted.  Of course the comments left (aka the ones not hidden from view) on that author’s guideline article followed the aforementioned suggestions and in, might I add, the cheesiest fashion (Kraft can’t hold a candle to this).  If I posted a link of this glorious article into Miss Etiquette’s comment section, Hell might just implode on itself by the sheer audacity of my mildly ironic musing.

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