Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Help - so shitty. And also a post in which I ask your advice on blog stuff. Trust me. It'll benefit all of us.

 Have I mentioned yet that I'm reading The Help for my book club? And did I mention that my book club meets on Wednesday and I just got the book last night?  And did I mention OH MY FUCKING GOD, this book sucks ass in a myriad of ways?  Wow.  It really, really does.

I was talking about it with a friend who is also in book club [she bought the book; I refused], and one of the things that she found most off-putting, and I have to agree, is that the writer, old what's her name, has no grasp of the dialects she is trying to use - that of un- or undereducated black maids.  I agree, and found that even the white characters, with whom she so closely identifies, are stilted. 

And then I thought about writers who use that effect so well - Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Mark Twain and, in a more readily acceptable comparison, Fanny Flagg.  I love Fanny Flagg's work, particularly because she has such a gift for the spoken word. Which any writer will tell you, is not that easy to approximate. 

So, I'm 90 skimmed pages in, and this book blows.  I'm thinking this is going to be an interesting book club meeting.


I'm trying different means of commenting.  I know the whole sign and word verification is bullshit, but I did get some crazy spam for a while.  Now I'm doing comment moderation.  This means I have to be on top of stuff, but it's easier on the commenter.  We'll see if I can manage it.  And yes, I'm still getting a lot of spam, but you won't see it.

I don't have a blogroll.  I'm not very good at keeping up on that type of thing.  I also feel like, Who gives a shit who you have on your blogroll, with your paltry commenters and readers?  But.  I love when I happen upon a blog and that writer has me on her blogroll.  SO FLATTERING.  I guess what I'm saying is, I need to do something about this double standard.

I try and alert my Twitter followers about my latest posts.  Annoying or helpful?

What about feeds?  I use Google Reader to keep track of my reading list.  I know some people have an email option.  Do you read those? I'm 50/50.

And the pictures of the followers?  I kind of like that, but I don't necessarily include myself on the blogs I do follow.  Again, I need to be better about that, but there is still that insecurity of "Who gives a shit if you follow? Lamer."

I'm also working on responding to each comment.  I've been pretty good the past few weeks.  Is that preferable to emailing a comment to the writer?  Do both?

And finally, I'm in the works setting up a Facebook page. Because all the cool kids do it.  Do you use FB? I'm not much of a user, but then, I have zero interest in connecting with people I went to high school with, because sweet jesus, the faster I was rid of them the happier I was.

If you could let me know what you think of any and all of these topics, I'd be grateful.  Even if it's just, "For fuck's sake, write about Gwyneth K. Paltrow again, you dumdum!"


  1. I tried reading The Help, but I just couldn't get into it. There was something I just couldn't put my finger on...and I think it was the dialect situation.

    I mostly use my blogroll to quickly grab the blogs that I read constantly. It's kind of like my blogging speed dial.

    I think that Twitter updates are helpful. Sometimes, when I'm going through my Google reader, I somehow miss a blog. Twitter updates make sure that that doesn't happen.

  2. Alison, it is so so so TERRIBLE. Just awful.

    Hmm . . . I like that idea bout the blog roll, because my Google Reader becomes unwieldy. Glad to know that the Twitter updates are helpful. Thanks so much for your comments!

  3. DO get on FB. it's a great tool. for me, I stopped posting blog updates on my personal FB page and forced any friends who were reading to "like" my fan page. then, I knew who was reading but not commenting. also, maybe someone doesn't want to comment, but they'll "like" a post. it's nice.

    I like getting blog updates on the twitter. but I do read you through blogger.

    I am SO bad at updating my blog roll, but I'll go do that right now. :)

  4. I use the blogroll to keep up on the people I follow. Otherwise I'd miss something, I just know it.

    I like the twitter posts, it gives me a heads up on the latest. For myself, I don't know how many times is right to tweet for the same blog post. I'm afraid my "tweeps" will think I'm desperate. I don't feel like that about other people tweets, though. Just mine. Insecurity issues.

    And I'm clueless about appropriate responding to comments. Do commenters expect a reply for every comment? Or is there some formula to use?

    And. about Facebook. I have no interest in it at all. There are people out there I don't keep in contact with for a reason. No need to encourage them.

    I wasn't any help at all, was I?

  5. First of all, yes, write about GP again. Do what you do well, that's what I always say. Or, do what I like. That's the other think I always say. Anyway. The Help. Yes. A friend loaned it to me. Raved about it. Everyone I've met who has read it has raved about it. You can't imagine my excitement when I read that you hated it. I couldn't even get in 90 pages. Bookclubs: I started a bookclub. We met at a different restaurant each month to discuss a book of one member's choosing. Only, usually, only 1 or 2 people ever read the book and we spent the whole time talking about food, sex, and men. In that order. Not very intellectual, but I'll tell you this. We had a waiting list to get into our book club. Okay, the blogger stuff. You asked about blogroll. Ahh. What ev. I look at other people's blog rolls when I am looking for someone new to read. But I also find new people to read by looking at the comments on other blogs. If someone's comment cracks me up, I go check them out. Followers. It's polite. If I like someone, I add them to my list so that I get their blogs and don't have to remember to check them, but I also try to follow them so that their followers number goes up, because that is encouraging. Comments. I don't care how people have their set up. I've never had a problem leaving a comment, and I've had very little spam issues. My feelings are not hurt if someone doesn't respond to my comment, but like you, I try to make the effort. I think the greater compliment, though, if time is an issue, is to read their blog and comment on it. I'm on facebook but pretty much just to post the blog postings and to comment on my friends' statuses (stati?)Same thing with my FB page, which I have to confess, I didn't even start-one of my friends did and she's kept it up for me. She's really sweet and incredibly busy, so I owe her. Whatever her kids are selling for school trips, I'm buying. I tweet, but again, only when I post, which I have recently been reading is considered bad etiquette, so I guess I should work on that. I don't really get twitter. Seems stupid. I might not work on it. Hope that helps.

  6. Andygirl - I am working on the FB thing. I'm also glad you like the twitter updates. I like when I see other people do them, because I'm afraid I'll miss a new post. Which I probably will.

    Renee - O.k., blogroll for people you follow, good call. And a second good for twitter. Please don't feel insecure! And you are helpful, honestly. I'm loving the feedback.

    Chicken's Consiglieri - GP: On it. The Help: SUCKS ASS. Love your book club! I had a great one, once. This is one is . . . meh. I'll definitely start doing more following. You're right, it is polite.

    Thanks so much!!

  7. Awwww.... I loved The Help!

    I'd be interested in being a fly on the wall at your book club meeting.

    Okay, here's my two cents on the blog stuff:

    Have a blogroll. I have found lots of good blogs on other people's blogrolls. I think it's interesting to see what other people are reading.

    Keep updating on Twitter and when you get on FB update there too. I don't personally find it nearly as annoying as half the status updates on FB.

    I use Google Reader.

    Keep the pics of the followers and also become a follower of the blogs you follow. It's easy and gives someone a little thrill when they see they have a new follower.

    I have FB and I love it/hate it.

    Try it, why not?

    Oh, btw, Gwyneth K. Paltrow sucks balls.

  8. Yes yes write about Gwyneth K. Paltrow again (she even spells her name annoying - even if that is the way normal people spell it...somehow she makes it more frustrating). And also, I don't want to be the only crazy blogger out there stalking a celebrity, let's band together. Even if my stalking has ended in true love for me and Eminem.
    As for the blog stuff, it makes my head hurt when I try to think of all the things I should/shouldn't do. Just go with your instinct/what you feel comfortable taking on. I do like the lack of word verification but I'm sure it's a lot of work to moderate the comments. We keep meaning to add a blogroll too. We had one before we did a revamp but now we need one. You'd TOTALLY be on it!
    As for the book club. Ditch the book and read Us Weekly. When the club meets just get really hammered, throw up and pass out, then no one will know you didn't read it.

  9. Sarah - I have to read your review. And I'm kind of dreading book club. And thanks so much for your two cents. I really appreciate your opinion. And hell, yes, she sucks balls.

    Tonya - I am loving you and Eminem. So sweet together. I'll keep up with Gwynnie - it's not like she's going to stop. Thanks for saying you'd want me on your blogroll - so flattering. I may be taking your advice re: book club. Ugh. Stinks on ice.


Every time you comment, I get a lady boner.