Tuesday, June 23, 2009

GARBAGE BLOGGING • THE STUFF OF NOTHING

The time has come for me to again review (criticize) blogs all about Stuff. Items. Goods. Things to buy. Things to pine after.

Because the news media and all persons tired of chatting about the weather are obsessed with our country's recessive state, I am under the impression that as a whole our liquid funds are less. People have been cutting back. They've been making-do more often. They've been taking pride in reusing and making efforts at making over buying.

Yet there are the blogs made entirely of stuff. Things. And not cheap things either. Blogs that publish frequently and nearly every post is rife with refined images of posh stuff the authors want. And think you should want too if you have any taste at all, because whatever it is these bloggers are posting about is so hip and trendy (and so, they believe, are they). Stuff that not only can you not afford, but stuff that you're of the impression they can't afford either.

These are the blogs that can't go a week without featuring a collage of Etsy gear or items from Anthropologie, 'cause if they did they'd be booted from the link-to-me-I-link-to-you cult they're so obviously proud to be a part of. A cult whose mantras are loose variations on "This would be so lovely in little Ruth's room" and "I know just where I'd put this retro fan to keep us cool during those upcoming steamy summer months" and "Elle would be a-dor-a-ble in this little Etsy dress" and "My kitchen so needs seven or eight of these wooden birds" and "I'm in lo-o-o-ve with the recycled letterpress note cards Sassy Shoppe is making these days."

Sometimes the stuff they're mooning over is house stuff. Sometimes stationary. Often it's clothes for kids. Or loud, colorful, and essentially juvenile-looking aprons. Or useless kitchen utensils. Or flats. Or decorative onesies. Or absurd tutus for daughters.

In commentary on this junk they post, the key phrases they perpetually employ are bits like "So cool!" "Super cute!" "Ready for spring!" "Say 'summer' to me!" "Adorable!" "Too sweet!" "Incredible design!" "Charming!" "I need this!" "Delightful!" "Modern!" "Chic!" and "I heart . . . "

Some of these women endeavor to up their cool and In-factors by referring to Anthropologie as "Anthro." And I find that the people who do so are generally those who want to be seen as hip but have never purchased so much as a drawer pull from that establishment. It's just too expensive. But they don't want anyone to know that they can't afford said store--that they're not frequent Anthropologie shoppers; so they act as if they say, type and visit Anthropologie so regularly that they can't be encumbered with the last three syllables. Rather, they're on something of a first-name-basis. These less-affluent bloggers labor to blend in with all the others just like them: women getting their chameleon on, wanting people to think that they're daily Anthro patrons.

Don't know what I'm referring to? Think that you're unfamiliar with blogs such as these? Trust me, you're not. But, nevertheless, if you're having trouble identifying these blogs as what they actually are, here are some key identifiers:
These blogs have a button for the Madsen cargo bike.
• The authors of these blogs sport conspicuously casual v-neck Ts.
• They wear headbands and have straight-across bangs (and if they don't yet, they soon will).
They're constantly roasting something for a lit-by-Christmas-lights outdoor barbecue with friends.
• Or they're on their way out the door to the local farmer's market or a vintage thrift shop.
When they're pregnant they're prolific on the latest baby paraphernalia--expensive essentials and just as expensive nonessentials.
• They think they can cook as well as they can surf the Internet and they demonstrate said misconception with recipes of all-too-common dishes and many, many images of the finished product. When they do put up posts like these, they claim that they've been getting tons of requests for the recipe, so they're finally posting it. (And you're welcome.)
They all "support handmade." Which they often show no proof of.
• And they go to great lengths to post J. Crew-esque photos of their children bobbing for apples with the other neighborhood ragamuffins.
If it's trendy, whether it be something to buy, to wish to buy, or to serve to your über chic guests, they'll dash to the bandwagon to gab about and promote it and link to other blogs that are doing the same thing. This endless linking being a key clue that these bloggers and their blogs are nothing unique, though they all claim to have and cling to originality.

They are one of so many blogs the intent of which seems to be to enable time-wasting, inciting you to gaze at goods you don't need and can't buy instead of making dinner for your family or learning to knit with a flesh-friend.

It's all pretty shallow and disgusting. What's their point? Well, there doesn't seem to be one.

The substance of these blogs are without substance.


•••

A heartfelt and not at all sarcastic thanks to Ashley, my brilliant research assistant for aid on this post. Nothing without you.

•••

And remember, if you want a shot at having my iPhone 3G for your very own, click here to enter our lil' giveaway; your chance evaporates at midnight tomorrow.

31 comments:

Meg said...

Add this to your list:
These bloggers frequently spell uber as "oober." It's true. And I cry.

Maria said...

I have never understood these types of blogs or what entices people to frequent them. A blog full of products that you just need to purchase? Stupid and boring. There is nothing interesting about these blogs, nothing there worth stopping by for in my opinion. But I guess there are blogs out there for all types of people, right?

Jess Hammond said...

ha! I saw the "oober" just yesterday.

Alicia said...

Yes, it's true... women are predictable creatures. You're bound to find ones of little to no substance whether in the blogging world, or in real life...

rabidrunner said...

Just yesterday, I removed four (4) blogs from my googley reader due to these blogs becoming a catalog. If I wanted to look at a catalog I'd go to the site.

The Anthropology people can thank blogland for my NEVER walking into their store, NEVER visiting their web site and trashing anything Anthro sent to my humble abode.

I swear people buy that stuff just because it says "Anthropology." Not an uncommon theme amongst our humans - which makes me wonder why Anthropology bothers me more than Prada or insert current hip and expensive brand here. Hmmm...

Pretentious with a capital something.

J said...

I appreciate that you used popular girl-child names in your examples. Also, thank you for pointing out the "loud, colorful, and essentially juvenile-looking aprons." When I cook I wear an apron because I'm messy, but I have never understood those crazy-looking aprons that only cover the bottom half of your body. Really? Do the women who buy those aprons not ever spill anything on themselves from the waist up? Am I THAT big of a slob when I cook? maybe...

Ashley Thalman said...

Hilarious!!!
Thank you Rabid for making the drive home point. Take these, and any other blogs that make you feel that you need things to be a self-actualized person, and get them out of your life.
This post is about spring cleaning your blog.

Misti said...

Be still my heart. Excellent post.

I never understood the love of that either. Sure, an occasional post about something you honestly like, but the on and on and on...ick.

Matt said...

Wow...this post is strange to me because don't you design things to make money off of the same people that you just described? Furthermore, right after you vented to the blogosphere your distaste for people that blog about things to pine for, you saw fit to plug your iPhone giveaway. But cheers to you for being so completely different.

meg said...

Matt, I'd encourage you to familiarize yourself with my blog so that you'd understand the tone of this space. And should you plow through my past posts, you'd discover my passion for capitalism and thus understand that I am happy earn money from just about anyone that wants to pay for my services. And truth be told, I can't recall ever doing work for any blog like those I'm referencing.

And regading the phone, that's another topic you'd be wise to understand more fully before referencing. Learn about my passion for the Apple brand. Learn that I actually have all the products of theirs that I rave about--that I'm not just wishing I had them and think that they're hip. Learn that for me it's all about efficiency, productivity and fluid communication. And perhaps note that with the phone giveaway you referenced that I am merely choosing to give away my superfluous phone rather than selling it to buy useless crap from Anthro.

Were I you, I'd know of what I spoke before speaking. Just a thought.

Matt said...

I actually have read your posts for sometime now. I still stand by my remarks. Clarify as much as you want...I still find it interesting.

{Erica} said...

Note to self: Megan wouldn't like my Monday posts.

meg said...

Three cheers for conviction, Matt.

[Morgan] said...

what the hell is uber?

once upon a time i worked early morning shipment at the gap. i worked with a lot of ladies who were 50 plus in years. i honestly was under the impression that anthro was an old lady store.
well, thanks to the blogging world, i now unnecessarily know how "cool" anthro is and how i should be shopping their.

bleh.

[Morgan] said...

ps. i didn't mean that 50 is old. i was only referring to the lovely ladies i worked with...

theincrediblejulk said...

i love this post. i think it's unfortunate that people don't understand "seriously so blessed" is satirical. i have this secret obsession (not so secret anymore!) where i go to ssb, and link to all the women who comment there, and their blogs are all the same, and just as you described! to me, the unfortunate aspect of this kind of blogging is that it defeats the possibility of meaningful conversation (hence all the "super cute!" comments, as if that were necessary. yes, i'm SURE this blogger needs to know that my opinion on these sundresses is "ADORABLE!" a waste of space, breath, and brain power). unfortunately, these blogs are merely an interwebbed manifestation of the problems in our culture, namely the need to be surrounded by stuff. and that one must let the world know what kind of stuff they have or desire because apparently we can only communicate in a language of stuff vs. stuff, so basically no content, just vapid sounds from people not willing to think beyond consuming...

theincrediblejulk said...

also--to be non-creepy (i just realized i ranted w/o introducing myself) i'm ashley's friend errin. there. not so lurky-creepy anymore.

rabidrunner said...

I believe someone has failed to see the irony/tongue-in-cheek in your give-a-way... but then again no one understands you like I do. That's my claim to fame. All 15 minutes of it.

Keri Beth Mason said...

Darnit.

Anthro - I say it.

Half-Aprons - I love them. Like I really, really love them.

Those Blogs - I frequent them.

And I'm okay with that. It's like TV for me. Mindless, entertaining, fun.

And I used CurlzMT for my daughters 3rd birthday invites. I'm a little bit embarrassed by that.

Just a little.

meg said...

Errin, so nice to have you. I have heard much of you; that Ash sure does think you're nifty.

Keri, you're hilarious. Courageous too. Way to not be bashful and instead let it all out.

And rabid, tongue in cheek? Who? Me?

The Porter Family said...

Love this post. Thanks for being real & saying how it is!

rookie cookie said...

I cook and it's not secret, so my opinions on ruffly aprons: If you wear an apron like that, you don't know what you are doing in your own kitchen. If you did, you would know that an apron like that isn't efficient and doesn't serve the real purpose of an apron. What does a good apron include? Big, separated pockets for the random things collected in the kitchen, like a cell phone or a measuring spoon. Adjustable neck strap connected to the waist straps. And a dark colored pattern to hide stains. And it has to be long enough to use as a towel when needed.

This whole post is a long time coming. I would name names, but then I would loose all my readership. But then again, people probably think my blog is stupid. Whatever.

J said...

rookie - thanks for validating my concerns about the frilly aprons. i thought i was alone in thinking they were strange and useless.

rabidrunner said...

Frilly aprons are lingerie at my house... and the big pockets are great for the ipod. I cook with an ipod. It's like a mini vacation.

This is so much fun! I might just stay here and refresh all-the-long-while day.

J said...

ahhh, but if you are utilizing the frilly apron for the purpose of lingerie then it is use-full, not use-less. very useful indeed...

mini vacation. haha. maybe i'll have to try that.

Jaime Stephens said...

I love your posts Megan.. I do visit these sites sometimes then I click and see prices and I think, "really" do people really buy that stuff I thought I wasn't cool because I am not down with anthropologie and stuff but thanks I feel a little cooler now.. I love reading all your comments too way to stir em up...I wish I could write like you, you can say anything and boy do you know how to say it :-)

meg said...

Jaime you sparked a smile. Thanks for your kind complement. Stuff like that doesn't go unnoticed. I appreciate it.

And I'll vouch for your coolness any day (though I'm actually no authority seeing as I don't subscribe to any of the blogs I mentioned--not even as a guilty pleasure).

k a t y said...

Oh, man. I've got the Madsen button. Just hoping to win it.

Well said. What it comes down to is people are afraid of being who they truly are. They don't have the confidence that who they are is interesting, read-worthy, or acceptable. It takes a post like yours to shake them by the shoulders to re-think who they (we) really are, and be happy about it.

Hans said...

Some people wear frilly aprons and shop homemade. Other people take anything that is trendy or atleast generally liked by a large amount of people and decide to hate it. Blogs. Stores. Fashions. Music. Fonts, for heaven sakes. To me that's less having your own opinions and more hating others'. It's running fast and hard away from anything that would make you cliche. And then feeling like you are so different, one of a kind because you hate everything surrounding the norm. And you criticize those people for trying, unsuccessfully to be unique. Unique like you. And all your followers agree. They feel the exact same way.

meg said...

Hans, you're simply adorable.

A Way Down South In Dixie said...

Amen!

The first time I stumbled upon one such blog I was actually looking for some very specific artwork for my daughter's room and thought- well there's a good idea!

I bookmarked the site and a a few others like it and checked in on them from time to time.

The other day though, on this same blog I'd once found inspirational, its author was lamenting the fact that times were tough (financially) and their family was going to have to tighten their belts to make it through this economic downturn.

She then ended her post by saying "But I refuse to go without designer shoes and fresh-cut flowers. What won't you give up?" Ok, in all fairness her words may have been "good shoes" which might be a sound economic strategy if their quality means they'll last you many many years. But fresh-cut flowers? Seriously? You can't buy groceries and you "will NOT go without fresh-cut flowers?" Then you and I are done my friend. We are finished.