Yesterday I was surprised when a friend said the following in a comment for my Lindsay Lohan Proves Her Illiteracy article:
Nice to see you on the WordPress Top Posts list !
My response was, “Huh?” and my friend was kind enough to follow up with this:
When I load up my WP dashboard – I have a *Whats Hot column* on the right hand side.
In the right hand column I have WP.com News, Top WP.com blogs today and then Top Posts from around WP.com
I logged into my WordPress.com Dashboard — Urban Semiotic
has been hosted by WordPress.com for a month now after being a
“standalone” WordPress blog for the past two years — and found my Lindsay Lohan Proves Her Illiteracy
article was the third “Top WordPress.com blogs today” and the second
“Top Posts from around WordPress.com” directly under “Britney Spears
upskirt pictures” and this entire blog was ringing in at number seven
as one of the “Fastest Growing WordPress.com blogs.” Pretty heady stuff
as you can see:
David – Don’t know where she saw it but you can follow the links on this page to check out hotter blogs on WordPress.com.
J was right! There’s my Lindsay Lohan Proves Her Illiteracy article in second place again beneath Britney’s upskirt.
There we were sitting pretty as the second “Hot Blog” on WordPress.com as well!
It is a great thrill to see your work being read, but you begin to wonder who is reading you and why and then memories of Titties in the Top Spot, Titties All the Time
come flooding back and you begin to realize just how shallow and narrow
“being popular” can make you despite your best efforts to be relevant
I suppose that is the danger of the fame and popularity of Lindsay
Lohan and Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and their ilk: You start to
think your popularity alone makes you smart or a good writer or a
person of moral fiber when all it does is give you an opportunity for
salaciousness and serving your temptations and for scraping the lowest
common denominator in order to reach the most eyes that want to click
on a provocative headline or view an obnoxious image.
It all makes you a little sad and a little morally depressed because we
try here every single day to be thoughtful and to make a difference and
to not play down to our basest instincts. We try to lift up instead of
I am infinitely pleased with the reception for my Lindsay Lohan Proves Her Illiteracy
article and I am especially delighted with the flood of conversation
that immediately followed that publication in the comments.
One of the most interesting comments was, for some reason, posted by
Colleen on our Comments Policy page instead of in the comments stream for the Lohan article:
The phrase: “Made a searching and fearless inventory…” in
Ms. Lohan’s letter is the 4th step as outline in the 12 steps of
Alcoholics Anonymous. In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in the
chapter, “How it Works,” beginning on page 58 it outlines how to get
sober and how the AA program works. On page 59 the 12 steps are listed.
You can really get a sense of the high intellectual readership of this
blog just by reading the flow of the comments — on all our articles —
and for that fact alone, I am forever grateful.
I am, however, disappointed that an article about an illiterate
celebrity swallowed up such a great deal of attention.
idolatry is the newest, craven, infectious disease of the week.
If I were cunning I would start a “Lindsay Lohan is Stupid” blog and
fill it with her brazen images and everything she ever wrote and cut
her up by bits; but that would bee too easy and too low road and I’m
sure a 100 other bloggers have already beaten me to the publication
There are more important issues and other, better, articles published
right here that others could read and make popular enough for being
published on other front pages and other hot lists like: A Badge, a Blood and Orange Bloodshed or Chlamydia and the White Van or Nigger Tax or even Deaf and Bloodless in Canada
— but wishing isn’t the beauty and the peril of publication.
The beauty of publication is trying to get something online every day
and the peril is hoping the effort touches someone else just enough
that they will step forward out of darkness and place a comment down on
the bright permanent record as a reaction to an idea sowed into the
ether with held thumbs and a smile and a shoeshine.
You can’t predict what will grow — or who will read you — or what
will wilt and so you just keep on pressing the “Publish” button while
trying to stay both innovative and dangerous.
Then, on the day you least expect it, an explosion of thought and
meaning will crystallize in one place in a single moment on your blog
and new records will be set, screenshots will be taken, comments will
degrade into the silly and — if you’re lucky enough to evolve — you might just be in the right position to end up looking up Britney Spears’ skirt.