(Editor's Note: Nothing's colder than a heart that's gone metal. Seriously, how am I supposed to see with all of this shampoo in my eyes? If you are looking for an apology, there isn't one. First order of business: Film Stew has wrongly identified Brian Gallagher as the writer of the following Boos! commentary. Brad Orange is a living, breathing resident of Echo Park, California that has worked for this site in some capacity since its inception way back in 1998. Way before Brian Gallagher ever came on board (way to fact check the Internet, dummy!). And B. Alan didn't want to change this article at all. That said, "Yes!" There have been some very interesting responses to this week's Boos! and Whoop-doos!. Blogger Pride is a horrible, rampant disease and the hardcore clickers certainly have a good sense of humor about their own lower class status. With the exception of a few surly mopes, they got the joke. Some didn't, which makes me laugh like a maniac. I love John Campea and his http://www.themovieblog.com/The Movie Blog. Heck, B. Alan even mentioned his excellent live show in last week's column as the best alternative to the new, horrible At the Movies. I was tickled that John took his time to respond in kind to Orange's so-called "article" (as others have put it). And I agree somewhat with his sentiments (except for the big dick paycheck challenge he'd like to engage in with Brad Alan, only because Campea is cash hung like an Indonesian trust fund baby...I say we kidnap him and hold him for ransom right now!). The piece was meant to inspire heated discussions, and that it did. Brad continues to stand by his comments and claims that there is no explanation needed for what he said. I will tell you that this point of discussion sprang out of a conversation where someone said to Brad, "People keep calling me a blogger. And the way they say it makes it sound like they are calling me a dirty (x)igg(x)r." I talked with Brad. He thought this was funny and ran with it. Know, the piece only disappeared from the far reaches of cyberspace for one simple reason. I'll explain: Not surprisingly, the two "African-American" gentlemen of "color" that contacted B. Alan via email (one a blogger, one an old mentor and film instructor from my own alma mater SOSU in Ashland) were quite all right with his use of that most feared and belabored of words. Yeah, that drop of tongue acid so often referred to as the "n-bomb". They actually took the time to read the entire piece, and understood the logic behind the metaphor. And they also found a modicum of humor in it. Basically, the word wasn't used in a hateful way. And its history and rough exterior only helped push the message B. Alan was trying to get across. It was actually a handful of "Powerful" "Rich" "White" people with "Money" that screamed, "Ouch, that word tears out the insole of my eardrum!" They only read the first sentence before sending in their hate mail. Certain ignorant individuals like to pull that fire alarm before finding out where the smoke is coming from. That's certainly what happened here. Sometimes, you have to succumb to outside censorship simply because people are too eager to be offended. They really don't want to take the time to understand why they are being offended, though. Which is just stupid. Sadly, sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is, and block the hole. So, yes, the following piece has been edited as to not offend those people that hate to see certain words in print (or hear them out loud for that matter; i.e. "The Man"). I have replaced this "so naughty it could make a nasty, heartless whore cry" word with its exact polar opposite. Yes, I have replaced the word with the Caucasian equivalent. And now, I am expecting even more 'cease the hate' emails from Anson Williams and his followers. About FS.net (who has also wrongly identified Brad as Brian Gallagher) chiming in with a comment at the bottom? Too funny! This guy is one of the reasons this particular Boos! and Whoop-doos! was written in the first place. It's a simple known fact. None of us want to be associated with this guy's lazy tactics. That goes for "blogs" and "legit sites" alike. Even Campea pointed out some problems he's had with the guy in the past. Plain and simple, he steals content. Case in point, this week, he took a "buzz" story from Chud, which you can read here, and then rewrote it as his own piece, which you can read here. And he didn't even bother to offer a link. He's also taken registered content from our own Paulington J. Christensen and used it as his own. These are not the typical "news" stories that everyone repurposes and uses. These aren't scoop stories. He is taking unique editorial pieces that are the sole property of the sites they came from. He is then barely rewriting them and selling them as his own original pieces. And then he is making money off of them by buzzing and digging them as his own. He does this quite often. Is he such an ignoramus that he can't differentiate between what is "news" and what is "editorial" content? Like it or not, he has made a lot of people angry. He's like the chicken stealing, watermelon buffet attending horrible caricature of the Blog world that gives "blogging" and "bloggers" a bad name. Funny thing is, Brad didn't identify him by his last name or his actual site. But Alex, along with his other blog friends, has ratted himself out as the subject of ridicule. Again, sort of funny. The problem with FS.net is that he doesn't ask questions when at a roundtable, set visit, or press conference interview. But he has no qualms about posting the outcome as his own content. When asked by another Internet writer why he does this, FS.net stated proudly, "I don't ask questions." And then went on to claim it was a policy of his. Hmm? And people wonder why there's a problem with this guy. I, personally, didn't know who Alex B. was until someone pointed him out to me one day. At the few events where he has been present, he comes on like a shadow man. Lurking about, not saying a word. Aside from his lofty site control techniques and his inability to conjure up any original content of his own, he seems like a "nice" enough guy, though. He has a friendly face and I, personally, like quiet people. But I can completely see why he has become the "kicking bag" amongst movie sites like ours and others. I also think his complete lack of film knowledge has something to do with the reason why people are upset with his presence as a so-called "movie expert". I'm not sure what to think of the guy. I've never engaged the man in actual conversation, and as far as I am concerned, he is nothing more than some faceless "dirty blogger" roaming the Internet. Now, on with the slightly edited (I only change one word; you'll know which one) original Boos! and |boldWhoop-doos!. Sorry it took me so long to edit it, I didn't know it was in such high demand.)
The word blogger? Boo!
Egyptian Bloggers Jailed? Whoop-doo!
Blogger is the new Potsie. And I don't say that in an overtly racist, insensitive means to make you frown. I mean it in a 5th grade Webster's Dictionary definition as defense mechanism sort of way. Today's American word bible claims that Potsie is an offensive and inflammatory racial slur that expresses ethnic hatred and bigotry. Mainly towards the Caucasian people of the United States. It is a socially stigmatizing noun that far too many people claim to use as an empowerment adjuster. Back in the 70-80s, the word ran just as rampant on the playgrounds of California as it does today, but I remember kids distinctly looking down at this peculiar sound as if hearing a mighty whip-crack thud of stupidity. They would grimace and explain to the complainer in question, "A Potsie does not encompass the entire Caucasian race. A Potsie is an ignorant person. They are a member of a socially disadvantageous class of people. A Potsie could be white, black, brown, yellow, or clouded. Being a Potsie means that you are stupid. It means being on the same evolutionary back porch step as a fetch happy dog. A white person is not a Potsie. But a Potsie can be a white person. I am far too intelligent, and well educated to be classified as a Potsie ."
Blogger Pride? Boo!
And that same sentiment seems to apply to the bloggers of today. Like it or not, newspapers and other print media outlets are being phased out. People are turning to the Internet for their daily news updates. It's a simply fact, and a square dividing line has been drawn across the two separate sides of our so-called cyberspace. There are the "real" journalists that work for major corporations and established media outlets. And then there are the "bloggers" who run their sweat-powered opinion industries from their parent's basement (a sad but true cliche, heck, Alex B. at Fistshoving.net just migrated out of his sweet mommy's womb-like washroom for the first time last month). The term "blogger" is starting to be seriously looked at as a bad thing, as legitimate writers with established and earned reputations are finding their forehead's stamped with this ugly little state title simply for placing their own opinions into the news pieces they churn out on a weekly basis.
Blogger Attire? Boo!
That's right. I heard a pretty strong argument that if you place cohesive, personal thoughts into the information you are sharing with other people, then you, Sir, are a "blogger". It doesn't sound so bad, until you hear people like Roger Ebert, Stephen King, and Chuck Palahniuk being called bloggers. Then, all of a sudden, it seems like you could get away with calling Ghandi and The Pope a Potsie. It's that disrespectful. I was on a TV set visit a few weeks back for a popular show. Half of us worked for reputable sources of data output. The other half was populated by sixteen-year-old kids and old ladies that run their own personal websites out of a bedroom in Des Moines, Iowa. Despite our class differences, we were all referred to as "bloggers". And there was a mild bit of disgust from the stage crew whenever we were introduced as such. It's really like being placed in a different tax bracket, or social circle. I kept wanting to scream, "I'm not a blogger! I work for a legitimate media corporation." It's like trying to rule a hierarchy, and then being thrust into the dungeon with a bunch of beggars. Being called a "blogger" sounds dirty. Offensive. And mean.
Blog Parties? Boo!
Look. It breaks down like this. There are legitimate movie sites. And then there are blogging sites. Now, suddenly, the line seems to be getting blurred. Studios are looking to the "bloggers" to get the word out on a show or a film, because they are the enthusiastic ones. The ones that care. The ones that are devoted to the cause. So-called "real" movie sites are just passing along information without any said personality traits. That may be true, but all of a sudden, the movie blogs are starting to look just like the movie sites. Why? Because they are ripping off a planted aesthetic (and in Fistshoving.net's case, actual content). Legitimate media outlets usually do all of the hard work, and then these "bloggers" take the credit for it by Digging and Buzzing the hell out of someone else's interview. Not only are a lot of these "bloggers" thieves, but they are rude, disingenuous people that seem to be sucking off the side of a fast sailing ship just so they can get their nickel bag of notoriety. Fuck it, I'm fine with free enterprise and all that business, but the problem here is that we are all being tagged with the "blogger" clause because of their insistency to look just like us, and most of us aren't about that.
Sure, this particular column is made of personal ideas and insights. But it is a "column" or "opinion piece". It is not a "blog". And when someone calls me a "blogger", I suddenly feel like that little white kid on the playground trying to defend myself. And I've discussed this with some of my peers. They feel the same way. When working towards a common goal, it is hard to get labled a "blogger", simply because those around you don't take the word seriously. It does evoke this dirty sense of self-expression for gain. Like you are standing in a ditch, screaming obscenities over the piss poor quality of your very expensive movie ticket. When I am labeled a "blogger" by the star of my third favorite TV show, I want to say, "Look, a blogger does not encompass the entire journalistic face of the Internet. A blogger is an ignorant, often times uneducated person. They are a member of a socially disadvantageous class of people. A blogger can soon become a legitimate journalist, but they don't abide by any certain rule of grammar. Being a "blogger" means you don't get paid. It means being on the same evolutionary back porch step as a fetch happy dog. An Internet media journalist is not a blogger. But a blogger can be an Internet journalist. I am far too intelligent, and well educated to be classified as a blogger."
Do you see what I am getting at? Huh?
Quote Farmers? Boo!
Making this observation certainly opens a whole floodgate of potential arguments. What makes me better than a "blogger"? What makes anyone better than a "blogger"? Well, that's kind of the point. Its not really about what you are writing or what your social status is, a label can be a hard thing to work through and live with. I'm simply pointing out that this one word is starting to cause some heartache amongst the varying different degrees of hierarchy here on the web. Like Anson Williams, some bloggers wear the badge proudly. And like a white kid striving for a hip-hop recording deal in 1970's America, some Internet personalities are striving to get away from the term, because it makes them look like less of a human being. Basically, I am not against blogging or bloggers, and I frequent quite a few of these so-called sites myself.
Old School Scoopers? Whoop-doo!
I just don't like what the word has come to represent, and the fact that generalized folks can't see past the stigmatism of its woeful meaning. The movie studios are possibly the only factotum that graciously buys into the waning blogger mythos, as their employed quote farmers seem to be specifically seeking out movie bloggers for the quotes they use on their ads and posters. Which is disheartening. Especially when you see some of these people. If you hung out with doughboy extraordinaire Alex B., or just saw a picture of him, you'd be screaming, "I don't give a fuck if this guy likes the movie. Look at him. I'm not going to listen to him. And his Kevin Covais face." Seriously, if they started putting pictures next to the quotes, the movie ad business would be a whole new, funny ball game.
Blogger. It is a derogatory term. And it should be treated as such. Now, commence with calling me a dirty blogger in the provided comment space below. Go on, you know you want to! B. Alan Orange is a dirty blogger. Hopefully, the word will feel a bit greasy dripping off your lips, and should you ever pursue a career in legitimate journalism, you too, will now what its like to be labeled a "blogger".
At this current moment in history, it kind of sucks. And I dream of a time when an actor or a writer mentions the word "blogger" in his acceptance speech and finds himself in a cauldron of hot water for using such a blasphemous euphemism.