Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Compost Pile of Celebrity; New Prize Offered for Not Reading Me!

"Your blog really and truly sucks."

--from Zachary Bush. I don't know who he is but I thought a good way to clean out my address files was to just smack people on my mailing list and see what happened.

Anybody doesn't want my spam, I say, "Get a spam filter, don't get personal!"

Now this fellow did everything right on being removed from my mailing list except one: he didn't put the slogan in the subject line. Here's my notice:

Note: I added a number of people to this mailing list today, many of whom probably submitted to the Melic Review, some after the magazine had closed. Forgive me, I was just trying to make sense of my address list. If you don't want to be on this mailing list, just hit 'reply' and insert the subject header, "Your blog really and truly sucks." Omission of either adverb will not constitute a release from continuing spam. If you get duplicate mailings, please write me.

I say he didn't strictly comply with my demand. His "Your blog really and truly sucks" was not in the subject line but in the text of a reply!

What law protects one from spam anyway? I try not to write people who don't want my notice, but it happens. Face it, my blog updates are as much spam as Viagra ads, it's only a difference in degree, not kind. No one asked me to start a blog nor has anyone written to say, "Oh, please, Dr. Chaffin, afflict us with a mailing about your blog!"

I want to submit this question to my esteemed sister, Esq., even though my blog peeved her as well, or better, caused her to call me peevish:

"You often comment that your family doesn't read your work, and I find this peevish because 1) I do, and 2) none of us really reads each other's briefs or ads so I'm not sure why this bears mentioning."

I corrected this oversight by altering my last entry, sorry Sis. I would also point out that ads and briefs are not generally considered entertainment for the reading public, so the categories are not comparable. Also, look at the extremes of blogging I must go to just to have such works offered for my perusal, which I would be more than happy to assay in order to defuse any nascent sibling rivalry.

My brothers don't read my blog anyway. Brother Dobey, in fact, told me: "I'm a writer. I don't read anything but myself." Gotta love that honesty, even if his writing, to my knowledge, only applies to copywriting. His company's biggest client is Yahoo, and he doesn't like that work. I don't like Yahoo either; they're at least as predatory as Microsoft--download one thing and you can't escape all the other things that pile into your hard drive like pixilated roaches, and the software you want, amazingly, won't run without all the other things.

So I irritated a stranger and a a loved one. Better, I irritated an editor, F.S., who asked me to remove my link to her magazine in my blog. I said I would if they restored my poem about Jimi Hendrix to their archives, from where it has mysteriously vanished, but they're not able to do that right now. There's no quid pro quo here; why should I comply? Because I was an editor for many years, I suppose, and understand.

I would not accuse them of actually despising my work, but now, I suspect, by causing them trouble I will have zero chance of them considering my new submission. That's fine as long as they fix the archive. Eventually. I'm tired of being de-published. Hell, half of my published work on the net has disappeared because nobody bothered do keep archives after their magazines folded. Understand-- some of these were good magazines at the time.

Since my last blog irritated some people, though no one has finished my essay yet, I'm offering a new prize: If you are on my mailing list and resist reading my blog, although you do read its announcement and excerpts for thirty days or more, I'll give you a $30 gift certificate to In case of a tie there will be a quiz to determine who did or did not read what and for how long they managed to resist my siren song of bloviation.

Notice how my blog is becoming about my blog. This is how celebrities are born!

It's like a compost pile. You add layers to get a critical mass; soon the worms show up! One day you receive three letters from different people, and instead of writing what you planned you end up writing about reactions to your blog. Soon, if I reach a critical mass of self-reference, I shall finally become a celebrity, my ultimate goal and the only goal worth having anymore.

I celebrate myself! (Walt Whitman)

Oh, and to remind myself: What I really wanted to write about was 1) How none of us can get "the whole thing;" and 2) How all people are illegal aliens to me, and I won't let them sneak across the border of my mind. This must wait for another day.

I also meant to thank my cousin Doris for sending me the names of two new subscribers to my mailings. Thanks, Doris, and greetings to all the Erickson Clan up in Moorhead, MN.

--CE Chaffin

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