Friday, April 07, 2006

An award show for rants

Two things I've noticed about blogs: 1) everyone and his dog has one; and 2) many of them are nothing more than extended rants. It seems that far too many people use their blogs as some kind of anger-management therapy, and often the entire raison d'etre of a blog is to let the reader know just how pissed off Blogger X is by Microsoft XP Service Pack 2, the most recent episode of "America's Next Top Model," ("Vanessa was robbed!") and, especially, his lousy job.

A basic Google search revealed the following: "Rants of a Marketing Executive," "Stevey's Drunken Rants" -- not to be confused with "Stevey's (presumably sober) Rants," "Rants of an Aged Gamer," and, perhaps most disturbingly, "Rant Air: Rants of an Airline Pilot."

"Welcome to Rant Air. This is your pilot speaking. You know what? I'm sick of flying! The long hours, the pressure to make time, the shoe-bombing nuts. And don't get me started on the airlines! Sometimes I feel like saying 'To hell with it,' bringing this hunk of tin down, and shoving it to the Man ..."

I'm not above ranting myself, but I usually do it in private -- via emails or vocal outbursts to long-suffering friends. My rants are usually about one of two subjects: the Bush administration, or how the Yankees screwed up that night's game. (Example of the latter: Earlier this week I emailed a rant to my friend Richard, the subject line of which was "I refuse to let Scott Proctor ruin my life." Proctor is a relief pitcher of astonishingly consistent incompetence who blew a game against the Oakland A's.)

Ranting has become such a universal activity that it might be America's new national pastime. One deserving of its own awards show. They'd probably call it something like the "Raving Lunatics' Image Award." There would be separate categories for people who rant to others and those who rant to themselves in public. Interspersed with musical numbers -- rants set to show tunes, like "Arggh! Those 'child-proof' bottles are impossible to open!" You can imagine a typical acceptance speech: "Thanks for giving me this award. You know what really ticks me off, though? The gift bag ..."

This would signal the end of blogalization as we know it.

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