Monthly Archives: August 2008


FOR THE LAST TIME! Blogs are blogs, posts are posts. Got it? GOOD.

I know that writing this, I’m running the risk of becoming Old Man Natural, shaking my liver-spotted fist at those pesky young-uns ruining the English language.

But I’m willing to take that risk.

So let me issue the following PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

The word “blog” — short for “weblog,” remember? — is a noun that refers to a whole collection of articles.

If you read an article on someone’s website, and it’s a few paragraphs (or even a few sentences) long and it’s stamped with the time and date, that is not a blog. That is a post.

(Or, if you’re in Facebook, it’s a Note.)

The whole thing is the blog.

As with many social ills, I blame Myspace for this confusion, because they were the first major social networking site to confuse these meanings. In Myspace parlance, a “blog” is both the weblog as a whole AND the various posts that make up the blog.

Not only is that generally annoying and nonsensical for those among us still maintaining a tenuous grip on internet literacy in the age of Web 2.0, but it generally dilutes the meaning of the word.

This is the reason why we have words, so that people can understand and know what the hell we’re talking about.

If I say to my friend Chris Johnson, “hey, nice grapefruit!” he’s not going to know that by “grapefruit” I mean “blog post” and so he’ll be confused and not understand that I’m actually giving him a compliment on a well-reasoned post concerning civility amongst Christians in politics.

This is why I reserve the word “grapefruit” for softball-sized citrus fruits with pink insides and a tart aftertaste. Because that’s what everyone knows the word “grapefruit” to mean.

When someone sends me an email or makes a comment in passing over the phone or in person and says, “hey, I read your blog the other day, nice work!” I’m not really sure what they mean. Are they telling me that they enjoy my work overall, or was there a particular thing that I wrote that they liked that they’re complimenting me about?

And it’s all because lazy people decided to expand the use of the word “blog” into places where it doesn’t belong.

You know what it’s like?

Back in the early eighties, there was a really annoying cartoon called The Smurfs.

They were little purple people with saccharine storylines and dopey mannerisms. And their most annoying trait was their liberal use of the word “smurf” in their everyday conversations. Everything was smurfing this and smurfing that. The word “smurf” became their all-purpose, sentence-filling expletive.

Because of this, the word “smurf” had no meaning.

Not coincidentally, the show had little meaning either. Eventually it was canceled, and now it’s relived only in 80’s nostalgia T-shirts.

I love to blog. Obviously, I do it a lot.

And I like the word “blog” because it’s simple, and up until recently, everyone knew what it meant.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, then please… I beg you:

Don’t let blogging go the way of the Smurfs.

Let blogs be blogs, and posts be posts.

Thank you for your time.


Hey, It Worked For George Lucas

The latest headline from The Onion:

Aaron Sorkin Announces New ‘West Wing’ Animated Series at SorCon.

(Hey, it worked for George Lucas.)

This is yet another reason why I really love The Onion.

Because every once in awhile I read something so hilarious, it had to have been written by someone like me.

(After I read that last sentence, I realize it came off far more egotistical sounding than I meant. It’s not that only people like me are funny. Rather, it takes a certain person with similar tastes and talent to write something that I would find particularly funny.)

As I’ve mentioned before, often the best forms of satire are, rather than mean-spirited, affectionate jabs at a target with which the author is well acquainted.

In this case, that target is the immensely talented and heavily scrutinized screenwriting auteur Aaron Sorkin.

Speaking as someone who is still rewatching episodes of Studio 60 on iTunes, I was very amused by the premise of the article. And slightly intrigued by the possibility.

I know, I know. That’s pathetic.

I don’t know if this makes me a “Sorkie,” one of the legion of dedicated fans who idolize Sorkin — and his right-hand director, Tommy! Schlamme! — but I’m pretty sure that it makes me a huge nerd.

But I don’t care.

I really dig Sorkin’s work. It just fits me in a way other shows don’t.

I had a conversation with a friend once, who was telling me why she didn’t like the show, and eventually it boiled down to the fact that she didn’t like the fact that the characters talked so fast and were so clever.

“Real people don’t talk like that,” she said.

But I talk like that!, I wanted to say.

I didn’t, though, because, really, she’s right. Real people don’t talk like that.

At least not all the time, anyway. Real people don’t have professional writers crafting eloquent bon mots at every turn. Real people don’t usually have the impressive dramatic range and comedic timing to carry Sorkin’s trademark walk-and-talk staccato.

But God help us if our biggest problem with a TV show is that it makes us a little smarter.

And for the record, I’m still holding out for a Sports Night feature film. If Joss Whedon’s Firefly fans got Serenity, then we should get this, it’s only fair. There”s gonna be a 10-year anniversary DVD reissue this year, so maybe that will drum up some support.

Come on, folks.

Someone get working on this.

Felicity Huffman, Peter Krause, Josh Charles, Joshua Malina, Sabrina Lloyd, Robert Guillaume… throw in a little Janel Moloney, Dule Hill… who wouldn’t watch that?

I’m telling you.

This needs to happen.


“A Little Cereal With Some Friends”

[Insert standard disclaimer about being busy to explain more than two weeks of time passing between posts.]

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I just wanted to take a quick minute to point out a new TunePak on ReverbNation that I designed. It features a new internet only joint about social networking (entitled, shockingly, “Social Networking”) and another one of our why haven’t we recorded this song already joints called “Kingdom Livin’ (I Go to Work).”

The whole chorus of “Social Networking” is asking people to post our music (in the form of this tunepak) on their blogs. It’s a desperate bid for attention promotional opportunity, I know, but people keep bugging us about making our recordings available.

Baby steps, people… baby steps.

I know it’s a little ridiculous to post the link to the TunePak when I have the official Iccsters tune widget embedded right into my blog, but there are several other aggregators that this blog feeds, and those aggregators don’t have the RN tune widget (including those of you reading this through Facebook).

What would it look like if I’m begging everyone else to post this song to their blog and I don’t have the nerve to post it to my own blog?

Anyway… Iccsters fans, unite.

And put this on your blog. =)

(By the way if you’re wondering what the top image is for, it’ll be the top slide of the presentation that I’ll eventually put together the next time we put on a concert.)

(What, you’ve never seen hip-hop concerts with Powerpoint before?)