Old 06-03-2008, 08:40 PM Offline   #1 (permalink)

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Default Alt Text: Secrets of the 7 Basic Blog Posts

According to some people, there are only 36 basic story plots that just get reused. Others say there are merely 20. Some people even say there's only one plot, but they probably just watch too many Michael Bay movies. I like the theory that there are only seven plots. It's a nice round number, and the plots are vague enough that you can shoehorn anything from Citizen Kane to a cereal commercial into them.
In the spirit of oversimplifying things so that you can smugly shove human endeavors into pre-labeled slots, I'd like to present my own, contemporary take on this premise: the Seven Basic Blog Posts.
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1. Be upset!

Terrible things are happening in one of the following: the world, the web or a television show you really like. Make a blog post about it! People will comment about how much they agree with you. Then they'll make their own blog posts about the subject, and other people will comment about how much they agree with them. If we all work together we'll learn that we can make a real impact on our pageviews.
2. Buy a thing!

For too long, the mainstream media have shoved advertising down our throats. It's time for us to take the reins of mass communication and shove advertising down each other's throats! If we both see the same overproduced movies and lust after the same overpriced devices, then maybe the bitter wind of loneliness won't bite quite so fiercely.
3. Animals are cute!

Nobody likes animals when they act like animals. Videos of a cat snapping a robin's neck don't go big. No, we like animals when we can convince ourselves that they're just like us, only with worse spelling. For the purposes of this category, animals also includes babies and children younger than 8.
4. People are dumb!

Try this: Put up videos of yourself volunteering at a soup kitchen, giving a speech at a symposium and breaking your arm in seven places doing the "shopping cart luge." Guess which one will get the most hits. We like our animals to appear smarter than they really are and our humans dumber, which means that the perfect internet celebrity would be a somewhat slow-witted centaur. In a Darth Vader outfit.
5. Something I like, only different!

Liking new things takes so much effort. You have to learn all these unfamiliar characters or remember completely new lyrics. It's much easier to like something that you already know about. The Matrix -- in cookie form! The Lord of the Rings -- if Frodo was a ninja! The Mario Bros. theme song -- played on the hollowed-out skulls of owls! We're already starting to see this undergo a third iteration: Star Wars, only with homemade lightsabers, only in a Weezer video! In about 10 seconds, someone's going to make a Lego version of that video, bringing it to the fourth level.
6. Weird science!

This includes homemade experiments involving explosives, as well as actual scientific studies. There are two types of scientific studies: Ones you agree with, and ones you don't. If you disagree with a study, you should link to it and point out how stupid and biased it is. If you agree, you should link to it and point out how ridiculous it is that scientists get paid to state the obvious. Either way, you're educating your readers that you're smarter than science.
7. Me, the blogger!

We've reached an age where egotism is considered too much work. Why discuss your hopes and fears when you can just post the results of online tests, show cartoon versions of yourself and collect "friends"? It's a good thing Anais Nin wasn't a blogger, or instead of a steamy tale of sexual awakening and creative fervor, we'd just know that if she was a Ninja Turtle, she'd be Raphael.
- - -
Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to become a blogger, a logger and an otter.


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