Saturday, February 05, 2005

An Open Letter to Jeff Simmermon

Dear Jeff,

I know we have been in many an e-battle over the years either via email, the WXJM listserve or even the occasional phone exchange, but I am afraid I have to call you out on the carpet once again. Your recent post about the Iraq elections, although engagingly written, was shallow and transparent. These truths have only been proven by your instant glorification of self by immediately turning your new found "blog fame" with conservative net surfers into calls for employment, adds on your blog and your desperate need to be paid for your "art". Any authenticity that you may have strived for by venting your emotional confusion (which I read as shallowness of thinking and proof of Adult ADD ) was immediately lost by your basking in the aftermath. If you do rocket to fame over a week of extra internet hits let it not be forgotten the dead bodies of US and Iraq citizens you will stand on top of for being brave enough to go to a polling center in D.C. and spew your feelings on a blog (hardly a revolutionary idea in 2005 America by the way)

Lets look at your posts after your "big day"

1. More to come: Alerting everyone to how much traffic your getting and the plethora of comments like the masses are watching like a stock ticker. "Look at me", Look at me..."Also you gleefully straddle the fence, most likely to keep the hits coming and stoking the fire of "come over to our side" rhetoric from all sides of the Risk board.

2. Now That the Party is Over: The title says it all on how you feel about your new found acclaim. War as personal party? Finally you have the pulpit! Again here you use stats and proof of relevence to make sure everyone is aware that your bigtime now.

"A lot of people said that they'd bookmark this blog and come back regularly, which is amazing. It also creates a lot of pressure. See, last week I was just preaching to the choir and I could say pretty much any old thing I felt like. More than one of my posts would have been about things I observed in the workplace bathroom. Now the pressures on to be reasonable and intelligent."

What when your friends and family were the only ones who cared you fed them shit writing but now that the same people who endorse torture, vilify gays, control the media and want to control our bedrooms are bookmarking your page the pressure is on? Are we really supposed to feel for you as you question if you can sum up the greatness it will take to bring us all together politically? And the fake "woe is me, what do I do.." act is laughable. Your like the corporate rock band who publicly sweats the sophomore slump to drum up interest.

But the WORST sin of this entry is the egominiacal way you immediately try turn your breakthrough into some kind of J-O-B, so you can be paid for your brilliance. You even give hints of future public soul searching like exploiting the injured soldiers, and the ridiculous idea that anyone cares about your thoughts on the state of the union address.

Also do you honestly think a week from now when instapundit (a group you should look into before enjoying their spotlight by the way) has moved on to some new goosestep, you'll still be a star??? Tell you what, in 3 weeks why don't you post your site stats again for a little compare and contrast.

3. A Bit of business: This a joke right? Have the delusions of grandeur really taken hold this fast? Have the DT's started yet? I like you Jeff, I really do, so I am hoping this is at least half in jest and I will withhold my full rant, benefit of the doubt style.

4. Whoah: I am going to reprint this one in all its glory. Notice the fake modesty of "my little post"

"In addition to the link to InstaPundit, Metafilter picked me up this afternoon. If you're just dying for some more comments and arguments surrounding my little post, have a look.

Also, I've been having such an itch to actually go over there as a journalist myself. While I am not a "real" journalist, I'd love to go see the situation firsthand and write about it. If any of you know a way I can get there as a journalist and have my costs and time off of work covered, let me know."

Did you just ask someone to sponsor you to go to Iraq and blog? That has got to be the biggest fetish rubberneck of all time. Do you really think that one emotive (read: not intellectual or though provoking just "feelings" puked out) blog and a week of attention by a FRAGMENT of the blogosphere anoints you to cover war, famine, death, reconstruction, religious difference....its not a theme park dude!

A comment on this entry sums it up better than I can:

"I'd like to nominate this idea for next year's Darwin awards. With everything that needs to get done over there, and taking into consideration all of the people that really need to be over there but aren't, as well as all of the people desperately trying to get out of there, could there be a more worthless death than a Blogger in Iraq?"

If you want to go over there ON YOUR OWN DIME, be my guest and I will read your posts, but please don't think your wisdom and insight should be underwritten, the Medici's are long dead. You remind me of that suburban Philly kid who went over to Iraq, without being asked or having contacts, to reap his fortune by building cell phone towers or some such. Remember him? He got his head cut off on television. Download the clip and than talk big, while your at it look up "carpetbagging" and "war profiteering"

5. While Life May Be Tough Right Now, Everything's Gonna Be Alright: Outside of proving you own a copy of Bob Marley's Legend, this post also highlights the other avenues your writing talents can be used by hungry content providers. Jeff can do fiction and creative writing and be arty.

Jeff basically I guess I find your motivations shallow and broadcast like the banner adds you plan to post all over your site. Your profile begs for you to be discovered, and you announce your goals for fame, money, stardom and travel. Not to mention you link to other high profile sites and blogs looking for recognition and trackback hits (ie Salon and the oh-so 2003 Wonkette.) It makes me question the sincerity of your original post as maybe you thought it would be a good way to drum up some attention to your blog, which previously had just been a spit into the ocean of net babble (not an insult by the way, I view mine the same way.) Even though I do think you were/are genuine, your reaction since has caused me great doubt and angered me. I am not going to tear down your political ideas or your morphing into a conservative butterfly as your new fans see it, but I do ask that you take yourself out of it a bit. The world doesn't owe you anything, and fame isn't found at the morgue.

P.J. O'rourke you are not.

Yours in Flip Flopery,
Chris Larry

P.S. I hope this post gets me some of Jeff's fame....