The calm at the center of a pearl

July 6, 2007

Cheese sandwich blog? Bring it on!

Filed under: Rampages — kyraninse @ 1:20 am

I just read an article by Peter Wells about food blogs.

I’ve heard arguments for and against what he said, but I’m going to try and clean up my thoughts about it. I found the article condescending and irritating, because on some level, it seems like Peter Wells just doesn’t “get” it.

True, if one posts something on the intarwebz, then that person should then be prepared for criticism, as per honkman. Also true that being a non-professional does not exclude you from criticism. We are human, we criticize, I suspect that’s how our civilization has progressed so far.

However, I have a couple of points.

  1. I do not believe that most food bloggers started out with the idea of “entertaining” their audience. From posts I’ve read and my own feelings, it is enough that there is something or someone to bear witness to what I’ve done, what I’ve cared enough to post on the Internet, even if it doesn’t “acknowledge, let alone describe, life outside the author’s dorm room”. It doesn’t seem as if food bloggers started blogging in an attempt to break into the publishing world. I could quibble further that the quote is insulting in that it assumes food bloggers to be green as grass, but that’s beside the point.
  2. In Chinese there is a saying, 青菜萝卜,各有所好。(No matter it be leafy greens or radish, there will always be someone who likes it) I happen to enjoy reading about other people’s lives, what they’re feeling/thinking when they’re thinking about food, the weather, their aches and pains — and reading about people being puzzled over why their cookies turned out cakey is almost always illuminating for me. Granted, I do read the backs of cereal boxes and I read ALL the reviews on Amazon for everything — but I’m sure I’m not the only mutant out there.
  3. I don’t agree that there should be consequences in the way that Peter Wells thinks there should be. Why should there be something at stake? Why must needs one push the envelope, always? Like “a terrier who’s late for an appointment with a ham bone” indeed. If one must needs have focused, point on writing, then you can fair well go out and subscribe to the many food magazines out there. Or, you could offer someone a book deal and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to comply with your standards 1. Also, regarding the “that’s a valuable service”; whoever said they were out to be at your service? eh? Not to seem petulant, but to whinge on about someone else’s writing when they’re writing pro bono for their amusement is just bad form in my book.
  4. Lastly, I would get terribly bored with listening to someone go on and on and on about pizza every single day. There’s a reason why I picked up Extreme Cuisine and then put it back down again, unable to finish it. Also, even if two people chose to blog about the exact same pizzaria, being two people, it’s unlikely that they will have the exact same thing to offer each time. I was somewhat offended when people started whinging about how Pim over at Chez Pim should go back to blogging about food when she was on her tirade against Voncigars,who is apparently a plagiarizing thief. It’s not all about you and your enjoyment, people! If she wants to devote 10 pages of her blog to giving him his just desserts, then it’s her choice, and since you’re not paying her to entertain you, you should farking well pipe down.

In conclusion, I’d like to say: “Bloody fine job y’all have been doing so far, congrats on it and you don’t have to listen to that Peter Wells fellow!”

1. I had a post about Chocolate and Zucchini’s new cookbook.


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