Over the last few months I’ve been getting updates from wordpress showing an uptick in traffic on this blog. More followers. More hits. More links. More likes. Which is seriously weird since I’ve been gone for almost a year–during which this blog should have tanked harder than the Third Reich. Strange, no?
By the way I’m going to be pretty explicit in this post, so if four-letter words offend your sensibilities go back to reading Family Circus.
Oh, I’ve also been pranking my co-workers by using our networked terminals to look up copious amounts of CPR dummies on Amazon so they get targeted ads for open-mouthed monstrosities. But I’ll get to that later.
Anyway, I took a year away from writing online. The reason was twofold…
One, I got tired of putting free content online, with zero ads and zero revenue. Aside from WordPress’ in-house ads, which benifit WordPress, not the writer, this has all been for free. I post well-researched (mostly) structured (sometimes) content, which rewards me with a bucket of shitty emails complaining that I attacked a brand, movie, or comic someone loves. This happened when Moviepilot featured several of our articles. This happens still–a year after I quit–by email and in the comments section of this blog.
Two, the internet collectively decided they didn’t like getting free comedy articles. I was using this blog as a way to sharpen my Article-Fu so I could pitch ideas to Cracked, Moviepilot, and a few other comedy websites that dealt in goofy fan theories and historical oddities. Those sites are now dead or clickbaity, so my reasons to hone those skills are also dead. A few months back Cracked fired their top columnists. Funny Or Die laid off over 30% of its employees. And Moviepilot is now behind a pay-wall. The ubiquity of Facebook algorithms and Adblock have made internet comedy articles a dying beast. That traffic spike up there? That’s not love for MasksofMonsters. That’s a tiny portion of the internet looking for new content to kill a boring Monday morning.
In my year away from this site I won several local awards for public speaking, finished my fantasy novel which is now being edited and reviewed with the help of beta-readers, and got a promotion at my real-life grownup job. It’s been a great fucking year. But every time I got an update from wordpress about a new follower or a spike in traffic, I felt a tinge of anxiety. Not because I let my readers down. But because the idea of writing here felt like work.
I run D&D games and scratchbuild miniatures because it’s fun and creatively challenging. I read weird history and invent fan theories because it amuses me and my friends. I have never woken up on an idle Saturday and said to myself, “Today, I think I’ll write free jokes so people can bitch at me.”
Yes, I’m petty. Yes, I’m immature. And if you don’t like my tone you shouldn’t be here. Go back to reddit where half my articles get ripped off and re-posted sans attributions by unfunny cockgoblins. If you’re here I assume you want crass humor, dumb jokes, and few insights into history, movies, and plot devices. And judging by the graph at the top I assume that’s the majority of readers.
But to be fair–to really offer a voice to the un-silent minority who think it’s cool to send me complaints via email–I will make you a few promises moving forward. Some ground rules, if you will.
Rule 1) You Can Correct Me
I am not trying to be a monarch over my little slice of the internet. If you have an issue with an article of mine, be it an offensive joke, an inaccurate fact, or a wrongheaded philosophy, put it in the comments. If I think you’re right, or if I think you are representative of an opinion I didn’t cover, correct me. Use your big-boy words (or big-girl words, or big-ze words) and point directly at what you didn’t like. It will get fixed.
However, If you want to shit on an article so you can feel that hit of righteous indignation, I will remove your comment. If you don’t bother to articulate precisely what bugged you about a statement I made, I will remove your comment. If you call me “Kid” in your criticism, I will remove your comment. This isn’t 4chan. Trying to belittle my age is meaningless and shorthand for “I don’t know how to insult you properly.”
In fact, if you feel like writing a well-worded, humorous rebuttal to one of my posts, email it to Joerevelator@gmail.com and I will publish it here on the front page. It will be edited for clarity only. None of your message (or personal attacks toward me, if valid) will be changed.
Rule 2) From Here On, I Will Try To Post Twice A Month
I won’t pretend this is an iron-clad rule for me. If a Friday night rolls around and I don’t have any fan theories or fun thoughts to share, I won’t go idea-scraping. Content will be posted here only when I know I have something. We may start posting ‘Jerk Rants’ videos again if there is a demand. But I’m done trying to get an article up every week. If you want good, consistent, humorous content, pay me. Or, better yet, write it and I’ll edit and post it here.
TL;DR I’m coming back to this shithouse of a blog to amuse myself. Nobody else. It’s just incidental that we may be staring at the same wall of text with pictures to break up the paragraphs…
Rule 3) I Will Respect Your Decision To Fuck Off
Going forward if I offend you let me know in the comments section. I’m perfectly willing to correct an article. And, if I find that I’m factually wrong, I will go back and re-research the subject. It has happened in the past, and it will happen in the future.
If it’s the irreverent tone you don’t enjoy, the nonstop dick jokes, or that I made something precious to you and your fandom into a punchline–feel free to click the tiny ‘X’ at the top of your screen. That button is like a magic circle of protection. It makes the bad words go away.
Lastly, to the reader who left me this comment on Moviepilot concerning Obi-Wan: “Nice try kid, a lot of words wasted on nothing.” I want to sincerely thank you. You’ve named my autobiography for me. In return, please stare at this soul-less gaping maw for five minutes.
All images were taken from Amazon.com.