(artwork by Hirschfeld)
A YOUNG BLOGGER approaches Neil.
Young Blogger: "Master Neilochka, you are so wise. I need your help. I just started a blog.
Neil: "Very good, Young Blogger."
Young Blogger: Yes, but I have a metaphysical question. Is it really a blog if I have no readers?"
Neil: "Ah, the ancient conundrum"
Young Blogger: "How do I get people to notice me?"
Neil: "It’s very simple, young blogger. You write things that are interesting.
Young Blogger: "I see… how profound. So, you’re saying that the important thing to do is to write for myself because eventually people will see my unique vision and come wanting to hear more."
Neil: "No, you idiot. You write things that are interesting to those who live in NEW YORK."
Neil turns to SPEAKS DIRECTLY to YOU from the other side of YOUR monitor.
Neil: "Hi there, my good friends and readers. Let me take a moment and bring you up to speed, as some of you seem to be having some problem following my posts lately. Not that I’m insinuating anything about your intelligence, but — well, yes I am.
As most of you know, Manhattan is a very small island. But as the media center of the country, New Yorkers love to love themselves. And since they run everything media-wise, if they’re not talking about you, you’re pretty much NOTHING.
Think about it. A new movie opens. Do the studios really care what the Des Moines Register says about the film? Of course not. It’s the New York Times.
When I started blogging, I was naive. I became friendly with bloggers from such crazy places as Santa Cruz, California (the amazing Jenny and Ms. Sizzle) and Montana (the writer and photographer Leesa) (Montana? Where the hell’s Montana? Although I do think Robert Redford has a place there, but he’s one of the crazy guys that likes to live in the middle of nowhere).
But really, what was I thinking befriending bloggers living in God knows where? How does it really help me move up to the Blogging B-List?
Look at a New Yorker’s blogroll and what do you see? A New Yorker here and a New Yorker here and another New Yorker and maybe a New Yorker who got married and now lives in Connecticut. And when I say New Yorker, I mean Manhattan. A New York blogger would rather have someone from California on their blogroll than someone from (gasp) Queens!"
(artwork by Natalie Ascencios)
"So, if you want some attention for your blog, you must capture the New York-centric minds of other New Yorker bloggers. For our first lesson, here are some buzz words that you can drop into your posts that might end up showing up in a Technorati search:
H & H Bagels
But if you really want to OPEN THE EYES of a jaded New York blogger, the ultimate gimmick is to write a post about Stephanie Klein."
Neil moves in closer to YOUR monitor and speaks loudly.
"Do you hear that, New Yorkers?! Contact Blogebrity! I’m writing a post about STEPHANIE KLEIN!
Now, you bloggers in the other 49 states might be asking, "Who the hell is Stephanie Klein?" "
Neil shakes his head condescendingly.
"How innocent and naive you Red State Americans are — with your chickens and farms and church-going and nuclear waste centers.
OK, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Until recently, even I, the ultimate hipster, had never heard of Stephanie Klein. When I first heard her name, it did sound familiar, but then I realized I was thinking of Stephanie Kleinman, who sat behind me in Hebrew School.
No, Stephanie Klein is a popular and talented blogger who writes about the miseries of her upscale life, using "Sex and the City"-style details of her sex life and relationships. Because of this, she got herself a big book and TV deal.
Based on a blog! Can you imagine that?!
Because of her BLOG?!"
Neil starts coughing and choking on his own words.
The always beautiful Sophia enters, dressed in a Vanna White-style outfit. She pats Neil on the back until he stops coughing, then gracefully exits.
"While most of us sit here in our underwear blogging in our tiny apartments, she got a big deal because of her blog! And this has brought out the envy, admiration, and hatred that comes with the territory. Some love her writing. Others hate her as a person. Who to believe? Why should I care?
But it mattered to a lot of people. The talented Fauxy and Sarah started a funny blog called "Tale of Two Sisters," which was a parody of Stephanie Klein’s blog, Greek Tragedy. I don’t know what exactly happened, but there seems to have been talks of lawsuits and angry name-calling all around. But, then again, there’s nothing New York literary types love more than New York literary types fighting each other.
In the last couple of years, I’m sure you’ve all read the many negative portrayals of President Bush. Those who hate him have called him everything from a war criminal to a Hitler. But these are compliments compared to what people have to say about Stephanie Klein."
The YOUNG BLOGGER raises his hand.
Young Blogger: "Excuse me, Master Neil, but I have a question."
Neil: "Of course."
Young Blogger: "Are you saying that only New Yorkers have an opinion about this blogger named Miss Klein?"
Neil: "Excellent question. No, there are others. Once New Yorkers become interested in something, they tend to talk about it so much that even those from far away take an interest in their weird obsessions — for example, look how America quickly took to that moronic Donald Trump. Or let me quote what Tim had to say about Stephanie Klein on his blog. And he lives in Costa Rica:"
(reading from Tim’s blog)
"To put it bluntly, she is perhaps one of the more superficial, immature, shallow, money hungry, status seeking people I’ve met through blogs… and I fear a woman seemingly devoid of a value system or boundaries. Her fixation on penis size, while humorous, is distressing as she has apparently not yet learned (at age 30 or so) that the most important sex organ is the heart.
Her lack of understanding of men is truly unfortunate.
If she was as socially immature at Barnard as she is now, I can fully understand why she was the only woman in her class not to be invited to join a sorority. They had her number."
Neil chuckles to himself.
Neil: "Jeez, now I worry what MY readers think about MY obsession with MY OWN penis."
A can of Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda (NY reference) flies in from off-screen that almost hits Neil in the head. Neil turns to see Sophia, shaking her head, annoyed.
I have to admit that I really haven’t read much of Greek Tragedy, so I really can’t comment on the content. I don’t know this Stephanie, either. All I know is that her writing (and success) touched a nerve in many New Yorkers, such as the passionate Anocsanamum:"
(reading from Anocsanamum’s blog)
"Stephanie Klein IS NOT a REAL NYC woman.
A NYC woman is not meeting for coffee with friends midday, and seeing matinees. A NYC woman winces when she ALONE has to hand over the $2500.00 ransom check for the closet she dwells in. A NYC WOMAN goes to the corner bodega to get a 6-pack because spending that much money on wine is not conceivable in this lifetime.
A NYC woman has REAL HARDSHIP over REAL BREAKUPS. Not the imagined "if I were by myself" scrawlings of a Dominatrix with a boytoy.
I can’t stomach her, for the fact that she is the face the world assumes to be me. When people outside of NY think of US real women who live in NYC – with a REAL PERSON’s life, responsibility – trials and tribulations – they think we are all Free-lance PAM slicked hussies who have nothing better to do then dwell on our OH-SO SCREWED UP CHILDHOOD AT FAT CAMP.
Here she is with a silver spoon screaming at the top of her lungs because she has no Lennox China.
GET OVER IT."
Neil walks over to a blackboard, picks up a piece of chalk, and writes the number "2."
Neil: "So, the way I see it, there are two camps that dislike the woman. One is the group who is repelled by the materialistic content of her writing. The other group is the one who is jealous."
"I didn’t realize how many people in New York are using their blogs to get ahead in publishing or writing for magazines. Sophia is definitely pushing me in that direction. And to think, my original intent was to flirt with women!
But frankly, all this flirting has been one big disaster. After six months of blogging, I have not received one topless photo of any of my readers. Well, I did see one reader on the Bobbie-thon site, but that required my own initiative. "
Neil winks at the audience.
YOUNG BLOGGER raises his hand again.
Young Blogger: Excuse me, Master Citizen, but may I ask another question?
Neil: Of course. That’s what I’m here for.
Young Blogger: Is there an actual point to all this? I mean your interest in bloggers’ boobies is interesting, but what is your opinion of Stephanie Klein? Surely you must have some important insights into this controversial issue.
Neil: Young Blogger, I see that you have a long way to go in your blogging career. Don’t think so much. It doesn’t matter what my opinion is. I have no opinion. All that matters is that I use the right New York buzz words like "Stephanie Klein" to get the attention of those bigwigs in the Big Apple so they’ll come and read my blog. These New York types are so obsessed with themselves that you’ll never get noticed unless you make believe you care about nonsense like this Stephanie Klein brouhaha. Now bring me over my "H & H Bagel" and my "New York Times" so I don’t have to "schlep" over there.