Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Information Superhighway of Broken Dreams

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Every day, it’s the same story.  A starry-eyed young man leaves his 9-5 job at the steel mill.   A eager young woman in pigtails takes off from her boring job on the farm.  Both want a better life.  Both leave their small Ohio or Kansas towns.  Both get on buses, heading off to achieve their dreams.  That’s right — they’re heading back home… to turn on their computers and start a blog.

This is not only happening Ohio or Kansas.  It’s happening in Brooklyn.  In Kyoto.  In Buenos Aires.   All with the same ultimate goal of any blogger — to make it as a Blogebrity

Let me tell you, my young friends.  It is a path strewn with peril and broken dreams.  Even those who reach the pinnacle of Blogebrity, like myself, can quickly fall from the public’s favor.  One moment, you can be the darling of the blogosphere, with hundreds of admirers, and the next you can be trolling the comments of dude.man.phat, with the hope of stealing away just one reader.

Let me tell you a little of my sad story:

I started out like many of you — a naive blogger who assumed a "technorati" was someone who worked behind the service desk at "Best Buy." 

Those were the innocent days.  I lived with three of my fraternity brothers (and our pet monkey) in a small apartment in Northern California.  My bedroom looked out on Google HQ’s vast parking lot.  At night, I would see the familiar Google sign as it lit up the night sky and I would talk to it as if it were a god.

"One day, people will search for ‘Citizen of the Month’ on Google, and I will be first on the list."

After months of designing my blog template, using all of the latest javascript techniques at my disposal, I published my first post.  I went out to celebrate at Pizza Hut with my roommates and the pet monkey.  However, my post only received lukewarm reviews from the critics.  My roommates told me to quit.  They said that blogging was a "folly."  But I wouldn’t quit.  I persisted.  My mother became my first consistent reader.  This was a big ego boost, because usually my mother didn’t read anything that wasn’t written by Harold Robbins.  I faked some positive comments on my own blog from sophisticated-sounding readers and wrote a phony comment on Boing Boing saying that ‘Citizen of the Month is the new kid in town."

Soon, I was on Blogebrity’s C-List.

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But that little taste of success just made me hungry for more.  I wanted to be part of the upper echelons of blogging life.  Sure, I now got invited to all the fancy parties, but I was always stuck going home with the plain-jane librarian-blogger and not the really hot female bloggers who wrote about women’s shoes.  These nights were terrible.  I remember one time — right in the middle of fucking one of these librarian-bloggers, we got into a big fight over the pros and cons of the Dewey Decimal System.  After that night, I knew I wanted something MORE.

Luckily, my post about Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie became the "toast of the town."  Bloggers around the world began to know me as the "Lindsay Lohan is skinny"-guy.  

Soon, I was on the B-List.

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Oh, how I enjoyed it.  I said good-bye to my roommates and that annoying pet monkey and moved to Hollywood.  There were parties every night.  There was cocaine and fucking galore.  But there was a dark side.  My marriage with Sophia broke up after she caught me having IM sex with a blogger from LA Blogs

I started falling apart emotionally.  I started writing posts about my fondness for Sophia, even though we weren’t together anymore.   But just like no one wants a serious Ben Stiller, my audience abandoned me.  They grew tired of my weepy posts about my life gone sour. 

Before long, I had slid back to the C-list.

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After months of shock therapy, Scientology, and Kabbalah classes, I put myself back on track.  I stopped writing about Sophia.  I began to flirt with other female bloggers again.  I even flirted with gay men to win them over, too.  My female fans, always suckers for a ‘comeback story’ returned to the fold.  Like John Travolta after ‘Pulp Fiction," I had returned.  

I wrote a series about my penis, always insinuating that "I wasn’t ashamed of what I had."  It may have been a crass media campaign, but it worked.  I sent out a phony press release naming myself "the Colin Farrell of Bloggers (if you get what I mean)."

My fans went crazy.  I shot to the top of the A-list.

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This should have been the happiest time of my life.  But it wasn’t.  Old relationships died.   My love affairs with my female bloggers went sour.   They said that I changed.  That I wasn’t "nice" anymore.  And they were right.  I stopped caring about my old blogging buddies, both male and female.  At first, I hired a blog-reader to read other blogs and hand in a one-page synopsis for me to glance at.  Then I hired a blogging-double to even write my comments, so everyone would still think I cared.  But I didn’t.  I hit bottom.

Envy got the most of me.  On the outside, it may have looked as if I were at the top of my game, but inside, I was soul-less.  All I could think about was making sure that I was always at the top of the list.  I officially changed my name to AAANeilKramer, but it failed to increase my readership. 

I began to develop an insane hatred for a fellow blogger — Heather Armstrong of Dooce.  Although I had no idea who she was, every single person seemed to have her on their blogroll.  Everyone seemed to love her beautiful writing about her beautiful life with her beautiful baby.  Her popularity drove me to near insanity. 

I needed to bring her down.

I hired some unemployed web designers and doctored some nude photos of her in bed with Charlie Sheen.  I then published them on sites like Gawker and Defamer.   The uproar was immediate.  I was called the "Evil Blogger."  I was forced to write an apology.

After this incident, I was shunned by all my peers.  I began to heavily drink mojitos, as it was one of the few drinks that didn’t give me heartburn.    The lowest point of my life occurred during a drunken rampage in Brentwood, when a young woman in a "I love Dooce" t-shirt threw a latte in my face.

My name was erased from Blogebrity.  That’s why you don’t see it there today.

After months of more shock therapy, Scientology, and Kabbalah classes, I have learned to accept my status as a humble blogger with a loyal, but mundane readership.  I love all my friends for coming to my blog.  I love their wonderful blogs, too.  In fact, my reader still gives a one-page synopsis of their stuff every morning.

That, my young friends, is the story of one blogger’s sad and dangerous journey.   Be careful what you wish for.

49 Comments

  1. Yay for me being first! I feel like a celebrity now on Citizen of the Month!

    So this is your scandalous history, Neil. I always thought you had a dark side, and now I see that you were a serious Ben Stiller. Welcome back to the light side, the funny Ben Stiller side.

    You seriously made me laugh out loud with this one. I don’t know why the line about the mojitos being the only thing not to give you heartburn made me snort, but it did. After all, a woman who snorts is sexy, is she not?

  2. I had no idea you were such an evil fucking bastard, Neil. I will never read your blog again.

    Unless, of course, it will help me gain a higher BlogEbrity ranking!

  3. I wept. I went to church for the first time in years.

    Is there a blogger support group for this? I’d like to join, if there is one. I don’t want to go down your dark road. (Thanks for the heads up!)

  4. Oh, now you need to make a one-hour special for “True Bloggywood Story” about the rise and fall of Citizen of the Month. Who knows, it could be the beginning of yet another come-back! 🙂

  5. Ha! What about librarians who blog about shoes such as me? What category do we get?

  6. Modigli has it right! You must contact the good folks at E! so they make your life story into yet another I will watch repeatedly while not blogging.

    Signed,
    A fellow Technorati whore
    (do you think if I include a mamalikey link in my comments it will up my numbers? I’ll have to check up on that one.)

  7. He’s back. With a vengeance. Who is this Dooce person you speak of? Gag me, please.

    Blogebrity ain’t all its cracked up to be–of course, neither is blogging.

  8. I knew it was you, Neil.

    You broke my heart.

  9. Please accept my apology to all librarian-bloggers for my statement about your sexuality. This piece was written tongue-in-cheek. In reality, there’s no one better in bed than a quiet librarian-blogger who takes down her bun, pulls off her tortoise-shell glasses, and fucks like a wild animal.

    So, please, no more angry emails.

  10. I just want to thank you for having the courage to share your story. I always assumed that life on the “A list” was nothing less than glorious, filled with champagne, hot tubs, high-speed internet, and Red Bull. But your cautionary tale really let me know that I should be happy in my obscurity because fame is one slippery slope. You’re a hero in my book.

  11. Your frat had a monkey? That explains it all. There is no point higher than co-habitating with a monkey which throws its own feces.
    As to me, I don’t read Dooce. I prefer the underground bloggers, the ones who aren’t mainstream. Like the Dave Matthews before Remember Two Things of bloggers. So I can say, “yeah, man, I was reading him before he sold out.”

  12. I was much happier before I read this and realized that I am not on any list whatsoever.

  13. my new aspiration: to become a technorati tramp.

    want to be my pimp?

  14. But, Brooke, haven’t you noticed that Neil spelled Brooklyn w/o “l”? It’s all for you, babe.

    Neil, who do you call mundane?

  15. Tat- fixed it. At least I didn’t spell it Brookelyn.

  16. See, I never wanted to make it as a Blogebrity, just to bore people silly. As my friends and family wouldn’t let me any longer, I had no option really. Although, I suppose being a Blogebrity would really ice the vengeance cake. Hmmm.

  17. someone once told me i was the female ben stiller…what the fuck was that about?

  18. I agree with you Anne. I have interacted with several of these blogebrities (Paul Davidson, Brandon Rogers, Superjux, Peggy Archer) and frankly, they are very unhappy people despite their blogebrity. The constant attention of blogger-fans, the fame, and the money, become a barrier for them to have normal relationships. They can hardly go shopping in a supermarket without someone talking with them about their latest post. Sometimes they wish they could just settle down, write a few silly posts at night, and have a nice family like the rest of us.

    Sometimes I think the ambition to become a top blogger is a disease, there to mask the insecurities of an unhappy childhood.

  19. Look, I’ll have you know that I was unhappy and unable to engage in normal relationships LOOOONG before I was a C-Lister. Don’t allow Blogebrity to take credit for my pre-existing psychoses.

  20. I got a year’s free supply of Cap’n Crunch with my admittance to the Blogebrity list. But that was it!

  21. Phony modesty. I hate those bastards. You should hear how they talk about the ‘unwashed masses’ at their secret meetings at the secret clubhouse in Cupertino, CA (or the secret warehouse underneath Zabar’s for the East Coast Guild — with all the smoked salmon you can eat!).

  22. holy shit! becoming a blogebrity sounds like being a celebrity….do they get to go to rehab too and skip jailtime for drug abuse, b/c if that is the case where do I sign up ;).

  23. haha! i still have this feeling that if i changed my template to incorporate nick notle’s wild-haired mug shot that my traffic would increase w/o much more effort on my part.

  24. We’re still here for you. Maybe you could start your own website detailing the COOLEST bloggers just to put all your friends on the list?

  25. humph! mundane? i object!

  26. That might have been the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Damn it Neil. I’ll never be as good as you are. You’re beyond Blogebrity. Way beyond it.

  27. I never knew there was such a dark underworld to blogging. I thought you were stronger than that Neil, you had more will power, you could “Just say No.”

    Do they have AA groups for blog-a-holics?

  28. Hold on a sec, Neil, I don’t have a family either. No Blogebrity, no family… I’m a loser?!

  29. Anne, you live in Paris. How much cooler can you get?

  30. I confess, I wasn’t even aware that things like Blogebrity even existed. But now that I know? Now that I know?

    I suspect my testicles will shrink even more. I wish I was Colin Farrell fighting to get my penis on film.

  31. I know how you feel. I used to have dozen of readers but now people only use me for flash fiction. I think it’s time for a big booze & barbituates Hollywood ending.

  32. A-list on a BLOG? You must be kidding? What happens with that? Do you get invited to all sorts of hip online parties? Does it help you get chicks? Sheesh! And I thought I was so cool when I could get into Pastis on a Saturday night… Alas, the bar is raised higher! Heck, I haven’t even been invited to gmail!

    At least I now have a synopsis of the past few years of your life, Neil. Thanks for that.

    Gonna go back in my corner and sulk now.
    Namaste.
    ~HDJ

  33. ‘the really hot female bloggers who wrote about women’s shoes’…um, do you happen to still have any of their addresses handy?

  34. You’ll always be on MY A-list, Neil, no matter how much of a heartless bastard you are.

  35. Beware — Bella is apparently addicted to Blogahol!

  36. that’s just fabulous neil. what a coming of age story. lol.

  37. That was hilarious! Oh and sad too. What a rollercoaster ride you Blogebrity’s lead! 🙂

  38. I should be writing about women’s shoes?

  39. Very witty 🙂

    (gor·geous ( gôr ‘ jəs ) adj. Dazzlingly beautiful or magnificent – I’ve just read about the penis so you could qualify on that front or with a magnificent blog!)

  40. I’m so far from being on any list, I didn’t even know this one existed… But I’m not surprised to find you on it, Neil.

  41. Atomic — don’t feel out of it. I didn’t know about the list until this weekend, either. I was still hung up on Technorati, not realizing that was old-school already. And the only reason I’m on that list is through some creative photoshopping on my part. The only list I thrive to be on is “The Blogosphere’s Sexiest Men.”

    If you read about Blogebrity, you’ll learn that it started as a joke, but then people took it seriously. Honestly, once people start caring about lists of bloggers is the day I stop blogging. I can feel insecure about people and careers in the real world. Why would I want the same with blogging where cat photos and memes rule the day?

  42. This was hilarious! (And well written)
    :-)Signed,
    Your newest fan.
    😉

  43. Something wrong with cat photos, punk?

  44. The only reason I comment here is because I hope the person who comments after me will notice how witty I am and read my blog.

    There, I said it. This will be the low point of my E True Hollywood Story.

  45. For more information on getting ahead in blogging, please register for my up-and-coming “Learning Annex” course on “Blogging — Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling and Trolling for E-Dates with Hot Female Bloggers.”

  46. Good approach, Neil, but you actually have to score every once and a while.

    Oh, wait…I just remembered Dr.Phil…never mind.

  47. That was a great post man, too funny. lol

  48. a friend led me to this post, excellent man. excellent. you paint an accurate, amusing and introspective picture of the obsession that many have with their own self importance….when what have any of us actually done?

  49. Neil, I gotta tell ya, I’m actually not an unhappy person.

    I may be jaded and bitter, but I really do like my job… I’d say I’m happy more often than not.

    Oh, and the reason I’m on Blogebrity is because I wrote them and asked – so they put me on the C-List.

    It really was that simple!

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