34 things I am stridently ambivalent about.


  1. Wilco late-George Harrison soundalike tribute
  2. Textures
  3. HTMLGiant’s self-referential, dog-licking-itself comment box-driven culture
  4. Crowdsourcing, for that matter
  5. MGMT
  6. Literary journal “themed issues”
  7. Teaching the semicolon before the comma
  8. The Kindle/DRM ebooks
  9. Parliament/Funkadelic
  10. Don Was’s involvement in the Exile on Main Street reissue
  11. The Believer interviews
  12. Chrome plug-ins
  13. Of Montreal
  14. BloggingHeads.TV
  15. Thomas “China for a Day” Friedman
  16. The Huffington Post Books section
  17. Student loan consolidation
  18. Comparing W.S. Merwin’s choice as poet laureate as “consistent with the Obama administration’s ongoing excess of caution”
  19. Independent arts weeklies
  20. Adam Kirsch writing about neoconservatives
  21. Format changes to So You Think You Can Dance?
  22. Neil Young
  23. Faux naive, flat-language urban realism
  24. Against Me!
  25. Endless air-kissing thank-you @ Twitter posts for all world to see
  26. Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog‘s  aggregation-only iteration
  27. Beck et al. gutting INXS of all its many charms with faux sincere detachment
  28. List-making
  29. The Roots’ studio albums
  30. Tattoos
  31. Twitter posts about working on one’s memoir
  32. Joshua Beckman’s forehead hankies
  33. Seth Godin’s dog-chasing its tail blog posts of late
  34. The internet


7 Replies to “34 things I am stridently ambivalent about.”

  1. the thing about htmlg’s comment-driven culture is that it’s really only ever like 2-3 anonymous ranters per message that go on nesting comments to their own comments and making it seem like “everyone’s angry” or some such. that entire thread is really like mike m. and someone named mfbomb getting ridiculous and everyone being like, but you’re ridiculous even if your reasons are sound. the proof of the ridiculousness= posting 75% of the posts in a 230+ comment fuckall.

  2. I seem to remember that locution from some place…..
    I’m right there with you on the Beck.

  3. It’s interesting you say you’re “ambivalent” about htmlgiant comment threads,but don’t you owe your very existence to them? This website is, like Trick With A Knife and Big Other and fill in the blank, merely a copy of the original. They did something new and you copied it. Seems kind of sad and weird that a copycat website would bite the hand that spawned it. Also, I’ve noticed that every post on this website accumulates 3 maybe 4 comments, whereas the average post at The Original Site garners 50 to 100…by “comment-box driven culture”, do you simply mean to point out that people actually participate in their community whereas they don’t really participate in this one? Sounds like the kid on the playground who, after being refused a place on the team, cries: I didn’t want to play anyway!

    1. Maybe you’re right, Blackheart. Thing is, I don’t like comments. And, I am certainly not the first person to say this, but I don’t measure a post’s, let alone a ‘community’s,’ as you put it, worth or relevance or interestingess by how many comments a post gets. I put the comments on at this site because, well, I don’t know, really. I heard about the Tin House post over at HTMLGiant and it sort of made me think, “there they go again.”

      I don’t think HTMLGiant is a hand to bite, in any case; I don’t think they or The Big Other invented the group blog. That title might go to Boing Boing or something that’s been around for 10 years or so. I’ll admit it: I am envious of Boing Boing. (I might add that I never look at the comments there or at any site besides Gawker.) I can only speak for myself here, but I am not interested in only and merely blogging about dog-chasing-its-tail book culture, or people who are on my press who I am about to read with at the local bookstore, or open-ended threads about getting paid for one’s work as a writer.

      But that doesn’t get me schoolground-bratty; it’s something about which I am stridently ambivalent. I could say “really, really uninterested,” but I thought the former term was more entertaining, at least to myself. Besides, I am more hopped about Beck’s treatment of INXS with whatever you’re talking about.

  4. wondering if Blackheart Jackson is Christopher Higgs in that he usually seems to comment in response to Christopher Higgs posts on HTMLG or suggest Christopher Higgs as the next big thing. just curious?

    1. Nope, I’m not Higgs. For one thing, I’m a She and he’s a He. For another thing, he’s too nice to say the things I say. But you’re right, I do think he’s the next big thing. He’s also a really great teacher.

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