Friday, March 16, 2007

Eeyores of the world unite

There are numerous good reasons to purchase Shaggy Blog Stories: a Collection of Amusing Tales from the UK Blogosphere, the book that Troubled Diva and chums have thrown together in record time. Above all, it should raise a decent sum for charity, under the auspices of the hugely successful Comic Relief brand. Not only that, it contains contributions from many fine bloggers, including wotserface and thingy and oojamaflip and the other one. And, of course, it deserves success simply because of the effort that must have gone into such a project. It's almost a year since I signed the contract for my book (Welcome to the Machine: OK Computer and the Death of the Classic Album, and I mention that only as part of my ongoing experiment to track the correlation between online mentions of a book and Amazon rankings, honest) and the bloody thing's still not in the shops yet. Props to The Diva. And respeck. And, um, t'ing.

However, for all the success that will deservedly cascade upon the Shagtastic tome, I worry that it excludes an important, but overlooked minority within the blogosphere. Those of us who aren't blessed with the amusingosity gene; who can only develop a red nose if we leave our antihistamines at home; who know only too well the dreaded Tumbleweed Moment. Just as the blogiverse is blessed with jesters and wits, it also has space for those of us whose talents lie elsewhere: moroseness; complaining; grumpiness; pessimism; decomposing appendages; and, as the lovely Misty so rightly commented here only the other day, cosy, posturing intolerance. Imagine a bound volume containing the finest examples of such ball-aching misery. Could it not shift, ooh, tens of copies?

So, anyone up for it? Sadly, in the absence of an umbrella organisation (anyone for Curmudgeon Relief?) we may have a more uphill struggle on our hands than the chroniclers of jollity and japery. But we're used to such Sisyphean drudgery and frustration. I don't think we can hope to match the industry and enthusiasm of the Shaggy Bloggers - indeed, I reckon such a thing would be rather against the whole spirit of the venture. So, if we're really after a gimmick, perhaps this could aim to be the most ill-conceived, ill-tempered, protracted and ultimately unsuccessful charity blook project of all time.

Although, knowing my luck, I'd probably arse the whole thing up.


James Henry said...


Rog said...

Blimey, Tim, you are a real Smith's Fan and no mistake!!

Valerie said...

Can I contribute? I'm good at morose

(Perversely, in Real Life (TM), I'm rather irritatingly chipper most of the time.)

Annie said...

Phew, Tim. You saved me a post. The fact that some of my favourites, including whatsername (and undeservedly unread Dan Flynn) etc are in it nearly made me want to buy it, but the whole thing made me feel somehow anxious – I was looking at my archives thinking ‘but I’m just not funny’ and feeling a bit inadequate…
Hurray for moroseness, complaining, grumpiness and pessimism. Bring on the tumbleweed!

- Good lord above, is that Buster Keaton advertising Jewish rye bread?

Rog said...

...and with my dodgy apostrophe, heaven knows you'll be miserable now!

Tim F said...

James, I think you're quite deliberately failing to enter into the spirit of this post. Look, I don't come along and impose my misery on your "amusing" blog, do I? Now run along and play with your "amusing" friends and chuckle at the "amusing" things in your book, while I watch my Ingmar Bergman films. Without subtitles.

Prefer Pringles meself, Murph. Or even Pringle's.

Valerie: OK, we'll give it a go, but please leave Mr Chipper at the door. Any of that nonsense and it's off to Amusingville with you.

Annie: Hello, you appropriately mardy old mare. And as for the advertisement, have you not been made privy to any of those amazing Jewish comedy albums of the 1960s? Oy! "Steve McQueen is Jewish, would you believe it..."

Anonymous said...

Ooh, you've made me all depressed now. Not only am I "the other one" (what, Chris Lowe?) I'm being unfairly portrayed as being chipper, upbeat, and wacky. The Timmy Mallet of blogging, then :(

In reality, I like nothing better than a Friday night in drinking herbal tea, watching a Tarkovsky triple bill topped off with a couple of hours listening to Crispy Ambulance while contemplating the futility of existence :(

You bastard :(

patroclus said...

Annie: you made me laugh for ages the other day just with your intro to yourself on the Camerashake site.

I am afflicted with a sort of relentless chirpiness, and therefore I don't think I would be allowed into a book of moroseness and curmudegonliness. But I would definitely buy a copy.

James Henry said...


Tim F said...

Betty: Crispy Ambulance? Pah! The Black Lace of mope-rock. (Actually, just the other night, we were watching a documentary about the two Pistols gigs that the Buzzcocks staged in Manchester, and Alan Hempsall showed up as a talking head and I explained how he was in Crispy Ambulance, and once had to fill in for Ian Curtis, and Small Boo said "oh how very interesting" in that Peter Cook voice, so I went to listen to some Crispy Ambulance but I didn't have any.)

Patroclus: Please stop trying to lure Ms Slaminsky to your strange, "chirpy" ways. She is with friends. None who like her, onviously, but with friends.

James: Hah! My cat just shat in your handbag. And then died there.

Annie said...

Thanks, Patroclus. And Tim, you curmudgeonly old git.