Posted on | December 10, 2012 | 43 Comments
BTW, in case you didn’t know it, @joenbc hates conservative talk-radio with the heat of ten thousand suns.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 10, 2012
OK, the pretentious title is both:
- An anti-intellectual mockery of show-offs who throw around terms like “existential angst”; and
- An honest admission of inner doubts about my own relevance, given that at least half my blog-shtick is ripped off from Ace.
While I’ve improvised, adapted and, perhaps to some extent, genuinely innovated on the AOSHQ model, the derivative nature of my act is still something I occasionally bump my head against.
Back in the day when I was trapped in a desk-editor’s job at The Washington Times, I’d look over the fence at the green grass of the blogosphere and say, “Wow, those guys are actually having fun.”
Nobody was having more fun than the AOSHQ Morons. So when I finally stepped across the fence, it was certain that I was going to try to do something Ace-ish with my own personal corner of the ‘sphere. And discovered, inevitably, that it ain’t nowhere near as easy as it looks.
You know how, when you were a kid watching baseball, you’d see the games on TV and then go out in the backyard to play ball with your friends? And you weren’t exactly clobbering homers over the fence in every at-bat? As a matter of fact, you were striking out a lot, and hitting foul balls that broke out the neighbor’s window?
People who succeed at something are usually very good at what they do, and tend to make it look a lot easier than it actually is. So if your idea of a career plan is, “Hey, I’ll learn to play guitar like Yngwie Malmsteen,” good luck with that. If everybody could do it, there would be no distinction or honor in the achievement, and it’s the same way with me trying to be an Internet Funny Guy Like My Hero Ace of Spades.
He’s just a hell of a lot funnier than me, so I have to figure out some other formula for “value-added” besides the funny stuff. Also, there’s a lot more to Ace than just the wisecracks, and his serious stuff is pretty damned awesome, too. Either way, it’s a mighty hard dollar, this independent blogging racket and, nearly five years into the gig, my appreciation of Ace’s work has increased rather than diminished.
Staying at it this long isn’t easy, and while readers may envy Ace’s glamorous life — the wealth, the fame, the hordes of lovestruck blog groupies — I’m sure there are some mornings when he wakes up and says to himself, “Damn. Gotta go sit there at the computer all day.”
All of which is a wordy preamble to this story: I was sitting here at the damned computer early this morning with the TV on MSNBC — I watch, so you don’t have to — when I heard Joe Scarborough go on an embittered rant against conservative talk-radio.
He named Glenn Beck specifically and I was wondering, “Why does Joe hate Glenn Beck so much?” Then somebody on Twitter pointed out that Scarborough once briefly tried his hand at talk radio and flopped disastrously.
Whatever makes people tune into talk radio, Scarborough didn’t have it, and it only took a few months for the ABC radio network to realize it.
Isn’t it therefore rather unseemly for him to be knocking Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin or any of the other successful practicioners in a medium where he, Joe Scarborough, has proven himself incapable of success? I think it is and, if I should ever decide to pack it in as a blogger, I hope to God somebody will slap me if I ever try to excuse my failure by disparaging the success of others.
That word again — in case you missed it — is unseemly.
Well, the thought crossed my mind when I heard Scarborough’s disgruntled rant that maybe I should blog about it. But there were other things to blog about, and it slipped my mind until this afternoon when — in search of something else to write about besides the tedious “fiscal cliff” story — I clicked over to Ace’s and saw the headline:
Yeah. You should go read that. I’ll probably still be here coping with my existential angst when you come back. If you ever come back.