Monday, August 25, 2008

The Blogosphere - Empowerment, Endangerment, Entertainment

I hope everyone is familiar with The Pizza Girl and her encounter with our Utah senate majority leader. For the few that have not seen the story on the news or read about it in the paper, here is a link to the story in the Salt Lake Tribune. The gist of the story? Young pizza girl delivers 5 pies to Curt Bramble and is unable to take a personal check due to company policy, typical of start-ups. Bramble pulls the "Don't you know who I am?!" card, rants, raves, calls the manager, makes himself look like a complete and total fool, then tips the poor girl $2 for 10 minutes of humiliation. Unbeknownst to Bramble, Pizza Girl is a blogger. And a talented one at that. She documents the entire episode on her blog.

Sometimes blogging is a lonely past time. I for one often feel that I'm standing at the edge of the abyss, screaming into nothingness, reaching no one. I know I have a few readers, my die-hard kind family members read this from time to time and post comments. Sometimes I hear secondhand that someone occasionally comes here and reads without commenting, but typically I write as a creative outlet and nothing more. Pizza Girl had the same outlook. She didn't realize that her story would pass from one friend to another to another, catch like a brushfire, eventually reaching many thousands of people, creating drama untold. She appeared on the news, has been featured in print, and is now a hero to little bloggers like me. Senator Bramble, naturally, has not had the guts to comment.

I love blogging. It's a virtual version of Alice's looking glass...nothing is as it seems. Real world rules do not apply. In cases like Pizza Girl, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. In the REAL world she could never take on a Goliath like Curt Bramble, but in cyberworld she fought back and owned his philistine ass. In the atmosphere she is voiceless, in the blogosphere she booms, resonates, and reaches thousands of people.

I began writing as a creative outlet. I'd sit down to the computer and vent, rant, create. I told my parents about it one day and explained how therapeutic it was. They asked to see what I had done, so I printed it up. They raved about it, like good parents should, and asked for more. This fueled the fire and I kept writing. I eventually moved away from the Word format and started blogging. Incidentally, my first blog post was my first Word document.

My style continued to evolve and I believe it is now very clear. I lean heavily on sarcasm and I exaggerate. A few of my posts may be viewed to be "over the top" or "brutal" or sometimes even "inappropriate." Anyone who knows me well will understand that is just my style. I don't REALLY believe that spammers are worse than pedophiles. I'm a cynic. But boiled down, my posts still speak my mind. I hate spammers. I don't understand vegans. Utah is a red state. Auto mechanics are greasy and dishonest. If the subject of one of my flames were ever to actually read my post, and call me to the carpet, I'd have ZERO problem in letting them know that A) I am a creative exaggerator, and B) the basic thesis of the post was accurate. If you spam, you are an idiot. End of story.

I feel that blogging empowers people. It allows the silent to speak. In text, people can be many things they could never be in life. It is also one of the dangers of a virtual world. Awkward, scrawny, odd people can create a profile and persona of power and confidence on the interweb. Sometimes the alternate reality is preferable to the real reality. Fortunately for me, blogging is all about entertainment. I look forward to weathering the wave of writer's block so I can ink out the next post, and I truly enjoy reading others' fantastic blogs.

As for Pizza Girl, she took a tremendous amount of heat for speaking her mind and unfortunately she's starting to waffle. She has written an apology letter to Senator Bramble and has publicly back-peddled a bit. In the minds of many, this is showing maturity and grace. I, for one, wish she'd have stuck to her guns. This is the blogosphere, the looking glass. Grace isn't necessary. The man was a buttwad, and she justly called him on it. There is no slander, no libel. This is a vehicle for expression and opinion.

The character of Jeffery Chaucer from the film "A Knight's Tale" said it best. "I shall eviscerate you in fiction." Beware angry pompous tightwad politicians of the world. The bloggers are here to stay, and our kung fu is strong.


Sister said...

Tyler- Keep on Eviscerating! I love to read your rants and miss hearing them in person.

Brian said...

Bramble and his cronies are jackasses. I wish more people like the Pizza Girl would speak up and let the world know just who we have in office here in Utah. Fear the pen!!

Mandy said...

Thats a funny pizza girl story. Bramble IS an ass. I like the new background. Much easier to read! Now if you could just make it white with black writing. HA! Please cater to ME!

The Harding Hive said...

Tyler, this is Sara (Draper) Harding. I just wanted to tell you that I check out your blog frequently and I think you are a fabulous writer. I can't remember exactly why I looked at your blog the first time, but I was so entertained by your post at that time, that I keep reading. I hope that doesn't bother you. But, for my entertainment purposes, I hope you will continue to use your blog as your creative writing outlet. And just for the record, my favorite post was the one about your junior high school teacher hitting your desk with the his ruler, flipping your math book over, and so on and so forth. You had both Chris & I almost crying we were laughing so hard.

Tyler said...

Hey Sara! Wow, I don't know what to say. I'm really glad you posted your comment. It's pretty neat to hear that people read this crap :)

If it's ok with your husband, add my email address so I can see your blog. I really love blog surfing. Sometimes I post comments, sometimes I lurk, but it's always neat to see what people are up to.

All the best,