Sunday, July 15, 2012

Riposte Repost, or A Lamentation about Consumeration*

The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got Burton suits, ha you think it's funny
Turning rebellion into money
from "White Man in the Hammersmith Palais" by Joe Strummer

The clogged blogosphere of foodies, locavores, urban homesteaders, DIYers, and OTHers** renders my offerings invisible. I could try to gain a wider audience by joining the pinterested, or by linking to one of the other sites that aggregates such blogs, but I am too lazy and egotistical, not to mention dis-inclined. The ramps to fame, or at least garnering large numbers of eyeballs, prove too steep for my shiftless self. Make a logo, develop a not-off-the-shelf design, pay for a domain, suck up to corporations so they'll give me some swag to review or re-gift, and most dangerous of all, fall into the pond of self-deception, in which this platform can somehow become a revenue generator or a stepping stone to a book contract. 

Among my bookmarks is one such site, where people turn in their recipes, DIY tips, and so on. There's actually some useful stuff there, and I do check it out fairly regularly. The name of it is "Punk Domestics," which appealed to me before I really began to understand what it is. The name, which rings oxymoronic to begin with in my book (I grew up in a time and place where "domestics" were servants, usually darker than the, uh, dare I say, masters?), also fails to live up to anything like the spirit of punks, much less the "hardcore" ethos their blurb claims they embody. 

For starters, to submit anything, you're supposed to log in, get your ID, join the queue. And yes, submission is the name of the game, oddly enough, for any posting must comply with a list of rules. You are then encouraged to get a Punk Domestics "badge" to display on your blog, so you can funnel eyeballs to their site, which has a lot of ads, including irritating pop-ups that you have to click out of the way.

And it's not just ads. Entire blog posts are plugs. Like the William Sonomas give-away. A post waxes eloquent about how this upscale purveyor is embracing the DIY movement with darling canning jars and such, marketed as the "Agrarian" line. [Clever name, I will admit, harkening to a simpler time, a garden-ey feeling, and of course for the  baby boomers with fuzzy memories and their kids with vague historical understandings, it evokes the rhyming Aquarian age.] All you have to do to win it is drive up the site's numbers with comments, or post something on twitter or pinterest, whatever it takes to increase revenue at Punk Domestics, which just happens to admit that they've "done some copywriting for Williams-Sonoma, including for the Agrarian line." If you can stomach it, visit the offending link 

About 200 people fell in line to enter, and two won. I'd rather wallow in non-commercial, self-righteous, obscurity. Even if the readership consists mostly of myself, trying to recall how I made that meal or canned those things, it feels better than shilling for a company catering to privileged dilettantes. Those who have people to cook for them, and mostly only take it upon themselves when it will create a show. I'm more interested in food, basically.
* This post originally appeared at Mocavore.
** Other Things Homespun-ers

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