February 18, 2005

The Near Dismissal of Ben Thomas

Everybody from DogBitingMen gets together for a chat…

Olivia: Ben...don’t take this personally, but we all have some serious concerns about your input to the site.

Ben: But I just wrote a three-fricking-thousand-word article about youth suicide that was well-argued and thorough, and even earned me a spot on the wireless talking as a pundit. And I “fisked” Rodney Hide but good, when he nodded off at Waiheke Island resort.

Olivia: Mmmmmmm, and that’s really… interesting. But – no offence, Ben - you are turning readers off. You’re dull. You're dreadful. You're killing our readership stats.

Neil: You’ve got to Dumb it Down, Ben. I should know – I work for Close Up at Seven as fluffer for Susan Wood. Speaking of which: we need a Poll Question. Something like: ‘Should a woman with a moko be denied 111 service?’

Ben: Our demographic doesn’t care about polls. They’re only interested in unmitigated wank about other bloggers. That brings us dozens of links and shoots our readership up by 400 percent. As Lindsay Perigo said, this format is braindead.

David: Perigo was talking about television. And he now works on the Holmes Show, tending saplings.

Olivia: There’s a moral there somewhere.

Neil: Lindsay’s an objectivist – he probably missed it.

MediaCow: I'm just a pseudonym, which is why I'm not talking.

David: Let’s be constructive. What can we publish that will bring punters running?

Neil: We could tell that brilliant story we heard about Dick Hubbard and his cereal company.

David: We’d earn the opprobrium of the National Business Review, whom I’m sure will run it eventually. I wonder what their headline will be: “We Told You So”?

Olivia: It’s careless use of words like “opprobrium” and "whom" that got us into this mess.

Neil: What about that saucy story we got emailed about SIS buggery?

Olivia: I think it was bugging. Or bungling. Bugling?

Ben: I’m surprised nobody’s suggested we publish unmitigated wank about other bloggers.

David and Olivia: That’s a brilliant idea, Ben!

(Ben cradles his perfectly sculpted head in his fine-boned hands and lets out an anguished sigh).

David: Let’s write about David P Farrar and Russell Brown!

(Neil quivers, just like Mayoress Hubbard, at the mention of the Kingpins of Kiwi Blogging)

Olivia: We could reveal that the P in David P Farrar stands for Priapus - I found that on the electoral roll. This was when I had inapprpriate feelings toward that little man. I went to great lengths to stalk him dressed as a schoolgirl, before discovering it was easier to check the online 10-minutely updates of his diet and movements.

David: So, let’s just steal the best bits from Farrar's Kiwiblog and Russell Brown's Public Address.
Olivia: The best part of KiwBlog was definitely the Count the Corks Game. That set the internet on fire.

Neil: I almost wet myself when I discovered that there were 392 corks! Here's how we could recreate the same buzz: we could take a picture of some grass and get people to guess how many blades there are!

Olivia: Nifty – the blog readers will love it!!!! We'll call it Tally The Tussock! But first we will need two more squares of grass, already counted, as a reference point for our readers. Ben, you like research, and don’t have an important job in television or communications...

Ben: But I'm the serious one...

David: Count the grass or we will expel you from the blog like Matt Nippert from a “no shoes, no service” bar. Now, we need to copy other masters, too. What is it that Russell Brown does best?

Neil: Humour

(Contemplative Silence)

Neil: Oh. Forget about him, then. That leaves New Zealand’s other great online humour site, the extremely mysterious damianchristiehatesnz.blogspot.com.

David: Nobody knows who is behind that site though, so it would be hard to plagiarise directly.

Neil: What about converting DogBitingMen into a livejournal?

Olivia: What the hell is a livejournal?

Neil: It’s like an online diary. People write about what they have done that day, how they are feeling, and how their latest roleplaying game adventure went.

Olivia: Like Philosophically Made? Or Constar?

Neil: No, those are “political blogs”. Livejournals are where you cry about how unloved you are and how crap your life is. Which of us should write the first depressing entry?

David: I am an award-nominated Listener writer and a highly-paid corporate communications manager.

Neil: I have three cars from Te Wananga O Aotearoa and I am New Zealand’s only world famous right-wing blogger.

Olivia: I am very, very pretty.

(pause)

Neil: Ben Thomas, stop counting that grass. And wipe that bloody mud off. We’re going to let you write again.



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