A Style Guide for Blog Parodists
As op-ed columnists have recently announced, something called a “blog” (short for “Web log”) has become very popular on something called the “Internet.” As savvy parodists with an eye for hilarious new trends, you are undoubtedly putting aside your unfinished “Gandalf Goes to Baghdad” pieces and starting on hilarious send-ups of the whole “blogging” phenomenon. Here are some helpful suggestions for contributing to the future glut of blog parodies, or as The New Republic has cleverly dubbed it, the “Blog-spoof-o-sphere.”
1. Blogs of Famous Dead People
In 1999, the year e-mail was invented, you probably wrote several articles imagining what it would have been like if great historical figures had written e-mail. The comic principle here is that it is funny to see what Sir Walter Scott or Jesus or Jack the Ripper would have written if they had been able to use technology. (In fact, as we all know, technology did not exist until 1970 and the invention of quadraphonic sound.) Now there’s something new, a blog, that also uses technology in there somewhere. And if you thought an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org“ was funny, wait until you see what hilarity can be wrung from email@example.com!
Suppose you want to show what Albert Einstein’s blog would have been like. You start off by writing “Albert Einstein’s Blog,” to draw the reader into your world. Then you write a date, like whatever day relativity was discovered, followed by something about his mundane daily life.
Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday, but my aunt’s family was in town and I had to listen to them yak on and on about their prostate operations. Which got me to thinking: Relatives. We’ve all got them. And I have a theory about that …Posted by: Albert Mustachio at 11:39 p.m. Comments: (0) Trackback (153)
The joke, of course, is that Albert Einstein never had a blog. He wrote diaries and journals, which are completely different from blogs in that they use (a) ink, and (b) handwriting. If your readers know this, it adds an extra layer of irony.
2. Blogs of Current, Non-Dead Celebrities
This is trickier because current celebrities could, if they wanted to, create their own real blogs. (There are reliable rumors that Johnny Depp secretly writes The National Review’s The Corner blog all by himself, except for the pro-choice posts, which are written by Nancy Reagan.) But until they do, there are plenty of opportunities for you to create fake blogs that satirize our society’s obsession with celebrities. And by “our society” I mean “you.” Here’s a sample entry:
December 25, 2004
Hi, my name is Orlando Bloom and I’m a star. Or that’s what they say, anyway. I don’t really feel like a star—I mean, yesterday I was at a party with Julia and Catherine Zeta and that Pope guy, and we all still feel like we’re still struggling to pay the rent. Then somebody passed around some Ecstasy but I had to say no because I was going to re-shoot a scene early the next morning. I miss when I wasn’t working and I could do whatever I wanted, you know? By the way, I’m way hunkier than Viggo. Please vote for me in the hunkvote.com poll.Posted by: DreamierThanViggo at 3:42 p.m. (5:42 p.m. for working stiffs on Eastern Time) Comments: (797) Comments by people who aren’t Peter Jackson geeks: (1)
With this one fake post, you have now demonstrated that celebrities are superficial, plus you’ve alerted people that there are a lot of drugs in Hollywood, a scoop which will definitely get you into the pages of People magazine, though it will cause Us Weekly to ban you for life.
3. Blogs of Fictional Characters
Wouldn’t it be funny if Madame Bovary had a blog? Or if American Psycho posted his thoughts on what it means to be American and/or psycho? Or if John Grisham’s idealistic young lawyers formed a group blog about fighting top-secret corporate corruption? This wild and potentially crazy humorous technique utilizes an idea that never existed before the “Internet” came into existence: putting fictional characters from the past into incongruous situations. You can work with this one forever:
January 4, 1860
Welcome to the blog I’m blogging,
Me, the warrior Hiawatha.
One with love and one with nature,
Though my internet provider
Doesn’t work by force of nature—
Doesn’t work at all, some mornings.
To peruse the morning headlines:
Have you seen the latest story
That the Gichee-Goomee newsmen
Never bother with reporting
Due to all their leftwing bias?
Hiawatha hates their bias
And their use of forged smoke-signals!
Turn instead to Hiawatha,
He will tell you what’s transpiring,
Funded by his mom Nokomis
And the Sacred-belt foundation!Posted by: longfellowsbitch at 1:06 a.m.
Comments: (0) Syllables per line: (8)
Now you know how to write a blog parody. Remember, the important thing is to just write funny. Or sell it to The New Yorker. Whichever you think is more important.