I figure every era has a specific style of mediocre writing. I guess it’s the watered down or inexpert version of better popular writers or something of the sort. I have noted two in blogging that drive me nuts and that I try to test my entries against so that I don’t accidentally fall into them. The first is the Tiny Violins Style, or Lifetime Movie Network Soundtrack Style. If a blog can be read with faint strains of plaintive instrumentals behind it then it may suffer from this style. Each blog entry seems to begin with a mournful tone and then slowly develop to a moving and slightly triumphant finale, usually to end with a peaceful yet still slightly melancholic final strain. Now if the majority are inexpert versions of better stuff then certainly some of these emotional journeys are good. Just wearing in bunches. The second is the Pundit Style. If a blog reads like an audition tape for a commentary position on a 24 hour news channel, it may suffer from this style. This style is also apt to crop up in statuses on Facebook. These blogs paint every single current event as a black and white issue fitting into a broader view about the State of Things and everyone on the other side, or even anyone who’s just plain uninterested, as an evil idiot. (By the way I do think it’s a very interesting phenomenon that we can simultaneously see our political enemies as fiendish masterminds AND bumbling fools who can’t reason their way out of a paper bag. It seems they’d have to be one or the other). What does it say about our culture that we like to wallow in our own emotions or yell at the top of our lungs about our opinions. I think it means our culture is entirely too self conscious and busy trying to impress everyone with our INteresting lives. Or to put it another way, I’m pretty sure it means our culture is still in high school. And high school was so exhausting. My favourite blogs are the ones where you feel less like you’re in an episode of the latest teen drama or the latest cable news rant fest and more like you’re sitting in the writer’s living room drinking a nice adult beverage and possibly smoking if you got ’em (hmm maybe you’re on a porch instead of in a livingroom). So now I’ll have to reread this, while watching HLN, and then reread it while playing the theme to Love Story, and then finish it off with a beer and see if it passes the test.