A few weeks ago I was at the crossroads. To my left was a blog-free life. No scrambling for interesting, cuttingly humorous topics to entertain the seven people who read these blogs religiously (in a pew dressed in a habit…boom, boom). To my right was what the Japanese call giri, a moral responsibility, a debt of obligation I owed my fellow blogmates not to be the only rat to flee a sinking ship. Ahead was…all right, perhaps it wasn’t a crossroads, it was a T junction and I only had the two directions to travel. And, I confess, I already had my cheese packed and I’d reallocated those valuable twenty minutes I spent on my weakly blob, to weeding the garden. But then Wan Wan (not her real name) came into my life.
Wan Wan (not her real name) is a young Taiwanese lady who quit her job at the South Taipei 7/11 sub-branch to become a ‘professional blogger’. I guffawed.
“Come on, darling,” I thought, condescendingly and with no thought to PC, “I’ve been blogging away here for four months and I haven’t made so much as a damp digestive biscuit. You might as well think about becoming a professional self-teeth flosser or a professional one-handed lint juggler. It doesn’t happen, lovey.”
Wan Wan (not her real name) cleared a million bucks last year. Since she started her blog five years ago she’s had 170 million hits on her website. (n.b. Normally I’d make up figures like that but clearly I have no need to do so in this case). In 2008 she was the fourth most Googled person in the universe including the non-planet formally known as Pluto. In fact, I’m sure that just by writing the name Wan Wan (not her real name) in this blog, we’ll have thousands of accidental and disappointed miss hits from single young misses in search of their heroin. According to my, now disconnected, Statcounter, my site www.colincotterill.com (free plug) was peaking at fourteen hits a day. Most of those didn’t even stick around long enough to enter the meaningful section where I expose my soul and display photographs of my bougainvilleas.
So, what does she write, this Madonna of the blogosphere? Political intrigue? Celebrity scandal? Naughty underwear confessions? No, she writes about being bored at work, at having to watch TV with her dog, at accidentally washing her face with toothpaste. She writes about stuff that doesn’t need writing about cause it’s stuff that those 170 million lonely people do every day. It’s obviously what the new generation wants; OWN LIFE + 1 millimeter. She’s confirmation that the world is a contentedly dull place.
By her own confession, she isn’t much of a writer but obviously nobody’s noticed. To divert our attention from this fact, she draws her own cartoons. These, I may add, are cartoons that make Doraemon look like a Rubens nude. Cartoons I could draw drunk with my left foot. And, as if that wasn’t annoying enough, despite the fact that all this nothing appears for free on her website, she’s sold more book versions of her blogs in Asia than Dan, JK, Stephen and me all rolled together (a not-too pleasant mental image). Four-hundred-thousand of her books have been sold in Thailand alone. Four hundred thousand of her books have been sold in Thailand alone. That wasn’t a misprint. I just didn’t believe it the first time I wrote it. They printed a thousand copies of my first novel and still have 920 stuck in their warehouse. Four-hundred-th… Shhheet.
So, my career path is clear. Left turn at the T junction. In my next weakly blob I shall dispense with the type of intellectual banter of which you have become a custard and I shall talk about how difficult it is to go to the bathroom neatly after you’ve had a mug of warm carrot juice for breakfast. I shall be empathetic, leave you with a lot of, “oh, yes, isn’t that the truth,” moments. And I shall round it all off with my own character, a loveable little tyke by the name of Phut Phut (not his real name). I’ll tickle your fancies with a little teaser at the end of this blob. And if you want to have a real frolicking good time while you’re waiting for the first adventures of Phut Phut, take a jolly romp through the website of the duchess of early-teen dementia. Look no further than http://www.wretch.cc/blog/cwwany.