I find this word extremely entertaining but all too often, style is confused with class. Here, we’re talking about it as it pertains to countenance and/or the unique way a person chooses and wears clothing. But often (and depending on the person), stylish clothing just masks an ugly, inner core. A friend always refers to that distinction with this analogy: “an ape in a tuxedo is still an ape”.
The same can be applied to one’s style of writing and this is the reason I chose to write about this topic. You see, my particular writing style has been brought to my attention recently. An editor and I had an interesting conversation about my rather “unique” style a few days ago and then regrettably last spring, my blog was “reviewed” by a compendium of youngsters with the journalistic acumen of Dickensian street urchins. If the word “fuck” wasn’t included in every other line, that blog then (in their scatological opinion) didn’t “rock”.
Don’t get me wrong, “fuck” is a perfectly decent word to use in prose and frankly, can often be the ONLY expletive appropriate in certain circumstances and I reserve it for that expressed purpose. But as far as this blog is concerned, I don’t believe I must shock in order to awe.
That said, there are blogs out there that bore to tears. There are blogs that are nothing but vile, silly, strange wastes of time. They’re mean, utterly lacking in content and written by self-serving, egotistical blow-hards. And then there are blogs that are absolutely sublime; substantive works of literary art that blow me away every time.
It’s all about style and level of comprehension and personal tastes. These kids who reviewed my blog didn’t get me–for a myriad of reasons, I’m sure and you know what? That they didn’t was the best compliment of all. I don’t want my blog to have universal appeal. I no longer want that responsibility.
A few years ago, the Laurie Kendrick that was a human mannequin/TV News Anchor whose on air life was completely scripted, would’ve wanted the world to love her. She needed that.
I’d get 100 letters or faxes (this was before the advent of e-mail) and 99 would heap praise on me. One would be negative and that one would negate all the positive letters I got and I’d dwell on that one damn letter for days. I was trying to be all things to everyone and that was impossible.
The smarter, older Laurie got much more discriminating in radio. I had to depend on my wits, as opposed to tits, and I’ve learned that not everyone was going to like me and as the years wore on, I became increasingly more OK with that.
Now, I’m no longer in mainstream broadcasting; I’m in its periphery–I write for it–and I’m happier more than ever before that people don’t get me. It’s almost like a badge of honor. This is how I separate the wheat from the chaff. And knowing this and feeling this way about it means that I have arrived. No, I’m not writing for The Atlantic (yet), but that’s OK, I’ve arrived in my head. That’s where it counts and the mere fact that I’m finally content in my own skin and in my head is triumphant. The journey has been long and hard, but vital.
That’s why I write my blog posts as I would want to read a blog post. I go to places in my head that make me laugh. Key words here: that make me laugh. I write what intrigues me; what stimulates me. These thoughts transfer down my arms and then into my fingers, then to the keyboard and end up being the equivalent of modern day hieroglyphs for the literate. And readers either get it or they don’t–that’s their prerogative.
I hate that cliche term that some give writers; when they refer to style as “voice”. It’s taken me years to find and perfect mine and I’ve managed to make a living off of my “voice” and in more ways than one, thank you very much. I’m damn proud of that and no one and nothing can take that away, nor will I compromise it. I don’t believe in the mass homogenization of a product. That’s a losing proposition and I won’t work that way. I’m not being obstinate or unyielding; I simply choose to refuse. I’ve earned that right, along with every dollar, every positive review and every devoted reader I have.
Therefore, I’m honored if you choose to willfully come here with any degree of regularity. If you hate what you read, there’s a good chance you’ll never never pass this way again. That’s fine–thanks for stopping by and please know that I appreciate differing, but reasoned opinion. But here, permit me to offer you this sampling; of my voice, if you will. I’d like to take this opportunity to present six of the stranger pieces I’ve written.
And really, I’m rather proud of them. You see, this blog is first and foremost a humor blog. Perhaps it is in my eyes only, but then again, they’re my eyes. I write in other genres as well, but this go round is all about humor and the various forms that takes in my head.
So, enjoy….or not.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original Al Jazeera piece was sent to me in an a mass e-mail. Save for a line or two, I completely rewrote it. I have no idea who the original author was/is.