blog thunderdome logo pic, blogs suck

For the inaugural Celebrity Edition of Blog Thunderdome, we call out Dooce, she of the "I got fired because of my blog" fame and Jason Calacanis, the man of a million blogs. Unlike all previous battles, neither of these two 'volunteered' for this. I emailed them as a courtesy, but they did not respond. This was not an attempt to siphon fame off two interweb stars. If you recall, how many hit counters do I have on my site? That's right, zero. I just figured this would be a fun change of pace. We had some fun comments in the Haloscan hosted comments thingy...even a little back and forth between Calacanis himself and me and Brad. Those are, unfortunately, lost to the great interweb void.

Brad: We start with the author’s profile, which you can easily find in the upper right hand corner under the heading “I’m Heather B. Armstrong and this is my website.” Great. Either she's retarded or she thinks her readers are. I must admit that the first part of her profile is promising. Here is a chick--a former Mormon--who was working in LA as a web designer for coke fuelled bosses and dating a few actors. Cool. I mean, most people would pay good money to read about a good girl gone bad, with extra helpings of drugs, sex, and famous name dropping and here I was to get it all for free. Then I came across this phrase: “I talk a lot about poop, boobs, my dog, and my daughter.” It suddenly struck me like a bolt of lightning that I had unwittingly stumbled across the woman responsible for every mommy blogger on the planet. Sure, Dooce is famous for getting fired for blogging about her job (is getting fired because you are a moron really so unique?) but she is even more famous for starting the mommy blogger movement, and inspiring even more stay at home moms to start new mommy blogs every day. Normally I would say that their should be a special place in Hell reserved for this woman but hey, she was raised a Mormon, went to BYU and is still living in Utah so perhaps that's payment enough.

Malfouka: Christopher Moore writes, "Don’t compound the tedious with cliche." It’s too bad that Heather B. "Dooce" Armstrong did not take these words to heart. Reading through this blog is like trying to crack walnuts with your toes--pointless and stupid. When I learned Dooce was a "celebrity" blogger, I expected more than an overblown mommy blogger with an ego the size of Alaska. I expected, oh I don’t know, maybe something interesting, something a bit less self-absorbed and ordinary.

Dooce makes me want to kill baby ducks, stomp on daisies, flush live goldfish down the toilet. In short, Dooce is an anathema to all that is genuine and pure. I could forgive her if it wasn’t for her hungry ego.

Dave:In lieu of writing a diatribe about this site, I've instead written a children's book for the Dooce spawn. It's short, but I think the duckling character is very likable.

The Misadventures of Badly Drawn Duckling

by Dave McAwesome
mommy blog, duckling pic
Whew! What a whirlwind misadventure that was. I can't wait for the sequel. I gotta start sleeping with someone at Random House so's I can get this sucker on store shelves in time for Birthing Season.

Evil Minx: A stay at home mom. OK, I guess I can't criticize that. I'm not one myself and can't imagine how anyone could be, but I know that some of us have it and some don't. My only consolation in this is that I'm fairly certain that one day in the not-too-distant future, she'll want to go back to work and rediscover herself as a person who isn't somebody's wife or somebody's mother, and her skills will be way out of date.

Brad: I began my read with a few of the posts that got her fired (under the “Dooced” category). I started with “Reasons the Asian Database Administrator is so Fucking Annoying.” What I basically learned from this post was that Heather will never be a Late Night top ten writer and that Asian administrators love Oreo cookies (and here I thought Asians were just famous for being crappy drivers). There had to be some sort of scandalous post worth reading somewhere. I then went on to read “Rant, Rant, Rant, Rant, Rant, Rant, Part 1.” Surely there must be something juicy in there, but alas I was again disappointed. It was pretty much a few one-liners complaining about bad drivers, shy peeing colleagues and male co-workers who stare at her boobs (at least we know now why she was hired). After just two “Dooced” posts I was convinced that Heather was more likely fired for being incredibly boring than incredibly stupid. C’mon Heather, you expect us to believe you got fired for your website when you didn’t even fire back with a sexual harassment suit? No one is that dumb, baby.

Malfouka: I wish I could fire her! Dooce’s FAQ’s make me long for illiteracy. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be so self-centered. Hey, Heather, you are not that important.

Evil Minx: From her "about section": "I love pop tarts, nacho cheese doritos, Britney Spears' chest, and Britpop. I am always constipated." Euw. I mean, why say something like that? Woman, do have you no shame?

I know that it's every blogger's prerogative to write about what they want to write about, but mommy blogs just piss me off. And I'm a mommy. (Except that because I'm British, I spell it mummy.) And I adore my kids. And I remember that euphoric, baby-induced state of mind that caused me to lose my shit when a child walked for the first time. But honestly? No one else gives a fuck, lady. All kids develop. They grow teeth, they crawl and walk, they say cute things, and, if you're really lucky, they'll draw back the shower curtain, and pull on their father's penis when he least expects it and laugh while he cries.

Otherwise, I actually quite enjoyed the read (previous bitchy comments notwithstanding) and I might even go back and visit.

Brad: Highly paid LA web designer gets fired for blogging and then goes on the be world famous mommy blogger? Don’t ask me why but the whole think stinks of a set up and I believe Heather herself describes it best when she writes in her profile “I am always constipated.” In other words, Heather is full of shit.

Jason Calacanis
Brad: Let's kick things off by reading Jason’s profile. I must admit it took some time to find it. If I needed a booster seat for my car no problem, if I was in the market for a new Forex trading platform all the info I needed was here, but if I wanted some info on the doofus who is responsible for this blog (or should I say 'cure for insomnia') I was going to have to dig. When I did finally locate the profile I was treated to Jason’s CV (that’s resume for you Yanks) and whilst Dooce was hired for her tits and fired for her big mouth I discovered that Jason is probably not all that dissimilar to her former bosses. Besides being lucky enough to cash in on the internet bubble, we learn that Jason is bi-coastal (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Other than that, the rest of it reads like a profile on

Malfouka: If he wasn't so pathetic, I'd hate Jason Calacanis' guts (as well as the rest of him too)--he's exactly the sort of joy-killing, narcissistic assnerd that makes blogging seem about as attractive as a full lobotomy. I don't know what Jason is trying to accomplish with his blog but I hope that entertaining the masses is not an objective. For starters, the layout looks like vomited up its 4 martini lunch. The clutter is so mind boggling that I honestly can't tell what is content and what is advertisement—though in the world of The Jason Calacanis Weblog, I'm afraid there really isn't much of a difference. The advertising is so pervasive that it even pops up between posts.

Dave: Jason is the type of guy who, as a child, dreamed of one day using corporate jargon in a sentence. You know, words whose meanings and one-time semantic import have been drained by thoughtless over-usage: synergy, mindshare, negative growth. Quick aside: I'm introducing a new one today to help you corporate drones expand your soulless vocabulary: upnotching. Yes, upnotching. You lemmings all watch that Emeril Lagasse cooking show, right? Any advance in the food preparation process he refers to as "kicking it up a notch." Next time you're fighting all that negative growth by executing marketing synergy to expand mindshare, please refer to it as "upnotching." Quick aside, part 2: It would only figure that Calacanis and all jargon users would watch Emeril Lagasse. His is the worst cooking show on TV. Why, you ask? For starters--and I will beg your pardon in advance for screaming at you through the monitor: because he doesn't tell you THE GODDAMN MEASUREMENTS OF THE INGREDIENTS!

Evil Minx: My first thought about this blog? "This guy takes himself waaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously."

And I couldn't really think of much else.

Dave: You lie, Minx. You have more, don't you?

Evil Minx: I lost the vision in one eye before I was even halfway down the page.

Blogging to me is a hobby--a much-needed and required hobby that provides me with an outlet that I don't possess outside of cyberspace. It's fun, heart-wrenching, romantic, daft, serious, and many other things. But boring? Serious as in *work-serious*? Nuh-uh.

Brad: When I finally did try to read some content I was truly perplexed. Why do people read this crap? This was his most recent post: "Congrats to my pal Chris. I stop whatever I’m doing whenever the new issue of WIRED is in the mailbox. Sometimes I’ll stop and just read the thing for 20 minutes standing in front of the mailbox… it’s “stop what you’re doing” good!" WTF? Wired? Playboy maybe, but Wired?

Dave: "We hate spam too," Jason writes (and by 'writes,' I mean: taps into a PDA during a riveting conference on "Globalizing Your Ad Stream: Upnotching Revenue Without Impacting Mindshare"). Really? You hate spam? What's that on your site? Content? Dude, if instead of blogging, Jason personally sent me each post as an email, there's no way any of it would get past the spam filter. "I made thousands of dollars just by blogging. You can too!" Sure, guy. Sure. Trashed with the sexual potency emails.

Malfouka: Content? What content? As far as I can tell, Jason's PDA data ended up published as a blog. Jason's content is so lacking that despite having the opportunity, no one comments. Celebrity blogger, my gorgeous ass! The only thing celebrated in this blog is Jason's own sense of importance.

Brad: As I read through all of his most recent posts I realized two things: The first is that Jason has to be one of the most boring people on the planet, the 2nd is that he is an evil genius whose tactics are no different than that Asian dude on late night TV who tries to sell you his get rich real estate scheme so you too may own a big yacht and boink hot chicks in bikinis. I know it might sound crazy at first but if you read enough of his posts you begin to realize that he is trying to con everyone that follows him that he will at some point reveal enough info so you too can be just as a successful as him. The thing is, he never tells us the whole story, and that, my friends, is how he gets retarded people to read him day after day.

I'm a bit surprised by the verdict here. Pitting Dooce against Calacanis seemed a natural: huge room-swallowing ego versus huge room-swallowing ego; the tedium of a mommy blog versus the tedium of a technology blog; someone with nothing to write about versus someone with nothing to write about. Going in, I thought Dooce might have the edge because, for one thing, she doesn't put her appointment book on the site unlike Calacanis. She even occasionally exhibits a sense of humor. The divided consensus amongst the Holy Order of Thunderdome, however, believes Calacanis too pathetic of a figure to exact its divine justice. Dooce loses. Here's the dilemma folks: she ain't gonna return my emails and her blog has no comments section. What we're lacking is some kinda bona fide punishment, 'cause so far the only one's who've been punished were us judges for taking the time to read these two wastes of bandwidth. My solution: I'm gonna adopt a kid, raise him to be a jerk, move to Utah, enroll him in the same school as her kid. Then he'll ask her out and BLAMMO, he stands her up. Granted, that's a few years in the offing, but man will that be sweet.

Graphics for the winner and loser.

Like life, at the end of the day, there is no winner. The Holy Order of Thunderdome hath spoken.

UPDATE! Dooce v. Calacanis
Calacanis' behavior as the "winner" more than makes up for no response from the loser, Dooce. First, he deleted Brad's comment congratulating him on his glorious victory. Then I decide to take the (cue choir) 'high road' and post something on topic about his "today is like the first day of school" post. Rather than being funny, I offered constructive suggestions about his post (and then added my pat on the back for his stunning triumph). Again, deleted. What do we think about people who delete comments, boys and girls? That's right. They're stinkers. If you'd like to inform Jason Calacanis that such behavior is an ethical no-no, go to it. (He requires an email and then, after you submit your comment, you have to confirm it via your email account... so... tedious... losing... consciousness...) The forum thread.

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