Ranting (the act of)

Gob & Franklin

I do love a rant, and accordingly, rant a fair bit myself. But rants are best delivered and received in a little rant vacuum in which ranter and rant recipient are of like minds:

Ranter: My disgust for Bieber spurs me to epic heights of linguistic prowess…!

Rant Recipient: Hear, hear.

When the recipient is not invested in the rant, it will fall flat. It will fall even flatter if the recipient outright disagrees with the premise. These are sad outcomes for the ranter, who just aims to entertain.

Here I will pause to pull back the curtain and reveal that the ranter of the last sentence, the one mourning the sad outcome of the rant delivery—this is none other than myself, hiding Oz-like behind the third person!

Recently, someone asked me for fashion advice, and I provided what I believe to have been very excellent advice indeed. This individual had purchased two outfits for a single event, but neither one was appropriate, given the nature of the event and a set of extenuating circumstances I will conceal because I try to keep my online gossip anonymous. To this person, I recommended a third, hitherto unthought-of and imminently suitable option, one which required no additional purchase. A mutual friend attended the event and when we talked the next day, I demanded a report – but the look on her face was enough for me to discern that my sartorial recommendation went unheeded. COME ON. Such was my pique that I could not even look this person in the eye until today.

I ranted a tiny bit to the mutual friend, but had to keep a leash on myself. Then I tried to rant about it to S, but it fell flat because he wasn’t invested. And I’ve ranted a little bit above but I’ve also stripped out all the specificity, so it’s falling flat there, too. The indifference of S to my rant-inspiring topics was one reason I began blogging in the first place. I can rant anytime on the internet, I thought. Someone might even like it. Not that this blog was conceived to be all-rant, all the time. And it’s not, I don’t think.

Earlier today, I read a kind of meh article on Jezebel* which I then followed to the writer’s personal blog. This contained many rants that I was not amused by, even though I could see that the writing was pretty good. (Although: If you’re going to rant about the bad grammar of others, repeated glaring errors of your own undermine your argument.)

I respect strong, well-thought out opinions, but, by definition, they’re polemic. So I’ve stopped reading blogs after being alienated by the writer’s viewpoint on a given topic. Most of the blogs I do read are super-opinionated – even bitchy – and I prize that quality…so long as I agree.

I am amazed, again and again, by the many ways in which the internet is an echo chamber.

*What is with Jezebel? Once upon a time, I went there to read hilarious things like book reviews of bad novels that I read as a kid (…oh, wait). Now there’s stuff I’ve already seen elsewhere – but perhaps more damning, a dearth of personality. I feel that the tone of the contributions has been toned down of late. And although they’re screwing around with it, I’m still not happy about the redesign. I visit at least half as often as I once did. I wonder if I am alone.


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