The SPUD-LIB Manifesto
It's tough being an Idaho blogger; bloggers from more "culturally relevant" states sometimes shrink from linking to us because of the perceived "backwardness" of Idaho in the great bloggy scheme of things. "What do they use as a web server -- a potato?" they'll chortle as they ruthlessly fail to give us the trackbacks we would otherwise deserve.
I've been thinking about what might be behind this unfair withholding of links, and I've come up with the reason: Clayton Cramer. Clayton, for those scarce few not familiar with his work, is the public face of Idaho blogging to the rest of the world. With permalinks from Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, and Vodkapundit, (and with better than 3x the daily visits I get), he gathers in all the links (and concomitant traffic) that might otherwise go to the smaller Idaho blogs, all while failing to have a little section of permalinks dedicated to his humble Gem State compatriots.
Is this all he does? Ladies and Gentlemen, if only I could tell you that were the case! As the public face of Idaho blogging, I propose that he be held to a higher standard! Sure, he has insightful commentary about important social issues, but does this serve the cause of other Idaho bloggers? Not even close! After in-depth research of the last few weeks of his entries, I have compiled this list of alarming deficiencies in Clayton's blog:
1) Demostrated Unawareness of Cultural References: In this post, Cramer showed that he didn't even know that Jerry Seinfeld had dated a 17 year old girl in real life, as follows:
"Still, I was amazed and amused by how Rowe defends a 33 year old having sex with a 17 year old:
'I don't agree that most people would find a 17-year-old female/33 year-old-male too disturbing. Not meaning to invoke a "reductio-ad-Seinfeldium," but remember Jerry Seinfeld "dated" Shoshana Lonstein when she was 17. It's frightening to think that if they traveled to Oregon, Seinfeld would have been a "child rapist."
"Earth to Jonathan Rowe: Seinfield is not a documentary. (From the episodes that I have seen, I am not even persuaded that Seinfeld is a comedy.)"
Dude, that's weak. If you're going to use an "Earth to…" putdown, you've got to make sure you've got your facts right. While he does correct himself later, this gaffe could leave out-of-state visitors thinking, "Man, those Idaho bloggers aren't very hip. I'll make sure not to visit any others."
2) "Ho-hum" Millionth Hit Post: One sentence. Blog Idaho gave stuff away for his 50,000th visit. I used the term "punished asshat" in my three paragraph post about my 100,000th visit. And not once did he thank the Idaho bloggers who provided him with some of his traffic, without which he might have had to wait several more minutes until he reached the milestone.
3) Paranoia: He claims that "liberal" Idaho bloggers begrudge him his traffic. While I can't find any examples of this (other than this tongue-in-cheek post from me, and I'm assuredly not "liberal"), I don't doubt that it's true. Still, why not at least give the offending blog a quick link? It's a blog tradition!
4) No Pictures of Humorous Animals: I saw neither photos of an ugly dog, nor a blanket-molesting cat, as freely provided by other Idaho-based blogs. Blogs to not live by useful thoughts and information alone, Clayton!
5) Unnecessarily Confusing E-mail Procedure: If you want to write to Cramer, here's his procedure:
"Email me at [address]. Sorry to be so indirect, but all spambots must die! But they haven't died yet! Include the word spamIamnot in your subject line to make sure that my spam blocker lets you through."
Actually, I think I'm buying into his philosophy. So, if you want to write me, you'll have to include the word "greeneggsandham" somewhere in the body of your E-mail, and prior to hitting "send", click your heels together three times while chanting "There's no place like Pocatello."
6) He's Probably A Copycat: Look at his blog -- uninspired title (consisting mostly of his alliterative name), no comments, serious subject matter -- he's clearly copying Michelle Malkin. Sure, so maybe he's been around longer than her… that's no excuse! He's not nearly as attractive as Michelle, so he gets no free pass from me on this matter.
What can we, the small Idaho bloggers, do about this hegemonistic behemoth who even now is sucking up all the Idaho-bound blog traffic? I suggest we unite to "fight the power"! I propose we form an Ida-blogger alliance: the "Seditiously Proud Union of Deficiently-Linked Idaho Blogs" (SPUD-LIB). I hereby invite the writers of Blog Idaho, Red State Rebels, girlfriday, and any other ldaho bloggers** to join me in demanding permalinks from Clayton Cramer. Separate, we've been ignored. Together, we'll probably still be ignored. But at least we'll be trying to improve our lot -- no more must we be consigned to live in "Our Own Private Idaho".
**Actually, I'm not bothering to include 43rd State Blues in this crusade. While I'm sure that they're much too busy alerting the world to the dangers of Chimpy McSmirk using Halliburton to appoint Scalito to monitor the Peak Oil situation to participate in whimsical activities such as this, I can't bring myself to associate with them until they publicly denounce Binkyboy...
Update 2313 27 Jan: Julie over at Red State Rebels in on board with the SPUD-LIB initiative. She speaks truth to power with the best of them, but seems to be rather idealistic, treating blogging as a way to share her interests with the community, rather than as a means of gaining promotions within the TTLB ecosystem. To each his or her own, I guess...
Also, for those interested, here's a history of a previous effort of this type, on a national level. You'll see that these blog-patriots were just as dedicated and serious as I am about this. (Just ignore the part about it being an "exercise in satire"... I think the Link-Withholders hacked their site and put that in there.)
Update 1012 28 January: Tara at The Political Game weighs in with her "support" of SPUD-LIB. She does note that it seems kind of absurd for me to mention the idealism of Julie, above, as well as the apparent incongruity of my demand that 43rd State Blues denounce Binkyboy. I honestly had not realized that, in a post about a "D-list" blogger from Idaho demanding links from a "B-list" blogger from Idaho -- containing complaints that said blogger doesn't post humorous animal pictures -- I would allow absurd statements to slip in. I honestly had no idea. I hope this doesn't distract my Ida-blogger compatriots from our true mission -- links from CC now!