June 19, 2006

Interviews With Bloggers, Part 3: Mob of "Dear Bastards"

The Bella Rossa Interview With Mob of "Dear Bastards..."

Mob is a Texas blogger who posts a picture of my partial namesake, Bela Lugosi, as his author photo. He enjoys psychobilly on an iPod he has named "Agador Spartacus," and actually had the Reverend Horton Heat play his wedding. (!!) Mob writes in a style that might be described as "endearingly curmudgeonly," and recently detailed some of the trials and tribulations of his recent wedding and Parisian honeymoon with great wit. My interview with him illustrates that blogging is many things to many people, that there's a definite line between blogging and videoblogging, and that I'm getting a lot of mileage out of that danged turkey drumstick graphic.

Bella: How would you describe your blog?

I think of it as a free-form expression of whatever is happening to me
at the time, and as the description states, 'a forced exercise in
typing' that I hope will lead into more serious writing.

Bella: Why do you blog?

Mob: It has become something of a habit, which is a nice feeling.

Bella: What was your original goal or intention when you started, and has that changed with time?


Originally, the idea was that I'd fool with this in my spare time a
little bit each evening, before picking up where I'd left off on my
grand novel/short story/whatever that I'd be working on. The reality
has become that I enjoy the process of writing about my daily interests
and what have you enough that I've found the blog itself to be the
focus of my self imposed nightly scheduled writing.

Bella: Is your blog a means to an end (finding work, developing
creative ideas, making money, meeting people), or does it exist for its
own sake?

Mob: Having started as simply an exercise to flex the writing
muscles, it's now become something that I do out of habit, which for
better or worse is something I do feel a certian amount of
accomplishment about.

Bella: What are some of your favorite, "must-read" blogs? What keeps you going back again and again?
Have you ever totally lost interest in a blog that you once really
enjoyed, and if so, why?

Mob: Contains Mild Peril,
The Company Bitch, Benjibopper, Passion Of The Dale, The Great Andini,
and Speak Of The Devil. I've not been doing
the blog thing long enough to really get bored with anyone's work. 

Bella: What kind of person is the likeliest reader of your blog? What would you hope they get out of reading you?

My likeliest reader would probably be someone whose blog
I've left a comment on, because despite my kinda average traffic, I
don't get a lot of commentary outside of a handful of regulars, so I
don't feel like I necessarily have new people discovering the blog each
day. I'd imagine they get a slight bitter aftertaste from reading the
blog. I hope they find it mildly amusing at the very least, as most of
my stuff tends to attempt humor.

Bella: Are there people in your life who don't "get the whole
blog thing?" How do you explain it to them without feeling as nerdy and
defensive as I usually do?

Mob: I thankfully have a wife who's happy that I'm finding a
creative outlet, and for the most part, my personal friends read it,
but I've really not bothered to tell anyone outside a pretty specific
circle that I even do any writing, or if I mention it, it's not in the
connotation that it's readily available on the internet. I still
cringe every single time I say the word 'blog', because it truly
conjures shut-ins with too much time on their hands and the like, so my
only method for spreading the word was to include the link as a
signature on my Hotmail, and let them explore if they wanted to, or
ignore it altogether.

What's your relationship with your readers? How much
interaction do you encourage? How much do you self-censor, knowing that
your friends and family might be reading?

Mob: I think since most of the readers I correspond with on the
site are personal friends, it's good, and I've apparently never came up
with anything offensive enough to draw negative commentary from anyone,
perhaps hinting that I'm not trying hard enough. Commentary is always
welcomed and encouraged. I've never thought that there was anything I
couldn't say, I just try to make certain I don't use anyone's name,
particularly in a derogatory manner. I'm willing to use first names,
but nothing to truly identify anyone too specifically.

Have you ever heard yourself say something like "If you
really cared about me/were really interested in me, you'd look at my
blog"? Is this a fair thing to throw at, say, your sister, during an
argument over who gets the nicest drumstick at Thanksgiving?

Mob: No, if anyone wants to read this, they can, it's a link
they have at the end of my correspondence, beyond that, I don't seek
anyone out.

Bella: Do you video blog? Would or will you? Are there any video
blogs that you look at? What would you video blog about, if you did?

Mob: I don't, and probably wouldn't, because a lot of people have a face for radio, if you know the old phrase.

Bella: Have you ever blogged something that later you regretted
and/or deleted from your blog? What lesson did you draw from that

I'm a lot like Homer Simpson, I regret nothing, and I
learn no lessons.

Bella: What are your thoughts on the phenomenon of "doocing,"
wherein someone loses their job because of things they posted on a
relatively anonymous, discreetly written personal blog? Are you careful
to maintain a clear line between your online self and your real world
self? Are you conscious of creating an online persona? How is that
persona different from the real world you?

Mob: For me, personally, I'd have to go to the wall for this
one, because I've never said anything on the blog that I haven't said
to any number of people at my job. I don't name names for reasons of
libel, because we do live in a particularly litigious society. One
person from the job knows about the writing, and he can keep his mouth
shut. My online persona was based around a comic book character from a
rather obscure, highly experimental comic book, who kills a lot of
people. I've only written about killing a lot of people out of sheer

Bella: What is the history of your relationship with computers and the internet?

Mob: The computer and I have a strained relationship to say the least.

Bella: How long have you been online, and what kinds of things
have you done online (e-mail, chat rooms, message boards, real-time
multi-player games, aimless surfing, etc.)?

I have only been online since the late 90's ('98 maybe?) and
have just basically used the internet to search out whatever dorky
hobby was of interest to me at the time, which is usually a rolling,
ever-changing series of stuff. I've sworn off the Messenger out of
boredom, and because the friends I used to chat with aren't online as
much as they used to be. I do post on a few different message boards,
all movie related stuff.

Bella: How has this changed your life, for the better
or worse?

Mob: I can detect no discernable change from any of this, save
for the fact that I do have a lot more useless information than I once
had about a lot of esoteric subjects.

Bella: How long do you think you will continue to blog?

Mob: I've probably already overstayed my welcome.

Bella: What are the circumstances under which you can imagine yourself quitting?

If I could be paid to do something similar, I'd sell out the world of blogging in a heartbeat. Sorry, kids, it's true. (Editor's note: Um, yeah.)

Bella: What's the coolest thing that's come out of your blogging experience?

Mob: During the honeymoon experience, the new bride and I got to
meet up with one of my correspondants, whose work I enjoy, and we got
to hang around with him for the afternoon, it was way cool to put a
face to the online persona that I'd come to feel like I knew pretty

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