Monday, April 18, 2011

Things That Chap My Ass About Being A World Famous Blogger…

…or, Everybody Loves Me Baby, What’s The Matter With You?



Lately Stonekettle Station has enjoyed dramatically increased popularity.

At first I thought it was because I’ve been taking those man-enhancement pills that I buy from an Internet pharmacy in Sierra Leone (made from genuine endangered species and reclaimed Soviet Era vitamin supplements, so you know they’re good), but apparently it’s because of the pithy writing.

Millions of folks drop by this site every day – give or take a couple of million.

People from all over the world and all walks of life have become avid readers, doctors, lawyers, astronauts, scientists, teachers, politicians, adventurers, actors, singers … and even some people with real jobs.  I’m especially popular in Nigerian Internet Cafes and Tulsa, Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain – and apparently blows away anybody not weighted down by a beer belly and the King James Director’s Cut Extended Edition Bible (now with even more Righteousness!). 

I would be lying if I said this didn’t make me giddy like a schoolgirl – if giddy meant “tempted to drink heavily and take a high-powered air rifle, a bag of frozen paintballs, and a copy of Catcher in the Rye up onto the roof.”

But hey, that’s sort of the point of writing in the first place.  There’s a certain degree of satisfaction when people are actually interested in reading your stuff, and then moved, sickened, or outraged enough to make the effort to forward your thoughtful meanderings to others.  It’s nice to see new minions for my plan of world domination readers, especially ones willing to send me naked pictures of themselves who are interesting and intelligent.

The hob-knobbing with world leaders, the scantily-clad silicon-enhanced groupies, and dump-truck loads of money are pretty good too.

Just Sayin’.

However, there is a  dark side to the fame and glory.

I know, I know, but it isn’t all naked Twister and wild jungle monkey sex (well, OK, it is, but this being a family blog and all, just go with me here).

So, there’s a down side.

For example, Conan O’Brien isn’t as tall in person as you’d think, plus up close he sort of resembles a Pez dispenser.

What? You missed Stonekettle Station’s appearance on Conan? It was like his biggest show ever. People Magazine said I looked like a more rugged and manly version of Tom Selleck. Of course, Snooki totally ruined it by hitting on me for the whole hour. Hey, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.  That must have been the night you fell asleep on the couch.  Remember? You woke up the next morning, sticky and alone, surrounded by empty cans of mandarin orange slices, a crick in your neck, with a Pop Tart and Frito hangover (Seriously, dude, the blackouts are a problem, get help before you kill somebody).

Then there’s the enormous responsibility.

Stonekettle Station went viral and democracy broke out in the Middle East. Coincidence? Oooh Kay, that’s not how quantum thermodynamic linked causality works, right.  Next you’re going to tell me professional wrestling and intelligent design are just make believe. Whatever lets you sleep at night, but remember: the Stonekettle goes in, the Stonekettle goes out, in and out, in and out, and like the scratch marks on your back you can’t explain that (not if you want to stay married anyway).  Fortunately I’ve sworn a blood oath to only use my newly manifest powers for good – and by “good” I mean “what’s good for me.”  But hey, you know how humble I am, modest and unassuming even, I’d never abuse my power. It’s not like I’m going to wish you into the cornfield or anything. Probably.  If you send me cookies – and by cookies I mean walnut and chocolate chip.

Before I was famous the hate mail was of a higher caliber.

I miss that. 

See, as you reach a wider audience you get a lot more mail, huge giant sacks of it (seriously, you wonder why the price of stamps just went up again? The USPS had to hire like about a thousand more people and buy two new airplanes for all the email. It’s true) but inevitably the quality of the death threats declines dramatically.  It’s a quantity over quality issue.  Once you become famous, the death threats become a volume business.  In the heady early days of blogging when I lived on nothing but stale government-cheese sandwiches and strong whiskey, I’d get long, carefully crafted screeds involving dark promises of creative torture, years of litigation by demonic legions of the writer’s personal law firm, space alien robots powered by the limitless zero-point energy of the quantum foam, condemnation of my immortal soul to eternal torment, and haunting by Dick Cheney’s black clockwork heart.  Those letters dripped a poisonous venom brewed from the tears of defrocked priests and the blood serum of renegade militiamen, and they were penned beneath the fiery blue-white light of righteous indignation in the damp basement bunkers of the last true Americans.  The writers applied themselves with a ferocious will, making extensive use of the mighty ellipsis, the holy exclamation point, and the brain-liquefying power of Zombie Michael Jackson.  My God, do you have any idea how much Jack Daniels it takes to spell each word in a non-standard and unique way? And to say nothing of the creativity involved in random capitalization?   Sadly, like the rest of American industry, the death threat business has been outsourced overseas and I’m left with only a pale and Indian accented anemic shadow of the great hate mail I once knew. 

The hate mail used to kept me warm at night, now all I have is the cold loneness of fame and adulation. And naked Twister. Sigh.

And finally, there are the Trolls.

On-line writers always have to deal with trolls. 

Those stunted malignant warty-skinned creatures who Gollum-like haunt the dank and fetid underbelly of the Internet, leaving putrid trails of bitter foamy slime behind them wherever they tread.  Unlike the trolls of myth, these creatures – fueled by the long festering resentment of high school rejection (resulting from an early manifestation of male pattern baldness) – can’t be turned to stone by the sunlight of reason.  If you shine a light on them, they crouch back in their lair like a trapdoor spider, ready to spring forth in a flurry of hairy legs and gnashing mandibles.  Typically, I delete trollish comments without fanfare, but I do occasionally leave those that prove whatever point I’m trying to make in a blog post – or if, say, I intend to make fun of them later. 

Now while each troll is unique in his own special way, they all exhibit certain similar traits – sort of like diarrhea, it doesn’t matter the cause or the particulars, in the end and the fullness of time the watery brown effluvium all comes out the same.  

As such I have formulated Stonekettle’s Law of Trolls:

As, in the mind of a troll, there are only two choices, one of which will destroy America; as such, if the Troll makes three or more comments, the probability that you will be called a traitor to freedom is 100%.


You cannot reason with a troll, for trolls are not reasonable people.

Now, you have to wonder about these folks, these trolls.

Are they like this in real life?

Seriously, imagine it.

Imagine if you had a troll in your carpool, for example.

Driver: Say folks, I was thinking maybe we’d stop for coffee this morning!

Shotgun: I love me some coffee. Wonderful delicious coffee. Mmmmmm.

Backseat Passenger Side: Woot! Starbucks, Dudes!

Backseat Driver Side: How about Seattle’s Best?

Driver: I’m good either way, though I prefer that little drive up-place with the bikini chick. You know, the one with the grande lattes?

Shotgun: Bikini! Bikini!

Backseat Right: I could go for a couple of big lattes.

Backseat Left: Hey, maybe we could…

Troll, in the middle, on the hump: WTF?! Are you people stupid?! Why don’t we just give America to the terrorists?

Shotgun: Whoa, dude, did you just shit yourself?

Backseat Right: Yeah, man, sounds like somebody needs a muffin with their coffee. Wonderful delicious coffee.

Troll: God, you people are so ignorant! Coffee leads to socialism, everybody knows that. Coffee comes from South America, duh, Marxism. What do you put in Coffee? Sugar. Sugar comes from Cuba. What else do you put in coffee? Milk, from cows. Cows travel in herds. Herds! That’s Communism, Asswipes. Wake up!

Driver: Why don’t I drop you off first, and the four of us will go get coffee without you?

Troll: Fuck you, Benedict Hussein Arnold!

Come to think of it, maybe trolls do exist in the real world.

See the things I put up with for my art?

For you?

You’re welcome.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go open a can of Mandarin oranges and watch me some Conan.


  1. Yeah, you nailed the troll train of "thought" quite nicely :)

  2. Yeah, but did you catch the really ironic part?

    See they were carpooling. Carpooling. Socialism!

  3. You Lying CoMmie BasTard!11!!

    Conan is too 12' tall.

  4. But, trolls can't car pool. Unless, you know, it's a real pool under that bridge. And then they can put the cars in the pool.

    Get it, trolls, bridges. I'm just a traditionalist at heart.

    Oh, and Dude, I think you broke the metaphor/simile counter there. Although you did miss the one about the carpooling trolls smelling like a car full of assholes.

  5. Dude. Seriously. Can we stop with the mental masturbation and get back to the real writing, i.e., your novel? Still waiting for my first readership copy, but NOOOO, you're too busy jacking off with mandarin oranges or something.

    Yes, this message was inspired by Beastly. What of it?

  6. Beastly, the original troll. He even sort of resembles.... no no, it couldn't be.

  7. Hey, it's not my fault. You introduced us.

  8. OMG I think I am almost a Marxist!!! great blog!

  9. Mandarin oranges? U mean From Communist China? That PROVES your a traitorous COMMIE PINKO wright their.

  10. Lattés? Ain't they French?


    hehe - Nice!

    (was having a kiwi polish flashback a bit ago in the shop and had to stop by to see what's up)


  12. My experience with trolls is that they really do not know they're trolls. They think they're the only ones who are brave enough to speak the truth.

  13. Trolls can be fun. For poking with a stick and stuff.

  14. You forgot that there is one scenario in which the troll can ride in a carpool without becoming contaminated by creeping socialism, and it really is quite simple.

    The troll just has to be very careful that he never, ever drives.

    Whatever arrangements that the rest of you make to ensure that he gets to work on time are irrelevant and really beneath his notice.

    He also needs to be the guy who keeps everyone waiting. This is so he can prove that he is a True American(tm) who farts "God Bless America" and shits eagles. He goes his own way and won't be bossed around; because, as you know, courtesy is only 7 letters away from communism.

  15. I think Megan is spot on, as there are loads of them living around here. I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one in Tulsa.. that or those nigerian cafe folks who hacked my yahoo tracked you down (seriously, didn't think you were in my contacts).. so.
    Great post. I always enjoy my time here.

  16. I will use courtesy is only 7 letters away from communism at least once in conversation today.

    Megan: I believe you are correct.

    Marianne: The last two trolls I allowed to post here as examples (Wayne on the Teachers post and Tex on one of the America posts) were both from Tulsa. Both came here via the Rutherford's blog and both managed to call me a traitor within 3 comments. Let's say, I'm not particularly fond of Tulsa, Oklahoma at the moment.

  17. Jim said, “It’s nice to see new minions for my plan of world domination readers, especially ones willing to send me naked pictures of themselves who are interesting and intelligent.”
    Nice edits but really, was it necessary?

    Jim said, I know, I know, but it isn’t all naked Twister and wild jungle monkey sex (well, OK, it is, but this being a family blog and all, just go with me here).

    Hummm, I thought this blog was more like required reading for sailors on how to cuss effectively and efficiently but I have never thought of this blog as a “family blog”. Sorry my bust, readjusting personal filter settings.

    It was an enjoyable read Jim, glad you receive the hate mail and not me. Or maybe what I should be saying is I’m sorry you receive death threats but that’s what you get for being a silver tongued devil. Hehehehe

  18. Ye Gods, you're a genius! Excellent writing and wordsmithery.

  19. but I have never thought of this blog as a “family blog”.

    It is, but only for certain 'special' values of family....

  20. Wow. I agree - you are a genius with a really great sense of humor; something I am totally lacking, but I am copying you to my daughter, who has a terrific sense of humor and IS an author. I think she will love it as much as I do. I lived in Alaska for 45 years so I know it is full of really smart people, but way too many trolls.

  21. I like the cut of your jib, Anonymous

  22. You like walnuts in your chocolate chip cookies too, which isnpires even more devotion to you as a fan because too often I feel so all alone in my love for walnuts in chocolate chip cookies.

    When you take over the world, please consider me for a position as one of your henchwomen. I can be ruthless if need be, and will make a good enforcer. I won't be able to do the heavy-lifting dirty work myself, but I am very good at giving orders. I have an especial disdain for trolls, and I accept very low pay. I'm cheap. Power is as good as money in my book.

    I want to make you famous so that I may ride your coattails.

    Thank you for considering me for the position of henchwoman.

  23. I am very good at giving orders

    I've heard this about you, Beemodern. :)

  24. Yeah, what beemodern said. Sign me up too. And I know how to use a foil, or at least I did in college.

  25. what is wrong with you people? He jacks off with mandarin oranges. While watching Conan. He as much as admitted it!

    Sucking up to him really isn't going to make that situation better, you know.

    Jim, I think keeping your ravening ego under control around here may be my new part time job. Just think of me as your "Lean Right." Hehe.

  26. Somehow, I just can't see you doing the whole "Lean Right" thing, Janiece. I think your head would explode, or you'd burst into hysterical giggling and ruin the whole effect.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. And so my short-lived career as your foil comes to an end. I guess I'll have to stick to being your straight (wo)man.

  29. Nick from the O.C.April 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    "silicon-enhanced groupies"

    what are they, cyborgs? Avatars from the AI? What?

    /Works in Silicon Valley sometimes
    //Plays in silicone valley sometimes

  30. Jim, you get hate mail? Amazing! Don't people know you live so deep in the Alaskan suburbs that you have to order wood through the mail? That you make your own pens? Are they crazy? The world wonders.
    Thanks for the extra monkey.
    More Shopcat, please.

  31. Well just for ffs, the trolls from Tulsa, but I'm not at all surprised. There are a few good folks here but mostly there are a lot of asshats. I don't particularly care for Tulsa either and I live here. Note that Tulsa spelled backwards? yep. totally.
    Beemodern, walnuts in the cookies, most definitely you are not alone!

  32. Neurondoc reminds me of a quote... some people are like slinkies. Pretty useless but entertaining to push down the stairs. ;)

    Thanks for taking the time to blog, Jim. You aren't a satirist granny but you're a sharp guy and a good read.

  33. I must be related to and hang with the wrong people, because I'm always hearing how nuts ruin chocolate chip cookies. Good to know there are more of my kind out there.

    "Some people are like slinkies. Pretty useless but entertaining to push down the stairs."


    Jim, regarding, "I've heard this about you, Beemodern." No doubt, because it is true. What probably has not been shared with you is that most of my orders are ignored, at least until there is hell to pay, that is. (<;

  34. Beemodern, My source says that "you're not the boss of him." I don't even know what that means.

  35. ...haunting by Dick Cheney’s black clockwork heart...Being from the the cow "poke" state, I would appreciate it if you would keep your aspersions aimed SE of here. Another good read, try not to let it go to your head. (both)

  36. I'm an equal opportunity disparager

  37. Before signing off, Sir Jim, I just read this blog post to my spouse and was reminded once again how rich your writing is; which made me wonder, how can trolls understand what you write? I mean, it really requires understanding multisyllable words and at least average reading comprehension.

    BTW, your blog is the only reading aloud to him my spouse willingly allows and enthusiastically responds to, instead of just pretending to listen or exhibiting active and pointed annoyance. Anything else, he is too impatient and can't even pretend he likes me reading to him or that he is listening. Not so with your blog though, because your writing is so entertaining.

    Re: Janiece's admonishment: I can't speak for others, but I am totally capable of sucking up while also being sincere.

  38. "Tulsa, Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain"

    I saw that!

  39. @Beemodern, you read my blog to your spouse?

    God, that poor tortured bastard.

    I'll have to buy him lunch tomorrow to make up for it.

  40. A simple 'thank you' for a delightful moment of joy as the evening comes to a close.

  41. Jim,
    You are FREAKIN GREAT!!!!
    Little Waynie is tormenting other blogs as we speak whining about how he can't get you to "man up" to him. Since trolls do not want to listen, learn or understand any ideas except the ones they are spoon fed by the GOP, the best way to deal with them is a quick kick to the groin and cut them off.
    Count me as one of your new fans.

  42. Be sure to tell Wayne how sorry I am for hurting his feelings. Maybe he needs a muffin...

  43. Hilarious!!! YOU are a great way to start MY day!!! Once again, linking you to PoliticalGates - to share your humor with the Nontrolls in the Blogosphere.

    We all appreciate a truly funny funny guy.

  44. My God, do you have any idea how much Jack Daniels it takes to spell each word in a non-standard and unique way?

    Why yes, yes I do. Also helps the uptight amongst the masses to enjoy naked Mazola Twister...


  45. With all of the new readers, does this mean that my Genuine Jim Wright Stonekettle Station Birdhouse is now worth millions on the secondary market?

  46. Nice work Jim. Be sure i will come back for more.

  47. Did I miss the boat here Jim, shit chief will have my ass if i was in some bar when the ship launched, you were on Conan?!?!?! I gotta see this but google isn't helping.

  48. You should probably lay off the mandarin oranges

  49. But Jim, there so sweet and tiny and #%$%^$ now I have to go to the Store.

  50. Well, I wonder what name Tex/Wayne will show up with next time. Now that you are on his hit list, I expect his regular assortment of aliasses. ;-)

  51. Actually, I have it on good authority that Tex and Wayne are a nice conservative gay couple from Tulsa.

  52. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  53. It's nice to see that the Warrant is finally getting more widely read, though I shudder to think that the quality of trolls has gone down.

    Perhaps the new flock of trolls (for trolls, like pigeons, scatter when you move at them with facts and a determined look in your eye) will have the cojones enough to actually put a moniker up on the comments instead of relying on the 'anonymous' optin.

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