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People who regularly participate in the Bloggernacle naturally want the Bloggernacle to be perceived as a good and beneficial thing, if they didn't they obviously wouldn't participate. In some ways, the Bloggernacle can be a good thing. But, the Bloggernacle is seriously hampered by narcissism and self-absorption.

Yesterday saw a brilliant trifecta of posts exhibiting precisely why the Bloggernacle cannot at present rise above what it is:a petty playground dominated by the egotistical. First, unmitigated vanity, second, vanity mingled with the philosophies of men, and third, Scriptures mingled with the philosophies of men driven by vanity.

First, you have Julie wanting to tell everyone she is pregnant, but she is apparently not wanting to be as tactlessly blatant as Adam, so she writes up a self-flagellating laundry list illustrating how hard/hectic/crazy/rewarding/wonderful her stay-at-home-Mom life is, and despite it all, she is having another baby, as evidenced by the last two words of the post, discreetly tucked in there with capital letters. What you did was concoct some artificial reason to write a post insinuating you are pregnant so people would figure it out and then congratulate and praise you for being such a dedicated, hard-working Homeschooling Mom who would do all that (she teaches her kids Greek!!! Why? Because she can!) and decide to go ahead and have another child on top of it all. Kaimi then posts a link into the sidebar to the comment outing you, and your wish is fulfilled.

Second, you have Kaimi being so clever with self-deprecating riffs showing everyone he engages in philosophically challenging private conversations with other Bloggernacle Big Shots like BCC's meister-blogger (no behind-the-scenes cliques here). He then posts lengthy comments into the thread explaining what the rather opaque conversation was all about, while self-deferentially soaking up praise from fawning comment-makers.

Third, and finally, you have John dragging out the debate about the relative utility of attempting to prepare members of the LDS Church for withering, faith-destroying attacks by anti-mormons. This time the discussion starts with a semantical debate over the term "inoculation" as questioned by...his brother. Naturally, the ensuing discussion pits DAMU's against the "faithful" over the Truth, an ultimately pointless endeavor. The entire Inoculation debate is entirely wrong-headed, not because of semantical labels, but because it flatly ignores the gospel point of view and appeals to the worldly way of doing things. There's the rub, the bulk of the Bloggernacle elite want to debate to show how smart and educated they are, how many esoteric bits of historical trivia they have collected, and how they have more books in their collection than anyone else. But, from the gospel point of view, all of that is meaningless and largely counterproductive. The knowledge of God and strength in testimony comes not from collecting a set of Mormon History Trivia trading cards, but from experience. To know God, you have to experience Him by following the example of Jesus Christ by doing his works. Not just reading about them and studying them, but doing them. People will know the the LDS Church is true by living and doing what the Scriptures teach, not by learning more selective bits of history and trivia. While the Inoculation crowd's self-absorption isn't so blatant as the preceding two examples, it is egotism at it's core as it puts a premium on individual intellectual ascent rather than gospel-centered experiential learning. Responding to tough questions when asked is one thing, publicly preening is another.

If prominent people in the Bloggernacle can get over their fascination with themselves and how clever they are, the Bloggernacle might eventually blossom into something more than it is. If they cannot, then it will continue on being a relatively small, eminently forgettable collection of vain prose lost in the messy clutter of the Internet.

It is your choice people, get over yourselves or continue to suffocate in the lint of your own navel.

33 comments

Anonymous said... @ September 18, 2007 at 9:00 AM

How in the flippin'heck did you get that close-up photo of my navel?

Anonymous said... @ September 18, 2007 at 9:52 AM

If you look closely at mormon mentality (i know, i wouldn't want to either) you will see that John F. wrote the post on "inoculation" and is dragging out that particular debate....

Snarkimus Prime said... @ September 18, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Oh, Sorry, mea culpa.

Janet said... @ September 18, 2007 at 10:51 AM

Oh guys, don't be poopheads. Sharing baby joy isn't in the same school of narcissism we all raise our hands in w/convoluted (but fun!) scriptural and cultural exegesis. Babies! Babies! How can you be cynical about someone announcing a baby? Just look how cute Adam's little kiddo is.....and we all promise to address her w/with a formal title, of course.

Janet said... @ September 18, 2007 at 10:52 AM

.....and my comment has nothing at all to do with my own rather loud baby broadcasting here a while back, of course :)

Snarkimus Prime said... @ September 18, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Janet,

If you want to announce you are having a baby, then just announce it. Why write some treatise about how you spend your day going nuts (since you just did that 2-3 months ago on FMH) and then end it with an "oh, BTW, I still have to shoehorn in my Prenatal Yoga {AND BY PRENATAL I AM YEPPERS WAIT FOR IT PREGGGGGNANT!!!!!} Woo (Do not forget to link me in the sidebar ya'll!)"

Nobody is down on babies and kids and all. But using that as a reason to post and draw attention to yourself? Four Jewels in His Crown? Great, Adam, your kids are nothing but adornments for your eternal splendour. Nice. Or, as in the case of Julie, a reason to blog about herself. Yuck.

Naturally, Janet, you are all style and class.

Anonymous said... @ September 19, 2007 at 2:20 AM

The thing that makes me sick is all the ass kissing. Ray is the absolute worst. If he tells another person how fantastic or hilarious their comment is, I'm going to puke.

Snarkimus Prime said... @ September 19, 2007 at 4:15 AM

Ah, yes, but that is precisely what some people love about Ray. People who love having their posteriors nuzzled.

Janet said... @ September 19, 2007 at 11:12 AM

"Great, Adam, your kids are nothing but adornments for your eternal splendour."

Snarkimus dear, you do realize that borders on excellent feminist/cultural critcism, yes? Still, cute baby!

"Naturally, Janet, you are all style and class."

Thanks for that! On a day in which my own infant Muffin seems determined to cover me in oh-so-classy baby vomit, it's nice to receive a little..er...ego nuzzling :).

MJBY said... @ September 19, 2007 at 11:17 AM

SP--you say some really good things here. You know I think you go over the line on occasion, but I think you'd genuinely like to see people engage in actual conversation rather than one-upmanship. I would like to see that too--and I often do see it on the bloggernacle. There are some wonderful minds out there. But if we are "wonderful minds" who are perfectly comfortable cutting each other with shap words, we are certainly not Christ's--at least not in this setting.

Anonymous said... @ September 19, 2007 at 11:45 AM

Good post, but it didn't have enough stuff about ME.

-Adam Greenwood

P.S. Style note: I usually refer to myself in the first person. When I say 'His' I usually mean God. FYI.

mjby said... @ September 19, 2007 at 12:09 PM

Janet, don't you think the statement "Great, Adam, your kids are nothing but adornments for your eternal splendour" could begin a really interesting FMH discussion? Certain people couldn't post it, because they might be banned, but you're right that it hits the nail on the head in identifying troubling perceptions of fatherhood and the words we choose to describe our relationships with spouse & children. (Your son is apparently "the vomit stain in my blouse." My children are "the sweet and sometimes smelly surprises of my days.") In truth, we are each other's servants, meeting in different seasons of life. We teach and sometimes force each other to serve higher principles, and ultimately to serve God. (And of course, that service can never be coerced or it ceases to be service.)

Sorry for not being meaner, SP. I just don't have it in me. Or rather, I save it for those I love and live with.

Janet said... @ September 19, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Why mjby, I do believe you are right--it *would* make a great post at FMH! I hereby officially invite you--since I know you have free time in such abundance--to write it :).

Synechdoche, oh so troubling in its implications. Also in its spelling.

Janet said... @ September 19, 2007 at 2:25 PM

btw, SP: I hadn't seen that first link regarding good stuff on the 'nacle. Thanks for the link!

...and I hear somebody over yonder is in needs of a congratulatory bouquet of goodness as well--which I hereby extend with much happiness! I know you guys hate Lisa's (hilarious) Poop Chronicles, but it sounds like the collective denizens of the 'nacle will have much to contribute to such an anthology in future months.

Me, I want more baby photos.

mjby said... @ September 19, 2007 at 3:43 PM

Wait! Something is wrong with this picture! Can transformers reproduce? I'm sorry, but that sounds just painful.

Janet, Parent/Teacher conferences trump writing the proxy blog for FMH. Sorry.

SP, you don't mind that Janet and I use your site to just chat, do you? Other sites might ban us.

Did I mention that my daughter will likely get married soon? I'm simply agonizing over what colors we should use for her reception...

Snarkimus Prime said... @ September 20, 2007 at 4:38 AM

Janet,

Any time it sounds like we are praising someone, it is safe to assume we are being sarcastic. But, then again, naturally, you really and genuinely are all style and class, even when covered in baby vomit. And, we really do love the FMH Poop Chronicles, because they too are all style and class. I can hardly wait for the next iteration:FMH Menstruation Moments.

Margaret,

You and Janet chat all you like here. The only ban-worthy offense here is uber trollish cross-posting thread jacks. Congrats on the impending wedding, hope things go well with that. As for colors, I vote for seafoam and/or ivory. And, yes, transformers do reproduce, its called the "precreative manufacturing industrial process" and is every bit as bad as it sounds. Public display of minicons will not be forthcoming as rules of Cybertron forbid the shilling of offspring until they have their carb mitzvah. Dissemination of images of said minicons, or links thereunto, will result in termination of chat privileges.

mjby said... @ September 20, 2007 at 9:18 AM

Now that was really funny, SP. I do wish you'd show pictures. So how many chips in your hardware does this make?

Janet said... @ September 20, 2007 at 11:04 AM

Oh, you mean our forthcoming "de-men-stration" series? However did you know? Or was it "demon-stration?" I just cannot recall.

And I'm half Canadian, a fact I liberally use in ignoring the 6th sense of humor on occasion (weird that a country so akin to England suffers a dearth of sarcasm, yes?) I wanted a compliment and thus derived one. Reader response criticism, snort snort.

Pictures or no, congrats on the minicon. Did you take the other minicons to see the Transformer movie? Was it good?

Snarkimus Prime said... @ September 20, 2007 at 11:13 AM

Janet, my spies are legion. I know all of the dirty little FMH secrets. Your demonstruation thread was manifest to me weeks ago, and I lost my lunch on my keyboard and had to get a new one.

I would happily share pics of the minicons with you, but, alas, you are allied with the enemy, and while I might trust you, I fear that in a moment of weakness you would divulge them to your sisters.

None of the minicons have seen the latest Transformer movie as they are still too mini for the rating. No idea if its good, if it isn't a kid movie it doesn't get seen here.

And, thanks, congrats to you too. But, you had better not be too nice to me, lest your sisters turn on you.

Janet said... @ September 20, 2007 at 11:55 AM

My sisters are well acquainted with my snark-visiting tendencies and so far still appear not to loathe me, so no worries. But I *do* understand reticence at passing along photos. Still, bet the minicons are cuties!

Oh....and I think it was a "damn-men-stration!" Yup, that must have been it! And now if you'll excuse me, I must go visit the personal hygiene aisle of the grocery. (You do recall it was me who fended off a mugger with a tampon, right? My sisters ain't never done that!)

mjby said... @ September 20, 2007 at 1:05 PM

The diamond in my tiara and her little rhinestones saw _Transformers_ and loved it.

So after vomiting, you had to get a new what, SP? New keyboard or new lunch? (Watch those antecedants.) Sounds like you and Janet's little one have lots in common. Have you always had a problem with vomiting when confronted with the reality of menstruation, or is this a recent thing--maybe related to your love/hate relationship with FMH? I'm also interested in the vomit of a transformer, which I am imagining as leggos.

You do realize, don't you, that Janet and I have totally derailed you. The question is, was it a plot? And if it was, why didn't your spies know about it?

Janet said... @ September 20, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Of course now I really AM pondering a post on the good ol' monthly cycle. Oh what jokes have wrought!

mjby--can you imagine us as subtle, surreptitious plotters? Here's an essentialist claim, but I don't really think it's in the redheaded nature.

mjby said... @ September 20, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Redheads? Plotters? SUBTLE??? Well, certainly not all of those descriptors would apply.

I'd actually like to discuss menstruation right here on Snarkernacle, and I can speak all about the delights of menopause. Or we can be more subtle about it and talk about it at FMH, get snarked, and THEN move the conversation here. What do you think?

Snarkimus Prime said... @ September 20, 2007 at 5:28 PM

Sorry girls, you can bait the hook, but I am not biting.

mjby said... @ September 20, 2007 at 6:33 PM

Janet--did he just call us GIRLS? Well, at least it wasn't CHICKS. And did he accuse us of subtlely plotting/baiting? I am amazed and know not what to say. (Two points if you can tell me what Shakespearean play that's from.)

At least he promised not to bite us. But is that promise made in perpetuity? These are hard questions. I don't even want to deal with them during PMS.

Janet said... @ September 21, 2007 at 12:54 PM

mjby--A Midsummer Night's Dream, yes? I guess "bait the hook well: this fish will bite" isn't going to work here, though!

mjby said... @ September 21, 2007 at 1:13 PM

YES!! MSND! Save your points for future redemption in baby stuff. (Ten points equals one cloth diaper.)
The second quote is from _Much Ado About Nothing_. Now, the question is, what actor in Branagh's version of _MAAN_ is now in a television program about a limping doctor? Who plays the doctor? Which of the two just-referenced actors in this series (both play doctors) is American and which British? (Question is worth five points and the mere asking of it shows amazing intelligence.)

Janet said... @ September 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM

Hugh Laurie plays the limping doctor and is British--and after watching many episodes of *Black Adder* I find his American accent completely unnerving. Robert Sean Leanord played Claudio in Branagh's MAAN; nonetheless, RSL will always be a (possibly closeted) aspiring teen actor from what American flick also populated by what American youth who starred in a really weird production of Hamlet?

mjby said... @ September 21, 2007 at 1:53 PM

_Dead Poet's Society_
Ethan Hawke
What do I get?
(I'm off to teach now, then off to Las Vegas, where I will not gamble but will grill my probably future-son-in-law. "Probably" because I don't know if he'll pass the test. I might use some of the questions we've just come up with.)

Janet said... @ September 21, 2007 at 2:47 PM

You get some free wedding reception help, if you'd like. I had a little wedding cake business once upon a graduate-school salary madness, and as you may recall I made all the food and the cake for my own reception, which I believe you attended.

Alternately, I can help with the premiere. So I can meet butter-melting actors :). Seriously, I'd love to help.

But I can't think of any more good questions except maybe how Shakespeare connects to the phrase "conspiracy of cartographers!"

mjby said... @ September 21, 2007 at 3:13 PM

Well, he could only connect to that phrase if he were really Francis Bacon, which he isn't. (Just ask Bruce.)
You do wedding cakes? Do you do them in sea foam and ivory (SP's suggestion)?
I'm off to Vegas. I know that by the time I get back, SP will have another snark up, since we completely (and ironically, if you read his original post) detoured this one.
Suggested snark:
Should we ask anti-Mormons to wipe their feet before entering our blogs? Do we need to wipe our feet before entering theirs? Why should anyone wipe their feet before mudslinging?

Thanks for letting us use your site, SP. Did you know any of the answers to our extremely challenging questions? You've got to like _House_. Isn't Greg House, like, a mentor for you?

Janet said... @ September 21, 2007 at 4:34 PM

bzzzzz! You missed a _Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead_ allusion. It's the real litmus test for my students--after a viewing they either love or loathe me.

But I'd still help with the cake. In seafoam.

I think it's the dust-shaking foot questions we ought to pursue on the snarker site: have they shaken our dust from their toes? Is FMH in danger of such shaking?

(btw, my DH HATES _House_. Apparently the medicine is faulty. Imagine that on a TV show.

mjby said... @ September 24, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Oh--you were dealing with _Hamlet_. Never much cared for it. Never read it. Good Cliff Notes. And I've seen it performed once too often.

I hope SP gets a good snark going soon, because this site is looking like Jeopardy.

So about the shaking of the dust--would FMH be the foot or the dust?

And how could your DH hate _House_? The medicine couldn't be wrong. There are PICTURES. They actually have film of the medical anomalies. My DH thinks there are too many sexual innuendos in _House_. But he thinks there are too many sexual innuendos in _Barney and Friends_ too.

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