Opinion » Bill Cope

To Blog,

Or not to blog; is that a question?

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On this page three weeks ago, there appeared an item from an allegedly independent blogger calling himself "MulletBoy." In the comment feature that follows the online version of my column, a young woman (alternate universe name: "Freedom4Sarah") wrote that she wanted to know MulletBoy's URL--whatever the hell that is--so that she might "... find this hick-a-billy and set him straight on a few facts that he can then use to hopefully come to more enlightened opinions on the world in which he lives."

Freedom4Sarah, who signed off with her real name, went on to scold some persistent nags of mine, one of whom suggested in that same string of comments that I might be happier were I to go live in another state more compatible with my intellectual, cultural and political aptitudes. I write this week to Freedom4Sarah. The rest of you can read it if you want. Or not. Who cares?

Dear Freedom4Sarah--I won't include your real name in this message. You might be the sort who embarrasses easily, and I would never knowingly do that to a supporter. By the way, thanks for your support.

About MulletBoy: He is me. I am him. We are one and the same. I be the hick-a-billy you seek. Let me tell you how it got this way.

You see, for many months now, I have been encouraged to start a blog on the BW Web page. It is not something I would have ever thought of doing on my own, for I have yet to see any evidence that blogging is contributing in a noticeable way to the general improvement of the overall human condition. In fact, the more blogging, Face-booking, tweeting ... whatevering ... there is, the more stupid and inconsequential seems the overall human condition.

However, the stellar people who run BW have made a decision to dedicate more of their intense young energies to that Web site, to give it as much focus as they put into the actual paper paper. It's something they picked up at a trade conference not long ago, that newspapers must become increasingly Internet-y if they wish to survive the Great Stupefaction. (I'm not certain I agree. It is counterintuitive to me that to combat the willful ignorance of so many Americans, we must turn to that which made them the way they are. But oh well ... )

Going on: With this new emphasis, the encouragement for me to start blogging has only intensified. The thinking seems to be that I might add to BW's electronic traffic were I to slop something onto the Web page at regular intervals. Maybe so, maybe not, but there is only one way to find out, so I have been giving it some serious thought.

Trouble is, I still consider myself first and foremost a humorist. That may not seem believable to some people--that I think I'm funny--but it's true. I break myself up. Sometimes, I make myself laugh so damn hard, I think I'm going to choke, so I have to back off and think of Republicans until my breath returns. (In fact, I just this minute did it to myself again, and I had to walk away from the computer and visualize Sen. Jim Risch before I could continue.)

Furthermore, the sort of comics I have always admired most are those with such prolific and fertile minds that one persona simply isn't enough for them. Take Lily Tomlin ... where does Lily stop and Edith Ann or Ernestine begin? ("One ringy-dingy." Genius!)

Or Richard Pryor, that guy had more voices in him than David Berkowitz's head. Robin Williams, George Carlin, Flip Wilson, Red Skelton, Jonathan Winters ... those are all just figurehead titles under which a multitude of personalities congregate.

So I thought to myself: "Bill, sometimes you're one funny sumbitch, that's for dang sure. But I'm just not convinced you can be funny every day, are you?" No, I wasn't. There are days when my head is so full of Republicans and Internet-y stuff, I can't think of a single funny thing. And were I to blog every day, it would soon become obvious that ol' Bill's humor muse is strictly part-time status.

But ... with two or three or four different characters under my belt, see, ol' Bill could take a day off when he didn't feel funny, and leave it up to one or more of those substitute creatures to provide the entertainment. And thus was born MulletBoy.

He started out as an experiment, MulletBoy. I whipped him out fully fleshed one Saturday morning with the intention of submitting him to the BW Web page for an audition the following Wednesday. Then I called my editor to tell her my plans, which is when I learned of BW's policy, hard and fast, of no pseudonymous blogging. It's a good policy, Freedom4Sarah. No offense to you, dear, since you did give your real name, but when people insist on exercising their freedom of speech, yet lack the integrity to identify themselves, let them dribble on down to the bottomless ooze of comment features. Where they belong.

Instead of a guest blog, MulletBoy's "Randem Thinking" ran as a column. I'm sure not everyone agrees it was worthy of being called humor, but I'm still laughing over it. "Arm teenagers so they can protect themselves from toddlers who are playing with their parent's guns!" That's funny, if I do say so myself.

If you feel misled, Freedom4Sarah, I apologize. That's not what I intended. I only meant to poke some fun at dumbshits.

One more thing: Don't you worry about me leaving Idaho for someplace less infested with dumbshits. I'm here to stay. And if I decide to do that blogging thing, so is MulletBoy.

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