The Curse of the Blog

In 1958, when I was three years old, a charming, low-budget, science-fiction movie starring Steve McQueen and “a cast of exciting young people” was released to drive-in theaters across America. The movie was titled The Blob.

(I encourage you to view the dated and delightful trailer for The Blob on YouTube: you will be disgusted with its embarrassing lack of CGI or driven to find and watch the film.)

“IT CRAWLS! IT CREEPS! IT EATS YOU ALIVE!” announces the trailer in all caps and a wavy, fluid font suggestive of the other-worldly, meteorite-borne menace. Scary.

You are already wondering what this has to do with you and me and poetry. I’m coming to that, but first, this: the word blog is an unfortunate abbreviation of weblog, coined in the late 90’s and equally ugly.

When I first encountered this term, I heard “blob,” and thought of the film, and when I heard what blogs are, I thought further of the voracious appetite of this flabby oozing alien. I thought to myself, if we are writers, why don’t we just write poems, short stories, articles, plays, songs, or something else, rather than write about writing or old science-fiction films? I already had too little time to write, so I ran from The Blog, and I’ve run till 2018. But, yes, now, I am being assimilated or digested or absorbed or whatever it is blogs do to hapless writers.

To avoid the curse of The Blog, I will limit mine to 300 words. I am not saying that profound and incisive insights and observations can be crammed into such short prose, especially since I am an unlikely source of any; I’m only saying that fun can be had within any word limit. Mine is 300 or, as Stannis Baratheon might say, “fewer.”


Eric Shaffer