This is My General Comment.
May 17, 2001
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line ...this should be interesting...
Streams in the Desert by Charles E. Cowman and Leticia Cowman (1996, Hardcover, Anniversary, Special)
Yeah, that’s right. I’m writin’ in the "General Comments On Epinions" section. And who’s gonna stop me? Nobody, that’s who.
I love me some general comments, for a plethora of reasons. Or maybe just two.
First of all, this’ll be the damn easiest two quarters I ever earn. All’s I have to do is pound away on the keyboard for a half an hour ’r so, and the hits’ll just come a-rollin’ in. I don’t even really have to say much of anything at all. See, since it’s "General Comments," I can be reaaaaaaaly vague—or "general," if you will (hey, it’s Epinions’ term, not mine)—and tell you things. Lots of really great things that, in general, comment upon Epinions. I like Epinions, I really do. And you should too, because I do because I can say things about Epinions in a forum designed for me to say general things.
You think that’s great? Well, watch what happens when I say this: "annexation couldn’t write himself out of a paper bag if the paper bag had holes in it and I stuffed a pack of trained donkeys on typewriters in there with him." Oh—and what’s this?—well, la-di-da, here come a bunch of unsuspecting patrons waltzin’ on in to repulsemonkey territory who know next-to-nothing about this "annexation" character and all-of-a-sudden I’ve not only cast doubt upon annexation’s verbal dexterity, but also raised debate about the ability of a pack of trained donkeys to type-write within a paper bag—all from the comfort of my own living room.
My work here is done: just sit back and watch the cash roll on in and, while annexation deftly ducks the accusations I’ve leveled at him, I’m laughing all the way to the piggy bank. In the meantime, a handful of members have added me to their Webs of Trust like they’re affiliating themselves with some Epinions political party (which looks great to Nirav when he considers renewing my advisorship… don’t worry, he likes it when I’m fiesty…)—without even reading any of my other articles and with absolutely no intention of visiting me in the future. Everybody wins! Except for annexation.
Now let’s you and me do some quick math, shall we? I spend 5 minutes writing a "General Comments" section review and, say, thirty people read it. Well—if my calculations here are correct—I’ve made all of thirty cents. That’d be three dollars and sixty cents an hour! If I did this for three days straight, hell, I’d have to file a separate tax return for my dog. Well, shove a crowbar up my nose and call me Mr. Snuffalupagus! "Hon, turn off the stove, toss the Hamburger Helper in the fridge, and grab the kids. I’m takin’ us all out for some real dinner—Mickey D style… Oh, don’t worry about the money, sweet cheeks, this one’s on Epinions."
With those other pesky Member Center articles, I’d at least have to steal some other folks’ ideas on writin’, ratin’ and trustin’, shuffle ‘em around a little and market them as my own ideas. You know that whole craze about down-rating epinions that use the bad grammar and the nasty punctuation? Yeah, well I started that. That’s right. And anyone who has a problem with it can go ahead and slap a little ol’ "Not Helpfulrama" on this here article because, you know what? You’re still giving me—nay—earning me my penny. In fact, now it’s too late: I’ve already gotten my penny from you. You don’t even have to bother readin’ anymore because I ALREADY GOT WHAT I CAME FOR.
(Oh, and don’t think I don’t realize that I ended that last sentence with a preposition. I know damn well I ended that last sentence with a preposition. So, to get your mind off of that nasty prepowhoosits, I’m gonna end this here sentence with pure scabbelty-babble and absolutely no punctuation, slap mah fro
…now, what were we talking about?)
Because, when it comes down to it (and, let’s be honest with ourselves, here: it does always come down to it, doesn’t it?), the only reason I could possibly be at epinions is for the money. In fact—out of the fragmented kindness of my black heart—I’m gonna prove to you that I’m only here for the money by answering an objective set of questions provided by an outside source (indicated by italics):
Monkey, why do you write epinions?
Monkey, why do you read other authors’ epinions?
Money. And women.
Monkey, why do you spend so much of your damn precious time here at epinions when you could be pursuing far more lucrative ventures?
Money. And quit trying to bamboozle me with your fancy talk—I know what "lucrative" means and I’ll have you know that I’m not into that sort of depravity.
Now, I’m not above pointing out that, unlike some of our more popular "General Comments" writers who I won’t mention here (let’s just say that, if he were a woman, his name might be Anne X. Ation. ;-)…
okay, let me go off on a little tangent here for a second and make another general comment in addition to my major, more-general comment: I don’t understand this whole emoticon game. If you’re inserting an emoticon at the end of a parenthetical statement, would you add an extra parenthesis, or wouldn’t that just make the little fella look like he’s got a double chin? See: ;-))
...If one of you cool emoticon-usin’ hipsters could quit smokin’ your cigarettes and gettin’ your tattoos and help me out with this conundrum, I’d greatly appreciate it…
And for you ratings-mongers I’m gonna go ahead and let you know that I didn’t stray "Off Topic" with my little emoticon crisis, because it was, after all, generally a comment about epinions…
Now: unlike other "General Comments on Epinions" writers, I’m actually going to include a bit of advice with my "General Comment." Pay attention, because I’m only going to say this once unless, of course, I decide to generally write another comment on epinions somewhere down the line. You ready? I hope you’ve got something to write on, because I’m gonna let this baby fly:
Write General Comments On Epinions and write lots of ‘em. Write General Comments on the plane, Write General Comments when in pain, Write General Comments that’re funky, Write General Comments just like the monkey.
Not because they’re "Helpful," but because they’re easy.
You want to know what kills me? I’m gonna tell you anyway:
You would think that Nirav and the rest of the folks who run Epinions would make the best decisions necessary to keep our beloved Epinions.com afloat… I mean, since they do spend eight or more hours a day working to ensure that their company—into which they have possibly invested a tad bit more than I—works and makes money through the most effective possible means. You would think that these so-called "professionals" wouldn’t need some self-centered blowhard (repulsemonkey), who’s only interested in Epinions for his own selfish reasons (money, women), advising them of how to run their business.
But, obviously, since the "General Comments On Epinions" category remains here and—to my knowledge—it sure isn’t serving any function other than as a sounding board for whatever I want to get off my chest on a particular day, the Epinions’ higher ups’ massive amounts of time, energy and knowledge must be misdirected.
With the excessive amount of drop-in-once-or-twice-a-day-if-you’re-lucky research I’ve done on the topic of "How Epinions.com Can Better Manage Its Own Business Affairs," I’m left in a position where I can only really do one of two things:
1) Alert Epinions every time I feel they’ve made an economic misstep and…
2) Milk ‘em for as much money as time will allow.
After all, the "General Comments On Epinions" section is still here, isn’t it?