An unusually high concentration of potential irony-laden and comment-worthy news items has caused many U.S. bloggers to clutch their heads in pain and temporarily put their keyboards aside to take a breath. According to Noel Kitterick, President of the Blogging Union of America, this cycle began with Miss California Carrie Prejean's response to a question about gay marriage during the Miss USA contest and has not let up since. "It is difficult for many of us to keep current and be consistently hilarious as we mock every story that comes down the pike," said Kitterick, "but the past few days have been ridiculous."
In that time, these are just some of the stories that have unfolded: the identification of a "Craigslist Killer" suspect; the father of one of the Slumdog Millionaire child actors apparently offering to sell his daughter; the Supreme Court hearing the case of a 13-year old girl who was strip-searched at school; The Vatican in an uproar over the upcoming Da Vinci Code sequel; the celebration of Earth Day. In addition, there is continuing news involving Somalian pirates, revealed torture memos, Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, right wing terrorist threats, the usual daily warnings of economic apocalypse, and a shirtless President Obama.
The result? A blog meltdown. Faced with too many stories on which to ladle elegantly-crafted scorn and derision, many bloggers--eyes wide open, smoke shooting out of their noses and ears in vintage Chuck Jones-Tex Avery style--chose instead to simply turn off their laptops, sleep, or even go outside. "I think a lot of us were taken by surprise," says Kitterick. "This conflagration of domestic, foreign, political, and absolutely inconsequential items usually happens only during elections. A lot of us simply couldn't handle the stress that comes from too many blogworthy subjects."
Dr. Emilia Gerlutz of the Center for Alternate Media and Psychological Psychology refers to this situation as "blog bog," in which the blogger, faced with the need to write about a subject, is simply overwhelmed by all of the possibilities around him or her. "The desire to be first to write about a topic, the need for a high number of responses, the satisfaction of seeing your little photo and byline are all completely natural but, unchecked, can become dangerous."
"I'm still writing a Susan Boyle blog," says Conrad Fellers of LookatMe!OverHere!LookatMe!.com. "I thought that story would go away in a few hours but it's still here. People won't let it go. Bloggers won't let it go. So, I finally got around to writing one in which a large-mouthed bass wows the judges of Britain's Got Talent but now everyone's watching that 12-year old Shaheen kid on YouTube so I don't know if this is funny anymore. What are people interested in? I can't keep up. I missed the 10th anniversary of Columbine! It's too much, do you hear me? It's too much! I'm only human!"
While most bloggers like Fellers writhe indecisively, a few like Marcia Stollhey of ILiketoBlog,IReallyReallyReallyDo.com see this as the opportunity of a lifetime. "I've been up for the past three days and I've covered everything, it's great and awesome, that Miss USA bitch, I brought her down, yeah, you heard me? Whoo! Fuck, yeah!" (It should be noted that most of Ms. Stolley's blogs for the past 24 hours have consisted of the sentence "Carrie Prejean SUX" typed in various and colorful fonts.)
So, where does this leave the bloggers' faithful readers? "I don't know what to do," says Timothy Dellasoll. "Without new blogs, I'm not sure which news stories are important and where I should voice an opinion to other people's opinions. I keep going to the AOL page to respond to 'Some Actresses Looks Good, Others Don't! What's Up With That?' but they change my comments to 'Obama is a Socialist!!!!!!' It's very confusing."
Noel Kitterick assures us this blog blackout is only temporary and that bloggers are expected to gather their strength and return to business soon. "We understand our duties and we take them very seriously," says Kitterick. "But even bloggers need a little rest. We hope America understands."