Internet search engines bring many a guest to your blog. That’s their job. Some of your guests clean up after themselves, but those that are looking for Brad Pitt’s butt make a mess.
Let me explain, using an example from my own blogging history.
In 2004, I wrote a blog post about the movie Troy. As I later described the outcome to a blog reader,
This post is the great tragedy of this blog, if I may be so facetious and assume that tragedies associated with this blog are limited to one. Why such a tragedy? It originally ran back on May 14, 2004 and has been the most consistent hit-getter and Google search term bringing people to this site. What are they looking for, you ask? Brad Pitt’s butt. That’s it.
My blog post that reviewed the film was this:
I just saw the movie Troy. Read no further if you want a surprise when you to go see it, since the American education system may not have filled you in on the details of the story. I’d recommend going to a matinee so you didn’t waste so much of your money.
At about the third or fourth scene featuring Brad Pitt’s backside, I turned to my friend Naomi.
“This movie isn’t about Troy. It’s about Brad Pitt’s butt.”
Such melodrama. Brad Pitt, sweating. Brad Pitt, running across the sand in leather. Brad Pitt, killing guys and then looking off into the sun to contemplate and exhibit an inward tortured soul. Brad Pitt, flexing his muscle, then looking pensively to the left.
At one point, during one of the 15,000 excruciating vomit-worthy romance fests between Legolas Paris and Helen, I turned to Naomi, did a quiet raspberry and flipped my thumb down. She turned away in giggles, and the “adults” in front of us disapproved and actually shushed me. Must have been Visigoths.
I tried to gain composure by resurrecting my college art history knowledge and concentrating on what the sets were showing.
“Hmm. I see the dancers are wearing Snake Goddess inspired dresses. Except they aren’t topless and popping out of their bodices like the goddess statues. Glad to see the filmmakers showed that kind of restraint.”
“Hmm. So that’s why the Kritios boy had no feet. The Greeks knocked the statues down.”
“Ahh. The pillars are from the Palace at Knossos. Interesting.”
When the girls in front of me started crying at the death of Achilles, Brad Pitt’s character, and began blubbering about how they didn’t see that coming, I could have ripped my own brain out. Achilles, girls. Achilles.
How did my blog post movie review fair for my audience (and those looking for Brad Pitt’s butt)? People freaked. YOU DON’T KNOW GOOD FILMMAKING IF YOU SAW IT! WE LOVE BRAD PITT! YOU’RE UGLY! YOU’RE DUMB! YOU WOULDN’T KNOW A GOOD STORY IF IT HIT YOU IN THE HEAD.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to make an obnoxious online stand for a film, I’d save it up for Schindler’s List or Pan’s Labyrinth. I wouldn’t waste it on something like Troy.
Caps Lock. It’s a toggle.
Reconsider The Review
I also reviewed Pearl Harbor (who cares about history, let’s make a movie instead!), The Brothers Grimm (we have Heath Ledger, we don’t need a plot!) and finally, somewhere around my sixth movie review (some of which were positive), I grew weary of the obsessive fan comments from people looking for Brad Pitt’s butt. So much literary effort for a gluteus maximus.
While fully aware that I will now, once again, be receiving search hits for Mr. Pitt’s backside with the publishing of this post, I have moved beyond my naive purist tendencies and use fully moderated comments. My mother will never again have to blush at the comments section which, for such posts, end up qualifying as a Superfund Site. Additionally, I’m willing to take one for the team (you, dear blogger) and let you know just what you might be in for should you desire to review the upcoming Battleship movie and discuss Rihanna’s finer points.
Additionally, movie reviews, unless on a blog dedicated to mainly such content, age poorly and quickly. If written in a timeless and entertaining manner that includes a larger life lesson, a review post can age fairly well. Otherwise, it’s just Internet carrion. Few things are as funny as reading a blog post now that has a spoiler alert for Jurassic Park. (The dinosaurs get out!!!)
Movie reviews, by their nature, contain hot and trending search terms and the names of celebrities with attributes people are wanting to research. The hits will come in and you’ll think you have a winner, a great prize. But inside those beautiful hits? You’ll get all kinds of people to your blog and they want to find something else than a discussion on the Palace of Knossos. They feel cheated, they sometimes get angry, and they will often let you know.
I saw Jurassic Park 15 times in the theater. It just never gets old for me.
(Image at top: The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy, by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo; a favorite image of mine from that story.)