Readin’, Writin’, and Rantin’: American Blogger-The Film

American-Blogger-Movie-Poster-e1397014900608You know, blogging has become so huge that I’m surprised nobody has made a documentary about it. Spend some time on the blogosphere and you’ll find men and women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and other assorted demographics, blogging about politics, current events, pop culture, family, technology, crafting, faith, entrepreneurship, fashion and activism. I’d really like to see someone make a documentary about the amazing diversity of the blogosphere.

Oh, wait someone has. However, after taking a gander at the above posted clip I just don’t think filmmaker Chris Wiegand is up to the task.

Chris Wiegand is a Dallas-based filmmaker and photographer. Together with his wife, Casey Leigh, they own an art studio called A Little Artsy. Casey Leigh blogs at a blog called The Wiegands where she mostly writes about her family and other assorted topics. In other words, she’s a mommy blogger. Nothing against mommy bloggers; they’re just not my blogging cup of tea. I’m sure a lot of people don’t give a shit about me blogging about books.

But I digress…

Chris decided there was something to this whole blogging business and decided to pack up his Airstream Trailer (Airstream Trailer, of course), and travel this great country of ours to interview various bloggers about their craft. But instead of interviewing a slew of diverse, interesting bloggers from a wide variety of backgrounds, Chris interviews a bunch of mostly young, white, good-looking, slender and apparently middle class women who blog about family, crafting, fashion, travel, etc. (okay, there does appear to be one minority). In other words, Chris interviews Casey Leigh’s blogging buddies and on-line besties.

Okay, American Blogger doesn’t exactly dig very deep into the diversity of the blogosphere. And for the most part that’s fine. What really makes me rant about American Blogger is how it takes itself…

…so damn fucking serious!

First there is the documentary’s movie poster featuring a silhouette of a woman looking downcast. Hmm, could she be navel-gazing? And what is up with Chris waving an American flag amongst a city skyline? I almost expected a bald eagle to be a part of the movie poster.

And then there is the “voice of God” narration.

“Beautifully filmed and artistically crafted, this documentary will remind you of the value of your voice and the power of sharing your story.”

Yes, blogging about, like you know, fashion, and like you know, travel, makes documenting the Arab Spring look like an indulgent day at the spa. These bloggers have the possibility to change the world. OMG! Change the world!!!!

And then one blogger claims, “If we’re keeping it private, why are experiencing it?”

Oh, I don’t know, Sweetums. Maybe you should experience it to just experience it. Egad, what a load of self-serving crap.

And that’s what kills me. The utter lack of self-awareness combined with a huge amount of self-absorption.

There is nothing wrong with Chris going around the country to interview his wife’s fellow mommy bloggers. There is nothing wrong with blogging about whatever you want to blog about. What really makes me roll my baby blues is when you act like you’re doing us a huge favor.

Yes, I’m a blogger. And I must admit it’s a nice boost to my self-esteem that my blog is gaining followers. I appreciate getting likes and comments on my posts. But at most, my blog is nothing more than an exercise in ego-stroking and a fun way to express my interest in one of my favorite past times-reading.

And yes, it’s pretty cool when someone wants to interview you about your blogging.

In other words-I have a confession to make.

A while back I used to write “American Idol” re-caps (shut up, don’t judge me). I posted my re-caps on our local Fox affiliate’s news website. A producer liked my re-caps and asked me if I’d be interested in being interviewed about my re-caps and American Idol. After some hemming and hawing I decided to be interviewed. I made sure I cleaned up Chez Bookish Jen and I replaced my usual re-capping uniform of yoga pants, t-shirt and messy ponytail with a cute outfit and brushed hair. The interview went quite well (all those years in high school forensics finally paid off), and my family and friends enjoyed seeing me on the news.

And then…nothing. My life didn’t monumentally change. And never once did I think I did something of great significance or I was altering the world. Shit. I don’t even watch American Idol anymore.

Once again, I digress.

Not surprisingly, the Internet has taken notice of American Blogger. And websites like Gawker, Jezebel, IndieWire, Babble and Get Off My Internets are all having their say on Chris Wiegand’s magnum opus. Sure, a lot of the comments are quite snarky, but quite a few offer some good constructive criticism.

And of course, someone made a parody of American Blogger. Am I horrible person because this made me laugh and laugh? I love this parody so much I want to take it behind the bleachers and get it pregnant. Thank you Neil Kramer!


Lady Wiegand is aware of the backlash and gives us her sage opinion. I hope you can get through her pretentious, vapid and “woe-is-me” word salad. You may need a stiff drink.

Now, as I mentioned. I’d be very open to watching a documentary on blogging. I don’t care if it’s a legitimate film or a “mockumentary.” Ken Burns and Christopher Guest? Call your agents!