WordPress Reinvents Gutenberg and I Can’t—

WordPress Reinvents Gutenberg and I Can’t—

WordPress invented the printing press for the post-printing age. They called it Gutenberg, thus positively impacting people’s factual knowledge in the post-factual age, while adversely impacting search trends on Google. Every idiot is searching for keyword Gutenberg and the more enlightened ones for phrase whats the difference between gutenberg and hewlett packard. Apart from circa half a millennium, none.

As for me, who was brought up at the height of the trivia age (aka let’s-see-how-much-encyclopaedic-facts-we-can-input-in-a-schoolkid’s-head-before-it-implodes age), I have a more interesting question. What’s the difference between Gutenberg à la WordPress and Shakespeare? Apart from a few random centuries, none. Both are much ado about nothing. Also, I tend to disapprove of both of them, while everyone else seems to be shitting themselves with enthusiasm, and I’m thinking what the heck I’m missing.

What is this thing, then, this Gutenberg by WordPress? Well. Since we’re on the literary note, let me whip up a simile (worry not, that’s the shit that is easier than the metaphor, or even the oxymoron). Just as WordPress allows you to make a website without actually knowing how to code, so Gutenberg allows you to produce content without knowing how to write. Okay. I might be exaggerating, but not much. Gutenberg is a kind of an upgraded visual editor. Like Word is an upgraded Notepad.

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This may or may not be my make-up (see below for [ir]relevance)
I have literally (not to be confused with literary) no idea (I could just as well finish the sentence here, right?)—no idea what my problem with visual editors is. A childhood trauma, perhaps? Hardly, unless my traumatising encounters with MS Dos count. (To my schoolteacher of IT, who never graded me better than a B: Dude, wanna see my latest bit of JavaScript? Or my new CSS tricks? You know, I happen to be a coder now. So fuck you, in yer face. [Not literally, please.])

I love new stuff and shit that makes other shit easier. I’m not the fashionable weirdo who bakes her own bread though she can buy it courtesy of the supermarket. I suspect I’ve had too much experience with visual editors not doing their one job and me ending up just coding the job, which, as it happened, was more efficient on all fronts. Whenever I hear visual builder, I’m getting measles. I’m kidding. I’m not getting measles at any time because my mother wasn’t a militant bio-mother, so I’m fully vaccinated.

I’m not sure whether the vaccine is the reason I’m semi-autistic. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. It could be Rimmel, too. But not Sephora. I’m not a Sephora person. I know a person who is a Sephora person, which is why I researched what the fuck. It appears that Sephora sells overpriced make-up to those dumb enough to buy it. Which didn’t really answer my what the fuck question. I wear make-up once a week at most (not coincidentally, it coincides with the equally rare occasions when I leave the flat), and so I’m still wearing the glossy red lip gloss I bought five years ago.

Glossy lip gloss is no more fashionable, I hear (and deem it irrelevant), but I no more like it. Trouble is, as is the case with all things you don’t like any more, that the product is bottomless. I assume it’s also past its expiry date; fortunately, I don’t believe in expiry dates. Nothing but propaganda. I shall keep on using and/or eating any expired thing until it manifests highly visible signs of mould which I evaluate as severe enough to justify throwing the shit out. Don’t even try to argue with me. See above for post-factual age. You’re welcome.

How to Take the Worst Photos Ever

How to Take the Worst Photos Ever

I specialise at taking bad photos. Scratch it. I specialise at taking the worst photos ever. Since the internet is full of how-to articles on taking better photos, I thought I’d contribute with my valuable experience of how to take worse photos. And since I recently blogged an anti-recipe, let’s continue with an anti-manual.

Taking photos that suck something fierce is an art, like everything else. You’ll need to practise it to perfect your skills—but remember that the practice for crappy photo skills consists in taking pictures as little and as far apart as possible. The next you’ll need is to equip yourself with the appropriate gear (the cheaper the better) and to follow a few principles, listed below.

Gear for the Worst Results

Use your phone camera. If you own an iPhone, give it away to that homeless guy at the corner. If you’re serious about worsening your photo skills, you can’t hope to achieve it with an Apple device. Get the cheapest generic brand phone that is available to you. Make sure to treat it poorly. An important warning: never clean the phone lens! When you get your lens soiled and keep it that way, you’ll be always taking dirty photos. Cool trick, right?

Suitable Subjects

Forget about sweeping panoramas and people portraits. These are unsuitable subjects for a photographer who seriously sucks. Pick as lowly subjects as possible: a manhole, a candy wrapper in the gutter, a supermarket floor. Advanced students of the art of shockingly bad photography may proceed to selfies. Be careful though, your selfie must never contain a face! Aim at your feet, hands or crotch. For illustrations of the appropriate method, see examples above.

Post-production

Cancel your subscription to Photoshop. Forget about Lightroom. Forget about any post-production at all. Your astonishingly bad photos must be presented as-is, #nofilter. Crooked horizons and tilted walls are highly desirable. Once you master the skill of snaps that suck, you’ll be able never to take a straight picture in your life again. If you publish your work on Instagram, don’t forget the elite tags: #random #whatever #icanteven. Happy shooting!

Finding Everyday Inspiration: Scathing Critique of My Blog

Finding Everyday Inspiration: Scathing Critique of My Blog

Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration.

Today’s writing challenge caters for the opinionated individuals who always wanted to be art critics to have their subjective judgements validated in print, have them read by other clueless individuals who pretend to be artistic and enlighten them as to whether they should like some piece of art or not. In short, the task is to write a piece of criticism, positive or otherwise. I choose otherwise and give you a perfectly objective review of this very blog.

When in doubt, insert coffee

The blog of Mara Eastern purports to be “hysterically hilarious”, as the author promises in her tagline. Sadly, she fails to deliver in all respects. Perhaps the blogger knows well why she is hiding under a pen name and does not show her face in photos, apart from the pathetic and heavily edited partial selfie that she uses as her would-be avatar.

The blandly designed website provides zero aesthetic experience and what’s even worse, the poorly organised navigation elements make it near to impossible for the prospective reader to find their way around. Given the lack of design efforts, you would naturally assume that the focus is on quality writing. You’d be tragically mistaken.

The blogger publishes prolifically—one can’t help thinking that she’d better spend the time by making herself useful—and the variety of post types found here is not eclectic, but plainly chaotic, unstructured and incoherent. The blog has no apparent unifying idea; it could be almost argued that there is no single idea on the whole site.

The blogger occasionally attempts what she dares to call photography. Apparently, where she lives, they don’t have camera manuals (or can’t read them). Her primitive point-and-shoot snaps give the impression that she stole them from the toy camera of a three-year-old. Someone should probably do her the favour of informing her that any self-respecting blogger in the civilised world takes photos with the iPhone, edits them in Photoshop (or, at worst, Lightroom) and posts them from their MacBook Pro.

As to said blogger’s writing, she can hardly string a sentence together, let alone a sensible paragraph. As though she were not aware of her deficiency, she produces lengthy articles that no clearly-thinking human being would possibly want to read. She presumably does not have internet access and is therefore not aware that any blog worth the name is based on brief catchphrases, animated gifs and Game of Thrones memes.

I do not wish to sound unkind, so I will not suggest that the blogger end herself. Still, I strongly recommend that she remove herself from the internet, immediately and permanently, and do the mankind a service.