Why do we do this, again?

Babyman’s favorite YouTube clip was pulled off the internet last week for copyright violations.  Which is ironic, actually, because every one of the shorts in the series (I think there were four, in total) made heavy reference to what a flagrant copyright violation they were.

Babyman doesn’t watch much YouTube: he likes the Wheels on the Bus bits and the occasional Cars promo, but he was really into this mashup of Transformers and Thomas the Tank Engine called Trains-Formers.

My husband and I liked the shorts too: short, clever, subversive but kid-friendly, and overall sort of heartwarming because this dad made them for his son, and got all his creative/techie friends to contribute.  And his son is actually named Vector.  Which says something about the guy.  (For example, he is way more into science than I am, and probably a lot hipper too.  Only hipsters can name their kids Vector and get away with it.  For those of you who don’t already know me personally, let me assure you that Babyman’s real name is NOT of the Vector variety.)

Anyway, as Babyman shed real tears over the loss of Trains-Formers, I cursed the greedy grown-ups who caused this unforeseen turn of events in my day: those two-faced bigwigs at HIT, who claim to spread joy and light through the Sprout channel but behind the scenes are busy cutting off the knees of the Vector’s Dads of the world.  Damn them!  Argh!  (Okay, Babyman, now pull it together.  It’s a four-minute video and this grieving process is starting to spiral into an unnecessary tantrum.)

So I already had these pressing legal matters on the brain when I realized it was going to be a copyright-violation kind of a week, because then my good friend and fellow blogger went all Huffington Post on us and got a lot of credit for pressuring Pinterest to change their terms of service in order to better protect the creative and intellectual property of its users.  Phew!

I was inspired by my friend’s insight and incisiveness, and also by her ability to blog about a globally interesting topic with such authority.  (I was also impressed that she was so informed about Pinterest, because she also works and has kids, and I really have no idea what Pinterest is and I like to blame that on my children and my job, but apparently those are no longer good excuses.  And this is why she is quoted on HuffPo and I am quoted by myself, on my own Facebook page.  Which is privacy-protected — to the best of my knowledge; those people keep changing things on me — and therefore has low readership.  Did I mention I’m also un-hip?)

All of this got me thinking — when I obviously should have been thinking about Pinterest and the rising price of oil and how that might impact the resurgence of the American auto industry — about blogging.  The power of the blog.

I was late to the blogging game (big surprise there) and I don’t really know why I started.  Boredom, maybe.  I started with a newsy blog about our family, for our family, and wrote four posts before I realized that I talk to my mom and my sister about four times a day as it is, and no one was reading my blog because they knew everything anyway, and it was boring beyond belief.

Then I started this blog, the Less on the Floor blog, because I was feeling so excited about cooking…but as it turned out I really just needed a creative outlet.  I used to be pretty creative.  I almost (almost) minored in creative writing, you know.  And when you almost minor in creative writing, you learn to write about what you know, to write about your life.  That’s what makes it true, even if it’s fiction.  Well, my life is my kids, and my husband, and my job, and the food we eat and the city we inhabit, so suddenly the blog became a place to just write.  About what I know.

Is what I know interesting?  To me it is, obviously, but in the global sense?  I mean, you’re reading it right now.  But maybe you’re just procrastinating or something.  I don’t know.   What makes a blog worth reading?  What makes it relevant?

I just read It Sucked and then I Cried by Heather Armstrong, the mother of all mommy-bloggers and one of the most powerful women on the internet.  From what I can tell, either she’s a marketing genius, or she is famous because she essentially honest.  Well, okay, she is a marketing genius — but here’s the thing: her story is true.  And that honesty, that fearless true-ness, resonates.

To wrap things up, another friend of mine just published her first novel.  Buy it here, and then read more of her wit here.

I’m inspired by these women, these tellers of truth.  Tell a true story.  Tell it well.  And maybe, if you’re lucky, you might reach someone.

Bloggers of the world, unite.


  1. I wish I had thought to have a blog when my children were little. I didn't really get all of that then. And I had forgotten how to write. My sister-in-law gave me a book of essays from Salon.com called "Mothers who Think." Each story was a gift. Thanks for including me in this post. Keep writing. KP and I can try to explain Pinterest. xx

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