The Feeding of The Snark (An Entreaty In One Fit)
It appears that James Arthur Ray is not the only one who has been inspired of late by the works of the immortal Lewis Carroll.
If—and the thing is wildly possible—the charge of being a beggar were ever brought against the author of this Blog, it would be based, she feels convinced, on this post.
In view of this painful possibility, she will not (as she might) appeal indignantly to her other writings as a proof that she is not prone to begging: she will not (as she might) point to the strong moral purpose of this post itself, to the appeal for altruism so cautiously inculcated in it, or to its noble roots in Rudimentary Capitalism—she will take the more prosaic course of simply explaining how it came to be.
The Blogger, who is almost morbidly sensitive about appearing to be greedy, used to joyfully Blog away with no regard for the time or effort expended upon her posts and the accompanying Photo-composites, and it more than once happened, when the time came for Bills to be due, that there was a dearth of Funds to cover them. This was due to numerous Factors that are the everlasting bane of Free-lance Service Providers, but in some cases the Blogger's preoccupation with her Avocation may—just possibly—have played a smallish part. Her Partner knew it was not of the slightest use to try to persuade her to stop Blogging, nor, in truth, did he want her to, for he enjoyed her writing as much as did many others.
And yet, as the Ship that is the Blogger's and her Partner's Primary Business began to hit rough waters during the Great Recession of '09, the Blogger continued to Blog as if nothing were amiss. During some of these Blogging intervals the Primary Business sometimes sailed backwards, though it never sank, contrary to the claims of a certain Snargetly Gentleman.
Thus it was that, ultimately, the Blogger's Partner chose to set up a Paypal Account and provide her with the Code to easily add a Donation Widget to her Blog, knowing that she would continue to Blog whether or not she was getting Donations, for she loves her Blogging and she loves her Readers (even one or two of those who hate her). He knew that although her primary purpose was to provide Entertainment, her Blog was not merely a platform for gratuitous Snarking and, though entertaining, was on many occasions Educational as well. Yet her Partner gently but firmly reminded the Blogger that Time is Money, and that realistically, the Blog can only continue if there is an adequate supply of the latter. And so it should come as no surprise that our Blogger, rather than beginning to charge her Readers for the privilege of perusing her Random Thoughts, or, even worse, ceasing to Blog altogether, has added the Widget, and now gasps out, “Please Donate What You Can!”
* * * * *
Fit The First (And Only)
“Just the place for some Snarks!” the Blogger cried,
As she gingerly typed her first post;
And soon she was waxing both silly and snide
On the things that amused her the most.
“Just the place for some Snarks! I've said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crowd.
Just the place for some Snarks! I've now said it thrice:
( I'm redundant as well as quite loud).”
The months turned to years, and the Blogger wrote on
About hustledorks, hucksters, and shams
She gleefully needled each swindler and con—
And schemes that she reckoned were scams.
She skewered the silly and badgered the bad
And Snarked about Industry Leaders
Some were appalled and a few got quite mad—
And yet... she's attracted some Readers.
The crowd that the Blogger has drawn is quite small—
Or so said a Snarget-ish bloke
Who claimed that the Blogger, and fans one and all
Are trivial, jealous, and broke.
"And the Blogger is Blogging without any pay!"
Said the Snarget with open disdain—
"She is wasting her time and her talent, I say:
She is lividly Snarking in vain!"
And yet it seems odd that the Blogger receives
Accolades, kudos and thanks
From hundreds who savor the tales that she weaves
Of flim-flammers, crackpots, and cranks.
And, oh—even odder!—the Blogger gets calls
From Media Folk, on occasion
To share her opinions and things she recalls
Of some masters of hype and persuasion.
The problem is this: When she Blogs, she's not working—
(A possibly troublesome matter)—
Meanwhile, her Snargets are sitting back smirking,
And watching their bankrolls grow fatter.
So the Blogger of late has emerged from her fog
To submit to her own third degree—
Her first question was: "Do I write my Blog
Or has my Blog been writing me?
"And do I provide any value at all
To the thousands who visit my site
Or am I just wasting my time and my life
(And was my friend Snarget...gasp...right?!?)
"Most importantly though," our fair Blogger inquired,
"Is Monetization for me?
My words have amused and impressed and inspired...
So just why am I Snarking for free?"
The truth of the matter, our Blogger then thought,
Is that Snarking's a pleasurable sport
I'll Snark if I'm paid, I'll Snark if I'm not
But I really would like some support.
Accordingly, then, she has added a tab
For Donations. 'Tis up there above
And if this all seems like a crass money grab
Well, it is. (But it's offered with Love.)
* * * * *
With all due apologies to Lewis Carroll
If you absolutely can't wait for your Penguin Classics copy of The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits to arrive from Amazon.com, here is a link to the complete text, as well as the delightful illustrations by Henry Holiday: