by Aaron Mystery
I think we all know CNN came out looking really cheesy when it not only participated - but lost - in its race to a million Twitter followers with Ashton Kutcher. But what do we really expect from CNN these days? These are the people that employ Lou Dobbs, Nancy Grace, and - until Fox took him - Glenn Beck (note if some of the above names are misspelled, I couldn't care less).
But when I saw Shrek - yes, Shrek - blogging about Earth Day on Huffington Post (which is supposed to be a legitimate left-wing journalistic operation), I thought - Oh, Arianna, how has your great site given rise to such untenable shit? Maybe it's the big Shrek the Musical ads on the Huffington Post that won the green ogre's way into your heart.
In either case, I tried to post a comment on the blog to the effect of No Shrek on Huffington Post, please. (Maybe a little wittier.) However, comments on the Shrek blog have to be approved before they can be published. Huh? I can automatically leave a comment on articles written by conscientious celebrities that have years of film work and activism behind them, yet his Lord Shrek must approve my post? Come on, H-Post! (Update: My post was approved, which read, The truth is: if we could get rid of Shrek we would have a nicer planet. Zing!)
As an artist, I myself have all the room in the world for fictitious characters trying to be real. I mean, my art begins as a dirty animation, and at best evolves into a dirty joke. My main characters have names like Ace the Zombie, Mr. Romance-Oh, and Devil Baby. But I run a breast expansion animation site called Suckermouth - I'm not trying to present myself as a credible alternative to mainstream media. I don't have celebrities (or anyone) writing material for me, and I'm not promoting my site on news stations in primetime.
I know what I do is offensive to most people, if not just plain uninteresting. But the people that like it REALLY like it, so I deliver for their sake. I know what my customers want, and I have an eye on courting a larger audience with more material without isolating my original base.
Huffington Post, you know what your role is: Left-wing journalism and blogging. You've had alternate points of view from time to time, and some Republican and Independent contributors. But Shrek is not liberal or conservative: He's a cartoon character (a very annoying, already over-exposed one at that). The Huffington Post does not need to do this - as a matter of fact, it had better not do anything like this again if it wants me and other adults to keep reading.
I often find myself as an artist being too clever by half. That's 150% more clever than putting a Shrek blog on a journalism web site.