Friday, August 08, 2008

Who You Know?

For those who don’t know, there’s a writer named Mary Roach who has a regular column in Readers’ Digest.

Today I was flicking through the aforementioned magazine and found myself reading one of her articles. I normally skip past them because they’re so ridiculously uninteresting.

I mean, her articles are meant to be funny, but the last one I read was an incredibly boring tale about how her husband wanted to buy a dedicated pasta pot…and the one I read today was about how she likes bird-watching, her family doesn’t… and when she dragged them along one a bird watching expedition anyway, they complained and wanted to leave.

As I was reading one of her articles today, something popped into my head. This reads like a really boring blog entry. I thought.

It really was. Imagine the type of person who’s only just discovered the internet and forwards those ten year old jokes to everyone they know five times a day, and you have Mary Roach. The kind of person who will tell everyone the hilarious story about the time their cat burped, or the time her husband wanted to watch sports instead of going to the garden center.

“My husband wanted to buy a three hundred dollar pasta pot, and I told him we already have pots you can use to cook pasta! It…was…hilarious!!!

This made me ask the question…how in the blue hell did this incredibly boring woman with distinctly average writing manage to get a regular column in one of the world’s best-selling magazines?

In all honesty, every single blog I read is a hundred times more interesting and has better writing than Mary Roach’s. I mean, how much did she get paid for her 700 word wonder on the time they bought a trash-can with an automatic lid, but sometimes the lid opened when they didn’t want to throw anything away!

I decided it has to be a case of ‘not what you know, but who you know’. There can’t be any other explanation. Put simply, the people who run Reader’s Digest would only have to spend about fifteen minutes on the internet to find about a hundred better writers.

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