Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Must Go On: the Emotional Maturity of Woody Allen

The crackling exchange on the subject of Nige and eBay between Nige himself, David and Dr Hackenbush, whom God preserve, of Fulham or thereabouts left me speechless and unable to blog. But I must go on. I have been concerned for some time about the ranking of this site on Google. It always comes just below a search result headed "Page of Misery: Bryan Appleyard, Wanker and Chief Cultural Critic". This is a piece written by one Michael Kelly who was upset that, in interviewing Woody Allen, I had shown off about "how how much cleverer, more moral and more Emotionally Mature" I was than my interviewee. Well, of course, I was, this was Woody Bleeding Allen for God's sake. Also there is no such post as Chief Cultural Critic at the Sunday Times and I wouldn't take it if there was. "Wanker", in the sense intended, is for others to decide. But, of course, Mr Kelly can say what he likes. I just want to know how to get my Google rating above this daily irritation.

20 comments:

  1. Mr A,
    Firstly, may I start by saying that Michael Kelly's reliance on the word Wanker in relation to your dear self suggests more than a hint of desperation, not to mention ignorance, and his 'opinion', therefore, should be entirely ignored.
    Secondly, I should imagine that scaling the lofty heights of the Google ladder would involve simply making your blog more 'sticky', as they say in the techy webby world, thereby bumping up your 'hits' by getting as many people of the calibre of Big Nige and Dr H to contribute as possible. Perhaps, in the light of recent experience, you could pen a piece comparing and contrasting the merits of linen and modal?
    Yours,
    Prof Quincy Adams Wagstaff

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  3. Good grief, Prof, I am indebted to you. Thinking at first you were talking about modal logic, I now discover you were, in fact, referring to "the new wonder fabric" made of beech wood chips. It is the first I have heard of this; I am, therefore, hardly in a position to, as you put it, compare and contrast. And thank you for your kind words about that Kelly bloke.

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  4. Don't mention it, Mr A. In my opinion, it is he who is the tosser.
    Enjoy your new-found knowledge. I expect to be reading a lengthy piece on the many and varied properties of modal in the not-too-distant. I am glad to have been of service.
    Yours,
    Prof Quincy Adams Wagstaff

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  5. I believe that one of the factors that Google considers when ranking a page is how long it has been up for. As your blog is relatively new I would think that given enough time it will rise up.

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  6. Is modal necessarily made of beech wood chips, or is that a contingent fact, only true in some possible worlds?

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  7. On some planets, Gordon, it is made of rolling pins and hub caps. But there is some chafing.

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  8. You'll be sick about the fact that it has just leapt to the TOP of the Google search list, then. I guess the best way to deal with swearing naysayers is to ignore them completely and not reference thm in your own weblog.

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  9. Wise words, Rory, but ignoring things does not come naturally to me.

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  10. This is a piece written by one Michael Kelly who was upset that, in interviewing Woody Allen, I had shown off about "how how much cleverer, more moral and more Emotionally Mature" I was than my interviewee. Well, of course, I was, this was Woody Bleeding Allen for God's sake.

    Bryan*, I am not sure what you mean by this comment. Are you agreeing with Mr Kelly's assessment of you?

    *Actually, I'm not sure how to refer to you; I feel somewhat overwhelmed by the ability to communicate at all with a Sunday Times journalist. Your articles are one of the main things I look forward to reading.

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  11. Rory,
    Just making a caustic comment about Woody Allen -ie that it is not difficult to be cleverer etc. I did not like him. Mr Kelly plainly does.
    "Bryan" is fine. I started a blog in order to communicate in a new way. It is my job, after all. I am touched and honoured by your words.

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  12. Sorry Bryan, but you're back down to 9th.

    I'm interested in this post of Wanker, capital W. How does one apply ?

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  13. (Goodness, this seems like such a lumphammer way of asking questions, but I am genuinely intrigued by this whole process...)

    Did you go into the interview hoping to come away with a different view of Woody Allen? Or were you fairly convinced you were going to meet the man you expected him to be? And, I guess, do you feel that that weighted the whole experience?

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  14. Rory,
    My only thought was I didn't like the film he had just made - Melinda and Melinda - and I hadn't actually liked any of his films for some time. But disliking the work often happens with interviewees. When I actually meet them, I don't allow this to prejudice my view of the person, neither do I allow what other people have written to get in the way. Usually, meeting the person cools any animosity I may have felt or increases my enthusiasm. In other words, meeting people almost always makes me think better of them. In the case of Allen, this did not happen. My dislike of the films extended to the man. I found him aridly self-involved to the point of obsession.

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  15. It must be an extremely tricky process. And I can imagine that meeting someone has the benefit of softening an acquired image. Surely it is such an artificial environment, though, the journalist/popular figure face-off? It can't make getting a relaxed and complete picture easy. But I'm sure even this arena cannot mask too many icon's issues and struggles and the dislikeable people it turns them into.

    Thank-you for the insights, Bryan. 5 o'clock in the morning, hey? These wee small hours are great for getting a few extra things done. It also helps(?) having a 21 month old daughter kicking you repeatedly in the back. I didn't realize "There were three in the bed and the little one said..." was not just a nursery rhyme, but lyrics based on factual events. Kind regards.

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  16. A little idle research.

    Google Bryan Appleyard - 249000 hits (I'm impressed)

    Appleyard Bryan - 248000 (less so, obviously).

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