Most days, MCC runs along smoothly, steadily, quietly, and benignly for followers and visitors alike. Everyone behaves, riots are rare, and behavioral lectures are nonexistent. However, I was concerned to hear from another WordPress blogger (full disclosure: she’s one of the notables on the “MCC Warmly Regards” roster) about allegations of one or more blogosphere denizens whose expectations for followers went above and beyond the common-yet-not-Holy-Writ adage of “I’ll follow you if you follow me!” Ms. Rocker observes:
This week I have seen at least three different blog posts regarding the set “rules” or expectations by another blog’s author. These rules weren’t limited to comments though. They were very follower-stats driven instead. For example, being told that all follows must be reciprocated?
Quid pro quo? Hmm. Really? I don’t even do that mess on Twitter and that has a character limit at least!
My favorite is that all followers need to read and interact in the comments or not follow at all. All followers?…
Most bloggers have an idea of what kinds of comments they’d like to foster, but they don’t normally lay down terms and conditions before granting you permission to click the “Follow” button. Granted, some bloggers are purely looking for follow-me-follow-you and never show you another sign of life after subscribing, and you get used to that and don’t let it ding your feelings after the first couple hundred come and vanish. But some folks genuinely want to read more from a given author and are subscribing of their own entertained volition. Still other clickers may not be bloggers at all (it can happen! no, really!) and follow-me-follow-you can’t even apply to them, unless you’re also requiring them to create their own WordPress blog first and then you’ll permit them to register their interest in your talent.
So the terms laid down by the blogger(s) in question seem haughty and harsh. After giving it several seconds of shallow thought, I’ve decided they’re not harsh enough.
For the sake of my superstardom dreams and my humble self-aggrandizement, Midlife Crisis Crossover henceforth shall expect all followers, readers, colleagues, friends, family, passing strangers, future mortal enemies, and their pets to adhere rigorously to the following responsibilities and demands from now till death Or Else:
1. Every post must be read from beginning to end.
No skimming. No skipping ahead to the punchline at the end. No reading just the first paragraph and declaring yourself finished. If I write a 2000-word entry about a joke I remembered from an old Huckleberry Hound cartoon, you are expected to hang onto every last syllable as if my words will offer you the meaning and purpose of life. For all you know they just might, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on me changing your life, would you?
The following excuses for not-reading are unacceptable and subject to discipline:
* No interest in the subject matter
* Avoiding spoilers
* Lack of free time due to job, family, or terminal illness
* Not fluent in English
* Cannot afford a computer, smartphone, or other internet device
* Your religion deems electricity a tool of the Enemy
There will be pop quizzes to test your knowledge and attention span, to ensure your commitment remains steadfast and your presence here remains warranted. Quiz sheets with more than two incorrect answers will be copied into MS Paint, where I will use red lines to circle your mistakes, scribble harsh criticisms, and decorate them with really ugly stickers, because negative reinforcement is a vital step in your learning process.
2. Commenting shall be performed correctly.
When submitting comments in the form below (not “if”), your minimum requirements are as follows:
* At least one comment per day, even on days with no new entries.
* All comments shall be checked for spelling and grammar, and corrected as needed. If you refuse to do so, I shall rewrite your comment to add more mistakes and incoherence so people think you’re a lolcat.
* Each comment must contain at least twenty-five words, and you cannot repeat a word more than twice, including articles and prepositions.
* Each comment must express a complex thought or concept beyond just “Great post!” You must also offer a point-by-point critique of all the specific things I did best.
* If an entry ends with a question addressed to readers, this should be treated as an essay prompt. All responses should be five paragraphs or longer and include a bibliography citing sources with proper scholarly formatting.
3. MCC fandom shall be expressed outside the site boundaries.
If you’re reading this handbook or anything else on this site, congratulations! You’re a fan of MCC! Now you need to act like it. Your actions in other arenas shall be conducted for my benefit like so:
* Links to each new MCC post should be Shared with your followers through at least one social medium, or directly emailed to at least five people you know offline. Your Pinterest wall should also include one or more MCC sections containing at least one photo of me.
* Your replies to other blogs should include at least one link back to a relevant MCC entry, or just a mildly funny one. Everyone like to laugh, even if it’s off-topic.
* MCC shall be advocated at least once in every party conversation. I’m a certified drag at parties, but name-checking me and my works will brighten my day while I’m at home not-partying.
* The site URL should be handwritten or rubber-stamped on the back of any birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, graduation, wedding, condolences, or other greeting cards you send out.
* Parents with large families shall name their sixth child after me.
* Since MCC has no logo and no branding initiative in place because I can’t make up my mind what an MCC logo should look like, you will be expected to create your own MCC merchandise. Acceptable MCC home creations include shirts, hats, hoodies, coffee mugs (16 oz. or larger), bumper stickers, mousepads, mailboxes, license plates, cosplay outfits, and large Christmas lawn decorations. On a related note, these and any other items bearing the letters “MCC” immediately forfeit all copyright to me, up to and including any movies starring Melissa McCarthy.
* * * * *
These new rules may or may not sound challenging to you. Bear in mind, these are the minimums. Y’know, it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Look, we want you to express yourself, okay? Now if you feel that the bare minimum is enough, then that’s okay, but some people choose to participate and support us more and we encourage that. And you do want to express yourself, don’t you? And to be liked? And to be allowed to stick around?
Hope that helps! Enjoy your stay! Obedience is fun! Failure to comply will have consequences! And thanks for the Follow!