Michael Duff (not pictured) writes in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal about his "favorite Internet hoax," when the dude on the right borrowed a picture of the Russian mail-order bride on the left to increase the popularity of his libertarian website. He started interspersing his libertarian rantings with stories of college parties, fashion and, one assumes, boys and suddenly his readership went up! He later revealed himself to be — shockers — a self-professed ugly middle-aged man who joined a "fringe" movement because being ugly made his life so hard that he wanted to change the status quo. What Duff takes away from this is not "don't trust anonymous people on the internet" but that lady bloggers have it so much easier than men. Oh, really?According to the "Libertarian Girl" guy, his blog was totes on the point of taking off when he revealed himself to be a man, and he was amazed by all the Technorati links and shit when people thought he was a girl. Duff says that the internet transvestite had a good run with dressing up like a woman because "libertarianism appeals to men, particularly to male geeks, because it rewards quirkiness, independence and an obsession with economics," in addition to ugly people. Right, goodness knows, no liberal would every be quirky, independent or obsessed with economics, like, ever. Also, the Atlantic's Megan McArdle probably disagrees about the ugly thing and the dude part of it. Not that I agree with Megan all the time or even a lot of the time, but she doesn't have her job because she's pretty, she has her job because she's whip-smart, good at what she does and manages to make libertarianism sound reasonable, which is no small task for the party that embraces Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Mike Gravel. The thing is, Duff offers no evidence that the Libertarian Girl's authentically male blog was smart, well-reasoned, thoughtful, interesting or unique — which are all important qualities in a blog. By making it about a pretty college student — or, say, two "elderly" women who hate Sarah Palin, for instance — he made it unique in a sea of other blogs without unique content or an interesting point of view. Notably, Libertarian Girl wasn't a woman my age, or his age: she was a cute college girl that liked to drink and look cute. Was that shtick going to work forever? Probably not. Duff also points to (my friend) Ana Marie Cox's work for (my employer) Nick Denton as an example of a man cashing in on the cute girl blogger phenomenon. Here's where I take issue: Ana Marie wasn't a creation of Nick Denton's; she was a writer (and a talented one) in her own right who found a way to incorporate parts of her actual personality into her work which was itself interesting. She didn't just use foul language to be edgy, she used it because that's how she talks and thinks. And she's not cute, she's downright hot, dammmit. Anyway, Duff makes an offhand reference near the end to the fact that Libertarian Girl was read, but not respected but he still thinks that women bloggers have it easier despite the "misogyny and condescention [sic] on the Web." Oh, well, if that's all. I mean, I make my living on page views, too, but pretty only gets you so many readers if you don't have anything interesting to say. The Ultimate Secret To Blogger Success? Pretend To Be A Girl! [Lubbock Avalanche-Journal] Why Are All The Big Political Bloggers Men? [Glamocracy]
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