Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rob Smith - A Remembrance

Sic Transit Gloria Rincon

Today, while a fortunate few attend the memorial service for Rob "Acidman" Smith, untold numbers of bloggers all over the world who can't make the trip to Savannah are putting our words on a screen as a way of saying farewell to the man behind the Gutrumbles blog.

I can't say that Rob and I were friends, but we'd traded a few emails now & again. He gave me my first "Tall Dog" link when I was wavering in my resolve to make it as a blogger.

I can't recall the first time I happened across Rob's blog. It was probably mid-2003, when I was deep in unemployment hell, and spending a good deal of my time idly websurfing instead of actively looking for a job. Might've been a link from Lileks, but I kinda doubt it. More likely it was a link to one of his more outrageous rants from somewhere on Usenet, which was my main source of time-wasteage prior to getting into blogs.

Compared with the Usenet world of cutesy flirting, clueless flamewars and wink wink grin grin emoticon drivel, Acidman's direct, speak-no-bullshit verbiage was eye-opening. Someone who calls his ex the 'Bloodless Cunt', and damn well means it! Someone with the intestinal fortitude to tell the world about incontinence and injecting boner-juice into his cock. Sure, I'd read more lurid tales from the hyenas on alt.tasteless, but this stuff was honest and direct, not an attempt to one-up the other guy.

I found myself coming back day after day just to see what would turn up next. I followed Rob's links, and slowly my daily reading list grew. Many of those blogs in my sidebar under 'The Main Course' are ones I found through Rob's site.

Next thing I know I'm dipping my toe into the blogosphere, and Rob was one of the trio of blogs that I wanted to emulate. Not a blogfather per se, but a "Dutch uncle" who dispensed good advice, even when it was sometimes a bitter pill to swallow.

Here's some advice he posted that I particularly liked:

For all pedants of the blogosphere, I'll give you a few strict and unbending rules for being on my blogroll:

1) I have no fucking rules. I'll link you if I like you, but just because I don't put you on the roll doesn't mean that I don't like you. Check your referrals. I lurk a lot.

2) If you don't post, I'll dump you. Period. I don't consider once-a-month posts blogging.

3) Come to a Jawja Blog-Meet. That act GUARANTEES you a spot on the roll, even if you suck as a writer, as long as you continue to blog.

4) Send me red toenail pictures if you're a woman. Damn right! I can be bought.

5) WRITE instead of posting a series of links. I wanna know who you ARE, not what you read.

6) Cuss every now and then. I agree with Redd Foxx on this issue. Anybody who slams a car door on the hand and doesn't cuss is someone NEVER to be trusted. If you can't find something to cuss about in the world today, you ain't paying much attention.

7) DO NOT post pictures of your adorable, widdle, fuzzy CATS!!! I fucking HATE cats. I've made a few exceptions to this rule because I really like the writers and I have no rules anyway, but don't push me on this issue unless you're really GOOD.

8) Don't email me asking for a link. I've never begged for a thing in my life and I don't like people who do. That may sound harsh, but that's the way I see life. If your blog is any good, people will find it. Just keep throwing it out there, like a good fisherman. If your bait is any good, you'll catch a few.

9) Be yourself. I've never met the person behind a blog I liked when I didn't like THE PERSON after I met them. Honesty counts, and it shows in a good blog.

10) Forget where you rate on some ecosystem or somebody's bullshit popularity contest. If you're out for a sales career, try insurance or used cars. I like the blogs I like because I am NOT dealing with salesmen there. I think I'm dealing with real people.

I ignored him on #7, and he blogrolled me regardless. Guess he thought I was good!

Thanks for that boost, Rob. Thanks for all the inspiration you freely gave to untold numbers of people. There was a heart of gold under that crochety exterior, though I know you would never have admitted to it!

Rest well, Acidman. You'll be missed.