First on the bright side: Vancouver Canada’s wonderful Ralph Shaw publishes a great e-newsletter, the Ukulele Entertainer. If you don’t already subscribe, you’re missing some wonderful stuff. Ralph’s latest is entitled “The Bowtie Manifesto.” Check it out here: theukuleleentertainer.blogspot.com/2015/06/ue-136-bowtie-manifesto.html
Regular readers of this blog and folks who come to my shows know that from time to time I wear a bow tie. Thanks to Ralph, now I know why!
On the dimmer side, about 90% of the comments I get are spam (and are promptly “disapproved” and never posted here). They start off something that seems plausible (e.g., “I found your blog while looking for something else and really like it”) but then spin off into weird-land. And they’re always imbedded with hyperlinks to websites promising to sell you something at a price that makes it clear that the product being offered is either a forgery, or is downright illegal. For reasons I can’t understand, the largest category of these links that the commenter is hoping I’ll approve is athletic shoes. As in “cheap Nike,” “cheap Adidas” [sic – adidas is always spelled with a lower-case “a”] or “cheap New Balance.” Hey, the genuine article is available to everyone around the world at low prices from legit sellers. (OK, maybe not in places like North Korea or Rodeo Drive.) Just who are you fishing (or phishing) for?
These uninvited comments are, I understand, not from actual human beings, but from trolling programs that are out on the internet hunting for potentially available entries onto legitimate websites. So there’s no way to actually reply to the “commenter” and let them now just how little I appreciate the “comment.” I just wish there were some way to swim back up the electronic ethernet stream and pop out in the home of the actual human who set the trolling program in motion, so that I could play a tune for him or her on my ukulele. That’d stop the spam dead in its tracks!
Once in a while, though, I get a real kick out of a “comment,” like this one apparently from somewhere in Italy, with hyperlinks imbedded to try to sell me more shoes: “This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!” Hey, everyone likes a compliment. Even if it does come from a computer program!
Bottom line: Please send me your real comments, positive or negative. Let me know what you’re up to in your musical life. I’ll be happy to approve your comment and post it here, and even respond to it. But please, don’t try to sell my cheap Nike shoes. (Or worse yet, on-line prescription drugs that promise to improve my “love life.” Hey, I already have something that does that. My ukulele!)