Tark And Mara Create Post-Bloggerism

Tark And Mara Do Internet Popularity And Create Post-Bloggerism

“I’m tired of blogging.” Tark pushed the 24 carat gold-plated Macbook away from him. Autumn sunshine danced through the stained-glass atrium of the Dublin penthouse, making a disco ball of Tark’s unwitting head.

He looked at his wife, who was reclining on the 18th-century chaise longue upon which Marie Antoinette once gently farted following a massive feed of sugar peas. Mara was checking their bank accounts on her own-brand tablet (the iMara). She had been at it for a good ten minutes already, which was two minutes above the threshold at which she normally got angry enough to eat something. But someone had to make sure none of their bank balances fell below €100,000, and Tark was too busy making money by disseminating motivational quotes to people in remote areas of Indonesia.

“Everyone is tired of blogging, darling,” said Mara. “But we both agreed you wouldn’t stop unless your advertising income dropped below $10,000 a day.”

“But at what cost?” asked Tark. “Yesterday I saw a post – a 10-step guide to pouring a glass of water – get 493 likes in one hour. 493! I don’t even get that traffic from the kindergarteners in Burkina Faso I put on retainer to maintain the monthly hit count on our alcoholic vegan site! It’s all so shallow.”

Mara lowered the tablet and studied her husband levelly. “And for us, that’s saying something.”

Embed from Getty Images

“Yes, it most certainly is saying something,” said Tark. “Last week, someone claiming clinical depression whilst awaiting delivery of a free Michael Kors bag garnered 15,000 hits in a day. It contained no commas whatsoever, 32 malapropisms, and no fewer than 16 emojis. There should be standards for blagging, as well as blogging, goddammit. But it won’t change, as long as they keep sending these people free stuff.”

Mara swung her legs to the floor and sat up, taking care to re-arrange the layers of the Stella McCartney skirt deemed by Vogue to be too sheer for anyone with actual flesh. “This is your second crisis of confidence in six months, Tark. I do hope you’re not going to make a habit of it.”

Tark used a sulky finger to pick at the price tag they left ironically on the priceless 10×10 Jackson Pollock above the floating fireplace. “I’m not. I just don’t want our brand to be damaged by anything passé, is all.”

Mara walked to the window, her limbs lost in a tangle of equally wispy fabric, a spectral spectacular. “Remember the time when I realised that gardening crime erotica was falling out of favour? And my book sales were in danger of tanking?”

Tark examined his freshly manicured fingernails with deliberate nonchalance. “A little.”

“You told me to stop looking at yesterday’s news,” Mara continued, “And concentrate on tomorrow’s scandal. Do you remember? So I wrote that bonkbuster noir biography of Donald Trump overnight.”

“You did.”

“By the following week, I was top of the bestseller list once again, having been the first to publicly declare gardening crime erotica passé. What does that tell you?”

“That Donald Trump isn’t going away?”

“Don’t be witty, Tark. It doesn’t suit you.”

“Sorry, my prickly pear.”

Embed from Getty Images

“What I’m saying is, you have to change the conversation. And how do you do that? By stealing it, and junking it for parts – that’s how. You abhor shallow content. Ergo, you should be promoting no content.”

Tark tapped the knuckle of his index finger against his lips, and began to pace back and forth over the marble tiles they removed illegally from an archaeological site in Greece at the height of the financial crisis. After a moment, he steepled his fingers and tapped them against those self-same lips, his eyebrows puckering to an angle sufficient to cover both himself and his wife, who hadn’t moved her eyebrows naturally since 1997.

“No content,” he repeated.

“Yes,” said Mara. “After all, you cannot pour the water if the glass is empty.”

Tark held up a triumphant finger. “And you cannot sell depression if there is no free bag! You are a genius, my angel of acrimony! I can’t tell you how much I both love and fear you.”

Some noisy and wet kissing followed; but with gardening crime erotica now passé, it needs no description.


Three weeks later, Tark was on the cover of Forbes, his face dappled demonically with red light for their Hallowe’en special. A six-page spread described how the little-known Irish billionaire had become the founding father of “post-bloggerism”, the internet phenomenon where bloggers are paid not to blog.

“It’s a long way to come from a small, crowd-funded campaign, to what’s now a $724 billion-dollar industry,” said the diminutive businessman once credited with the invention of knitted anti-terrorism spectacles. “But once I realised how incensed readers were by inexplicable search rankings and shallow click-bait, the idea practically had itself. We started with a list of 100 bloggers who particularly drove us mad, and within a week, we’d collected enough to pay 24 million bloggers to shut the hell up. Our projections show we will reach 359 million further irritants by the end of the year.”

Tark And Mara Do Internet Popularity And Create Post-Bloggerism


  37 comments for “Tark And Mara Create Post-Bloggerism

  1. October 29, 2015 at 8:25 am

    In case they ask, I can be sold at a very competitive price. Now, off to write a 10-step post on how to drink an empty glass of water.

    Liked by 3 people

    • October 29, 2015 at 8:33 am

      I’m sorry to say it’s been done, Nicholas. But if you stick the words “YOU WON’T BELIEVE” in the title, I’m sure you’ll be a major hit.

      Liked by 3 people

      • October 29, 2015 at 8:36 am

        I’ll just throw in a couple of FREE here and there, and a dozen exclamation marks, just to be on the safe side.

        Liked by 2 people

        • October 29, 2015 at 8:37 am

          Well, that’ll definitely push Tark’s buttons, whatever about anything else.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. October 29, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Sheer brilliance (in keeping with this season’s fabric)

    Liked by 2 people

    • October 29, 2015 at 10:32 am

      They surprise me, sometimes, Tenderness, with how astute the irredeemably shallow can be. Keeps me on my toes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. October 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Damn them! Just when I was contemplating more blog activity on my part they go and do this… 😦 Ah well – NaNoWriMo’s starting on Sunday so that’s one excuse not to meet the word count down the Swannee! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      But you’re not supposed to give up before you get paid, Jan! Don’t let them win, for goodness’ sake.


  4. October 29, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Omigod, I would be SO on board with paid non-blogging!! Since I haven’t cracked the code for actual PAID blogging, that seems a very natural evolution. Where do I sign up? WHERE???!!

    Your line — “inexplicable search rankings and shallow click-bait” is the bane of my blogging-ass existence. Unlike you, I’m not funny enough, frequent enough, or hip enough to attract an actual audience, so I do it because, well, it was on the list of things to do. Now I’ve got three blogs to manage, with the mental energy for one, and it’s like raising too many kids without the freedom to say which I like best. Oy.

    You are so frikkin’ funny.

    Liked by 3 people

    • October 29, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      My understanding is that you have to be approached first, Lorraine. I’m sorry to say that if no such overture has been made, you can’t be very high up the list of irritants. If you want me to have a word, I know a guy; however, it would help if you wrote something very annoying in the meantime. I don’t suppose you feel like writing a post about how some free gift is like your most favourite thing ever [OMG YOLO COYBIG] etc?


      • October 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm

        GDit, I can write annoying stuff!! That piece about not writing 4 books a year got thousands, I mean THOUSANDS of people so annoyed I was burned at the virtual stake… I’m still smoking! But, OK, I’ll see if I can come up with something more shallow and less thought provoking. Maybe something about a rad new lipstick that Kendall Jenner really totes likes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • October 29, 2015 at 11:54 pm

          I’m glad you’re seeing the error of your ways, Lorraine. There is absolutely no point annoying people by making them think. So many people make that mistake.

          The key is to like totally do stuff that like doesn’t say like anything? Plus commas are out. So yeah basically lipstick sounds pretty awesome you should totes go for that

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Todd Duffey Writes on Things
    October 29, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    How does one create a yearning in those who don’t care to want to be a part of the importance of nothingness that is? Ask Tara. I was rapt from the moment I read, “I’m tired of blogging.” Thank you for this – it inspires all to rise to the challenge of chic banality!

    It is hilarious, it is poignant, it speaks to a dark underbelly in so many writers ho aren’t sure what the use of writing is anymore. Wonderfully nuanced!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. October 29, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    “You abhor shallow content. Ergo, you should be promoting no content.”

    That is frighteningly effective satire. Mr Swift and you would have stuff to say to each other.

    Great to see you recently, btw. Our convo has given me some ideas for a blogpost 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 29, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      Nicest compliment I’ve ever received, Susan. It’s very hard to say that under a post like this so I hope you know I mean it!! Can’t wait to see your post – I think I might know what you’re talking about – and it’s a great idea. Don’t leave me hanging too long now 😉


  7. October 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    For the third time in my life, I can say I was there for the birth….

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 29, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      I knew you’d know, Conor, she says knowingly. It was an unexpected gestation, the progeny somewhat genetically modified, but a joyous birth nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. October 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Brilliant. And yet scary. I know people who are like this. Successful (they say) and forever boasting about it. Do you think. Short sentences. Will catch on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 29, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      Perhaps. Who knows? Probably, considering what’s out there now. I myself will continue to embrace enough sub-clauses to make a German grammarian’s eyes water. Perhaps I could conceal some prolonged boasting in a run-on sentence or six. Do you think I’d get away with it?!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. October 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    This is hilarious. I’ve done some freelance writing for online content providers, but was ultimately defeated by requests for articles along the lines of 37 Uses for Drawing Pins. You’ve hit the creative nail on the head

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      No chance anyone’d pay me for the nail though, Anne. I just can’t catch a break.


  10. November 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    It’s true, there is money to be made from saying nothing. Jimmy said he’d pay big moolah for me to keep me mouth shut…I’m fuckin’ speechless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ali Isaac
    November 5, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    God I’ve so missed them! Its been a while since they were last here, right? But I can see why… the poor daaaahlings have been incredibly busy saving the blogging world… and boy, did it need saving! I’m glad to see there are now other options to the paid blogging gigs we’ve all been scrapping over. Hooray! Tark and Mara save the day! Again!


  12. November 5, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I’ve been saving this post and it didn’t disappoint, though I’m concerned that T & M may have accidentally sprogged (Mark? a dust-particle birth? para7). I’d be all for this, though I’m concerned about the legal aspect.The punishment for reappearance would have to be annihilating.
    I once checked the internet for instructions on making logs out of newspaper. There were a number of step by step videos… after being instructed how to find a basin, turn on a tap and fill it (lasting five minutes), I thought of something better to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. November 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Well spotted! I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often, I type Mark and Tara more than Tark and Mara! (Fixed now.) A dust-particle birth sounds absolutely perfect, even if it’s through a surrogate. Let’s face it, it’s not the sort of thing Mara would be able to fit in, quite literally.

    Hmm. Tark and Mara as parents. A whole new world of possibility… thank you Hilary…


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