Why I Call This ‘Another Blog, Meanwhile’


My father mentioned how he likes my blog even if the doesn’t understand it, and how he sometimes skips the e-mail notices because he forgets what this “Another Blog, Meanwhile” is. Also one of his best friends mentioned he has no idea what the name means. So I thought I’d maybe best explain it some.

When starting out here I needed a name. You can’t just go out leaving your WordPress blog nameless, because their servers hate dealing with “[ eventually, a small cough ].wordpress.com”. But I didn’t have any good names. I didn’t know what the tone and focus of the blog would be. My guess was I’d have some idea after writing it a while. A catchy name picked too early wouldn’t fit. And it’s not like my actual name lends itself to any wordplay. Go ahead, try and think of wordplay based on “Nebus”. The only one that has ever existed was way back when I was an undergraduate at Rutgers, and the inter-campus buses had a blizzard of lettered routes. So you could try to do something with the E-bus, the EE-bus, or maybe the B-bus.

At that, when I was at Rutgers, the humor editors for the unread leftist weekly I was on named their section “about herring”. The title was drawn from a section header in the Joy of Cooking and more self-confidence than I have ever had. Whimsy is dangerous. My only whimsical touches I ever think work are the ones nobody else even notices. I don’t want to pick a fight with my readers about whether the blog has a funny name. I’m too busy trying to insist there’s something funny comparing when things happened to the Battle of Manzikert.

So I went with “Joseph Nebus’s Sense Of Humor”. As a title it’s boring, but at least it’s not interesting. And nobody could say I was posting something outside the character implied by the title. Except my father, who’s also a Joseph Nebus, but it turns out we mostly find the same stuff funny anyway. And I figured if I found the blog’s true identity I’d know it.

The real focus of things around here developed when Apartment 3-G dissolved into the aimless, plotless wandering of shabbily drawn faces on random backgrounds occupied by lamps. I was fascinated. I got into explaining how much nothing was happening in Apartment 3-G. And when the comic strip was finally, mercifully, put down The Onion AV Club recapped the bloggers who were talking about the strip. Joe Blevins, a guy I knew back in the days we had a Mystery Science Theater 3000 community, mentioned my blog twice without ever actually saying my name. He started one mention of it by saying “Another blog, meanwhile, used the death of Apartment 3-G to speculate on the future of newspaper comics in general” and went on to quote a whole paragraph. It drew thousands of people to my blog, all of whom left shortly after.

But look at that start of “Another Blog, Meanwhile”. It’s dull enough that it never gives a hint that it’s an obscure joke. And it’s a daily reminder that the moment I got noticed by the Big Time they only kind-of noticed and didn’t even get my name in. It’s perfect. I had my blog’s identity, and it was talking about the story strips people just assumed had been cancelled in Like 1984. From this, I had my name. It isn’t much, but it’s something I don’t have to think about often, and that’s what I truly need.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

12 thoughts on “Why I Call This ‘Another Blog, Meanwhile’”

  1. I had a curious thing about my blog name. It doesn’t have one. I just headed it up with my name because apparently this is what authors have to do in order to get a better brand (I really don’t know if it’s made any difference, I still get confused for a guy of the same name who dressed as an Oompa Loompa in Norwich along with some other dude of the same name who lives in another part of New Zealand). Anyhow, I thought it was kind of obvious that the blog didn’t have a title as such, but this led to one commenter calling it ‘Matthew Wright’s blog, Matthew Wright’, which made me look a bit nonsensical, so I do wonder whether I shouldn’t call it something like ‘Buy My Books Now Or Else!’ instead.

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    1. That’s pretty near how my blog names started out, although I do have the advantage that ‘Nebus’ isn’t nearly so common a name. (At one point, granted a long time ago, all the Google matches for ‘Nebus’ were people my father knew or was, plus some thing about a municipal bus battery technology.)

      And yeah, there’s some inherent weirdness in a blog name that’s shared with the blog’s main author’s name. Could be stranger, though. For a while after attaining statehood Michigan provisionally called its capital city ‘Michigan’, so had I never found a sufficiently obscure name this could be Joseph Nebus, by Joseph Nebus, of Michigan, Michigan.

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  2. Only a select few will ever know the meaning behind the name of my blog, “The Nickels of the Man.” Readers sometimes fish for the answer. Some have wondered if I mean to put in 150 percent more than my two cents; or if “Nickels” started out as a typo for “Knuckles.” Not a very likely typo, in my view, but if I ever start a blog about punching people, “The Knuckles of the Man” will certainly be in the running. I’m sure I’d be starved for material, given that, with counseling, I’ve cut way back on punching people lately.

    Sorry about the fleeting nature of fame. Your tale in that regard reminded me of a newspaper colleague of mine from yesteryear, the late Bud Leavitt, sports editor of the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. Bud was a household name in northern New England, but, alas, when Bud finally appeared on national TV to make expert comments on something or other, the text that appeared under his talking head billed him as the much less highly regarded “Bub Leavitt.”

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    1. I am more intrigued by your title now! I did suppose that it was an allusion to something I didn’t recognize, which is usually a fair supposition. (I fell out of touch with a lot of pop culture when I had a job in Singapore for a few years, and somehow I never quite got back into it, and I’ve come to be pretty much fine with that.) Well, we all have our secrets.

      And, oh, poor Bub. Though that does bring to mind one of the top players in Michigan’s competitive pinball scene got interviewed by the local news for some event, and they transcribed his name so terribly wrong, and put it in the screen caption, that it’s become his nickname.

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    1. You’re right, and thanks for pointing it out!

      And for everyone else in the world: Ken Goldstein here was half of the editorial team that created the mentioned about herring humor section. To give some sense of the style of that early-90s college-humor stuff: he and Keith Fernbach created a mock restaurant children’s menu that’s defined children’s menus to me. They later would review the rest areas of the New Jersey Turnpike in a piece that has multiple lines that still make me laugh out loud whenever I think of them.

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