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.