Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Pledge to America

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me be the first to say that mistakes have been made. We here at The Guangzhou Story are not going to give you a load of guff on that count. And let me also be the first to say that we’re not going to blame those mistakes on anyone but ourselves. Though you could be forgiven for thinking that things have not been one-hundred-percent our fault. Nothing is one-hundred-percent except pregnancy tests and Chilean miner rescues. Ha ha. But seriously folks.

The Guangzhou Story is more than a blog. It’s an idea for a blog. It’s an idea that’s existed in the hearts of anyone who is occasionally awakened by a Chinese man walking along the ledge outside of their second-story window. It’s an idea that’s been on the lips of anyone who has ever accidentally called cocktails “penis alcohol.” It’s an idea that’s rested gently on the pecs, lats, abs, and quads of anyone who is compared to Michael Phelps on a regular basis.

The Guangzhou Story is more than a blog. But it is also just a blog. I’m seeing some confused faces. I admit that it is slightly difficult to understand, and I welcome the chance at some later date to explain how this blog is both more than a blog and also a blog, but now I am afraid I have neither the time nor the overhead transparencies for such a discussion, as I am currently in the middle of making a pledge.

I seem to have lost my place in my prepared remarks. Excuse me.

The point is that I have traveled to city squares and churches, meat packeries, kosher delis, chop shops, quinceañeras, Algonquin round tables, combination restaurants which sell food from two different fast food restaurants, and Best Western Hotels — businesses large and small across this great nation, and the message I have been hearing is uniform: The Guangzhou Story has not been posting often enough.

In short you have lost your trust in this once great franchise. But I promise you we can make it great again.

[Pause for applause.]

But I can’t do it alone. We need your help. Let’s look at the facts.

For one thing I have only gotten 117 comments in the history of this blog. I wrote most of them myself under pseudonyms. By contrast this is my 209th post to the blog.

Posts vs. Comments

Or in other words.

Work you did

My friends, I find this trend troubling.

There’s more. Despite months of “stimulus” projects, like writing the name of my blog in bathroom stalls and renting blimps, my reader growth is stagnating. Visits are up only 6.25% over last month. At this rate, it will be difficult to build the following necessary to launch a high-paying public speaking and positivity coaching career at the end of my contract next July, and at this point this is my only plan for post-China employment.

Let’s look at these numbers more closely. This is a graph of daily readership during the month of October.


Readership dips significantly every seven days. There is only one possible explanation: a great number of my readers are being killed every week by haunted videotapes, laserdiscs, and 8-tracks in a Ring-type scenario.

My aides are telling me that this is not likely. They’re saying I should move on.

That leaves my only other guess: since the dips occur on Sunday, it is possible that many of you are spending the day at church instead of reading my blog. This seems to be a classic “clinging to your guns and your religion” situation. I respect your religious choices, and I think there’s a way for The Guangzhou Story to be a part of that. Great Talmudic scholars have often noted that prayer can take many forms, and I invite you this Sunday to feel the Holy Spirit (or the holy Talmudic spirit or whatever it’s called — not really sure on this one) moving through you as you read the blog.

Sunday is a time to rest, to spend time with family, and to count your blessings. And I hope I’m not being presumptuous when I say that The Guangzhou Story is a great blessing in your life, on par with if not more important than your husband, wife, and or children. Treasure it.

My fellow Americans, and people from Norway, Mexico, and South Korea who appear to read my blog on a regular basis: I pledge that, with our hard work, The Guangzhou Story will be restored to its former greatness. I pledge to post once a day, minus weekends and assorted Chinese holidays, for the remainder of the year.

My aides are telling me that I should dial that back. Let’s say I’ll try to do that.

In return, I ask that you continue to comment on the blog, read the blog, and tell your friends about Our Great Blog. Together, we can turn this blog around.

Also, stop going to church. That would really help my numbers.