If Someone Wanted To Publish My Blog Entries For Money, I Wouldn't Say No

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Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history

Netflix To Temporarily Remove Every Movie Except ‘Hard Eight’

‘Everyone Should See It At Least Once,’ Company Says

LOS GATOS, CA—Saying that everyone, including all 65 million of its subscribers, really ought to see the film at least once, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will suspend all streaming content except Hard Eight for a full month.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of September 15, 2015

ARIES: Some things only become funny when you look back on them years later. Conversely, the events of next week will seem funny at the time, but as the years go by, society will gain sensitivity and learn to outgrow that sort of thing.

Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 18, 2015

ARIES: Your feeling of impending doom shall come to nothing again this week as the world continues to turn and your life goes on as normal. Perhaps you should consider feeling useless and stupid instead.

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...
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  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:


If Someone Wanted To Publish My Blog Entries For Money, I Wouldn't Say No

Let me make one thing clear right off the bat: I started my blog because I needed an outlet for my thoughts and feelings during the 2004 elections, not for the prestige and loyal readership it might bring me. I just needed a personal creative space where I could jot some things down that someone might be able to Google.

Now, if my friends happen to read my blog, great. If they e-mail others about it, fantastic. If people I don't even know check it out—and according to my hit counter, as many as 62 a day have—so much the better. And if, say, Harper's, Rolling Stone, or any other publication ever wanted to publish some of my blog entries for money, I guess that's their prerogative.

My blog is more of a hobby than anything else, something to do for fun when I get home from my bookstore job. I've never dreamed of making a living from it. Though hypothetically speaking, if The New Yorker—a publication that I'm sure pays top dollar—wanted to publish my August 9, 2005 post "Creative Thinking Spots" in its "Shouts And Murmurs" section, I'd consider it. Didn't cross my mind when I wrote that post, and that's certainly not why I wrote it, nor why I have a Google news alert set up for New Yorker  editor David Remnick, but I can understand how someone on their staff might think the piece is a good fit for that section. 

The No. 1 rule of my blog is that there are no rules. I write about everything from movies I've seen to crazy observations that just pop into my head about Starbucks. And sometimes I'll just write, "Had a pretty boring day today," take a picture of myself eating cereal for dinner, and call it a night. It's a web log, people. I'm not striving to be a great essayist, but if by chance some amazing commentary flows out of my keyboard, so be it. I don't write my blog to entertain anyone else, especially not some uptight Esquire editor. But if an Esquire editor is crazy about my work, and wants to run a three-page spread on my hilarious reviews of horrible movies, who am I to dismiss it out of hand?  

If the Old Media bigwigs ever do decide to visit my blog (http://bentiedemanntellsall.blogspot.com) they would see it doesn't have that familiar opportunistic "look at me, look at me" feel of so many others. They'd see I'm just a small-town guy, humbly making his way in the big city, who happens to have a lot of unique and humorous outsider perspectives on that experience. For example, I got a few comments (from as far away as Boise!) on how interesting my post was about how in my hometown of Akron everyone is really laid-back, but in New York City, everyone is always on edge. I could see how these types of entries could be adapted into a syndicated column with a title like "Small Town Takes A Bite From Big Apple" that could run in a dozen papers. Though I'm not one to put myself out there and try to initiate these things, I wouldn't turn my nose up at them either.

Some of you are thinking that I'm just a sellout. But the true sellouts are blogs like Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo that blatantly rely on advertising. Sellouts are bandwagon bloggers like my colleague AudreyGrrrl, who recently got written up in Wired as one of the best bloggers under 30. Have I spent the last three and a half years trying to get profiled in Wired? No. Do I think some of my daily musings, such as the times I've blogged about missing the bus, are more interesting than the entries posted by those so called "best bloggers"? Yes. But blogging shouldn't be a competition. It's not about getting published in an anthology with a foreword by David Foster Wallace and going on a 30-stop book tour. I don't need that kind of attention. AudreyGrrrl might, but not me. 

Look, if I wanted to be a "professional" print writer, I could easily do it. Last week I posted a very insightful piece on why Saturday Night Live is emerging from the bleak shadows of the past several years and may be on the cusp of experiencing a renaissance. Nearly three of the seven people who commented on the posting said they could envision the piece being published in the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section. Hey, I didn't say it, they did. And to be honest, by the looks of the section, they could use some new blood over there. Just saying.

I'm not some pathetic, lonely soul who sits in front of his computer refreshing his e-mail in hopes that somebody from HarperCollins, Three Rivers Press, or Random House will offer me a book deal. In fact, to prove how little I'm expecting from the blog career-wise, I'm taking the next few weeks off to focus on my spec script for Two And A Half Men—which I'm doing strictly for the practice, you understand. I could care less if it lands me an agent and a three-movie deal with Paramount.

I'm just doing this for me, after all.