The Robinson/Cohen Insanity Theory of Homepages: the crazier the person, the more compelling the website they'll create.

When Scott put this little vignette up on his site, I initially said 'Yeah, man, that's right.'

But, actually, it isn't right. Just leaving it at that lends validation to the mass of personal web sites out there that double as an application to the Jerry Springer Show. I don't mean to deride all the owners of Geocities and Tripod pages out there (ok, well, maybe I do). For most of these people, those web pages fulfill a need. They like the blinking text. They like the horizontal bars separating twenty pages of text all placed in one big HTML document. They like MIDI's and animated Gif's.

Who am I to take that away from them?

But please, please do not call them talented unless they are talented. Don't call them writers unless they can>
Where am I going with this?

Compelling. Now, this isn't simple fascination. Simple fascination can happen with the absurdity of gay teens confronting their crossdressing parents who swing with lesbian biker chicks.

There is a difference between something that grabs you from a purely voyueristic standpoint and something that is compelling because of the way it is presented, the thought that goes into it, the ideas that are nurtured and eventually bloom into understanding that still seems to remain difficult to grasp, your hold on the mere concepts tenuous because they challenge you.

Compelling doesn't require shock. It doesn't need to delve into the daily personal life of the writer. It doesn't need to reveal anything, really, about the writer other than some vague impression that develops into an idea, a concept that you can understand or at least relate to in some way.

It can be funny. It can be sarcastic. It can be theatrical, or