I have long since reconciled my irritation with the success of both Dooce and The Pioneer Woman. The reason being, I read both of their sites every day. I learn from both of them in very different ways. Though Pioneer Woman often talks about her family and her community and how much working on a farm means to her, Dooce offers me much more for my internal, intellectual world. But I can’t really criticize Ree Drummond for what she has built. But she is a brand, a product, a totally indifferent-to-politics representation of wholesome America. You can’t really even say “white America” because she goes out of her way to represent different ethnicities on her blog whenever possible. I do notice the effort. But she is the Republican ideal. Dooce, on the other hand, is my people.
Today she had a speech by Joe Biden on her website. Biden paid tribute to the victims of 9/11. Ree Drummond, by contrast, could never ever, not with her right wing demographic (home schooled, church-going folks here) even mention our President or our Vice President. The same way Willard Romney could not mention the men and women serving in the military, dying at the rate of 6,600 for both wars so far, during his acceptance speech at the RNC. They can’t mention it because, despite America being the land of freedom of speech, the members of the GOP have to keep their mouths SHUT for fear of being A) shunned, or B) helping, in any way, to get the President re-elected.
To Drummond’s credit, I know because I’ve been reading her for a while now, she didn’t exactly mention George Bush either. She simply refuses, ever-not ever- to engage in any sort of politics. She pushes butter-ladened fantasy life to lonely housewives all over the country. They get their butter-porn, their cowboy-porn, their baby pictures, their giveaways. It was no surprise that after building her “lodge” Drummond would start a show on the Food Network. Look, she has every right to rise in her career – she got there through nothing but hard work, folks. Same goes for Dooce, who is now a single mother after her marriage broke up. Dooce, who talks about all of the things that really and truly dog most of us, stuff you can’t bring up on a fantasy-driven romance novel of the site that Drummond has.
I was moved by Dooce’s tribute to 9/11 and it made me think that I like how free she is to say what is on her mind. And I wouldn’t trade that in a million years for a chance to live in a fantasy with a hot dude in Oklahoma. Money and success, to me, would only be satisfying if it meant I was getting something meaningful across to people. Maybe that success will happen to me, maybe it won’t.
In the end, I appreciate both of these bloggers and admire the hell out of both of them. They get up every day and they get to work. They show us a slice of their lives. I like having the choice of both. But if I had to choose, Sophie, I’d grab Dooce because I find, more and more, I turn to her for emotional and intellectual relief. I like how she thinks. I am dazzled by the things she finds on the internet to share and I immediately share them with my various social networks. She thinks, therefore she is.