Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Feast! Fight! Be Manly! (or — What Tumblr Did for Me in 2012)

This is going to make me sound like I’ve let all this social media turn his brain into a kitten gif, but I think of my Tumblr as an extension of what I do here on this blog. Believe it or not, I consider what I write here to be the product of more fleshed-out ideas; El Comfortador, however, is where I toss half-baked, malformed stuff — mostly pictures — that I don’t have a use for otherwise but I imagine at least one other person would want to look at. Most often, someone does.

Think of it this way: Back of the Cereal Box is my home where I live with my Protestant wife and our lovely children. El Comfortador is the dirty shack in the back where I keep my one-legged mistress, whom I found on a beach. Two side of the same coin, both vital to being a happy, successful person.

One-legged beach women aside — “Saraghina, you GET BACK IN YOUR SHACK! I WILL SEE YOU LATER! Go on, hop away!” — there’s a lot of thematic overlap between by blog and my Tumblr, and I feel like someone who likes what I write here at Back of the Cereal Box would also get a kick out of, say, this tam o’ shanter-wearing Scottish terrier or this stunningly terrible album cover or barbarians, even if the occasional recycled Back of the Cereal Box image shows up. (Hey, Tumblr pays off in clicks — better than Twitter or Google Plus, in my experience.) Tumblr has actually shaped my blog, to an extent, as I’ve written a post or two about something I saw while scrolling through the junk drawer that is my Tumblr dashboard. And I even put up this visual index page on this blog as a way of getting eyes on old content, and only after the fact did I realize that it’s basically just a poor man’s Tumblr page.

All this, I guess, is to explain why I’m putting up a list of my most popular Tumblr posts here on Back of the Cereal Box, not that you care and not that I really need a reason to, because here is where I’m the boss. (“Saraghina, do you hear that? Here is where I’M THE BOSS!”) But I don’t think that I’m actually admitted before that Tumblr has become a part of what I do and not just some dumb little side-project. I did not anticipate that happening.

Here are my best-performing Tumblr posts from 2012. Since the numbers will change, it wasn’t worth it to note them. Just click the images to see whatever they’re at now.

At this rate, it will probably get 30,000 notes by April. And to think: I only put it on Tumblr to get click-throughs to my blog — specifically the word-of-the-week post for kummerspeck. It worked.

An illustration from a 1960s car ad that I scanned and put on Tumblr. Curiously, it’s not even the prettiest car ad graphic I posted.

The sweet tribute to her late mother that Maya Rudolph made when she hosted Saturday Night Live in February. In all honestly, I just stuck together photos that Jules Klausner had reposted. Please note that Maya had to wear a bra.

Just a promo photo of January Jones as Betty Draper. And I only used it because the premiere of the new Mad Men season reminded me that another word of the week, iracund, was a magically wonderful word for describing Betty.

It’s Katharine Hepburn riding a skateboard. I don’t think it requires explanation.

Subtitles by me. This is what Tumblr thinks is funny.

I’d been sent this photo by someone who knew that I would like to see what the personification of cool looked like. I don’t know where it came from, but I have a feeling it’s made its rounds on the internet.

People really enjoy looking at old video game graphics, the artistic merit of which I still wonder about.

It’s an old piece of pro-contraception propaganda, and it’s a reminder that Tumblr can be a handy way to get eyes on old content.

Old + foreign + intended for children + anthropomorphic animals = Tumblr win.

Does it feel weird to take Tumblr seriously? Yeah kinda. But at the very least, I look back on these ten images and realize that they’re actually a decent representation of me, my interests and what I did last year. And what I did last year is look at women who were fashionable in previous generations, mostly. At least Tumblr has taught me that I was not the only one.

EDIT: Oh yeah, no one liked this awesome illustration. What the fuck?

It’s a lion wearing a crown, people. Who can resist that?


  1. I took pity on you and liked your holiday photo. But seriously WTF - 30,000 notes for some lady crying in a fridge? And you know most of the reblogs had your text removed. I finally had a post break 1000 recently, and that's only cuz I reblogged it twice after my initial post.

    1. Aw. Thanks.

      Yeah, I don't get the popularity of that one either, but Tumblr sure seems to. Surprisingly, a lot more of the reblogs retained the text -- or at least more than I'd guess. I've gotten quite a few links back from that one.