Tuesday, April 26, 2005

the point being...?

Blogs are funny. Not like ha-ha funny. More like, you eye them a bit carefully while pretending to go about your made-up tasks like dusting aunt biddy's favorite vase. Because who has an aunt named biddy? Is her vase some cloudy metaphor for life? Fragile and both glaringly ugly in that tragically beautiful way?

But really. It's easy to get picked up and whirled around on the webby world and lose, well, all sense of reality. It's like any sort of hobby or whatever you put under your likes/passions/obsessions. Because when a friend asks you with real curiosity in her voice, "So what IS a blog?" You realize, is this what it's come to? Is this what it feels like to be a stamp collector, an entomologist?

Any such thing you do is bound to get higher and higher on the "nerd" level, the more you spend time on it. No matter how "cool" the topic is or how interesting the nytimes deems it to be. Nothing wrong with that... I've just been finding it really strange, how subdivided this world is and self-enclosed those little bubbles of links are. Entries remain, as that english teacher gently told you to improve upon, 'on topic.' There are blogs about everything under the sun, ranging from the informative to the entertaining to the waste of space. Small yet huge slices of life: opera, food, books, peace corps, asian people ... the list goes on and on. Kinja, which is a service that aggregates all your favorite pit stops on the net as they are updated, even has editor picks, all separated into neat little categories. It's like you're supposed to be in a comparative lit class and find yourself amongst people talking about imaginary numbers or acetyl-coenzyme A. But don't scientists like to read? Don't indie rockers like math? Can't you enjoy eating AND knitting?

Sigh. It's that sometimes, it's just like eating the same food over and over again. But you stop eating it, and then you start craving Mom's strange fusion of korean and meatloaf. It's beloved trash. The armchair, that dress, that kid (kiiiiiddding) you can't throw away.

And the other kind of blogs, the "here's what I'm up to" or "I can't believe Gary asked Lou Anne out instead of me" or I'm irrevocably changing the English language are only interesting if you know the person, or if you are some sort of anthropologist or it's.... dun dun dun .... well-written.

Some blogs DO have that well-written, if not entertaining, quality. No matter what the subject matter is. Where are they all hanging out? Is there a new food court at the mall that I don't know about?

So that's why I ask you, what are your favorite reads? What are some strange ones you've come across?

4 comments:

Mosh said...

WITH NO RELATION TO REALITY (I am not the one having babies anytime soon, although 2nd-generation John Adams Middle School attendees seem to be on their way already, eep! and congrats to B!) I have gotten all caught up in a bunch of blogs involving People Who Have Babies And Have A Life Too. There's Dooce, obviously, but Mimi Smartypants (http://smartypants.diaryland.com) runs a close second.
Kottke (Kottke is a daily standby. His writing doesn't wring my soul, but he's basically an aggregation of the type of news (tech, a bit of social issues, a bit of personal stuff) and he updates very, very often. In the next paragraph I'm going to say that quality often suffers from quantity, but I think just by posting so much he gives a wide window into his interests and opinions.
Roger's site is a pleasure to read. He's still mostly eschewed the whole blog thing, and each of his entries is a complete story from start to finish. Another part is the boost that he gets from being a real-life friend (and you plus bona_lector at livejournal are my two other real-life friends). Although Rog, you really need to update again soon, you bastard.
Ok. Sadly, that's it. Those are the ones whose entries cheer me up/make me think daily. I read a lot more, but mostly it's to skim through until I get to the nuggets.

roger said...

So it's kind of incredible, but a number of the ones I read are also of the Having a Baby category. I guess maybe a couple years ago, when blogs were getting big, the people who they appealed to most were of a certain age that would make them baby-prone right about now.
M. Giant of Velcrometer (http://velcrometer.blogspot.com/) adopted his child some time within the last year. And since time between him and his wife getting selected and the baby being born was incredibly short, he's been pretty busy. I admit I've been reading a little less since the baby came, but he's still got some excellent archives to go through. He's of the Dooce variety, in my opinion.
AB Chao of Hashai (http://www.hashai.com/) is in the middle of IVF -- seriously. She's got some embryos in the oven, and she's waiting for them to take hold.
Sars of Tomato Nation publishes an advice column (http://www.tomatonation.com/vinetoday.shtml) on a frequent basis. I can't help but enjoy reading about other people's problems. And it helps that she's totally level-headed.
Those three are all available through the DHAK portal (http://damnhellasskings.com), which includes mostly TWoP people, but there are some extras. They had the digest format before it got really big, so kudos to them. It's a good way to discover new enjoyable reads (I'd also recommend Uncle Bob and Pamie over there).
There are a ton of choices in the world of gay blogs. I'd recommend Andymatic (http://andymatic.com). The posts are generally politically themed, with an obvious slant towards gay issues. But you also get snippets of his personal life, which is sort of nice.
This one's recently gotten big, and it's just fun: http://trent.blogspot.com/

Owen Bennett said...

I don't read blogs religiously. I doubt I will ever come across your blog again. It's just that whenever I'm googling for something particularly wierd and one comes up, I am always motivated to see exactly how the tangent that caught me in its ripcurl got muddled into the daily workings of someone else's life too.
BTW I was searching for "I want to grow old with you", which isn't that odd really.

janet said...

To mes amis, thanks for the input.
To Owen Bennett, thanks for ripcurling over here. Maybe you'll jump a webby tangent link over here again yeah?
I hope you weren't looking for Adam Sandler lyrics. Then you were probably sorely disappointed.
I'm also probably talking to dead air. As you don't read blogs religiously.