Friday, January 2, 2009

some great blogs

Most blogs on the Internet, including the one you're reading right now, are, more or less, fairly terrible. But once in a while I find a few that aren't. It's then that I'm reminded why I wanted to start a blog in the first place, and the enthusiasm that I felt when I first began. Along the way, I was sure, I'd find lots of other people online who'd feel the same way, or that I'd somehow find my place in the greater blogosphere and really hit it off with a bunch of other writers.

This never really happened, probably because finding and keeping up with other blogs takes actual effort and curiosity, which I wasn't feeling very much in the past year. I had a blogroll on this page listing a few blogs from people I vaguely knew from message boards (half of which died in the past year). It was a placeholder that was meant to be temporary until I found my own place in the greater blogosphere and had some real contacts that I could promote or throw up at the top of the page like a worthless list of Myspace friends. I'm probably not going to put it back up or try to assemble a new one. If I did, however, it might look something like this:
You already know this man, probably no need to say anything about him as a writer. But since his hip injury left him bedridden this past spring, he's ran a blog that's showcased some of his most personal and entertaining writing. Unsurprisingly, most of his entries focus on film but it's the ones that don't that are the most compelling and/or hilarious. Read his entry on rice cookers and see if you don't find yourself dusting off yours or wandering over to Amazon to buy one. Or his piece on the post-irony consuming our culture. His belated and unofficial "review" of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled is one of the most calculated but brutal takedowns I've ever read on the Internet. Ebert has been a regular presence in my life ever since I started reading papers at 13 or 14. How lucky I feel that he seems urgently compelled to write even more with each passing year.
One-third of the Twisted Misters, Andrew has grown into such a prolific writer that one blog can no longer contain him! A walking encyclopedia of pop culture, his blog is a treasure trove of insights on television, films, music, and lists. Lots of lists.
Honestly, I don't know how often I'll be coming back to this, but every time I do I feel a little bit smarter, even if it's all advanced math and computer topics that I usually don't completely understand. The author wrote this great book, which I just bought as a Christmas present for someone else but wish I could still read for myself.
Still reading this from the very beginning like an epic novel. I'm almost halfway through it and I can't imagine what's going to happen next. His idiosyncrasies and musings on his identity grow more pronounced with each passing year. I really can't begin to describe what this is about, you'll just have to find out for yourself.
The journey ended four years ago, New Year's Eve, 2005, and the blog has been hit and miss since then. Still, Dan Freeman's quest still inspires us all to this day.
Good geek blog. Gives me a little bit of hope that anime fandom can stretch into one's thirties with no terrible side effects, even peacefully existing alongside family and a career. Good to find more intelligent people who like Makoto Shinkai and Yoshitoshi ABe. His enthusiasm is contagious.
Deep insights and wandering thoughts on anime, manga, and other otaku obsessions. You'll never have a hard time finding Western bloggers who think they know everything about the industry or what their fellow fans should like, but here's a rare blogger who knows what he's talking about and also isn't an abrasive weaboo snob about it.
A simple anime blog that's only updated very sporadically, hope to see more from it this year but who really knows what the author has planned.
Rolling compendium of unnecessary quotation marks from around the world. "Updated" daily.
Another dead blog that's probably not rising from the grave any time soon, but for most of 2007 this was blog that turned the Internet upside down! Did they burn too brightly, too fast? There will never be another...
Straight outta the Canadian wilderness comes the long-running blog from metal expert and personal Internet acquaintance Adrien Begrand. Reader comments don't seem to be enabled anywhere, but that's okay. They're just for insecure attention-addicts and blogs look better without them!

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