Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Blog Serendipity

The blogosphere is an interesting place. Pretty much anyone with basic word processing skills can have a blog, and there are thousands and thousands of them. The fact that I have this one and that people around the world actually read it is pretty amazing, when I think about it.

It’s interesting how one discovers new blogs and bloggers. Some sites regularly post bizarre stories or funny pictures and videos from other sites—like I-Am-Bored.com,and Nothing to Do With Arbroath. I’d added both of these blogs to my RSS feed reader a long time ago. But through those blogs I’ve discovered others. It’s like browsing online—I came to look at one thing, and discovered another site. When I find myself bookmarking enough articles from a particular site, I end up adding that one to my feed reader as well. I don’t tend to read too many “serious” blogs, though I do regularly scan some blogs relating to my job. News sites are a joke—they are about 95% “not news” (i.e., filler and hype), and I can go to Fark.com for that, with smartass taglines as a bonus.

I’ve also discovered a burgeoning online literary community. New literature sites are popping up every day that feature stories, poems, book reviews, and commentary. One of my favorites is The Rumpus, and via the Rumpus I discovered another great site, HTMLGiant. There are writers and bloggers within each of these sites, and I find myself looking forward to their new postings. Here are some of the writers I’ve discovered via blog serendipity:

Jimmy Chen (HTMLGiant) – There is a collection of Jimmy’s writings at “The Embassy of Misguided Zen.” The first posting I ever read of Jimmy’s was “I Like Donald Rumsfeld A Lot”. I was sold after reading the immortal line that I really want to use in conversation some day: “I can’t decide whether this is Kant or autism.” He has another post where he expresses his annoyance at quotes by writers taken as the "last word" on writing, and has some quotes of his own. I love it.

Kaui Hemmings (Rumpus.net) – Kaui writes “The Bad Mommy Blog” for the Rumpus. This is one of my favorite posts. She is also a published author, with 2 books (Descendants and House of Thieves), and another blog called “How to Party With an Infant”. Her website is here.
I have never been a parent, but I find her bad-ass approach to parenting her daughter to be totally refreshing. I’m not big on reading author interviews, but I will always read one written by Kaui; they are never dull.

Will Durst (Rumpus.net) – Will regularly posts to the Rumpus blog, listed as a “sworn enemy to all tyrants”, and writes mostly political commentary. This is satire at its finest, and metaphor that no amateur writer should try to use at home. Check out his latest post on Labor Day here.

Hbee (WFMU’s Beware of the Blog) – WFMU, Jersey City’s freeform radio station (one of the few left), has an amazing blog with a variety of obscure videos, mp3s, and pop culture and subculture gems. I recommend all of it, but my favorite post-ers to the blog are probably Kliph Nesteroff, Swan Fungus, and a newer blogger known as Hbee. His posts are often short and to the point (unlike mine), and he’s got a razor-sharp wit. I’m never disappointed.

Finally—while not falling into the categories above, I had to share a new blog I discovered. The campiness of right-wing Christian culture leaves me speechless:

Stuff Christians Like

I hope you enjoy these writers as much as I do. Now, back to my own writing. Happy Mercury Retrograde, everyone!

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