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Paean to Melted Piles of Slop

Posted by Rick · December 9th, 2004 · No Comments

Occasionally, I seek out new blogs. There are two methods I use for finding them: Google searches and clicking through from the “Most Regular Reading” or “Blogs I Read” or whatever other offerings are available on blogs I already read. Naturally, the best way of finding interesting blogs is to click the links to blogs I haven’t heard of before on the menus of blogs I already enjoy. You’d expect that, since I’m already enjoying the writing of the blogger who has listed those links.

Lately, that hasn’t worked so well. I’ve run across a lot of the kind of blogs I read about occasionally in mainstream media.

This article was originally going to be about that perverse new rendition of the generic “Holiday Season,” variously known as “Chrismuka,” “Christmakwanzukkah,” or whatever else they’re calling it now. However — as has happened on the Internet-at-large — the boring blogs took over; this post tried to get a life of its own. Christmakwanzukkah will have to await another day.

You know the kind of blog I’m talking about:

  • “Today, I bought some pretty yarn. Here’s a picture [insert mental image of picture — but, uh, it’s really there on the actual blog entry]. edited to add: I also picked up a laminated yardage guide.“New Yarn” from brina b.
  • “Just a quick update. I got REALLY sick Monday night.” — “An Update!” from pinupdeadgirl.
  • “Today was a good day at the Starburst family home! Russ finally cleaned out our 2 car garage so that we can actually park BOTH cars in there for the first time in our 10 years of living in this house!!!” — “Good Day” from Candy Band
  • ” i spent yesterday afternoon ripping a sink, a toilet, and a fiberglass toilet off the wall of our back house” — “it all comes out in the washer” from pamelabarsky.com: my blog
  • “I ate some questionable yogurt this morning and now my tummy feels funny.” — “more incoherent babbling” from This Fish Needs A Bicycle

Then, of course, there are entire blogs devoted to “What I Ate Today.” As Dave Barry (whose own blog is occasionally funny) would say, “I’m not making this up.”

Finally, there are those creative and brave souls who combine the above themes. Their blogs are heavy (uh, sorry folks) on the side of entries about what they ate, with a dash of what they did last night to spice it up.

  • “Just worked out at the gym. 30 minutes at 4.0 mph on the treadmill” . . . “It looks terrific. Breadsticks too!” — from The Journey of Adam Wade
  • “Paul’s niece Polly very proudly announced to me on Saturday that she was over her cold” . . . “eating rich food and drinking wine combined with no exercise makes Lisa sleepy and devoid of energy.” — from blog from: a broad*

Only people like Oskar Tex have an excuse for doing this: He’s three-years-old. Okay, I know. It’s really one of Oskar’s parents with too much time on their hands. It almost falls into the same category as the others, but not quite. Think of it as a kind of online version of Baby’s Story books. Children whose parents keep these sometimes become interested in keeping their own diaries and then journals. But most of us eventually outgrow the insular sort exemplified above.

Cave News and other more diplomatic people refer to these as boring blogs. Diplomacy not being my strong suit, I call them melted piles of slop. Someone’s “brains” — consisting mostly of stored mundane memories and present sense impressions — melted, slipped out of their heads and dripped into a blog. Maybe that’s whence the word “blog” came; it evolved from “bog.” (That can be read more than one way.)

Of course, it’s possible I just have blog-envy — most of the blogs cited above get more comments on one post than Unspun™ has gotten on all posts combined. And who can ignore the fact that This Fish Needs A Bicycle not only lived through her tummyache (see above), but has apparently been nominated for a 2004 Weblog Award and has been discussed in the New York Times online!

At any rate, lest this Unspun™ article slip and fall into that same mucky category, let’s note that there are blogs out there that — even if they don’t always provide a feast of ideas — still abjure a steady outpouring of the latest in jejune cuisine.

A healthy mix of blog-reading and following the mainstream news seems to be a requirement these days toward keeping one’s mind polished. The mainstream media long ago abandoned the idea of straight-up news reporting in favor of partisan advertisements and “infotainment” masquerading under the banner of “news.” (And then they have the gall to complain that blogs are partisan.)

Yet, while some bloggers obviously take blogging seriously and while mainstream media has largely neglected the news in favor of “news” shows, a steady diet of blogs — even the non-diet blogs — is no substitute for those who wish to maintain some semblance of contact with “the real world.” So the best thing to do is mix-it-up with a little of both. You can watch/read mainstream shows — and by “shows,” I always mean those things that have co-opted the title “News” as in “Fox ‘News'” or “CBS Nightly ‘News'” — but be sure to balance it out with some actual thought-provoking blog-writings to keep your balance.

Categories: Blogs & Blogging


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