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« Two or Three Things I Learned About Impressionism, Part V | Main | A Confession »

February 22, 2003

Another Web Crawl

Friedrich --

I don't know if you kill quite as much time in front of the computer as I do. But I'm stunned these days by how many good sites and blogs there are. Even given my own relatively-limited set of interests, there's 'way too much to keep up with. Which leaves me feeling like a bad friend, breathless and apologetic. (I  wonder whether young people will have such qualms. They're growing up in a time of media and information excess; it's now just a matter of simple fact that there's never enough time or energy for what's available and desirable. Will they ever be able to imagine what it was like when there were only three TV networks, a finite number of books and magazines, and no internet, no local Borders and no nearby videotape-rental store?) Old fart that I am, it bugs me that I can't manage to make more mention of, just for a very few examples, Cinderella Bloggerfella, PublicInterest, Colby Cosh, Glenn Frazier or Steve Sailer. First-rate and provocative stuff keeps coming from all of them, and at a dazzling rate. In any case, apologies (and gratitude) to many, many sites and people.

That said, today I'm singling out a few (which doesn't mean I wouldn't like to single out a whole bunch of others too).

*Plep and Cronaca are both pig  heaven for arty websurfers. Postings feature lots of links of interest to culture buffs, often wittily chosen and described.  Cronaca (here) has more interest in the art market, in archaelogy, and in art-news headlines, while Plep (here) is more meadering and whimsical, its entries often arranged by theme (lately: tea, and architecture). They're both witty and idiosyncratic resources.  I don't know how the brainiacs behind them get the time or energy to do the sheer amount of good, entertaining and helpful work they do.

*Alaina Alexander is an interesting and thoughtful person who has led a challenging life, and who gives her good times and bad times some moving thought on a small network of sites. She's a young black woman who has studied opera and law, and who has faced family and academic ups and downs, and she's direct and down-to-earth about her experiences in ways I find sweet and engrossing; I'm even touched by the way she uses the web to explore and express different sides of herself.  Here she and some friends discuss one of my favorite themes: the challenges of making a living as an arty person. Here she talks about what it was like for her to bail out of law school. And here she gives her personality-kid/diva side a chance to frisk. I'm not a fan of me-blogs generally, but Alaina's sites -- which, taken together, are like a still-in-process memoir -- I've come to respect, and to enjoy a lot.

*Here's a bizarro web-art treat. Eyeball this here.  Web projects like this one makes me muse all kinds of things about the digital universe and what's maybe becoming of art. (For example: the world's becoming more interactive. Maybe one thing artists will be doing with digital tools and the web is creating oddball web experiences like this -- creations that are both art-things and that are meant for us to play with. Maybe the contemplation of all three things -- the execution, the idea, and the playing-with-it -- will become the art experience, or at least one kind of art experience. And how will the playing-with-it overlap with the contemplating-of-it? ) All of these musings, obviously, not-even half-baked. At the moment, my only semi-coherent thought is: Cool!

*The radio! What a great medium! Yet what a wasteland: I can barely stand to have the local radio on, relatively rich though the pickings are in NYC. Web radio, though a solution, can be more than a little overwhelming. What to do, what to do. The best answer I've found is to click here for Stafanki. John-Paul Gouett has had the inspiration (and skill and time and devotion and energy, etc etc) to develop a site that's rather like Arts and Letters Daily, only for web-radio. Interviews, humor, news, features, all of it selected, presented, and linked-to for your ease. John-Paul must be knocking himself out maintaining the site, all so we can enjoy better-quality radio than has ever been known. The web, and the people who populate it, can be amazing.

*And have you run across Fred Reed's writing? It's apparently plenty popular, but even so I'm amazed it isn't far better known than it is. Op-ed stuff about this and that -- cops, education ... What a writer! Juicy, scurrilous, often hilarious, and evocative in some post-gonzo way that doesn't interfere (oddly enough) with clear thinking. Try this recent one here, about the attractiveness yet also the awfulness of war. Fred was once in the Marines and later covered war as a reporter, so his evocations have punch and weight; even those in favor of going after Saddam should pause to take note. His political persuasion? Hard to put a simple label on it, and I suspect that's how Fred likes it.

Too much, as I've said before. But far better the problem of too much than of too little.



posted by Michael at February 22, 2003


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