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« Turner Prize: Tate v. Howell | Main | Moratoria Dreams »

November 05, 2002

Top Drawer Blogs

Friedrich --

Something I’ve come to appreciate over the past few months is blogging as an improvisatory performance art. What generally seems to create the most buzz in the blogozone is political ideas. Steven den Beste and Glenn Reynolds, for instance: brainy guys doing impressively heavyweight things -- and I hardly ever look at them. No music or poetry (or something like that). Culturebug that I am, I’m drawn instead to style and personality, and gravitate to the likes of (among others) Colby Cosh, here, who has a heavy-metal guitar-solo way with a posting, and Kelly Jane Torrance, here, a model of class, grace and generosity.

I'm happy to report some tiptop recent blogger discoveries, both of whom project a ton of likable personality, and both of whom have style to kill. They’re distinctive without trying too hard; they just seem to "have it.” (Of course, that “it” may take a lot of effort to achieve.)

Alice Bachini, whose blog, A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside, is readable here, is a Brit with an eccentrically winning manner -- lots of playful irony and mock-naivete, delivered with the kind of verbal ease that makes an American feel cloddish and want to give up. This is blogging as charming chatter -- until you realize how much substance, daring, and fresh thinking is also whirling by.

Sample passage:

My education philosophy is temporarily stuck at the "well, it works for me..." stage again, at the moment. This happens from time to time. I will take it in to the Repair Shop at some point soonish and see if I can get it a nice overhaul, service and respray. In the meantime, you might find me pottering gently in the comments section, talking contradictory nonsense. Contradicting oneself is positively a good thing, in my opinion. It shows you are open-minded and learning and not unduly concerned with outward appearances.

The other charmer is Scott Chaffin of The Fat Guy (here), who does a burly, ten-gallon-hat-and-a-pickup-truck act better than anyone else online. Part of what’s pleasing about his blog is his drawling, “I’m just a guy with too many dogs and opinions” flair. (Sample posting title: “How do you spell ‘Ten-Hut!’?”) But he’s like a good poker player, always playing what he's got a lot more shrewdly than you could. Most of the time he's humorous and to the point, but every now and then he can really take you by surprise. Check out, for example, his recent posting about hunting and his dad: sweet and powerful. (Search on the posting's title, "Mi Padre.")

Sample passage:

I feel sorry for my poor Mom, now that I think about it. She can cook anything on the face of the earth and make it taste good. And she had to deal with four Texas males who wanted nothing more than fried beef and Del Monte green beans most nights. She tried hard, with salmon croquettes, and eggplant parmesan, and all kinds of gussied-up vegetables like zucchini, but we were fairly incorrigible. Fortunately, we had plenty of dogs that were happy, nay, thrilled!, to have something besides purina Dog Chow. They ate like kings, and we ate like cavemen.

A big round of 2blowhards applause for both of these terrific performer-bloggers. Freethinkers both, by the way.

[A note to our readers: Apologies from 2blowhards to everyone who’s been nice enough to link to us over the few months of our blog's existence. We ain’t rude, we’re computer idiots; we’ve only just now learned how to manage our permalinks list. We’re grateful to everyone who has given us a wave, and are pleased to be linking back, if more than a little embarrassed about how long this has taken us.]



posted by Michael at November 5, 2002


I'm so impressed at this magnificent write-up I think I'm going to have to lie down for a while. Then I'm coming back to memorise every word and make the soundbitiest ones into badges to stick about my person and hand to strangers in the street.

Cool, in other words :-)

Posted by: Alice Bachini on November 5, 2002 11:30 AM

See what I mean? "Soundbitiest." "Badges to hand out to strangers," etc. How can you beat that? I'm going to have to lie down for a few minutes to let the waves of verbal-talent envy subside.

Posted by: Michael on November 5, 2002 11:47 AM

Wow. That's easily the nicest thing that anyone not related to (or employed by) me has ever said about me. I'll endeavor to continue to live up to the high praise. In a burly manner, of course.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on November 5, 2002 6:07 PM

Here's a blog of a real life performance artist. ;)
And he too sees blogs as a type of performance art. (And his blog shows it. hah.)

Posted by: Chloe on November 5, 2002 11:25 PM

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