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« Middle Age Memory | Main | Two or Three Things I Learned About Impressionism, Part I »

February 04, 2003

Blog Reading

Friedrich --

Has spending time in the blogosphere affected your reading habits? It has mine, even where something as basic as the news is concerned. These days, I find that I rely on the major media only for headlines and basic information. When I want commentary, brains, insight, debate and personality, I turn to blogs. It's a livelier, freer, more open universe than the traditional media one.

But I'm finding more and more that I turn to blog-reading to satisfy fancier appetites too -- appetites for entertainment, and even for pleasures literary. Seeing what's happening on my favorite blogs gives me some of the satisfaction of watching a good TV series. There are recurring characters, long story arcs, the fun of familiarity crossed with the fun of surprise. The bloggers themselves become characters in my brain much like fictional (or public) figures do.

As for literary pleasure ... Well, from a voice and personality point of view -- ie., for some of the things I've tended over the years to turn to fiction for -- there are bloggers who outdo most of what's done in the official literary world. They're as or more distinctive, plus they're looser and more informal. So, let's see: there's story, there's character, there's voice ... Hmm, I'd say literature may have some real competition on its hands.

Which is by way of providing a link to a terrific character I hadn't run across until last night: Rob somebody-or-other, who goes by the handle Acidman and runs the blog, Gut Rumbles, which is readable here. I can't do justice to his voice, though I can tell you that reading it reminds me of reading Barry Hannah, Charles Bukowski, Joe Lansdale, and Charles Willeford -- shitkicking and wild-ass, depressive and bitter, rowdy and absurd. But there I go, getting pretentious. (The curse of the arty.) Here's my reaction minus the pretentions: Smokin' stuff!

Gut Rumbles is instantly one of my favorite blogs, in any case, and not just for Acidman's voice. There's a super-lively set of regular comment-leavers, each one a full-fledged character, and a whole new set of links to explore, many to other southerners with original voices of their own. Lordy, doesn't it sometimes seem like it must be a lot of fun to be a Southerner?

Pulitzer Prizes? New York Review of Books? Your number may be up.



posted by Michael at February 4, 2003


You flatter me too much! Naw, that's not true. There's no such thing as too much flattery when it's directed at me.

And yes, it IS fun to be a Southerner.


Posted by: Acidman on February 5, 2003 3:47 AM

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