Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ultimate Blogs

Ultimate Blogs, by Sarah Boxer
$10.19 at Amazon.com
ISBN: 978-0-307-27806-7
There are currently more than 80 million blogs on the Internet, and they couldn't be more diverse. Finding good blogs, however, can be a bit difficult. Sarah Boxer checked out thousands of them before compiling this book, a collection of content from some of the best blogs out there.
No, Hansisgreat is not mentioned. Her only major oversight, I'd say. Of course, what makes a blog "great" is highly subjective, but I've got to admit that the assortment Sarah brought us is pretty darn engaging.
She begins with a short introduction, expositing on the effect that blogging has had on writing, the arts, and self-expression. This prelude is interesting in its own way, but very short. Then it's on to the content.
We begin with a woman who refers to herself only as "the bitch", and writes an hilarious tirade about racism in the film King Kong. I'd never really considered it before, but she's actually right: King Kong is, in fact, quite racist.
Some of the blogs are funny, some simply absurd, but just as many touch on very serious issues. My favorite is written by a young Arabic man living in the United States. He writes a chilling tale of being harrassed and nearly refused passage for wearing a t-
shirt with Arabic letters on it to an airport.
Also engaging is the work of an American soldier in Iraq, who gives us a unique perspective on the situation on the ground over there, and how the campaign is being run. There's a peculiar entry about an assortment of women's lingerie on sale for a dime per piece in the soldiers' PX store. Doesn't seem like there'd be much use for it over there.
There's a long philosophical rant about the movie Spiderman 2, using Peter Parker to demonstrate what ethicists call the "doing-allowing distinction". In fact, there's a lot in here about pop-culture as a vehicle for deep social philosophy. Naturally.
Some of them just feature artwork, photos, comic strips. There's a blog focusing on language and the meaning of words that had me laughing aloud while reading it. Did you ever wonder why the words pants, slacks, trousers, and jeans are plural while diaper is singular? You'll find out here.
There are a lot of blogs out there, but very few good ones. This book will guide you to a few of the best.

1 comment:

steve said...

'what makes a blog great is subjective' - except in YOUR case! Your blog says so RIGHT THERE IN THE TITLE! What was this woman thinking, ignoring the greatest, most informative, and most, um, meaty blog on the web? For shame!