Tag Archives: blogs

Friday finds

Speaking as someone who found the bogus movie trailers to be the most watchable part of Grindhouse, I’m happy to see a full-length Machete flick about to become a reality. I also like the idea of the film taking a few jabs at teabagger fever. If nothing else, it will give Andrew Breitbart something new to froth over — even he must be getting tired of whining about the left-wing messages in Avatar. And won’t William Donohue be thrilled with all the scenes of nuns and priests toting shooting irons? Can’t hardly wait.

The different types of mothers. The negative side of positive thinking.

Via 3:AM Magazine, a three-part transcript of an interview with John Fante, the cult writer’s cult writer: inspiration to the Beats and Charles Bukowski; author of Ask the Dust, the quintessential prewar Los Angeles novel; creator of the literary alter ego Arturo Baldini. Read part one here, part two here, part three here.

The rise of Cute Cthulhu and what it says about us as a civilization.

“Many years ago, I saw the world through crap-colored glasses, and my writing was quite crappy because of it. These days, however, I look at the world with an almost childlike wonder. I don’t let mainstream reality control what I see or what I don’t see. I live in a semi-haunted Victorian farmhouse, and I believe in ghosts. They believe in me, so it’s only fair . . . I can’t speak for other writers, but my perception of reality is what makes my writing what it is. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate.”

Undercover Black Man interviews gangsta rapper Ice Cube and learns about the perils of singing “Fuck Da Police” in Detroit.

As a Pulitzer-laureled movie critic of many years’ standing, Roger Ebert might be expected to emulate Richard Schickel and other credentialed gasbags blatting about how the Internet has ruined arts criticism. Instead, he states what has long been obvious: When it comes to film criticism (or, I’ll add, any form of arts writing) blogs are where the action is.

There is now an actual Intercollegiate Quidditch Assocation. Who knew?

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The blogging breed

When I hear people talk about the slow death of the newspaper industry, I point out that it’s more akin to an assisted suicide. Of course there are many outside factors dealing blows to the business, but the industry’s knack for making self-destructive, short-sighted business decisions made those blows all the more wounding. The journo snobbery about the Internet is a case in point.

For decades, the twin monsters bedeviling the newspaper business have been production costs (printing plants ain’t cheap) and distribution (maintaining fleets of trucks and drivers to get the papers out to the public). So along comes the Internet, which at a stroke eliminates both problems, and the response of newspaper executives is to treat Web sites as garbage dumps, and then to whine about those nasty bloggers linking to their stories without paying. David Simon’s line about bloggers being the parasites that destroy their hosts is one of the dumbest things ever said by a demonstrably smart person.

So Michael Massing’s piece about how some adventurous  journos are turning the Web to their own purposes is a refreshing tonic. He also provides a list of pioneering sites like Talking Points Memo that have exploited the possibilities of the Intertubes to advance journalism. For anyone who still needs convincing, this article might just do the trick.

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Quark, linkness, and charm

3 Quarks Daily has launched a series of annual prizes in four areas of Internet writing. The competition for best blog post in science is already open; Arts & Literature, Politics, and Philosophy will follow. I’m not suggesting that anybody nominate any of my posts — not suggesting it too hard, anyway — but I applaud the thinking behind the contest, and I’m happy to publicize it.

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H&R Blog

Hello, I’m H&R Blog with another of my 77 reasons why freelance writers need to be blogging.

Reason No. 22: What’s true for this guy will also be true for you. Whatever you post on your blog stays there, archived, for as long as you want it to stay there, or until human civilization is wiped out by a nuclear holocaust and the planet comes to be dominated by a race of intelligent simians, in which case nobody will care why you thought Rob Roy was the greatest swordfight movie ever made. 

That’s why it’s so hilarious to hear newspaper types dismiss blogging as something without staying power, as compared with writing a column for your local paper. Unless you write for a really big paper, or a high-profile magazine, you’ll get paid peanuts, you’ll never be entirely sure who is or how many are reading you, and after a few days your writing will be tucked away behind one of the firewalls newspapers go in for, with a lame search engine that ensures anyone who wants to track down your column a few years from now will only be able to find it by accident, if at all. The hard copy, meanwhile, will head for the nearest recycling transfer station or landfill.         

Having a well-tended blog is waaay better than writing a column for your local newspaper. Again, unless you write for a big well-paying venue, you might as well have your writing out there on the Internet, clearly accessible, showing everybody how witty/insightful/stylish you are and contributing to your reputation instead of building the circulation for somebody else’s newspaper, which is probably going to go out of business soon anyway. And then what will happen to your work?

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