Monday, May 14, 2007

Blogs to Your Face

Here are a bunch of quick items and some links to the greater blogsphere:

This Year's Vlad: Rock critic-at-large, Vladimir Wormwood's personal blog. This Year's Vlad (ahem, of course a trip on one of Elvis Costello's finest albums) is back from a hiatus owing in large part to someone in his building now having a non-password protected wireless connection. When Wormwood says "God told me to skin you alive," he waxes existential by throwing down the most obscurely sublime punk proclamation and making it his own.

Adventures of an Unemployed Jewish Girl: Jess Winston's candid and quixotic diary of being a young professional in a Manhattan. Its a riveting and side splitting account of being "the poorest girl in Murray Hill." Winston's writing focus's on her family and personal life (something far more ballsy than my blogging, and something that will surely net her a book deal far before I am put back on staff at a national literary publication) which are indeed good subject material. "A JAPs Guide to Budgeting, Dieting, and Infrequent Sobriety" says it all.

While we're on the subject of blogging, the aforementioned Deebs Mullen admitted to me last night that he "reads more blogs than he writes." Thats not to hard considering Derka was last updated in October. (This is really little more than a thinly veiled attempt to shame Mullen back into blogging). But it made me think about the nature of blogging and something that Lauren Collins wrote in this month's New Yorker in Bansky was Here about the elusive and enigmatic British graffiti artist, Bansky. She said "the graffitist's impulse is akin to a blogger's: write some stuff, quickly, which people may or may not read. Both mediums demand wit and nimbleness. They arouse many of the same fears about the lowering of the public discourse and the taking of undeserved liberties." Talking with Vlad Saturday night I mentioned that I sometimes feel a bit arrogant that many of my posts are mere reguritations of the things that I read or see and its more than a little conceited to believe that I pay more attention to whats going on than everyone else. And maybe I am, but I hope Im not lowering the public discourse on issues, I would like to think that Im just sharing what I think is interesting. So if you are reading something and think its horse-hockey, or uninteresting...let me know. Comment, nuckas! And tell me what you want to read about.

Having said that, here's a story that caught me this past weekend. Bode Miller's cousin, Liko Kenney, a 24 year-old high school drop-out from Franconia, NH had a long running fued with a local cop, Bruce McKay. When McKay tried to pull him over, Kenney told him to call for back up (as a judge apparently told him he could do after McKay broke his jaw in 2005) and sped off. McKay cut him off a ways up the road and told him to get out of the car. When Kenney refused, McKay pepper sprayed him. Kenney pulled out a .45 and shot McKay 4 times, then proceded to run the officer over with his car. As this was happening, Gregory Floyd, a 49 year-old ex-marine was driving by with his teenage son. Floyd pulled his car over and sent his son to the patrol car to radio for help. Floyd grabbed the service revolver off the ground next to McKay's body, and told Kenney to drop his weapon. When he appeared to be reloading, Floyd shot and killed Kenney. The Franconia police department has declined to press charges on Floyd related to the shooting.


Brendan said...

Dear Sir -

You have devoted considerable space on your blog to the subject of blogging, including criticisms of my choice to stop publishing. Here are a few thoughts you may wish to consider:

- First, remember that if the blog is like graffiti, then your messages must be shorter and easier to ingest. If you are telling us about something you read, include the link with a very brief summary and scribe no more than your thoughts on why it is interesting.

- Graffiti is not static, it gets painted over and responded to. Blogs should be no different. A blog that draws no comments is no more successful than an abandoned blog that, in it's time, drew input from it's readers.

- Finally, you have attempted to twist my words of "I read more blogs than I write" into some sort of confession of guilt. Blogging is about seeing as many viewpoints and writing styles as possible while also adding your own to the giant pool of whats out there for others to see... we should be reading more blogs and blog comments than we are writing. Do you speak more words than you hear spoken? I certainly hope that is not the case... but I wouldn't be surprised if that is the state of your interaction with the blogosphere.

- Derka Deebs

Brendan said...

To put one of my criticisms into a more constructive format: That was an interesting story about Bode Miller's cousin, but you would be better suited to include a 3 to 5 sentence summary/opinion on what happened and link directly to the news article. This gives readers the freedom to choose how much time they will spend reading about something, adds credibility to any claims you are making, and makes the blog more readable.

It allows us to filter through lots of opinions and pieces of information in a short amount of time... essentially reading about lots of things in very little detail and choosing to go in-depth with only the things that catch our attention.

jbg said...

Thank you for your comments, criticisms, candor, and especially your time. Youre issues are note and will surely be addressed.