Blogbeat: The Straight and The Marrow

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday August 03, 2010 - 01:42:00 PM

This week: Two nifty blogs on opposite sides of some spectrum or other: 

Once again, the official purpose of this column (that is to say, the flimsy excuse) is to send you away to read something else. We scour the InterWeb so that you don’t have to! That’s a motto. Not ours, but it is a motto. Today’s edition of the column is brief, to the point, and mostly given over to a blogger from Richmond to whom I’d like to draw some attention. And to some other bloggers who have plenty of attention but who YOU have never heard of. Well, most of you. 

The Straight 

Ok, fine. Here. Go browse this: 

It’s a collective blog of many of UCB’s finest minds. Serious. Topical. Timely. Lots of good reads. 

The Marrow 

I’d long hoped but was never previously certain that there was such a thing as “gonzo blogging”. Hunter Thompson, for all of his pathetic flaws and moral failings, at least popularized gonzo reporting. The problem with translating that literary form to the blogosphere is that it’s too easy to fake. It is too easy to “sound gonzo” yet be void of content or interest. Getting gonzo stuff into a nationally distributed newspaper takes some real hustle – so there is a kind of quality filter there. Tossing ersatz gonzo off on your free blog is about as easy as searching Google for links to bad porn. 

To my great delight there comes to my attention some quality gonzo blogging that is topical, timely, and more than merely style. Incidentally, her watercolors are really quite lovely and I do encourage you to consider making a purchase from her art offerings on the way out. A few words, if you will, from Jean Womack on medical marijuana legislation in Richmond from her piece “A Surrealistic Vision of Richmond CA, City Government”:  

“No one knows what they are pushing, only that they want it really badly. And they think people will get sick without it. My dad, who was a chemist, said that when people try to steal the patents of patented medicines and make it themselves, sometimes they make things that get people high. I guess that's because of the way the patent is written, with some extra ingredient in it. I have asked Kaiser to prescribe brand name medicine for me, not generic medicine, but they go on giving me generic medicine anyway. Probably my husband countermanded the request and he belongs to such a bad gang that people tend to do what he wants. So his gang can order me to be drugged with generic drugs that make me high and I cannot do anything to stop them. I can still complain about it here on my blog. In this case the drug is Simvastatin. Because they gave me Nystatin powder a few years ago and I got such a rush from it that I complained about it and now they say I am allergic to it, which I think it is not true, but that's what they are saying. “

Now, you might think from that brief excerpt that I’m taking advantage of or poking fun at some crazy lady but read the whole post and then many more of her blog entries. There ain’t no crazy there, ‘cept what crazy is all around anyway. Lovely artwork – did I mention? 


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