Nov 2006

The Blog Digest 2007

For those awaiting my review of The Beatles LOVE, let me assure you that it is on the way. See, I’d been writing for a while before I realised – after about a thousand words – that I’d not yet mentioned the new album, and had instead spent a thousand words telling you just how much I like The Beatles. Which isn’t really news. And can be done in a lot less than a thousand words. So I’m going to have another go at it sometime soon. Until then you’ll have to put up with some other stuff. I’m almost finished a controversial rant about multiculturalism. So that’ll be fun.

This morning a heavy thump from the letterbox heralded the arrival of The Blog Digest 2007. It’s a hefty tome being flogged for a reasonable price, and according to the back cover it “is the ultimate anthology of blog writing from the last twelve months. From searing topical commentary to hilarious musings on modern life…” Hmmmm… I have real trouble recommending a book that describes itself as “hilarious”. It’s not a word that should ever be self-applied. You may as well tattoo “tries too hard” on your forehead and be done with it. Metaphorically.

However, it’s edited by Justin of Chicken Yoghurt which is a significant point in its favour. Also, a brief flick through has revealed plenty of stuff from people on my blogroll, including Merrick, so it’s certainly got that going for it. However, there’s also a couple of submissions from this very blog which may well put off the more discerning reader. I can only assure you that a thick black marker pen will – in very little time – rectify this. I believe many retailers are including just such a pen in the price of the book. Shop around.

It was quite horrifying reading those couple of pieces as it happens. As I always seem to be saying… context is everything. When you arrive at this blog, dear reader, you quickly get a feel for what’s going on… it’s all very loose and casual; sometimes I talk about matters of life and death… sometimes wordplay is as important as what’s being said… sometimes it’s not obvious which is which. I rant, I vent neuroses and once in a while I say something worth listening to. And – if my stats are accurate, for about a hundred people – it works. What little sense exists here comes through an understanding of the context. Leastways, I think.

The discomfort I felt reading my work in The Blog Digest is precisely what prevents me posting on The Sharpener for instance, much as I’d like to expand my audience a little. Viewed in the right context, my blog-writing-style allows me to occasionally get across something worth reading. When placed into the context of semi-mainstream journalism though…? Well, let’s just say I’m not sure it works.

That said, there’s a hell of a lot of good writing to be found within the book, and it’s well worth checking out. As I say, half my blogroll is in there… so clearly it’s writing I recommend.

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