08 January 2007

Fellow Travelers

During the last few weeks I’ve added some Fellow Travelers to the list at the right. They’re all excellent blogs and deserve more than one visit.

The Calm Before the Sand is a thoughtful and beautifully written blog by a young soldier who is stationed in Iraq. He posts as often as he can, covering such diverse topics as tower duty, bigotry within and without his unit, and his longing for his young wife and home back in “the world.” Army Spc. Milo Freeman will take your breath away with his observations. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes angry, sometimes stunningly beautiful, they’re worth your time.

Inside Iraq is a brand new blog “updated by Iraqi and U.S. journalists based in Baghdad and outlying provinces. These are firsthand accounts of their experiences,” reads the blurb in the sidebar. Published for the first time just today, you can read posts from Dulaimy, Zaineb, Mohammed, Laith and Shatha, as of this posting. They’re raw, unedited, real voices telling what it’s like to be Iraqi in Iraq right now. Dulaimy cries, with all-caps shouts of anger and frustration, that Iraqis don’t need a government, because

“we have MILITIAS
”we have enough CLERICS
”we have GUN DEALERS
”we have SMUGGLERS
”we have bad NEIGHBORS
”we have trained CRIMINALS
”and even more all the above have many ways to make money THEY CAN KIDNAP any time they want and WHO EVER they want (for example more than 147 employee from a ministry that is no more than 3 miles away from the government and the MNFI head quarters) ...”

Spend a little time with this new blog. It will get your attention and break your heart.

The Official Site of Grant Miller is understated, droll and whimsical. An example? One of today’s posts is titled, “The Best Things That Ever Happened To Me, Vol. LX,” in which Grant says that his mother-in-law thought he was generous in December of 2003, then gives us a paragraph explaining why she thought that. You can’t help but grin. It’s black-and-blue humor on the soft-shoe.

Jon Swift is a “reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased I get all my news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues.” Be careful with this one. The writing is clever, pertinent, and satirical, and boy, is it good. He’s a finalist for the Weblog Awards and nominated for several other web-based awards, as well. Read him and you’ll see why.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas, written by Patrick Hillman, is an absorbing and entertaining read, filled with observations about life as we know it. Check out his take on possible future nanotechnology advances to extend the human lifespan to, say, 1,000 years. Or how about the evening he almost turned into a “road warrior” while jogging?

Patrick is an excellent writer – and he’s also a fellow moderator with me at the Chumps of Choice blog, in which we and a large group of like-minded and hardy souls are reading Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, “Against the Day.” It’s not too late to get started – drop by and take a look. Patrick’s turn at moderating started today and he hit the ground running with 4,000 words about his section from the book. The bar has been raised; I’m doing my exercises, beefing up for my turn next Monday.

1 comment:

Spc. Freeman said...

Been following your blog for a couple of weeks, myself. Very nice. I was actually honored to see you blogrolled me--have to see if I can't get around to updating my listings as well.

Oh, one correction though? I'm active-duty, stationed in Germany, not Reserve. I only did my first year in the Reserve. Not that I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth, please understand. We just have a rivalry is all. Gotta state where my loyalties lie. Thanks!