Updates to Blogroll 02

Posted: January 2, 2013 in Blogosphere, Blogroll

Lots of things happen right around the start of a new year, what with resolutions, tax-year lines of demarcation, and calendrical switches. My blogroll has taken a big hit, with the end of either additional posts or my own participation in the commentary. Blogs come and go, and focuses change, so that’s no big deal. But my blogroll is curated, not just a link exchange, and if I can’t recommend a site anymore, well, away it goes.

The first disappeared earlier this fall when the blog when into hibernation: I Blame the Patriarchy. The author has had a couple updates since, as events drew her back to point the bony finger of blame yet again. She is one of the best writers I read, but I guess I don’t really want to read humorous anecdotes at her new blog, Dreadful Acres.

The second was never on my blogroll, as its setup discouraged discussion in favor of broadcasting: the eponymous Ran Prieur. He just announced semi-retirement from his blog. One of the best curators of content out there, he says he will continue to post and point to others’ content but doesn’t want to address via follow-up and revision feedback that comes his way any longer.

The third is disappointing to me as the author provides valuable content but behaves miserably. Dark Ages America, kept by Morris Berman after his book of the same title, has chronicled the collapse of American empire from a cultural-historical perspective. His books are meticulously researched and documented, and he is interested in the deeper culture behind the periodic noise. However, the blog has become equal parts self-promotion (not just getting his ideas out there but repeated whining that he’s overlooked and under-regarded) and intellectual bullying. His latest gambit is to cast about for fools to insult. He thinks it’s humorous; I don’t. He declined to publish my comment that (in part) called him out as trolling for trolls, which obviously makes him a troll, too. So I’m done there, not that I will be missed, and I can’t recommend Prof. Berman anymore for his blog, though his books are still well worth the time to read and consider.

The fourth, kulturCritic, also frustrates me because the author (Sandy Krolick) and I agree on so much, but he, too, has taken to insulting those who offer comment. He has actively deleted my comments after publication, banished me from further comment (his word was actually excommunicated, but I’ll leave that alone), delivered a swift kick on my way out the door, and even threw it back in my face when I parted ways saying “good luck nevertheless.” Like Prof. Berman, Sandy Krolick produces worthy content but then insulates himself from dissent. Indeed, his focus has shifted away from the cultural analysis I valued most to riffing on news items for his fans, who never fail to pronounce every post “brilliant.” As it happens, my participation in the discussions he hosted had already been waning.

Aside: Thank goodness I remain effectively undiscovered. I want discussion in the comments and would probably appreciate being appreciated, but woe to me if anyone ever started praising my posts as “brilliant” or a coterie of devoted followers otherwise stroked my ego. I would probably be as vulnerable as the next to self-aggrandizement and then adopt the gonzo style (pale, cheap imitations of Joe Bageant, methinks) others have tried in order to drive traffic.

The fifth and last is an addition: Winged Elm Farm. The author, Brian Miller, writes lyrically about the rural pastoral life but does not appear to be nearly as far off the grid or at the fringes as the authors of Leaving Babylon, Nature Bats Last, and perhaps Mythodrome. His commentary at kulturCritic (where I found him) is uniformly good and balanced.

  1. bmiller says:

    Well, first I must thank you for the kind assessment of my blog. It is appreciated and quite unexpected. I’ll return the compliment and say that I find your blog challenging and interesting. And that is what I’m looking for when reading, something to inform and give a different perspective.
    I will say that for the KulturCritic I’m not always on board with his thoughts but he is always challenging and interesting. But I like the idea of being transparent about what you do and do not like. Too often we offer praise without due consideration as to the real merits, perhaps part of a larger cultural trend to massage the ego.
    My best,

  2. relentless says:

    Though i seldom check out ANY blogs any longer, i totally concur with your take re: Mr. Krolick, the Kulturcritic. Nothing more needs be written. Thank you.

  3. leavergirl says:

    Sandy’s censoring people?! Damn.

  4. Peter says:

    Glad I’ve stumbled upon your fine blog today! And thanks for the recommendation of Winged Elm Farm, enjoying it also. As a frequent reader of Berman, Guy, Archdruid, and many others, it’s still good to meet other fellow-thinkers in these twilight hours…looking forward to future meditations…

  5. Brutus says:

    I’m sure we share familiarity with a long list of people, at least through their blogs. For almost 8 years now, I’ve been wandering in and out of several online communities. I’ve yet to see one that isn’t eventually corrupted by something, which is also true of most of the writers behind them. To power and riches as corrupting influences one can add fame (or just the desire for it). In fact, just about any sort of immoderation gets to be caustic after a time. Meanwhile, as you say, meeting a few fellow travellers in the twilight is always curious.

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