Political and news blogs that won’t put you to sleep



The media seems to be obsessed with online blogs and the people who write them. It seems like overkill seeing as how blogs weren’t considered worthy of any praise a few years ago but to many, they’re a brand-new phenomenon and thus will be staying around for a long time. But it annoys me that the only blogs we really hear about are dry political blogs – which are okay sometimes, but generally manage to put me to sleep. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found blogs that are interesting – but aren’t so stupid and useless as to be veering into Paris Hilton territory. It’s a happy medium.

Gawker.com is the flagship site for the company Gawker Media, which also runs several other sites. Gawker, which covers media news and gossip, looks like it could be snobby, but in actuality it isn’t, and in fact holds appeal for a wide range of people and interests. The site covers everything from media to the arts to celebrities, and has something for everyone. I recommend the increasingly addictive Gawker Stalker posts and any mentions of important figures at The New York Times. Gawker.com covers news in Manhattan, yet can be enjoyed by anyone in the country with an interest in either the media or celebrities; for a Los Angeles-based perspective, check out Gawker Media’s Defamer.com, which is the Gawker.com for the west coast, but with a stronger emphasis on Lindsay Lohan and award shows.

Another blog is one that has gained a cult following – yet still remains some big secret, a discovery that everyone passes along to friends. Post Secret (postsecret.blogspot.com) allows people all over the world to put their secrets on postcards and send them in to an address in Maryland. The site began with the idea for an art project. Frank Warren, the creator of the site, handed out postcards to passersby and left them in cities with the instruction to write a secret on them and send them in to him. From there, the project exploded into the site and inspired a collection of postcards that was released in November, and exhibits of the secrets. About 10 postcards are added to the site each weekend, and the effect of the amateur art and confessions is startling and unexpected. The postcards range from the silly (“Sometimes I let my children eat cheese puffs for breakfast”) to the serious (“Everyone who knew me before 9/11 believes I’m dead”). The artwork of the postcards is fantastic as well – the confessions are far more than hastily scribbled admissions; rather, the people who send them clearly put thought into how they want their secrets presented. The concept is so simple, but the complexities behind the postcards (and the emotions they inspire) are anything but.

The Adventures of a Boy and his Computer (www.aboyandhiscomputer.com) is in large part a political blog – but an interesting one, I promise. The site is run by 38-year-old Ryland Sanders (so the “boy” part of the blog title could be wishful thinking on his part). Along with six others, he updates his site once every few days with news about everything from politics to technology to entertainment. The bloggers on the site make occasionally boring news readable and funny, which sometimes seems like a miracle in itself. If you’re looking for more lighthearted fare, check out Go Fug Yourself (gofugyourself.typepad.com), where two catty women post pictures of (and hilarious commentary on) celebrities who evidently get dressed completely in the dark. The very premise of the site is worthless, but you can’t look away. At the end of the day, it’s something that’s fun to read – which is really all I expect from all of these blogs.