I have a theoretical bent of mind that turns basic things into thought experiments. I believe that almost anything in your life reflects everything in your life. So if that’s true, I like to look at more trivial aspects of my life to find balance. It’s easier to see the truth when you’re less invested.
The variety of blogs, for instance, that I subscribe to is a measure of my interests. It can also be a gigantic time suck. Since it will be technically feeding me information every day, I take seriously what I choose to put on there. (I got rid of Perez Hilton somewhere along the way, ‘m just sayin’.)
For one thing I know is true: to make yourself more well-rounded, read widely and variedly. That is as true online as off. So here I’ll share a few guiding principles and great examples of different genres of blogs.
Subscribe to at least one art/design blog, but not too many. Beware of product-heavy blogs, they encourage endless consumption. Many design blogs just repeat each other, so find a fairly original and varied one. Swiss Miss is a Swiss designer based in NYC. A lot of other design blogs get ideas from her.
Colossal is a great art blog that has risen quickly—the cream rises to the top. Put one art blog in your feed, it will take you out of your everyday goal-oriented concerns for one well-earned minute.
If you’re going to subscribe to a fashion blog, choose carefully. The Sartorialist is solid, it’s the most consistent fashion blog I’ve found, but I lean toward sites that emphasize personal style and a less-is-more aesthetic, and haven’t found a good one lately.
Letters of Note posts various letters scanned from memorabilia collections from famous, and notorious, people, and ends up reading a general purpose blog, a literary blog, a history blog, and a pop culture blog in one.
Maud Newton is a bonafied, Mark Twain lovin’ lit blog, but I have to admit that this slot is itching for an upheaval. Her posts are good, but sporadic. Any good lit blogs you would recommend?
Political blogs should help you get above the situation, see a perspective outside your own narrow knowledge. I like Fabius Maximus because it defies attempts to label it left- or right-wing. That is its genius. I have a theory that the silent middle would mostly agree with each other, and has the same interests, if we didn’t always talk in the abstract “capitalism vs. socialism,” and if we could avoid wedge issues like abortion that don’t actually effect us all as much as say, economic policy. This site is a bit of a downer, but has done much to grow up my thinking on politics (with just enough sociology to be enlightening about how things work).
Open Culture is my new go-to site for all things high culture. From Hitchcock interviews to full-length documentaries available on YouTube, and listing free courses and lectures available online, it is my desert island site, possibly my favorite site ever.
I periodically add and subtract blogs from my roll as my interests change. And, as I know I can only read so much per day before I am overwhelmed, when something new goes in, something old goes out. (If only my wardrobe additions were so non-negotiable.) But there’s always room for more: certain blogs act as spaceholders—not quite right but the best I’ve found. So what is missing? Any gaping holes? Do you have any hifalutin’ theories to back up your media consumption?
I’ll try do a follow-up post at some point with a run-down of natural living, yoga, and counterculture blogs.