Though I spend most of my time in the blogosphere on political/journalism sites, they can get a mite dull and depressing, so it's good to have places to go that reliably make me laugh out loud and look at the world in a different way.
First off is Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog created by Peter Huestis in Washington, D.C.
It's fun, well-written and fairly demented, sort of like Peewee's Playhouse for Genius Photoshoppers. Click here to check it out.
Similar in spirit is a site called Dependable Renegade (click here) which is put out by some woman in New York who calls herself "watertiger." It is sheer, unadulterated snark with dozens of wire service photos recaptioned each day with mean, terse text. Many people have tried the same thing, but watertiger is definitely the champion.
The picture above, for instance, is entitled. "That's some walking stick" and the text below the photo of the antiabortion rally reads "Wouldn't it be easier to just use a cane? (Roe v. Wade is 33 today.)"
Thanks to M. C- over at "The Standing Room" (click here), I've recently discovered two blogs that are devoted to fashion, which I could care less about, but they are written with such deadpan wit that both are indispensable.
First off, there's Manolo's Shoe Blog (click here), where somebody pretending-but-not-really to be Manolo Blahnik, the shoe designer, holds forth on footwear and other international fashion questions.
The primary joke is language-based, where the Manolo has decided not to learn any of those annoying little words in English like "a" and instead uses "the" for everything. On first reading, the joke is amusing, but incrementally and with each repetition, the joke gets better and more irresistable. After a while, it's hard not to speak and write like the Manolo too. Here's a sample:
Manolo says, the Manolo’s most recent column for the Express of the Washington Post it is now available for the downloading at their website. Today, the Manolo he discusses the “hip” shoes for the man.
Can you recommend a pair of hip shoes for a downtown sort of guy?
It is no secret that the Manolo he loves the shoes, but it is perhaps less well known that the Manolo he disapproves of the “hip” shoes for the men.
The “hip” shoe, it is the lamentable trend, with its gaudy colors, and its too-square-or-too-pointy toe, and the ridiculous exotic leathers like the iguana, or the ostrich, or the alley cat.
If it is your desire to look like the Argentine tango pimp then by all means wear the hip shoe.
However, if you wish to be taken seriously, as the adult man should naturally wish to be, then you should remain on the side of tradition."
"Give me spirit fingers dammit!!" (click here) is just about unclassifiable, written by an Australian living in Hong Kong, writing about fashion in Asia and beyond. His photoessays involving wire photos of insane fashion and cool, measured humor are unique.
For instance, his description of the this year's Lunar New Year is priceless, illustrated by Dogs in many outfits:
"Don't forget to offer up a blessing to the various deities that matter, such as the God of Wealth and his wonder dog Prosperity Pooch. Prosperity Pooch has the uncanny ability to sniff out sugar mummies and sugar daddies as well as track down freshly laundered funds for your taking."
Finally, there is a blog called "I'll Flip You. Flip You For Real." (click here) without many pretty pictures like the preceding four, but the young San Francisco writer Beth Spotswood doesn't really need them because her prose is often so brilliant.
A recent favorite is her description of Christmas with the folks in nearby Mill Valley, California where she grew up:
"Everyone thinks their family is weird, right? Well, mine’s weirder and here’s my favorite quote of the weekend. It's Christmas morning and my parents, brother and I are opening presents around the tree along with my uncles, Bill and Ted.
Yep. Bill and Ted.
Bill’s in town from Savannah and had shipped all of his presents in advance, one of them to my mother with the following card attached:
To Joanne, Merry Christmas! Love Chris and Martin.
My mother sits with the gift on her lap, looking slightly confused and innocently asks, “Who are Chris and Martin?”
With utter seriousness and mildly annoyed, my Uncle Bill sighs, “They’re my birds, Joanne.”