Blogs. I hate the word. But I do love the medium. Seriously, think for a sec: where else can you read something anywhere nearly comparable? Don’t get me started on newspapers. (Well, in Australia they’re mostly tabloids in disguise, anyway.) Magazines work as is in they’re interesting and stuff, but you’ll never read the raw, unadulterated opinion of some guy just smashing away at his keyboard (or some girl, well, tinkering at hers).
Take Brian Tiemann, who’s the subject of this piece. Don’t ask me who he is. I don’t even know why I read what he writes on a regular basis. He’s entertaining almost all of the time. I guess that’s about it. He often writes about things I like. For example, he’s just started reviewing some varieties of dark chocolate. (Which is truly my favourite.) And here’s a little piece of what he has to say about a particular brand:
The chocolate doesn’t really melt, it sort of collapses like a Jenga tower into a heap of rubble on the tongue, which you then have to sweep out of the way like the ruins of a decrepit Vegas casino redolent of pipe smoke and loveless sex.
You don’t get self-indulgent, brilliant, evocations like that in a serious publication. Followed but one sentence later with:
Just a mouthful of wreckage that you’re eventually glad is gone, and a cloud of something gray and gassy, indistinct and vaguely sinister, floating over the whole scene, looking towards the West, only to be dissipated by a firm breeze from over the Sea
Imagine the brilliance of using a Tolkien metaphor to describe the aftertaste of poor chocolate. Would that ever work in a piece written for, you know, money? You’d have editors going “oh, no-one will follow that; it’s too many words, anyway”. And while they’d be right, they’d be depriving me of a moment’s joy at the end of a tedious day.