Gang of Five

Phil at Dial “M” was kind enough to consider this concatenation of ramblings the work of a “Thinking Blogger”, which is certainly a generous assessment of somebody who can’t even quote Beatles lyrics correctly. (I’m leaving it up there, though, just to bait humor-challenged baby-boomer rockists.) Ah, but honor comes at great price, Daniel-san. See, here are the rules of this “Thinking Blogger” thing:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

See that sidebar over there? Those are all blogs that make me think. (And that list is badly in need of updating, as I notice that, for example, neither ANAblog nor Roger Bourland are up there.) So I’m supposed to pick five of those and leave the rest seething in resentment? That’s no fun. So here’s my cop-out: I’ll pick five non-music blogs that make me think. Ha! Sweep the leg, Johnny!

1. Marginal Revolution. I don’t always agree with economists Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, but the great thing is, they don’t always agree, either, and they regularly link to opinions they don’t agree with. Their blog is one-stop-shopping for the state of the dismal science, on topics trivial and profound. There is no way you will click that link and not learn something. Bonus: Tyler’s Northern Virginia-DC Ethnic Dining Guide. If I ever perjure myself sufficiently on the application form to land government work, my gut will be happy.

2. Arms Control Wonk. Jeffrey Lewis and his fellow wonks keep tabs on once and future nuclear weapons around the world. Scary and funny: kind of like if The War Game were directed by Richard Lester. Bonus: potential opera libretto material.

3. Language Log. The hub of international anti-prescriptivist revolutionary activity—in other words, a sharp-as-nails bunch who know that the way language should be used is far more boring than the way language actually is used. Bonus: no such thing as a dumb question.

4. Renewable Music. Fine, I’ll include a music blog. But this is seed capital, OK? I expect this “Thinking Blogger” award all over the classical blogosphere by Canada Day. We’re all thinkers, dagnab it! I’ll start it with Daniel Wolf, just because he knows that the point of intellectual activity isn’t the grand a-ha conclusion, but all the fascinating waystations along the journey. Bonus: really, you’re too skinny.

5. We have a tie! Barbra Streisand-Katharine Hepburn-style duplicate hardware to a couple of fine newspaper bloggers: Geoff Edgers of the Boston Globe and Jim Emerson of the Chicago Sun-Times. Bonus: follow Emerson’s sidebar links to a whole bunch of movie blogs, and classical music bloggers will feel like they’re in some kind of parallel universe.

Now, I’m off to assume a Rodin-esque pose.

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