Well, those of you who read my blog regularly will notice that I’ve given BlogRush the BlogBrush. The two-week experiment is done. As of this moment, I’m no longer a shill for Christians and other superstition-mongers. And — hooray! — I don’t have to say “widget” any more.
Now that the Jesus-jumpers have bounded off my pages, I thought it was high time to throw in a few out-of-the-blue plugs for some folks in the Atheosphere.
I read quite a few atheist blogs. But there are only a few that I keep going back to, again and again and again. The writers of these blogs are people who have come alive in my mind, who, even though I’ve never met them personally, I feel that I know in some way. I’d enjoy inviting them into my home for drinks and dinner. They’re people who, if the theists are correct, I could see hanging out with through an eternity of hell.
The following catalog is definitely not complete. I know I’ll be kicking myself as soon as I publish for leaving out someone I really like. I’ll make it up to them later, I promise. For now, these are the ten bloggers (maybe eleven, as you’ll see), listed in alphabetical order by the names of their blogs, that I’d most want to break open an expensive bottle of wine with. I’m well aware, by the way, that some of them would prefer beer.
A Load of Bright
I really dislike most blogs that spend a lot of time philosophizing. But tobe’s is different. It’s often exhilarating watching him think through a philosophical problem, and sharing his step-by-step process with us readers, inviting us along for the mental ride. Plus he’s a damn good writer, who knows how to turn a phrase just so. I suspect he crafts many of his little essays with great care, and it shows; they stand up well to repeated readings. That's about the most complimentary thing I can think of to say to a fellow writer, and tobe deserves it.
A Whore in the Temple of Reason
Sacred slut’s is visually the most stylish blog, bar none, that I've seen. But the content is great, too, full of nice, nasty zingers. She recently wrote a line that still has me laughing two weeks later. In response to the zillions of conflicting interpretations of Christianity, she said: ... when the Son of God comes to Earth to tell all humankind something, it ought to be pretty damned fucking clear what the message is. Pow, right to the point! See why I love reading her blog?
I’ll say it right up front: I read vjack for purely selfish reasons. I don’t think there’s another blogger whose posts I’ve more frequently felt compelled to jump off from, expand upon, disagree with, or otherwise link to than his. If that weren’t reason enough to hang around his site, I’m impressed with how hard the guy works to create a sense of a nonbeliever community. If such a community exists — and I think it does — it’s in no small part due to his efforts. Thanks, vjack.
Let’s get this out of the way: Mojoey sucks at spelling. But, oddly, that’s one of the things I like most about his blog. It always seems as if it’s written lightning fast, in the heat of passion. Fuck spelling. For powerful pissed-off-edness, you can’t beat him. He’s the Avenging non-Angel going after criminal religious leaders; no transgressor escapes his commentary. Of course, Mojoey is also the man responsible for the Atheist Blogroll, no mean feat, for which we all owe him a debt of gratitude. But I’d be devouring his blog under any circumstances. That long parade of fiendish priests and pastors is impossible to resist.
I enjoy reading John’s posts so much because he puts on no airs whatsoever; I always feel as if he’s just sitting around, having a conversation that I’m encouraged to join. His words are so natural, never forced, never padded. In the recent past, he joked self-deprecatingly about his writing abilities, but he’s full of shit. Just look at the paragraph up there at the top of his blog; it’s a perfect and succinct preview of what you’ll find below. John is also one of the most fervent supporters around of lifetime learning. Once, when he ran a long string of recommended science books, he ended by saying: I'm not suggesting my reading ideas are the best. If you don't care for science or even any non-fiction, then get a couple of good works of fiction. Just read. Television is ruining us. Revolt by Reading! That would be great stuff if only he weren't such a poor writer, eh?
I don’t have much to say about Babs, only that she’s the funniest blogger in the Atheosphere. On rare occasions when she gets serious and shares a piece of her personal life, she can be tremendously moving, because, wow, can she write. But, as I said, she’s usually merely the funniest blogger in the Atheosphere.
I’ll be honest. Sometimes Hemant is too damn friendly for my grumpy taste. But he’s the clearing-house for everything going on in the atheist world. If you’re not reading his blog, you’re just not getting all the godless news. And anyone who has a skeptical cause that needs championing can count on him all the way. If we atheists ever come up with our own version of “We Are the World,” Hemant’s will be the loudest voice. Oh, and just so you don’t get the wrong idea: sometimes the guy can be pretty sarcastic. I like that in a person.
You didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition, did you? Well, actually, if you read my blog, you probably did. I think SI has one of the finest minds in the Atheosphere, and his writing is always entertaining and stimulating. I leave comments, even if they’re just snide one-liners, more often on John’s blog than on any others. That’s because his posts grab you by the lapels (if you’re a guy; if you’re a woman I don’t know what they grab you by) and insist on a response. His is often the first site I check when I hit the Internet running.
Why Don’t You Blog?
I have a confession to make about this blog: I’m not 100% certain that TW and heather are two separate people. If we did have dinner, I wouldn’t know whether to set two places or just one for somebody with a split personality. In any case, WDYB is the site I visit to learn what’s happening in the Brit atheist world. The writing is sharp and witty, whichever one of them/her/him is doing it. I also love that sometimes heather’s topics come surprisingly from way out in left field. (Like the report on the woman who claimed that she could use the power of her mind to make people piss themselves, or the rant about good and bad starchy foods.) I’d love to raise a pint with him/her/them, although I'd have to apologize in advance about the carbohydrates.
You Made Me Say It
In a way, it’s appropriate that PhillyChief’s blog comes last because it’s the newest one on my list. Just a little more than two months ago, I was flattered to get an email from him, telling me that he enjoyed reading my blog, and that if I was interested in taking a quick look, he’d just that day started one of his own. Little did I know that his site would become one of my favorites. Among the things I like most about it is what's stated very clearly in the blog’s title: Philly just has to say it, whatever it happens to be that day. There’s always a sense of urgency there. There are no filler posts, no random musings. He reminds me of Howard Beale in Network: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Of course, Philly writes it; he doesn't yell it out the window. At least I think he doesn't.
If I were able to gather all these characters together at one long areligious table, I’d want to find an extra chair for Sarge. He doesn’t have his own blog, but he comments frequently on mine and on almost every other one that I read regularly. He’s an inveterate story-teller; no matter what the topic, Sarge has a personal yarn to spin. It’s people like Sarge, non-bloggers in a bloggy world, who make us realize that we’re reaching out beyond just the incestuous inter-linking Atheosphere crowd. Pour that guy another glass.
OK, folks, the love-letter is over. Take your candy and flowers and get the hell out of here.