Friday, January 16, 2009

Goodybe, Bush, The Atheist Bus Campaign, and Much More...

It was thanks to George Bush that I stumbled into this curious world that we inhabit. It was shortly after his re-election in November, 2oo4. I was appalled. I sat around asking myself, what can I do? The only thing I really know how to do is write, and it happened that on that day I fell, like Alice through the looking-glass, into the blogosphere. The title came to me without a thought: The Bush Diaries. I would write a letter to the man every day and publish it, as much for myself, of course, as for my unknowing correspondent.

The Bush Diaries survived for two years, until I grew tired of waking up with Bush in my head every day. It morphed, then, into what you're reading now: The Buddha Diaries. A much more mind-friendly occupation. However, watching Bush deliver his pathetic "Farewell to the Nation" last night, I decided to write one last entry, today's, to which I refer you, fondly.

But the blogosphere continues to thrive exponentially. I'm afraid I have been negligent, again, recently, about checking in on my favorite sites. Trying to cut down on some of the busy-ness. Then, yesterday, when I'd decided to spend a good part of the day catching up with my blogging friends--wouldn't you know it?--my computer crashed. Seriously. Started out with the email, then crashed completely, refusing even to switch back on after I had unplugged, in desperation, from the wall. I've had to take it down to the Apple hospital for doctoring, if not major surgery.

Anyway... I heard about The Atheist Bus Campaign from Richard at A Quiet Watercourse, an English blog I always enjoy when I check in there. The idea of an atheist ad campaign on the side of buses is mind-boggling to one long resident in the United States, where atheism still seems to be a new and alien concept, and which has stirred much debate in recent years. And in a part of the US where buses themselves are all too, well, underutilized. It appears that the grass-roots campaign to get the idea going resulted from someone pissed off with similar ads leading to a Christian website. Very whimsical. And nice. Thanks, Richard!

It's wonderful, the variety of experience available with a bit of clicking on the computer keyboard. I'm happy to find M and T over at Adgita Diaries busy baking bread and fending off the cold with a good winter's soup, topped off with espresso and brandy; and distressed to find my friends at the Dharma Bums ailing. May they soon be restored to health and happiness! Thanks to Bill, at Digital Dharma for alerting me to a fascinating site that details the Daily Routines of artists, writers, musicians, and other creative folk. It's always interesting--and sometimes useful--to find out how others do it. And over at Ethix Merch Blog, where my friend and sometime assistant Cardozo collaorates with others, we learn about ethical merchandise produced under the union label with environmentally sound materials. Obama, we can be sure, would approve.

I never fail to get a good atheist guffaw when I check in with the delightfully irreverent and disrespectful Gone Fishin': Postcards from God, and yesterday was no exception. Everything--and more--that you ever needed to know about breasts and bras on Guilty With an Explanation, and in the comments column. A wonderful, very human, archly humorous entry that obviously touched a lot of hearts and minds, both male and female. What a contrast with I Am Katia, who doesn't post her powerful photos of street kids very often, but makes them worthwhile, sometimes heart-wrenching when she does. I see them as lost souls, trying hard to find themselves.

I enjoy the fresh insights and personal travails posted by Lindsey of Let It Be Lindsey and Mark's very personal struggles with faith and philosophical paradox at Marko Polo Both are graduate students at a midwestern university, peripetetic bloggers, who use the written word to make some sense of this strange world we all inhabit. Mark's enjoying Vonnegut right now... And speaking of faith, there's Brian at Primordial Blog who writes from a (sometimes angrily) post-Christian point of view. A good sceptic, "a proud member of the reality based community," who derides magical thinking of all kinds, especially the religious kind.

At Principle of Uncertainty, Khengsiong in Kuala Lumpur debates the efficacy of "causes" on Facebook, and concludes they're pretty useless. I actually started a cause in the first flush of virtual "friendship"--but in fact agree with Khengsiong. I find Facebook a curiously spooky place...

There's a dozen more I should have mentioned, and would have. But this is getting too long, I'm rambling. I have to leave... and George the dog just threw up on the carpet. Geez! Have a great weekend, out there in blogland!


robin andrea said...

Still recovering here, but wanted to join in your hearty farewell to Bush. He's one person I really would like the door to hit on the way out. Slam.

I completely agree with you about Facebook. Weird place. I do like looking up old friends. I just don't want to hang out there with them.

mandt said...

Great list and new sites for us. ...Some very interesting! Peace MandT