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Somewhere along the line, blogs became “Important.” Or even “cool,”
since Gawker Media started throwing swank loft parties. But if you’ve seen the
sun recently, you probably don’t read blogs much. There are literally millions
of blogs contributing to the new self-publishing phenomenon (and scourge) known
as bloghorrea, so to jump in now requires a catch-up guide. Here, in no particular
order, is a sample of some quality blogs, from old standbys to new curios. It’s
online cultural literacy for the lazy. You’re welcome.
Balloon Juice Penned by frustrated conservative John Cole, it’s become
the primal scream of a true-blue (red?) republican unable to stomach torture,
deficits, and rampant corruption. www.balloonjuice.com

Opinionista A beautifully written (if occasionally overwrought) travelogue
of the hell that is being a young lawyer at a Manhattan megafirm. This is the
blog that made avoiding law school a major life goal of mine. opinionistas.blogspot.com
Hullabaloo Written by pseudonymous blogger Digby, Hullabaloo features the
sharpest writing and most impassioned polemics accessible via keyboard. Digby’s
also a one-stop shop for scandal coverage, too. www.digbysblog.blogspot.com

Go Fug Yourself Think of US Weekly’s Fashion Police. Now imagine
if it were funny. Here’s a taste: “I fear the top of actress/producer Julia Verdin’s
dress was gnawed off by whatever it is that attacked the bottom. As for the rest…
well, she’s on her own. But that thing around her waist is either the world’s
largest merit badge, or the World Embroidery Championship’s title belt. Because
it sure as hell doesn’t belong attached to a metallic-silver bra and a BeDazzled
skirt.” www.gofugyourself.com
Political Animal Written by Irvinite Kevin Drum, Political Animal used
to be CalPundit, but was eventually absorbed by a D.C.-based magazine. The content,
however, has remained the same incisive mixture of political analysis and occasional
pictures of cats. Drum’s a crystal-clear writer and an inveterate wonk. I do not
hesitate to declare that reading him makes you smarter. www.washingtonmonthly.com

Pharyngula The best science blog around, the name is a term from developmental
biology, where its author, Paul Z. Myers, labors as a researcher. Look here for
the latest on Bush’s war on science, the sex habits of invertebrates, and the
shocking news that squid-flavored ice cream tastes nasty. www.pharyngula.com
Crooks and Liars Hyperkinetic Angeleno John Amato exploded this year as
the go-to guy for video clips of insane, important, or amusing televised happenings,
with a heavy emphasis on the political. If you heard about Ann Coulter’s nipple
slip or Pat Robertson asking the Lord to assassinate Hugo Chavez but didn’t have
your TiVo on, you’ll find the clip here. www.crooksandliars.com

Fafblog! A treasury of absurdist satire with an emphasis on political,
historical, and pie-related subjects. Fairly impossible to describe, although
this is how Fafnir, its creator, puts it in the banner: “This is a good blog.
This is the best blog. It is about god and the universe and those horrible screaming
monkeys and that time I made a pizza out of an old tire and a can of whip cream.
It is the Fafblog.” fafblog.blogspot.com