Link Orgy

Updated 05/29/04 03:30AM

I’ve been asked for link recommendations (on Japan and in general) but since I’ve not yet come around to add a decent link section to this log, a dedicated entry will have to do for now. So, without further ado, here is a quick round of my bookmark collection:

  1. The Obvious Ones (everybody already know these, but if you don’t, it’s high time to add them to your bookmarks)
    • Boing Boing is a collective link blog where most net oddities and other hidden jewels of the web that people usually forward to each other are bound to end up eventually.
    • Gizmodo shares a lot of content with BoingBoing, but overall specializes in cool gadgets and other geeky announcements.
    • The Onion is, by far, “America’s finest News source” and reminds us that it is indeed scary times when parody sounds so close to actual truth that you have a hard time telling them apart.
    • Guardian: although Fox news does a much better job of accentuating the clairvoyance of The Onion, the Guardian is where I usually go to get straight coverage of recent news (including US domestic ones).

  2. The Serious Ones (or “how I shine in good society thanks to my elaborate Internet readings”)
    • God of the Machine‘s only downside is a rather low frequency of updates. But its entries, whether covering English poetry, irritating logic problems or any other topic on Earth are always top-quality readings.
    • Turning the Tide is also updated way too infrequently for my liking, but apart from that, I would be hard pressed to find any reason not to bookmark Noam Chomsky’s blog.
    • Whiskey Bar was previously mentioned here. Still one of my favourite political blog out there
    • A List Apart belongs to an entirely different but nonetheless primordial domain of serious things: Proper Standard-Compliant Web Coding (some would place it more along the line of tetrapyloctomy, but we shall ignore those heretics).

  3. The Fun Ones (Because you are certainly not going to entertain your date with the latest technique for creating standard-compliant drop shadows using CSS)
    • The Filthy Critic is not actually a humorist, he’s a very dedicated and fiercely independent movie critic. But his reviews are still the most hilarious texts you’ll read in a long while, regardless of the quality of the original movie.
    • Kind-of-Crap is the unfortunate tale of a poor Gaijin who accepted to sell his soul and any remaining shred of nerdy dignity he might have had by signing for two years of JET program and being subsequently sent to some godforsaken village deep in rural Japan. Luckily (for us), his subterranean level of self-esteem goes hand in hand with an amazing gift at recounting horror stories of shame and humiliation in a foreign country (I highly recommend to start at the beginning).
    • Bunsen.tv: “If you really loved me, this pathetic cry for help would be totally unnecessary”.
    • Let’s Have fun with Geishas (or Geisha Asobi if you prefer) is: “link site which is introduce funny, crazy and interesting site”. Couldn’t say it better.
    • Kontraband: though highly immature, the video clips, pictures and other waste of bandwith that you’ll find there should help getting you safely through a thoroughly unproductive day.

  4. The Japanese Ones (people and things at least somewhat japan-related… like they love mangas or drink green tea every night or something)
    • Kokochi (formerly known as Tokyo Tidbits): Mie doesn’t live in Japan any more, but she is still documenting her everyday life in Baghdad by the Bay from her keitai.
    • Tokyo Times is an apt sum-up of what you can find in Japanese news on a good day and with an eye for it… only it would tend to focus more on stories involving keywords such as “panties thief”, “upskirt keitai snapshot”, “subway gropping” etc. But despite its stereotypical coverage, it is still not so far from actual Japanese dailies.
    • Gen Kanai writes on Japan, modern technologies and a lot of other interesting topics.
    • Paul from In-Duce also does. with a really cool site design.
    • Greggman, with focus on the gaming and gadget angle. Probably the idol of hundred of nerds begging for some internship at Sega US in the faint hope of ever making it to the mecca of videogames.
    • Maki (who’s not a nameless cat): on web design and programming.
    • Mayumix probably has one of the coolest blog name around… but also, unfortunately, one of the slowest site to load (I blame blogspot… and the international communist conspiracy).
    • Yaw and Mog kinda reminded me (in its principle at least) of Rica and Rhedi. But I’ll grant you this is quite a far-fetched comparison
    • i-Sako: “an American expat in Japan, a father of two, a loving husband, an armchair political wonk, an inveterate geek, and an all-around garden-variety fool”.
    • Taro: Dignified representant of the natto-for-brains Fucked Gaijin community on Japanese soil.
    • j-dreaming: is to dreaming what j-pop is to pop… roughly the same with more furry cat icons and shots of traditional temples.
    • Mediatinker.com has tons of wonderfully written notes and some video works.
    • Jean Snow. “Jean Snow”? Now what kind of a name is that? Why not Billy Neige since we’re at it… Well, I very much like his page design (and content) nonetheless…

  5. The Pretty Ones (most of them also on Japan, but with extra graphic goodness)
    • Antipixel quite deservedly holds the title for most beautiful blog about Japan, but the occasional insightful comments are definitely up to par with the nifty design and gorgeous pictures.
    • Yuki, at Kissui.net does not leave her camera alone for a second. I can testify to that. But it makes for a great photo-log.
    • Hunkabutta: series of pictures on a different theme each day, dripping with life…
    • Schoolgirl Sophistry has lotsa text and some very nice pix from a “tall, blonde chick in Tokyo”.
    • hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood) likes artsy B&W shots. And so do I.

  6. The Froggy Ones (because we love the French, yes we do…)
    • Padawan Info gives you the latest political and technological news, straight from the homeland of the Minitel. The English version tends to focus more on matters of international interest.
    • 404 Brain Not Found, despite its English title, is a reading reserved to those with more than a passing interest in French affairs. If your master of the Gallic idiom is up to it though, you’ll definitely appreciate these posts that, in a style quite openly inspired from French genius Pierre Desproges, exquisitely dissect French and International news, with a keen eye for human pettiness and pathetically stupid items of mass culture.
    • Canal Plus Videos also requires pretty strong language skills, but features one of my favorite TV piece of all time. It’s pretty much the only show I ever watched as a student in Paris. It’s called “Le Zapping” and it squeezes the substance out of a full day of French TV programs into a couple minutes of uninterrupted zapping. The excerpts can really be culled from any French-speaking program that was aired over the previous 24 hours, from obscure graveyard talk-shows all the way to prime-time reality-shows. Most of it only goes to prove that French TV is up to common international standards in terms of inane populist programming, but some pearls reaped from news broadcasts or documentaries are so mind-blowing they’d nearly make you want to watch TV. Also available on this site, is the web archive for Les Guignols de l’Info: an iconic, if somewhat aging, show that I mentioned once before: entertaining, but rather hard to follow I you are no longer immersed in the local political and media scene.

Right now, I need to make sure my neighbourhood bar in Shinjuku didn’t disappear overnight and still serves Saphire and Tonic.

5 comments

  1. Le zapping sucks man. I watched it all  week long, and it is only about French worst reality tv show. Moreover, I dislike CAnal + . Their criticism of politics are the same that Le Pen and his partisans. As their best is populism, at their worst is fascism. Dixit.

     

  2. David,
    I think you missed the point a little and you are blaming the messenger here:
    I did point out that most of what “le zapping” showed was to file in the this-is-why-I-don’t-watch-TV category, but I think this is very much their point.
    What you see during these 2 minutes reflects what you could see if you were to watch TV in France (or about any other country, for that matter) for a while. There’s a lot of reality-show crap, but also sometimes interesting stuff, such as this bit).
    As for the rest of Canal + shows, I don’t watch’em (don’t watch TV at all, let alone *French* TV), reckon it’s not any better than your average TV channel anywhere in the world, can’t be much worse either.

  3. Peter,

    Furry cats icons => J-pop (and a lot of other J-something)

    Japanese temple pictures and insightful comments on Japan and Japanese => J-dreaming

    sorry if my sentence wasn’t clear enough… but after all, it was only a rather lame and inaccurate description essentially based on paper-thin evocative similarities… lameness for which I have no excuse but the fact that, when I decided to give a one-liner for each and every link (since dumping a raw list seemed of dubious use), little did I know how tough it could be to find creative and non-monotonous way of describing a “gaijin blog about Japan” after the second or third one (not that there’s anything wrong with a gaijin writing a blog about Japan, of course).

    Let me therefore clarify for the benefit of any future readers:

    J-dreaming‘s website does not contain, to the best of my knowledge, any furry cat icons whatsoever, but it is nonetheless a very worthy read.

    not that there’s anything wrong with furry cat icons.

    or furry cats.

    I personally very much like furry cats icons.

    though I can understand why a website featuring elements of Japanese culture might want to omit them in its design (I had myself to make that hard decision for this website).

    and by the way, if you’ve ended up here by typing “furry cat icons” in a search engine, may I recommend going somewhere more along the line of:
    http://www1.neweb.ne.jp/wb/jca/cat006.htm

    Anyway, sorry for the confusion Peter, and keep up the good work!

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