Nixdminx
The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
Best blogs: My new favourite reads, Storyboard, True Stories and whoismcafee.com
Categories: blogging

Over the last six months, I’ve seen some great developments in blogging and they’re all based around reallycompelling and outstanding content.

Two sites really have really shone out;  Tumblr and Gawker.  The writing is not for the faint hearted; it’s full of gritty realism and packs a punch, but it beats celebrity obsessed media and digs deep.

Tumblr launched the Storyboard weekly feature earlier this year and hailed it as:

Storyboard is a regular collection of features highlighting talented creators and their work, as found within and around the massively diverse Tumblr community. Produced by theDepartment of Editorial, these stories are told with words, pictures, video, music, charts, animation, or any other voice these creators choose to speak with

This dedicated subsection of the site hosts an array of engaging material for those that want to consume rather than like, share or tweet after a few moments of reading.  Things I See from my Cab was a particularly memorable story about a New York cab driver and his encyclopedic knowledge of the Big Apple and the behaviour of New Yorkers in the wild who rent his back seat and spill their guts both literally and verbally.  Perhaps a bit visceral for some, for any urban dweller, this is fascinating fodder for a great story, and well done to Tumblr for coming up with such an inspired way of showcasing talent.

The same can also be said for Gawker and the True Stories regular it has been publishing every Saturday.

In a new project overseen by contributing editor Kiese Laymon, Gawker is running a personal essay every weekend. Please send suggestions to saturdays@gawker.com

 

I’ve read two really strong True Stories features recently, the first being a portrait of Staph Meal , the rogue Philadelphian restaurant industry-insider-blogger who was finally exposed and brought to some kind of justice.  What was really compelling was how the story delved into the personality of the blogger and completed a really colourful picture of this some time troll.

The second story was a great deal more chilling, and while it reminded me of the Dominick Dunne stories I used to read in Vanity Fair, it had a more unique voice because while Dunne focused on society crime and revealing insight, this story came out of nowhere from a relatively unknown writer Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevic and it really shows that there is great promise for the future of writing in this socio-digital age.  The story was Origins of a Murder, and it beat almost any fiction I’ve consumed or read this year,  not because it was sensationalist or contained salacious celebrity tidbits, but because it told a true story that was way beyond any fiction,  it was sad and joyless story of a life that was destined to go off the rails even before this heinous criminal was even born.

Both Trues Stories highlight the flaws and fallibility of the blighted human condition to which none of us is immune at any time, even if we’re reading them from the comfort of our laptops snuggled up on our sofas on a lazy weekend.  I suggest you have a read of these and decide for yourself.

The common feature of these great posts is that they are all stories written by real people about real life; they are surprising, enlightening and often shocking, which is what brings me on to my latest discovery.  Granted, it’s a pretty high profile story, but it’s an extraordinary one nonetheless.

For those of you who are fans of Breaking Bad and yearning to see the last 8 episodes of series 5, don’t worry, this should keep you going until then.  The protagonist (or maybe antihero) of this new blog has been widely reported as ‘batshit crazy‘ and now he’s on the run in Belize having been accused of fire arms offences, running a meth lab and more lately, of murdering his neighbour.

He is passionately claiming his innocence and has recently launched a blog detailing his wild adventures on the run from the government in Belize, his ongoing fight to get an apology from the Prime Minister, his 21 year old girlfriend Samantha (he’s the wrong side of 65) and hilariously, the disguises he has been adopting to avoid detection while monitoring Police activity at his house, one of which includes stuff a shaved tampon up his nose.  Peter Seller’s Clousea springs to mind, but joking aside, this fugitive tale is quite a serious one.  The blogger is the incredibly rich and eccentric John Mcafee, founder and creator of the global anti-virus software firm which bears his name, and he sold to Intel for over $7 billion dollars.  This is a classic ‘is he or isn’t he?’ story but it’s real and the stakes are incredibly high.

In just a matter of days, whoismcafee.com has painted a picture of gross proportions; from the graphic account of his witnessing Police dig up his dead dogs which they had shot a few days earlier only to behead and rebury them to the story of Timesha, a young girl who grew up in poverty and dances for money and beer to keep her head above water.

A self proclaimed prankster and raconteur (see his post on Stuffmonger and Bluelight), Mcafee claims to have 6,000 hours of incriminating evidence against Belize government and law enforcement officials.  In one of his earlier posts her lists links to stories supporting his views which have been published in the media there, some of the links are no longer active when you click through.

One thing is for sure, Mcafee is some kind of  Hunter S Thompson for the new digital age.

Fear and loathing, guns, drugs, girls and misdemeanors, this blog has it all.  And yes, it’s real.

 

Here’s how he starts his blog with his first post

 

If you want to follow this blog in an intelligent fashion, you will need some background information. I could regurgitate this information for your benefit, but then, you would have to take my word for it, and since I am a fugitive in a tiny Central American country and have been sought as “a person of interest” in a murder, you might have some doubts concerning my veracity. So…. Take a few moments and familiarize yourself with the following stories. I wrote none of them. A failure to follow my advice will, with absolute certainty, lead to a disconnect between what is happening in reality down here and what will be happening to the visualizations in your head about what’s happening down here.

 

Let’s hope this story doesn’t end badly.

 

 

Note: George Galloway, a much more controversial MP appeared on Celebrity Big Brother to generate awareness of himself was not suspended.

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