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Carnival of the Vanities #1

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Everyday my toddler comes home from daycare with a piece of paper covered in random squiggles of crayon. She displays it proudly to her mother and me.

“I make!” She says. “I make!”

Everyone possesses something of the creative urge, the desire to mold a child of the mind out of inspiration and effort. Children are allowed to express it, to put part of themselves into a misshapen clay ashtray, a lopsided blue house drawn on construction paper, or sparkles and glue on a paper plate. Sometime around the teenage years the urge gets suppressed in many people, or hidden, perhaps as a defensive mechanism. It’s hard to see your child derided, laughed at, or ignored, so most of us consciously stop creating them. The urge doesn’t go away, it never will, it just finds new avenues, ones that aren’t as vulnerable to the criticism of the world.

I have a friend that prides himself on the crispness of his lane changes on the highway. I have another who tries to cast an 8 ounce fishing weight one yard further down the high school football field every day after class is over. Cast, reel in, cast. Again and again and again, for an hour a day. When he reaches 100 yards, is it Art? 150? If he ever reaches 200, he’ll be one of only a handful of men in the world who have done so. How could it not be Art? He’s not trying for 200, though. He’s trying for one yard further than yesterday.

Is blogging Art? It’s bound to be, eventually. There are too many people participating for it not to eventually produce works of staggering intellect, transcendent beauty and infectious humor. Many will argue that it already has. But most of us aren’t aiming for those Olympian heights, not just yet. Most of us want to cast one yard further than we did yesterday.

It was with that in mind that I created the Carnival of the Vanities. Blogging, if nothing else, is the bleeding edge of vanity publishing. If we didn’t think we had something valuable to say, we wouldn’t be doing this. We’re not stupid, we don’t expect Art to appear from the rearranged electrons when we write a post, but we do know when something we’ve created is a little bit better than the things we have done before. And we cast the child of our mind out into the ether, where it’s derided, laughed at, ignored, and sometimes praised, pointed out to the world by a complete stranger who, simply by the act of pointing says Hey, that’s pretty cool.

And that is the best goddamn feeling in the world……….ok, it’s not the BEST feeling in the world, but it’s a pretty damn good feeling nonetheless.

The links below have been selected by their bloggers as some of the best stuff they’ve done in the past couple of weeks. Is it Art? For the most part, probably not. They probably bear the same relationship to art that cave paintings bear to Kandinsky. But hey, a lot of them are pretty cool. Let them know what you think.

Dustbury.comTop Ten Rejected Titles For The Magazine To Replace Rosie

Where Worlds CollideMuslim Extremism in Britain

The Safety ValveWe’re from the Inquisition, and we’re here to help you.

South Knox BubbaOverheard in the Oval Office

Norwegian BloggerI have seen this business before, but I won’t ignore it or, as I like to call it, Spamfisk the Red

File 13’s Amish Tech Support From A(dams) to Z(evon)

Sine Qua Non PunditComing Soon To a Theater of Operations Near You! and The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Vol. LII

Silent RunningThe “so called” Media

Whigging OutDamning with Faint Praise

greeblie blogTurning 40 Soon

Fragments ~ from FloydGossamer Days

skippy the bush kangarooashleigh banfield on loco-weed

A Small Victoryanger management

PhilosoblogA Metaphorical and Very Short History of the Oppression of Israelis

Silflay HrakaThe Silflay Hraka Theory of Self-Vaccination

The Carnival of the Vanities is published every Wednesday at Silflay Hraka and Blog Critics. Information on how to join the Carnival is available here.

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  • Eric Olsen

    Nice Biggie, very interesting.

  • Thanks BigGuy! I owe you a big one!

  • Hey B’wig…is this thing open for submission of images? Are you planning to develop categories as the number of submissions increases? Are you annoyed by endless questions? Huh? Are you?

  • Images are welcome, Fred. I’ll develop categories once I get a decent feel for how they break down. This was a rush job, so I dropped some things.

  • This is one of the most inspirational blog posts I’ve ever read, and a great resource to boot! Keep up the good work Carnival & Critics.

  • Eric Olsen

    Unfortunately this post is over 2 1/2 years old and the Carnival has been moving around ever since. I’m not sure why we haven’t been asked to host it in so long, but they are free to contact me about it. I haven’t heard from BigWig since the Van Buren administration.

  • nice post