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Evidence of compelling Blogcritics characters

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Blogcritics is certainly populated with a potpourri of characters.

One critic believes there is a racial motivation for nearly everything, another thinks Black Sabbath didn’t inspire anybody else musically, another wants to go volunteer in Iraq for two weeks, another has publically renounced her US citizenship over the belief that there is no equality in America, another wants to name his children BRICKLAYER, and several are wondering what happenend to Slash, and ____ (yeah, fill in the blank). Blogcritics is anything but dull, no wonder it is on my blogroll! If you are looking for a quick sketch of some of the more active blogcritics / commenters from the current leaderboard, then here goes:

Eric Olsen – omnipresent, intelligent, contributes regularly and often on a wide variety of topics. Go easy on the tech stuf with him, but then he’s got the capable and willing Phillip Winn as admin for the site. Nice guy, very good writer.

Dawn Olsen – strong-willed, unafraid to use profanity and a weblog with two stick figures working it, doggy-style. She doesn’t contribute as often as others but when she does, you can expect it to come with a sharp edge.

Phillip Winn – a fellow techie and more than willing to take someone to task if he feels they’ve posted something factually disputable. Logical, yet headstrong. Leave him an Apple if you get in over your head.

Al Barger – despite the internet connection hex placed on him, he can take the heat literally and dish it out; boisterous, opinionated and not afraid to mince words — or wear garlic — to ward off those evil spirits in the library. Likes to play the devil’s advocate.

The Theory – the theory with The Theory seems to be consistency. Lots of comments and posting and a knack for staying at the water’s edge of the discussion and never getting too deeply involved. Not a dig, just saying he doesn’t stir things up too often. One defining moment for him was when he remarked he wasn’t getting many reader comments and yet shared an article by Rolling Stone with the top 100 guitarists and some hundreds of comments later, people are still wondering: “where is Slash?”

Marty Dodgereports on recent music happenings mostly and has an odd, yet healthy obsession with italics. It is rare to see him offer any commentary, but he posts frequently. He seems to be plugged into what’s happening on the music scene.

Jim Carruthers – a Canadian writer with opinions on a wide variety of topics. He comments more than he posts reviews/articles but maybe that just means he loves to read.

Brian Flemming – Might not want to get on this guy’s nitpick list because he’ll hound you like a pack of hungry dogs, or should I say a pack of Terminators. He’s like an Energizer bunny with a lifetime supply of batteries. Selective commenter, critical but often thorough, and will give you a bunch of links, though his research can be contradicting at times. Got to admire his passion, dedication and output.

Chris Arabia – was planning a trip to Iraq to help out for a couple weeks in part due to a challenge issued by another blogcritic; often to be found near political pieces and weighing in on the subject pensively.

Mac Diva – when not overworking a worthwhile topic, she’s a solid read. She had a somewhat ugly brush with another blogcritic where she was going to leave the site at one time but fortunately that has died down and she hung around and has kept on contributing. Passionate, detail-oriented and generally skilled in her writing delivery.

Natalie Davis – writes, reads and was/is an editor, with an often cautious, yet selective choice of words and sentence structure; a self-admitted pacifist. Consider yourself fortunate if she comments on your work as she often has worthwile and useful commentary. Might not agree with her political views, but her heart in humanity-related matters seems to be in the right place.

Tom Johnson – self-admitted music lover and enjoys the process of buying new CDs. Unafraid to voice an opposing view or two, especially when it comes to RIAA-related posts — of which there have been numerous by several blogcritics. Intelligent and in control of his writing. Good reviews with his name on them both technical and musical.

Mark Saleski – active music reviewer who recently starting offering numbered “Mini-Listens” which he describes as: a huge pile of musical ‘stuff’ on my desk…CD’s, singles, articles, reviews, notes scribbled down during the drive home, etc. It all goes into my music ‘in-box’. To be ‘processed’ later. His writing style is economical and fairly fluid. Keep your eyes peeled for his regular contributions.

Mike – not one of the blogcritics, but a steady, regular commenter. Seems to enjoy the process of adding a quip or even more detailed response to something that tickles his brain. Humorous at times.

[Doh! Mike corrected me below: he is a blogcritic now! Fixed.]

Hal Pawluk – active in political threads with a penchant for the recent political situation in California.

James Russell – hasn’t posted a new article for a little while but is still commenting. When he was posting he leaned toward reviews and news in the movie arena with sort of a semi-sardonic point of view.

Steve Rhodes – was on the scene for the release of the iTunes for Windows launch and seems to be fairly plugged into the Apple scene. His writing is crisp and reader-friendly.

Murphy Horner – Murphy has been contributing posts for more than a year and is a steady, consistent writer who wrote recently: So I’ve been here more than a year now. I still feel like I have no idea what’s going on.. Catchy way to start off a piece! Her style is soft and easy on the eyes. It’s somewhat rare to see her offer any commentary with only a couple dozen comments in a year’s time, but she is certainly worth a read.

TDavid – hey, what am I doing on this list? You can find my work all over the web by simply googling my name. If you are really curious what I’ve been up to on the web over the last few years or so, you can read my bio. I’ve hosted a two hour weekly internet radio show conducting hundreds of audio interviews at Script School since May 2000 (this Friday will be show #164). I’ve also completed seven fiction novels (unpublished), 100 short stories (fiction, non-fiction and essay) and hundreds of articles, many of which have been published online, covering a variety of subjects but mostly technology-oriented. I maintained a column in an adult webmaster print magazine, Klixxx, for awhile. I have a passionate opinion and am not shy about offering it. Water is my favorite drink. I like rainbows. I believe dreams do come true.

Unfortunately, I’ve left some blogcritics and commenters off this list. Why? Blame it on a lack of interactivity with those not mentioned or simply my being human and or common oversight. Rest assured it isn’t anything personal. Those who might feel even remotely slighted, please don’t, because you can assist me with an update of this someday. Help to flesh this list out by writing your own description, assuming of course that you contribute either comments or by posting articles, reviews or entries to Blogcritics and trackback from your blog here. Or my favorite: skip to the front of the line for the always open, antiseptic comment section.

Playfulness aside, one of the reasons I wrote this was so that I could develop a cross reference list of blogs that went along with Blogcritics motto: sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, and technology – updated continuously Some of these blogcritics I’ve read and never have visited their blog until preparing this piece.

Now I’m curious: how did I do?

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About TDavid

  • Wow, I’ve never been described as a “compelling character” before. I feel so… fictional.


  • is. freelance.

  • mike

    hey, i’m a blogcritic now!


  • That you are, Mike, my error. Thanks for the correction. Your name isn’t linked off the leaderboard to that blog 🙁

  • TDavid, thanks for the compliments. Nice, but humbling, to see I’m ranked among the best the site has to offer.

    Someone please force BRICKLAYER to join as an official BC. His comments never fail to cause laughter for me. He’s got to have some worthwhile stuff to offer outside of comments.

    After awhile, this site starts to become like a family . . . a pretty dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless. How can you not love it here?

  • Yeah BRICKLAYER has it going on with that dude in the gorilla suit guitar solo thing. Where has he gone to?

  • Eric Olsen

    TD, thanks very much, great post and an idea most of us are too wrapped up in our own sphincters to see, very kind characterization. Look carefully at Dawn’s logo again, there’s less than meets the eye!

  • Eric Olsen

    Oh, and as far as Bricky goes, I have importuned him more than once about joining, but he doesn’t have a blog, doesn’t seem to want a blog, and for now is content to roam the ethereal halls of the comments section. But the offer is always open.

  • Thanks for the mini-bio, TDavid. Headstrong? What a descriptive word!

    Incidentally, while I had the same initial reaction to Dawn’s homepage logo that you’ve described above, a closer look reveals that the two characters are side-by-side. I envision the standing figure holding the kneeling figure’s hair while he or she pukes, frankly.

    Oops – there’s one of those “factually disputable” items.

  • Eric Olsen

    the standing one is helping the other up, I believe

  • Art is speculative, though, isn’t it? LOL

  • aww, shucks.

  • Eric Olsen

    TD, thanks again for this!

  • TD: Is this — “often cautious, yet selective choice of words and sentence structure” — a good or bad thing?

  • Your welcome, Eric, this was a fun piece 🙂 Hopefully others will add their bios or correct mine if they’re inaccurate as at least one here has already done.

  • Ahh, that is somewhat vague, isn’t it? That one is being intentionally left to the mind of the reader, Natalie, to decide, so what do you think? Did you intrepret that as negative or positive? Why?

  • Thanks – I’m flattered. And am generally off California for a while, probably until the next recall. Which could be any day now 🙂

  • Dawn

    I feel honored to be mentioned in conjunction with so many great writers, even the inimitable Brian Flemming.

    Yes, while my logo is meant to be initially shocking, it goes with the motto of being helpful – or something like that. I like Phillip’s analysis.

    Thanks for mentioning me – I will try to contribute more often – then again maybe I shouldn’t 🙂

  • No, Dawn, you definitely should. (And I understood the graphic from the get-go. Wow, you people with dirty minds! [wink])

    TDavid, I saw it as negative (and likely justified), but that has more to do with my inferiority complex than anything else.

  • TDavid, thank you for your kind remarks. This whole column represents a significant amount of thought and effort on your part.

    I am not entirely comfortable, however, with being described as a “devil’s advocate.” That may be a somewhat reasonable description on occasion, but such a description may be taken uncharitably to mean that I advocate positions that I don’t really support. That is not the case, and such an idea can be used against me.

    In short, I mean what I say. There may be the occasional bit of sarcasm, saying something directly backwards, but I hope those type of things are obvious in their intent. If there is ever a question of such things, someone please ask.

    However, I do tend to state things strongly, perhaps on occasion over adamantly. Now and again, I find it appropriate to re-think or concede a point. I may be perhaps accused of pushing an idea past its proper load limit from time to time.

    This is part of the reason why I cherish some of my most oppositional fellow Blogcritics, especially Mac Diva. She in particular keeps me on my toes. If I make a weak argument, she will happily break it off up in me. I’m not getting away with anything.

    In short, Mac Diva gives me some of the discipline I need. 🙂

    Thank you, Mac Diva.

  • Eric Olsen

    And I know he really means it

  • Ål: Perhaps TDavid is comparing you to Keanu Reeves

  • Your welcome, Al, but actually I didn’t describe you as a devil’s advocate I wrote:

    likes to play the devil’s advocate

    I don’t know if this technique is to get a rise out of some/many/all readers or what (I think it might be), but I see this as a stylistic device, not necessarily a negative thing in your writing style. It can be a risky thing to do but if done correctly, as you have done a few times, it pays huge dividends. Don’t change anything, it’s your voice 🙂

    Michael – Keanu Reeves? Excellent! I just never was able to get past his role in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

    Natalie – it was my intention to try for the most part and have a glass half-full, constructive perspective with everybody’s writing in this piece.

  • Dawn

    Hey Al, you can always adopt the philosophy I have been teaching Lily:

    “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.”

    She just sticks her tongue out at me though.

  • The figures in Dawn’s image have 4 legs each, what’s up with that.

  • Dawn

    Those are arms – at least I think they are.

  • The Theory

    I couldn’t have writen mine any better myself.

    *The Theory… likes to state opinions/facts and let everyone else duke it out*

  • I stumbled across this piece today — great stuff and now a part of Blogcritics history!

  • I’d never seen this ancient relic of a post before Mr Berlin’s comment made it pop up on my commdar. It’s fascinating to see how much has stayed the same at BlogCritics – and how much has changed.

    There have been many changes for the better, but also one markedly for the worse. I never knew the now late Jim Carruthers, just caught the name and a post here, comment there, just enough to make a mental note to check his stuff out in more detail later.

    Thanks to BlogCritics and other sites we can all still read Jim’s words and it’s nice to know something of his uniqueness lives on in the web-net. I borrowed “web-net” from the mighty Duke De Mondo, who wrote these mighty fine Thoughts On Jim Carruthers in memorium.

  • This was a fascinating look at some of the players
    Never heard of some of them but now I feel like I
    sort of know some of you a bit better.

    I think it’s time for a sequel.

  • This is indeed ancient, but a sequel wouldn’t be a bad idea. Or perhaps someone should do a ‘where are they now’ followup on some of the more notorious but now departed characters.


  • gonzo marx

    wow..a bunch of these folks i don’t even recall hearing/reading about…

    i do agree that someone should definately step up and do a sequel for this, covering the current tribe of yammerheads cavorting through the aether around here

    but that person would have to be a helluva lot braver than yers truly…


  • Oh come now, gonzo. Your take would be quite entertaining. I’m stoll trying to analyze Eric Olsen’s sphincter comment way up above. It made me twitch.

  • Come on, Gonzo you can do it!

  • Scott Butki

    Gonzo, you know you wanna do it