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The Comments are the heart of BC, a wild, after-the-storm river; wide, deep and dark, glistening with flotsam and jetsam.

Comment Of The Day

ONE of the distinguishing things about BC, something that makes it very different to old school mainstream media, is that we’re all available, contactable and interactive.

We have some great writers and personalities here, both on the editorial side and the vital wider writer community; it’s great, thrilling actually, to see them actually interact, through the Comments, with our readers.

The articles posted on BlogCritics, although complete in themselves, are like the opening remarks in a conversation; sometimes formal, often irreverent, rarely dull.

If you want to shoot the schnizzle about your favourite new band, game, TV show, sport and movie or get seriously political over the hot button issues of the day, THIS is the place to come.

“The comments are what make BlogCritics a community.” Eric Berlin

“Have I said recently how I see comments as kind of the heart or psyche of BC? No? Well, I see the comments as…” Christopher Rose

” I take comments moderately seriously” Dave Nalle


The first ever Comment of the Day award goes to Massachusets’ own SILAS KAIN for:-

Ever the romantic, Bliffle. If I were stuck on an island I would want a pen and a blank journal. I would create my own impressions and commune with nature and the Maker in a special way. At night I would scan the skies, taking in the Heavens wondering what lay beyond our galaxy. Of course, playing Robinson Crusoe involves having a companion. I’ll take a sheep.

Banter, poetry and sexual deviation are not found on every page of BlogCritics but are typical of the twists and turns that any thread can take. This particular classic is Comment # 33 to an original article “Shrub vs. Slick: Who Reads What?” by BlogCritics’ Political Editor Natalie Davis.


The second ever Comment of the Day award this Tuesday the 29th of November goes to the busy wit of GoHah from San Diego for this double blast:-

I committed the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll faux pas at the first Live-Aid in Philadelphia in the 80’s when, due primarily to heat stroke, I was forced to remain seated during “Stairway To Heaven.” Blasphemy! Let’s just say lunch was on me: I got pelted with so much food and verbal abuse I was lucky to get out alive.

This gem appears as Comment #75 to Barry Stoller’s Led Zep – Top over-rated “hate to love them” piece.

Conversations can sometimes wander off topic and GoHah delivered this classic oneliner as Comment #4 slap in the middle of Kathy Gill‘s political news report California Republican Admits to Taking Bribes, Resigns

took me a bride once–big-boned gal with child-bearing hips…


I love the way that everybody at BlogCritics is held instantly accountable for their words. Writers, Commenters and Editors alike are paraded, praised, pilloried or pelted with tomatoes as the issues of the day are picked over in thoughtful detail. Great articles can attract derision or praise or worst fate of all, be ignored – and I’ve a few of them myself, lurking in dusty corners of BC.

I like to think that the best articles will get the best comments and there’s a great example of that in today’s Comment of the Day, this Wednesday 30 November, where young Kansan Sam Jack, aka Leoniceno, reports today on the kidnapping of US peace activist Tom Fox and drew the following remarks by the articulate if low profile pogblog in Comment #2:-

Thanks for this touching and inspiring piece, Mr. Jack. To stand without weapons in a whirlwind of firepower is a courage few of us have to summon to “do no harm.” I hope Mr. Fox is spared. I hope all in that torn land are spared.

I am a militant pacifist by which I mean that I don’t give a fig about violent words or violent video games or violent movies, though none of those might be my taste. I militantly care about not mangling these poor fragile people, civilians and soldiers, on either side. That we could still be ‘mutilating for peace’ in 2005 was not in my imagination a lifetime ago in my idealistic twenties. (I remain obdurately optimistic in the long run. It seems rocky in the short run.)

Though I don’t happen to be Christian or any other indoor Religion, I was interested in your phrase, “parasitic power of Satan.” I’m studying the idea that the separation of Being into God & Satan is probably a false idea. In so far as I can examine myself, I find both impulses woven in my consciousness and conscience and am working on the alchemy to be more harmless which seems the course of the universe, perhaps?

I don’t see a Pure God and a Pure Satan. That puts us outside the struggle. I think we are intimate facets of the very struggle of AllBeing to sort out Impulses and Desires into something sustainable and sane. (Which is why, by the way, that I think we need to include some pretty not-pretty stuff for catharsis. My kindest, most harmless 30-something friend loves GTA[Grand Theft Auto]. He will never hurt any animate thing.)

Thanks again for this piece into which you poured so much heart and thought.


There were several contenders for Comment of the Day this Thursday the first day of December. In the end, for purely selfish, nostalgic reasons I plumped for this lovely shout out for the wonder that has been BLONDIE.

I know a lot of people might be thinking Blondie is unworthy. I think they’re worthy; I also think a lot of people never really “got” Blondie.

Unfortunately, most people remember them only for their biggest hits, which basically means “Heart of Glass” “Call Me” “Rapture” and “The Tide Is High”

Which makes for the most unrepresentational, lousiest 4-song sampler you could compile.

The discofied “Heart of Glass” was their only pure disco tune; their other stuff is a lot more guitar-based, most of it not very disco at all. “Call Me” was produced by Gorgio Moroder, and the single is his sound, not theirs. “Rapture” was an homage to Kurtis Blow, and while in some ways it is a fine homage, it is also a clumsy one. They never attempted anything really like it again. “The Tide Is High” is a reggae cover; Blondie wasn’t reggae.

I’ve always loved Plastic Letters from 1977, which is when they were still kinda punk, and fairly arty, and before they became dilettantish about musical styles, as they did starting with Autoamerican, their next to last album until the reunion.

The one that hooked me as a 14-year-old was Eat to the Beat, which is dilettantish enough to stay interesting, but true to their powerpop meets art-rock meets girl-group meets British Invasion meets punk meets disco meets urban core. And Blondie and Parallel Lines are still good listens.

They may seem unremarkable now; perhaps they’re limited by the context of their times. But I still have fun listening to them, even if I don’t do it very often these days.

A good 10-song oddball sampler might include:

X Offender
I Didn’t Have The Nerve To Say No
Fan Mail
Slow Motion
Die Young Stay Pretty
The Hardest Part
War Child

Toss in “Rush Rush” from Harry’s solo career.

Incidentally, I always considered Harry one of the most decent rock stars; she essentially gave up her career in the early 80’s to nurse Chris Stein back to health (literally, by his side) during and after he suffered a debilitating, near fatal, years long bout of some fluke disease (I forget exactly what it was; blood or bone disease, something like that) She’s still with him today.

How many people who lived through the punk/disco New York 70’s can claim that?

You go, girl! (and band, too)

These wonderful words of appreciation flowed from the keyboard of young (?) American uao, whose own Freeway Jam makes a fine read, as Comment #15 to the master post Blogcritics on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of ’06 by Cleveland’s Eric Olsen.


The two sections of BlogCritics that attract the most heated and passionate debate are undoubtedly those normally unlikely bedfellows Music and Politics; in these sections particularly, every exotic strand of human thought is to be found pulsing through the comment stream, from the deranged to the noble.

We’ll get to the deranged in due course but Friday the 2nd of December 2005 seems like a good day for nobility, tolerance and wisdom. All this and more is to be found in today’s Comment of the Day by Margaret Romao Toigo

Believe this or not, milk cartons with missing children on them is a sign of progress. Look at it from the perspective of history, people of all ages and walks of life have been going missing ever since there have been people.

Nowadays, we are more aware of it and we have the means to actually do something about it with modern communications technology, ads on milk cartons, “Amber” alerts, etc.

We have become a more caring society with regard to missing persons and, as a result, we find more of them (alive, in many cases) than we ever did in the past.

Infanticide and child abuse/neglect are not new, either. Again, this is an issue of which we have become more aware, resulting in fewer such incidents.

Second graders still don’t sell drugs in school. Perhaps there was one sensational case of a child that young acting as a front for a dealer (likely a relative), but this is atypical as the vast majority of drug dealers are beyond school age.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I am not an idealistic optimist ignoring the problems of modern American society. For example, we have not yet transcended the mindset that continues to feed the war on drugs.

Homelessness isn’t new, either. However, today we treat the homeless with far more dignity than we ever did in the past and since we have become aware of the problem, there are far more people and organizations helping homeless people.

Seventh graders don’t get pregnant in huge numbers. Again, I am sure there were a few incidents, but it is hardly an epidemic.

Statistically speaking, Americans are having children later in life than they did in the past. In the 1950s, the average age of first time mothers was 17, today it is 23.

Our most important progress with regard to “illegitimacy” is that it is no longer considered to be a stigma upon the child.

The divorce statistics are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is tragic how roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, but on the other, women (and some men too, just to be fair and balanced) are no longer trapped in unhappy, abusive relationships.

Sure, housewives still do not have to work (in jobs outside the home, cooking, cleaning, marketing, tending to children etc is hard work).
Women are free to choose what they wish to do with their lives. Back in the day when housewives didn’t have to work, they were frequently not allowed to work if they wanted to.

The reason why so many see decline is the result of the technological progress that has given us a 24-hour news cycle.

Think about filling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with the sort of news that is most likely to get the high ratings shares.

“If it bleeds, it leads” is the credo of that highly competitive market in which the sensational, the bizarre and the tragic receive so much airtime that isolated incidents often appear as epidemics.

Margaret wrote these words as Comment #81 to John Bambenek‘s controversial Why Does the ACLU Hate the Troops? Opinion piece.


I suspect some people round here thought I got the short end of the stick when I accepted the role of BlogCritics’ Comments Editor but to my way of thinking I got the better end of the deal.

I’ve always been the kind of person with a wide range of interests – if fatally handicapped by a low attention span and boredom threshold. I really couldn’t stand to be dealing with the same old topic, no matter how much I loved it, all day every day.

It’s all horses for courses of course and the BlogCritics Section Editors, volunteers every one, do an absolutely fabulous job in an impressive collective sacrifice of careers, family, friends and sometimes their sanity! I just get to flit around the place and enjoy myself.

The Comment of the Day for Saturday December the 3rd is this from the largely unknown “Chantal”, who added the following as Comment #2 on the excellent opinion piece Quest For Meaning by John Spivey.

With our fast pace, technology based, digital society, its nice just to hear someone openly comtemplate the meaning of life. Sometimes it seems there are only two voices out there….those who dont seem to think about it at all and just trudge through life in any direction with no particular purpose except self-fulfillment…..and then those who already claim to have it all figured out, mainly overzealous religious people—evangelicals, etc (dont get me wrong, I’m a Christian, but I don’t have the answers, only more and more questions).

I wonder sometimes if the actual contemplation of the meaning of life is what gives us its meaning, the act of it. I mean, as humans, that’s what we do, right?—-question everything. Where would be without our questions? I think those who don’t question, or those who think they already found the answers are really missing the point.

A relative newcomer to BlogCritics, John is from Santa Barbara, California. Life must be good there as he’s a published author, mountain biking, backpacking, cross-country skiing carpenter as well as a blackbelt in Aikido. And a parent. The swine.


I’m always impressed by the depth of passionate feelings and ideas seething through the silicon circuits of BlogCritics, the rich heady blood in our virtual veins if you like.

In addition to the heated broth to be found in Music and Politics, there are more considered strands, such as the Gaming, where everyone from pre-teens to pensioners pitches the latest news and reviews or Sports, where everything from English to American Football grapples with the WWE.

Against this brainstretching backdrop of the banal and the beautiful, BC Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman chipped this conversational bomb:-

Isn’t “Jacked Up” TJ’s segment to begin with?

But ESPN has seemed to take the “Crossfire” approach to talking about sports, like two guys in a bar arguing over which teams’s the best. Only these guys are wearing suits and making much more money.

This potted wisdom, Comment of The Day for Sunday 4th December 2005, appears as comment #1 to ESPN Gets Too Loud For Its Own Good by American Mid-Westerner Zach Baker.

Mr Sussman’s own blog The Futon Report, sub-titled “Takin´it sitting down”, is puzzlingly not about Japanese sexual habits but what I’ll charitably call the major USA “sports” whilst article author Mr Baker’s Vitamin Z stretches itself to be “An experiment in politics, sports and writing”.

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