So, there’s this meme floating around that anyone who reads any other English-language blogs about China has undoubtedly seen. I first saw it on China Law Blog, and have been re-reading it on everyone else’s blog for the last few days as it spreads through the blogsphere quicker than an STD in a dorm.
The hook is “Thinking Blogs“, and once tagged as a “thinking blog” you are asked to then list your top five “thinking blogs”, continuing the chain. Knowing the incestuous nature of such things, I immediately began thinking who I might list in my “top five” should I get tagged.
Just after realizing that I would have an extremely hard time choosing just five blogs, and also understanding that I don’t know the first thing about what dictates if something is a “thinking (insert noun)”, I got tagged by the newly relocated (and looking snazzy) Eyes East.
Like being picked non-last for (insert misc. sport here), it felt nice to be noticed, but I was still having trouble coming up with a narrow list of blogs that really make me think. I mean, whatever it says about me, most things make me think. Hell, I’m fascinated watching ants move dead bugs.
It was then that the second tagging came in… and this one seemed much more fitting. Lonnie’s OneManBandwidth tagged me, along with four others, as a Short Bus blog – or a blog that’s (apparently) not smart enough to ride the big bus.
Caught between two idealistically different memes, I’ve decided that I can’t be buggered to sort it out. The truth is, I love every blog I read for different reasons, and every post for even different reasons than that.
What it’s all lead me back to is something I’ve felt with increasing intenseness in recent months… our little ‘sphere is becoming more and more like a real community, and it’s weird.
It’s weird that I can sit and have conversations over a beer with friends and quote something read on a blog halfway across China and have them say they read it too.
It’s weird that I’ve made some amazing friends since coming to China, and many of them are (at least indirectly) because of this blog and the off-shoots it’s responsible for.
It’s weird that you can show friendly affection for someone, just by dropping a link here or there.
It’s weird that I find it strange when I meet people and they’ve not got a blog.
It’s weird, but it’s nice. It’s a human WAN, and one that largely looks after its own. It’s a news aggregator, a gossip channel, a teacher, a poet, a tech support line, a critic; but most of all its a comrade in arms. Though we may not all share the same views, most of us are in the same boat – namely trying vainly to make sense of the confusing world we interact with on a daily basis here in China.
What little wisdom my limited years have gained me all points to one thing – perspective. Just when I think I’ve got it all sorted out, a new idea seeps in and I’m forced to learn it all again – each time better and clearer. This is what the China blogsphere has given me.
So, I’ll not choose five (thinkers or short-bussers) though I’m honored to be thought of as both.
Despite being a pretty good editor, and generally knowing how to trim the fat off all but my waistline, I know any five I chose would be doing a disservice to the rest. If you want blog suggestions, start on my blog roll, then their blog rolls, and just don’t stop clicking – they all make me think, and most belong on a Laowai-accessible short bus.