One of the unbeatable pluses of the Bloggosphere is that it is replete with good writing. Locating a mature, lucid blog though is like searching the sea of fallen autumn leaves for that one tiny magic stick that’s lying out there, somewhere…. Not too much hope of discovery here. But, then, there’s always chance.
The Culpepper Log, run by Al Barger, is both a pleasant surprise and a solid personal views and analysis blog. Al compiles cracking good posts mainly focused on American politics. His views and political preferences are quite obvious from the word “go,” and I found this to be one of the strongest attributes of the Culpepper Log. Named after the Culpepper Minute Men Battalion of War of Independence fame, Al’s site makes its presence known in an unmistakable, assured, and articulate manner.
Al doesn’t mince words, but he writes with that rare combination of well-founded personal belief and a sense of humor that should make even those who disagree with him want to keep scrolling down his blog. After reading some of his most recent postings on the screen, I quickly printed all 21 pages of the Culpepper Log on display in the browser window — and went to my reading armchair with the print-out and a red pen.
I definitely enjoyed reading Al’s prose much, much more than the “serious analyses” that unfortunately form part of my daily professional occupation (ughhhhh…). Amazingly, his post on “Walt Disney and the memory hole” (11/20) touched upon questions I’ve thrown around in the past with some U.S. friends involved in the movie industry. The post provided pin-point commentary that answered the questions and directed me to another source on the Web for further info. Power of the Blogs!
His “Mixed feelings about democracy” (11/5) won’t sit well with many, even well-intentioned, readers, I think, but it is nevertheless a valid expression of personal conflict — especially since Al admits that, despite his harsh criticism of government and politics being “a contemptible criminal enterprise,” “I never feel so much a part of the community as when I’m politicking.”
Culpepper Log’s format is clear-cut. Al marks each post with a headline and posts his short essays in a properly formatted template. No HTML razzmatazz here, just good ol’ functionality from which many bloggers could learn. I especially liked the “Liberty or Death – Don’t Tread on Me” logo, a small political-ideological reminder perhaps, but a significant reminder nevertheless. Al provides a short list of links and also invites you to subscribe to the log’s Yahoo Groups e-mail list for “some goodies” that do not appear on his Web page. Al defines his page as “Notes on the current state of free thinking and free living,” and although he often refers to “mainstream news,” I would place the Culpepper Log in the Personal category.
Who should point his/her browser to the Culpepper Log? I’d recommend Al’s page to all Bloggosphere mariners without exception. Of course, some would fall in love with the Culpepper Log at first sight, and some would immediately hate it because of its political slant.
But, in between, I think that Al wouldn’t have a problem gaining many devoted readers because (a) speaks with a straight tongue (b) knows how to put together words (c) is not boring (d) touches upon major issues of wider concern in U.S. society and politics. And, most importantly, Al provides the kind of commentary that would make the “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” “Politically Correct” talking heads gasp, cringe, and choke on their vegetarian haute cuisine entree.
Hoist the battle standard and go pay a visit to the Culpepper Log! Culpepper Log