My first impressions of “Yikes!” were not so good actually, despite the high score I eventually gave it. Firstly I was confronted by a rather disturbing picture of a guy in his underpants, with an even more disturbing slogan on it. Secondly, the “About Me” page basically states that the author has nothing worth saying and people would be stupid to read the blog anyway, with a lot of swearing thrown in for good measure.
I have mentioned these first impressions because they do not in any way reflect the rest of the blog and had I been a casual browser, I may have let them put me off what is otherwise an outstanding blog. To be fair, the disturbing picture just happened to be part of the most recent post and it (along with the slogan) are both meant in some kind of ironic sense anyway, which the entry text abundantly confirms. The (rather unnecessary) self-berating in the “About Me” is actually false humility too – the author clearly has some interesting, intelligent opinions which are backed up by degrees in both religion and politics and his blog is, in my opinion, most certainly worth reading.
Before I say more about the content though, let’s get the technicalities out the way first. It is a Typepad blog with its own individual title bar and fairly plain (but functional) colour scheme. There are the usual links and archives in the one sidebar, along with extensive photo albums. Incidentally, I would like to have known the relevance of the five pictures in the title bar, or whether they are simply just some random images.
I will move swiftly on to the content, because the content is what the site is really all about. As I hinted earlier, I really cannot praise this guy’s writing enough. He writes about a variety of topics- the usual blogging fair of interesting links, quotes of the day, personal entries and stuff about his job, but what raises this content above the norm is the fact that a) the author is well educated and politically astute, b) he is a practising Jew (I always like to see bloggers prepared to write about their religious beliefs with conviction) and c) he is also very down to earth and fun to be around. I made a note of the links relating to the posts I loved, so here goes – firstly the underpants one, which is actually highly critical of the Deep South in the US, an interesting discussion about the use of ‘Auschwitz’ as a flippant analogy (especially with the comments too), a rant about the inappropriate use of language in the British Sporting Press (as a Brit I found this particulaly funny), the difficulties the author has with blogging, some outside criticism of an earlier post (and the author’s response to the criticism) and finally some great opinions on the Arab/Isreali conflict. I could write a paragraph on each of these entries in turn, and there are others which I enjoyed too (even the occasional joke thrown in for good measure), but time and space prevent me from doing this. The best thing to do is check them out, as the quality of the writing speaks for itself anyway. My only minor gripe is that the swearing (which is peppered throughout the posts too) may put people off. It didn’t bother me though.
Overall then, this is another example of a really well written blog. I laughed, I was entertained, I was educated and I was given an insight in to someone else’s world. What more could I ask for?Yikes!