Review 2396

First off, a warning: Chaos Angel is a highly personal website containing strong language and which discusses themes of an adult nature.

I get the feeling that Chaos Angel is not the author’s first weblog. The debut entry, from October 2002, talks about trouble with Movable Type and getting the domain registered; it spoke in a language that revealed a knowledge of technical matters. Further evidence abounds: a section with links concerning design, direct links to XHTML validators, and good, clean, semantically-rich mark-up. The design is a little plain, a little idiosyncratic, but works well with the content and frees the reader from the difficulties that often arise when all you want to do is read at your leisure.

The first couple of entries were poems (I am a particularly poor at judging the quality of poems so I will leave that to you to do), though quickly the number of topics increased; interestingly, each one is available as its own archive, which makes for particularly easy researching.

Quickly you learn that the writer, Pinky, is an unusual character with a distinctive voice and narrative style, peppered with quirks and bad language and often straight to the point. Her attitude is not a fabrication, nor is it born of teenage angst. Pinky is a divorced mother, proud of her children, brutally honest about her past. She confesses to having been assaulted and beaten by men, and even raped when she was 16; it could be said that this website is a means of therapy for her, a way of vanquishing her demons.

By the end of the first month Pinky becomes more assertive and more racey with her posts. October 31st discusses lesbian sex; following the link beneath that entry reveals an archive devoted to talking about sex; for many, this area will be the highlight of the site. The posts that follow are titillating, certainly, and greatly revealing. Pinky is a literary exhibitionist, happy to discuss the most intimate events in her life; her art lies in drawing in the reader, presenting difficult topics with a refreshing openness that makes the reader feel less like a voyeur using the site as a vicarious means of satisfaction, and more like a close friend able to talk rationally and maturely about sex.

Some entries are touchingly innocent; take for example in November ’02 when Pinky recounts the story of how she was told, by a stranger, that her father was gay. Or more recently, in July ’03, when Pinky’s daughter brought up the subject of masturbation.

The “About a Girl” section, the bit that acts as an “About” page that many readers use as an introduction to a site, can be a little misleading. So too the sexy photos in the “Photo-Box” section; bullet points and revealing images are no substitute for the rich texture that only a year of writing can produce. Work your way through the site slowly, and enjoy really learning about a person in a way that you just won’t find possible with 95% of other weblogs.