Review 2401

Yaser, with “To die, to sleep… no more”, has surely one of the most pretentious taglines I have come across in quite a while. In fact, if that was all I had to go on, I wouldn’t read much of the site, especially as the page’s design is substantially broken in Netscape (come on people! It isn’t hard to get cross-compatible sites up these days!).

Fortunately, on loading the site, I was greeted with a very welcoming and attractively green masthead, an understated aesthetic that works particularly well under Internet Explorer, and generally a site packed with wonderful content.

Yaser is a student at Toronto University; that’s as much personal information as we are given, which is a shame but hardly a crime, and considering how hazardous it can be to have a public website if you’re islamic (at least in the current political climate), perhaps a good idea. Yaser, though, is certainly a talented photographer.

Photography is becoming the dominant thread running through the blog. It wasn’t always this way – in previous months Yaser discussed the problems of being a Muslim during the war with Iraq. Before the world was taken over by the Bush war machine and the theological shellshock such actions brought with it, the writer was happy enough to spend a lot of time posting comments and opinions about university life.

For a while, from the beginning of the site’s archives in May ’02, Yaser wrote about just about everything, and such lack of focus can be a site’s undoing. Posts varied from week to week, some concerned solely with a particular topic, only for it to be discarded after a few entries; for example, the World Cup in Japan and South Korea attracts some attention, but aside from the odd comment on one or two exceptional results (and a closer look at Saudi Arabia’s embarrassing run of form), there is no reason to read this site’s coverage over any other’s, unless you happen to be a close friend.

That Yaser‘s site looks to be gaining a focus (photography, with photos as blog entries; occasionally complete series of them) is why I think it is worth coming back to. There are too many blogs that lack direction, content to provide content only of interest to friends and an immediate, pre-existing community; now it serves a bigger purpose, a theme that makes the whole more interesting. – To die, to sleep…no more