Hey kids! It's Ginny, from Praying to Darwin. I get all hopped up on goofballs one night, and before I know it, I'm sending out the bat signal, asking Shinerpunch if she's got anything laying around that needs reviewing. In retrospect, I think that's the part where she tented her fingers, murmuring “Excellent...” in her best Monty Burns impression. She knew what she was foisting on me. That diabolical bitch.
Upon opening Archive Fire, I was intrigued. Unlike the vast majority of folks who read blogs (definitely the majority of reviewers on here) I like a good white text on black background site. I have very few problems with the layout in general. Clean.
And then I start reading.
I find what passes for an “About” section. When it starts with the word “warning”, it's a little foreboding. Turns out our homeboy Michael is writing a book. He's an anthropologist, and an activist, and he doesn't give a crap whether you like this blog or not. He doesn't want to engage you. He wants to talk at you, not with you. (If discussion should occasionally break out, he'll go there, but it's not exactly encouraged.) The whole blog's a bit masturbatory – “I have all this knowledge, and if it backs up, well, it won't be pretty, so I'm going to release it here. Go ahead and watch, if you want.”
I kind of liked it. He writes about wildly varying stuff, from aboriginal issues to kindness to capitalism. I like it when he calls bullshit on the opinion driven naysayers in this post.
It's just too bad he has to do it in a way that makes this blog so niche, aimed solely at fellow academics. I can appreciate a niche blog: the good ones stick to a theme, and you know what you're getting when you go there (be it recipes or pictures of cats or sex toy reviews). But in this case, the subject material is fairly diverse – it's the audience that is narrow. (When you're including disclaimers like this: [* please note that all content is provisional and part of a recursive process inextricably woven into a more extensive and multi-tactical expressive project] ? You're not talking to most people. Or even very many people.)
I'm completely flummoxed as to why he submitted to us. I can't imagine he'd ever change anything based on a review. I can only assume it was for traffic. Because anthropology books don't sell themselves. And did I mention he's writing one? Hmmm.
Instead I'm going with this:
The Island. He's alone. And he likes it that way.