I hereby dub these "personal cultural blogs," or "PCBs" (not to be confused with those things you wire crystal radios on). Personal cultural bloggers write about their reactions to works they encounter in life, new or old, local or foreign, well-known or obscure. The constants are their prose and their perspective — or, for the P hat trick, their personality. I read the personal cultural bloggers I read because I like how they write, and therefore how they think, and/or I find their opinions are similar to, or — better yet — interestingly different than mine.
Some favorite PCBs include David Auerbach's Waggish, a blog of unclear but nonetheless absolutely coherent-feeling mandate. Much of the what he writes about sits at the intersection of literature and philosophy, though his posts I like best take on works that seem somewhat farther-flung: an inquest on "left-brained" literature (Pavic, Borges, Stephenson, etc.), an appreciation of filmmaker Shohei Imamura, a short but incisive review of John Williams' Stoner.
Focusing only on film, Blake Williams' R, and G, and B takes on a wide range of Colin-pleasing directors, including Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda and Abbas Kiarostami. While he hasn't updated since Cannes, what's there is solid. (Williams' is also one of the few voices to accuse Pixar of juvenile sentimentalism, a crime I've vaguely suspected they've been getting away with.)
I often quote Adam Cadre, and his calendar, a PCB in all but name, remains the one I get the most excited to see updated. He thinks so very clearly in text, which is especially fascinating when he's thinking his way to different opinions than mine. And he usually is: see his posts on Tropical Malady ("Too slow, gave up"), Hana-bi ("Too slow, gave up") and In the Mood for Love ("Recommended for Colin Marshall").
My newest find is with hidden noise, written by Dan Visel of The Institute for the Future of the Book. For perhaps obvious reasons, the blog is book-centric, and Visel makes a great (and uncommon) effort to cover interesting books: Nicholson Baker's U and I, Aeschylus' The Oresteia, Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Self-Portrait Abroad, Donald Barthelme's Paradise. But it's his immortal review of Nick Smith's (a.k.a. ulillillia's) The Legend of the Ten Elemental Masters that truly cannot be missed:
It doesn’t take much poking around to come to the conclusion that Smith is somewhere on the autism spectrum. To you and me, the idea of jumping 10,000 feet in the air is not very different from the idea of jumping 12,000 feet in the air. Nick Smith sees things differently.But looking at these PCB's comment counts, I notice that most of their posts meet the same hollow, damning silence mine do. So maybe I enjoy them purely out of brother-in-arms solidarity. Yet must it be this way?