A notably slow Sunday, cleaning, washing dishes, reading The Subject of Gender that I am already certain will be on my list of best books of 2008 – she quotes Judith Butler in the context of mother-daughter gender relations in urban China… mmm makes me want to be an anthropologist. And so I decided to do some recoding of my blog.

Notice the bit to the right that used to list some blog awards I’d won or been nominated for has gone, replaced by the abstract concept of future but currently deferred gratification. Which is to say, the way to make me happy, hold vast influence and sway over me, ensure – if not lifelong, then a sustained sense of love and adoration from me of you, is to furnish me with the pummeled and thrashed corpses of trees laced with ink. Books. mmm…

I have a pile I seek to covet that would see me not leave the comfort of my bed for many weeks were all to arrive at once, and despite having just returned to university to do a degree in Asian Studies and International Politics, my interests lately seem to have returned firmly to Central Asia, the ~stans, Iran also, and bits of western China that make more sense to be considered in this geographic and conceptual region.

So I updated again my blog roll.

In keeping with the Central Asia thing, I’ve added several blogs I read from there I’m currently quite enjoying. Also as usual, many blogs have dwindled or I’ve lost interest or other things, so have vanished from both my daily feeds and of course from here.

But. Some new blogs in all the categories, some categories – Politics – gone, merged into others, and… I realised the difficulty when reading some of the intelligent, lucid, eloquent, passionate blogs from Central Asia or in Science the difficulty in finding really good blogs in certain areas, notably art and transgender.

Which isn’t to say they aren’t there, rather my normal method of discovering new blogs, following links in posts, or on occasion when bored trawling blogrolls works better for certain fields. Art and performance tends to come predominantly from reviewers rather than artists, or tends to focus on a very narrow spread, either geographically or by art form.

Trans blogs tend to fulfill multiple categories of partiality, except for in rare instances being highly single issue, bound by both language and culture to the noise swamping the blogosphere from the United States, often largely self-indulgent in that they are personal transition diaries, and if none of this then rarely having a grasp of feminism. Also the lack of crossover between trans women and trans men blogs is quite apparent. My favourite two tranny blogs stopped posting a while ago and it’s been difficult to find intelligent and funny replacements.

Collectively amidst all the blogs I read, I’ve noticed a need to make a conscious effort to find blogs that are written by women, especially in some spheres such as China and Central Asia. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suppose that 2/3rds or more of the blogs I read are written by males, and I do notice the blogs written by women have a markedly different emphasis. Also to find blogs that do not emanate from United States, and consequently do not suffer from the universalising tendencies of bloggers from there, most noticably in transgender and feminist blogs, though also in other categories, especially China and Central Asia. To find blogs that speak more than one language, and so act as a conduit to blogs, ideas, cultures, experiences, people that otherwise go unheard.

In realising the influence blogs have on me in terms of my education and understanding, the degree they contribute to my intellectual loves, I think I need to be a lot more considered in the blogs I’m reading and spend some time finding blogs or other news sources that contribute to a little more diversity than I currently have. But oh blogs are good, no? Thank you everyone who blogs for entertaining me, provoking me, making me think.