I think I’m pretty bad at the internet. At “surfing” it, I mean. I remember in college when the internet was first a thing, I’d always see Steve at the computer lab in the library and he’d be “surfing the web” and I didn’t get what that really meant. I think I remember one time even asking him. “What do you do when you surf the net?” and he told me and showed me and I thought it was really cool and wild but then I never actually started doing it. I have all these friends who are so good at it. They find the most amazing YouTubes or whatever.
So all this is just to act as a disclaimer to what follows, which is to respond to Adrien who in the comments has asked me about cool stuff to do on the internet when you’re bored at work. I just want you to know I’m not that good at it! But for whatever it’s worth, here are my top Internet Web Sites For Personal Enjoyment:
MNFTIU: Website of my personal hero, David Rees. Here he has collected all of his Get Your War Ons, his My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppables, his My New Filing Technique is Unstoppables, his Adventures of Confessions of St. Augustine Bears, his Relationshapes, and then of course his actual blog entries, which are really delightful. Friday Face-offs! Wine blogging! All his Top Chef recaps (read the comments, too, you will laugh so hard. People HATE his Top Chef recaps). If you have ever read my blog and wondered “gee, I wonder where her exact brand of internet blog post humor comes from,” wonder no more. Read all the archives and be delighted!
Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton’s wonderful comics. This one I don’t visit as much anymore because I’ve read them all, but if you discover them for the first time today then you are in for a wonderful use of your time! the archives!
The Hairpin, obviously. Sometimes irritating, sometimes inspiring, sometimes hilarious, just a great place to hang out all day with women from all over the place, chatting it up in the comments and arguing about fat-phobia and children and other stuff women apparently argue about all day long, and god bless us every one.
I read the Onion a lot. The Onion I think is a thing a lot of people forget about for big chunks of time, but you shouldn’t. Some of the best social commentary. Look, today there’s a column by Donald Trump titled “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead in About 15 or 20 Years”
I used to read the film reviews and all the comments on the film reviews but those commenters are horrible. They’re the worst kind of commenter–super smart and hilarious and unaware of how incessantly, hysterically misogynist they are. It’s exhausting.
Matt Taibbi’s blog. Just great political rants and screeds.
Fancy People Adventures. I’ve read all of these but they never get old. I pop in when I need a little pick me up. These are comics drawn by Phil Elverum and sometimes his little brother I think? Very hard to describe, just check them out. Very helpful website.
On the Bro’d: this one doesn’t get updated much anymore, but you can spend hours going back through and reading them all. I laugh out loud regularly.
Shit My Students Write. This one is perhaps most potent for teachers, but I do think anyone can enjoy it. Pretty self-explanatory. For the record I would never post anything on this site but am nonetheless glad it exists because it makes me laugh so hard and also I think it makes you feel less alone when you’re grading.
Nico Muhly’s Blog. I really enjoy Muhly’s blog. He’s so erudite and witty in a self-consciously urbane sort of old-timey way that I think is very satisfying. I appreciate his thoughts on his own music, too. A goldmine for anyone interested in contemporary composition and air travel.
I obsessively read the job wiki for my discipline but I would not wish that upon you.
Here’s some weirder ones I dip into periodically:
The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Just goes on and on forever. Project Gutenberg, what’s up!
Bestiary. This one’s a life-changer. A dictionary of animals–what they look like, how they live, what they do–made around 1200, in England. You can only read a few before your mind begins swirling and you have to go lie down or write in your journal. The one about tricking the mother tiger by rolling mirrored balls at her, which she thinks are her babies!
Yacht Rock. If you haven’t seen Yacht Rock, go watch these. These dudes created such a wonderful, whimsical alternate reality, fully realized, populated with fictionalized real people with pretty complex fictional back stories. You will never think of Kenny Loggins in the same way again.
That’s pretty much it, for me and the internet, not counting stupid Facebook.
Hope that helps!!!!!!!