Thursday, September 24, 2009

Following: The Last Burly Men on Earth

With my goal of blogging more often I've had to come up with new ideas of things to post here. And I hit on the idea of highlighting blogs that I enjoy reading a lot, especially ones that it seems are either "undiscovered" or just under-read. One of the (few) blessings of my daytime job is that I have the freedom to read just about anything I want on the Internet. So I read widely and my feed aggregator is stacked with what I think is a lot of great material.

Today for the inaugural "Following" we're looking at Chad Carter's The Last Burly Men on Earth. I enjoy the Hell of out this new venture of Carter's and thoroughly enjoyed his now-defunct Pulp Hero, which was the inspiration for my own feature "Raw Deal" as I enjoyed his "Characters I Want to Write!" feature so much I wanted to get into the act. I hope he doesn't mind me borrowing the idea, but if it helps, so far I only did it once! (He took all the good ones, dammit - even The Whizzer!)

I don't know much about this guy and to be honest found him while trolling through the blogroll of another blog I read that I can't remember which. Carter is an interesting guy in his online persona; sometimes deeply bitter, sometimes ebullient, Carter's posts have a physical, visceral quality to them. I often think of this blog as me putting the thoughts I have sitting alone in a quiet bar - Carter in a lot of ways is the Statler to my Waldorf (I forget which one is the skinny one). His themes of lost manliness, and pulp fiction's majesty and honesty resonate strongly with me and are things I try to put into my writing and express to the world.

You can go to the link above and check out what I mean. His blog's first round of posts are like a goddamned highlight reel of the best of "Pulp Hero" combined with the fresh focus he's brought to his ideas and themes - overall "Burly Men" is a better blog beause of it. Since we are on the Internet, though, and our instant access to all sorts of information somehow seems to make people more lazy and less likely to just follow links, allow me to throw up a few choice bits:

Carter's post on Patrick Swayze's death is a perfect example of his new direction helping him really find his voice and express great truths that I don't find anywhere else:

Swayze did a hell of job in his work. He was one of those guys you deride and yet enjoy everything he was in. You couldn't help it. He was alive onscreen. He entertained and he had good humor about it.
Despite it's tongue-in-cheek title, "Mighty Mullet ascends", Carter flips it around on you, pointing out how though we might have all laughed at Swayze for some of his stupider film moments (Ghost, 'nuff said) and the bad hair, here was a man who was a journeyman actor who gave it his all for every role even if that took him off the edge into absurdity sometimes. I think it's Swayze's Everyman characteristics that made Carter write this post - in a lot of ways he was always just a redneck from Texas who had somehow found himself in this crazy situation where he was a movie star and he attacked it with relish like any other hard-working man and never took himself too seriously.

There's more, just as good, but I'm trying to write shorter posts. But right near the top is his (second!) apologia for Aquaman, gratifyingly not just a copy'n'paste of his post on "Pulp Hero" just six months ago on the same topic but a deeper exploration of a much-maligned character, also worth reading.

Chad Carter is a still water running very deep. Angry but focused, insightful without being too intellectual or full of crap (but I repeat myself), his blog was the inspiration for my new feature here and I hope more people read him because of it. I don't know if he has any projects or anything but I'm cool with just reading his blog ... for now.

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