One of my drum teachers used to tell me that life gets in the way of music. Well that's also true of blogging and writing. It's actually quite time consuming to plough my way through the many blogs in the Lankanosphere, trying to figure out if there are any that I've missed that should be included in any of these categories.
Ultimately, as I've tried to say, it all comes down to the blogs I read, the ones that I'm drawn to and use to formulate my opinions on so many things that are Lankan related. Serendib Isle asked in a comment here if it would be possible to have some more people power or to be able to send in some nominations. We (the extensive team of researchers and writers at LLD) will definitely have to look at that for next year, but we wouldn't want you to think that there's any danger of democracy breaking out.
We all know the dangers that can come with democracy. Dissenters being, ahem, "discouraged", corruption galore and nepotism, despotism and vegetarianism running rife. No, it seems far better that the awards are run by one man choosing exactly how things are done, that way it's so much fairer for everyone and we all get to eat meat.
What has that got to do with my drum teacher? I'll be buggered backwards with an old lamprais without too much seeni sambol if I know, but I just thought I'd chuck it in there. At the GLF last year that VV Ganeshananthan gave a very informative tip about writers and imagining you're climbing a mountain when you write. She said that anything you introduce at any point in the story is like putting a rock in your bag. You then have to carry it up the mountain, it's always there, to be used, you can't ignore it.
Well my approach is to chuck rocks out at people lower down the mountain at random points in my ascent. And there goes the drum teacher rock, with the very minor, almost irrelevant, point being a little apology from me for the fact that the awards are taking a bit longer than I had anticipated.
The Best News and Current Affairs Blog Award is another new one, one that's a bit serious for these parts. Let's face it, as far as Sri Lankan current affairs go, things are nothing if not interesting. Steven Seagal applied for the post of editor of the Sunday Leader but was turned down for being a bit of a scaredy cat and Chuck Norris considered, but rejected the idea of running in the presidential election. He ran. Frightened and with a poo stain in his pants.
There are two News and Current Affairs blogs that I read continually and the third is more sporadic. They're very specifically ones that I use to formulate my own opinions, as opposed to ones I might read to prove my preconceived ideas as correct. The three of them are the nominees. They are:
1. Perambara - It's the brainchild of a group of youngish journo types, mostly in Sinhala, or squares, as the font is called here. The best description is this one, from their "about" page:
"PERAMBARA means ‘dawn’ in Sinhala, one of the two official languages in Sri Lanka, a small island nation located at the tip of India that has been embroiled in conflict for over 25 years.
PERAMBARA will deliver stories that cover a variety of issues including humanitarian and development-related stories. We will report from the perspective of the ordinary people, communicating their views and the challenges they face. We will also be covering stories that are inspiring and that show how all Sri Lankans, despite their cultural background, can contribute to creating a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Sri Lanka.
PERAMBARA is aimed at those living in Sri Lanka, as well as the Sinhala-speaking audiences living among the diaspora. We aim to be a progressive news and information channel that is driven by a responsibility to the public and is committed to maintaining a high standard in the stories we produce. "
My lack of Sinhala prevents me from getting the real benefit of Perambara, which is a major negative, but the articles in English have helped to keep me informed in the recent past. It's good, ejucashunal and positive.
2. DBS Jeyaraj - A fellow who's a bit like Dame Judi Dench in that he needs no introduction. She's that very famous actress, the one in all the films. I was put onto the DBSJ blog some months ago by David Blacker and I rapidly became a fan. If there was a shitload of comments award this year DBSJ would be the clear and undisputed winner. He gets hundreds of comments and probably has even more readers than House Of Fashions has people hanging around outside the front door on a sale day.
I can often be heard imparting news, knowledge and facts I've picked up from DBSJ's blog. Some would say that's a bad thing though.
3. Groundviews - Boldly going where only Captain James T Kirk has gone before is Sanjana and the award winning Groundviews. Yet again the best way to tell you about it is to do a bit of copying and pasting. Here goes:
"Groundviews is Sri Lanka’s first and only award winning citizens journalism website and features an unparalleled range of ideas, opinions and analyses on humanitarian issues, media freedom, human rights, peace, democratic governance and constitutional reform."
Last year Groundviews won a rather prestigious Manthan South Asia Award and the Manthan people said this:
“What no media dares to report, Groundviews publicly exposes. It’s a new age media for a new Sri Lanka… Free media at it’s very best!”
For the sake of clarity and accuracy I should mention that they didn't say it in red, that was my choice. They went for a more blueish hue, with some hints of yellow. My apologies if you're reading this is black and white. Or Belgium.
Groundviews is a mixture of things by a mixture of writers and the comments are often as interesting as the posts themselves. In fact most of the comments are longer than the average post here at LLD. Not as funny though.
After diplomatic deliberation, profound pontification and careful cogitation the judges have decided the winner is........
............. DBS Jeyaraj.
I feel rather insignificant as I award this as I'm pretty sure DBS Jeyaraj's knowledge and awareness of my blog and these awards is about the same as Britney Spears' understanding of the most complicated rocket science ever, things that Scotty wouldn't even know. Nevertheless I think it's a well deserved award and I'd like to thank DBSJ for the blogging and knowledge so far.
Groundviews was just pipped at the post, but will have to make do with its Manthan South Asia award for now.
I'll hand things over to our very special guest judge for this award, the fantastic and aforementioned Ms Britney Spears. She had this to say:
"Phwooaarr, that RD. I really like fancy him like. Awesome. And what does aforementioned mean?"
I think Britney sums things up rather neatly.