Charles Montgomery Burns Blogging Award

charles montgomery burns award

Almost a year ago, the excellent India Ink was tagged for excellence in blogging, an award she rebranded as the Charles Montgomery Burns Award. Mr. Burns is the owner of the Springfield nuclear power plant on the Simpsons. Well, India’s blog is hot.

This is the exclusive award better known as the “excellent blogger award” — search those words and you’ll get more than a hundred million results. What a lot of excellence!

India (the only other India I know is the protagonist of Evan Connell’s Mrs. Bridge) characterizes the award as “a pay-it-forward linky thing.” The idea is that when you receive a Burns you pass it on to ten other blogs. This was one of the blogs she tagged, and I’m finally passing it along.

I don’t have a blogroll (instead I do link roundups must weeks), so this silly thing is my chance to highlight ten excellent blogs. I’ve tried not to duplicate blogs that already received the award. Of course many more could be named, but these are some I’d like to mention today.

1 Pieces and Bits. My sister’s fun, genuine, and unpretentious blog. A recurring topic is kayaking in Florida. (I would also mention my daughters’ blogs but I’m not sure they want the attention.)

2 The Weary Traveler. My colleague Jason Jose’s blog about travels in Europe. Jason has traveled to Europe every year for the past 13 years, and he has the photos to show for it.

3 Cheznamastenancy. This blog’s tagline is “eclectic ramblings from a long time San Franciscan,” but it’s actually a pretty focused blog directed to the subjects of San Francisco and its fine arts scene. I made Nancy’s acquaintance through my Frisco Vista blog.

4 At Eightface Dave Kellam focuses mainly on design and typography. He kindly donated to this site the plugin near the top of the left sidebar that links to today’s entry on my book of days (this day in history). He would be a good person to be in touch with if you need a book designed.

5 Robert Peake. Robert Peake’s blog is devoted to poetry and poetics. It always thoughtful, informed by his capacious reading.

6 Madam Mayo. C.M. Mayo writes with wit and insight on creative writing, translation, and Mexican literature. She is probably disappointed that the Obamas chose a Portuguese water dog instead of a pug.

7 Pink Tentacle. I don’t know any of the people behind Pink Tentacle, a blog that pertains to my Asian art and culture site, 7 Junipers. Pink Tentacles always seems to come up with the most deliciously bizarre items related to Japanese art and culture.

8,9 Inner Diablog and La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo. I know these two through my site devoted to Mesoamerica and the Maya world, Buried Mirror. Inner Diablog is a completely original and personal blog that often references Antigua Guatemala. That’s where Rudy GirĂ³n does his extraordinary daily documenting of one of the world’s most fascinating cities.

10 Italy is falling. This blog is maintained by Ico, who wrote the Stray Random Quotes WordPress plugin that I use here (bottom of left sidebar and at my Museum of Folly site. Like, I suppose, most people, I dropped in to his site to pick up the plugin and read about it and kvech when something didn’t work and then split once that mission was accomplished. Only later did I realize what I’d been missing, as I came to appreciate the blog for its ruminations on Italy, gardening, literature, and more.

BTW, I didn’t care too much for the award logo (below) — it doesn’t say “excellence” to me (is it supposed to be ironic?) — so I whipped up one of my own, using the typefaces Amalia and Clan (above). Take your pick.

excellent blog


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  1. Tom, I’m honored to be in such good company in your mind. Thank you.

    And, I think I can shed some light on the origin of the award’s name. C. Montgomery (“Monty”) Burns is famous for wringing his hands together diabolically and chanting to his sycophantic lackey, “Excellent, Smithers, excellent” whenever he receives news that one of his dastardly plans is going well. Hence, an award for excellence with taste for irony. The original logo fonts, however, I feel under-equipped, especially here, to speak about.

  2. I dubbed it the Charles Montgomery Burns Award because Mr. Burns is always steepling his fingers evilly and saying, “Eeeeexcellent.” That was the first thing that popped into my head when I heard I had been graced with this “award.”

    The second thing it made me think of is my friend Melissa’s wedding, whereat each groomsman wore a brown suit, white Chuck Taylors, and a red-white-and-blue ribbon hung with a gold medallion on which was stamped the words, “Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.” So that was my runner-up for the post title. It’s a much more apt association, but obviously you would have had to be at the wedding to get it.

    Anyway, thanks for the shout. I never knew until now that “hot” could be used as a synonym for “neglected.”

  3. Ha! That went right over my head, India. I didn’t realize you had given it that name. But it’s a big improvement on the original! (Now that I’ve wised up I’ve revised the opening paragraph a little.)

  4. I am honored to be among such esteemed company! Bows humbly toward the assorted company!

  5. Awesome! Maybe the award should have Mr. Burns’ photo on it, better yet, the nuclear power plant.