The Proverbial Favorite Cool Links Page

You know the drill. Everyone and their brother with a so-called website like 101Bananas.com gets to advertise their own favorite sites by posting links to them. Here is a list of some great websites, not in any kind of particular order at all, culled from my enormous lists of bookmarks in several different browsers I use. All links were checked and are active and working as of March 2022; beyond that you’re on your own.


  AMERICAN DIGEST
A wide-ranging blog on many different topics, with articles, links, pictures, and videos. Mostly dealing with current events, social and political, but sometimes delving into history, philosophy, posting a great poem or song, etc. Just an eclectic site I visit often.

  ARTS & LETTERS DAILY
One of my favorite general interest intelligent news and commentary websites. This is one of the best, with links to carefully chosen articles from a wide variety of sources. Be careful: if you’re a literate reader with wide-ranging interests, you won’t be able to spend just five or ten minutes here, you’ll spend hours reading article after article.

  ONE COSMOS
There is nothing on Bob Godwin’s blog, going all the way back into the archives from it’s beginning in October 2005, that isn’t thoughtful, intelligent and interesting. There aren’t too many writers, speakers or commentators left in the 21st century who apply serious philosophy to everyday life like Godwin does. Dig deep into the archives, pick an article that sounds interesting, and read the whole thing all the way through—don’t just skim through it quickly. His book One Cosmos Under God: The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind and Spirit is available in paperback or Kindle format at Amazon.

  SONGMEANINGS  and  SONGFACTS
Everyone at one time or another has googled a few words from a song trying to find out the name, artist, or the complete lyrics. There are several major websites that collect the lyrics to almost every song ever recorded; I like these two because they allow user comments on the songs and the meaning of the words. Some of the posted comments are well-informed on the historical background of the song or artist, and you will learn something you didn’t know. Some are dead wrong on factual information; some are rather juvenile and shallow (this is the Internet, after all); some are very insightful and deep, analyzing the words like a poem in a literature class (which is my personal preference—you always have to listen to the words, not just the music). It’s always entertaining to read what someone else thinks those words really mean, or how they relate to them because of personal experiences.

  ADDALL BOOK SEARCH
Yes, Alibris is great, yes AbeBooks is great, and Amazon is the grandaddy of them all. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are fine for any current book in print (and a lot of used copies sold by others). But for rare out-of-print books I like AddAll, because it’s a meta-search bookfinder that will search all the other book search engines and bookstore websites for you at once. I’ve found it invaluable for finding not very well-known out-of-print books, first editions, or autographed copies.

  POETRY FOUNDATION  and  POEM HUNTER
After you’ve read the limited offerings in the 101 Bananas Bag Full of Poems, check out some truly comprehensive collections of poetry online. Both of these sites have great, extremely large collections of poetry.

  CAMILLE PAGLIA
I’ve been hooked on Camille Paglia ever since I read the glorious essays on culture and society collected in her books Vamps and Tramps and Sex, Art, and American Culture years ago. Perusing the back covers of her books, some adjectives used to describe her are: erudite, brave, original, scholarly, controversial, brilliant, outrageous, an academic rottweiler, an anti-feminist feminist. Lots of liberals are intelligent; very few of them have any common sense. Paglia is one of the few liberals with common sense, and one of the few that I’ll read anything she writes. This link is to her older articles when she wrote regularly for Salon.com.

  THE BABYLON BEE  and  THE ONION  and  WEEKLY WORLD NEWS
I’m not sure, but I think it was the Weekly World News that started this nonsense. I remember them decades ago at supermarket check-out stands next to the National Enquirer. Or maybe The Onion was around first, I don’t know. Lately it seems The Babylon Bee has surged to the lead in the satire sweepstakes because I see quotes from it and links to it very often. Whenever you’ve got some time to waste, check out some of their grossly exaggerated, satirical, weird, funny, tongue-in-cheek, totally fake news articles.

  THE TECHNOLOGY OF RIPENING BANANAS
What other kind of link would you expect at 101Bananas.com? This is actually a very interesting article with lots of pictures, at a website called Edible Geography. It describes a little of the history and a lot of the the modern technology behind shipping tons of green bananas to the U.S. and getting them to ripen just right for consumers to buy in supermarkets. It’s fascinating if you’ve never read anything about it before and don’t know anything about this process.

  FUTURE OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION
Libertarianism is defined as a political philosophy that holds that a person should be free to do whatever he or she wants in life, so long as their conduct is peaceful. So long as they do not aggress against another person’s life, liberty, or property, the government should leave them alone. The Future of Freedom Foundation was founded with the aim of establishing an educational foundation that would advance an uncompromising case for libertarianism in the context of both foreign and domestic policy. Its mission is to advance freedom by providing a moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.

  HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE ULTRA DEEP FIELD IN 3D
An amazing, stunning, awe-inspiring, 4-minute video that does a virtual flight through thousands of galaxies out to the edge of the known universe, using imagery from the Hubble space telescope. There’s nothing to say after watching this. You’ll be speechless. (Make sure to expand the video to full-screen.)

  U.S. CONSTITUTION SOURCES AND DOCUMENTS
An excellent source index and cross-referencing of all the documents important to America’s founding. It is depressing how little the large majority of Americans know about their own Constitution, the philosophy behind it, and the specific other influences on its composition. Everyone should have at least one book at home explaining the Constitution for the layman, but I’m sure most do not. If that’s you, then refer to this site often.

  LIBRARY OF LIBERTY
The “About Us” page at this website states their purpose clearly: “The Online Library of Liberty is an extensive digital library of scholarly works focused on individual liberty and free markets....the OLL provides a curated collection of resources available at no charge....to promote interest in and understanding of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. In particular, we are concerned with ideas about individual liberty, limited constitutional government, free markets, and peace.” Containing everything from ancient texts to modern books and essays, this website is a treasure trove of texts related to the idea of human liberty.

  SPENGLER
“Spengler” (David P. Goldman) takes the pseudonym he writes under from Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), the famous author of The Decline of the West, with whom he shares a rather pessimistic outlook on the future of Western civilization. He has been writing online commentaries for Asia Times Online since 2000 and this link is a listing of his past columns. If you think an Asia Times columnist probably wouldn’t have anything to say that would interest you, think again. Spengler’s erudition and insight into the human condition inform all his political and historical analyses, and I never fail to find his writing, on any subject, anything less than brilliant and absorbing.

  THE PEOPLE’S CUBE
The first time I discovered this site I couldn’t break away for a couple hours. The People’s Cube is totally politically incorrect with tongue firmly in cheek, skewering liberals and emphasizing the absurdity of their ideas by hilarious parody. And they have some great Photoshop artists working there. The creator of the site, Oleg Atbashian, grew up in the old U.S.S.R. and that influence is obvious. He has also written two books you should check out: Shakedown Socialism, and Hotel USSR.

  AMERICAN THINKER
There are millions of blogs or websites that concentrate on politics and current events. Conservative or liberal, there’s enough to go around for all. American Thinker consistently provides some of the more intelligent commentary, with columns and articles added daily.

  BOB DYLAN FOR VICTORIA’S SECRET
Who woulda ever thunk it? Bob Dylan doing a commercial for Victoria’s Secret? Say it ain’t so, Bob! Not the blowin’ in the wind rolling stone tambourine man voice of a generation! But it was so, and here’s the video.

  WILLIAM BLAKE ARCHIVE
William Blake was a thousand years ahead of his time, and since he died in 1827, close to 200 years ago, humanity has 800+ years to go to catch up to his consciousness. A sampling of his poetry is in the Bag Full of Poems here at 101 Bananas. I wouldn’t expect most people to be as interested in Blake as I am, but if you are, this is one of the premier Blake websites.

  THE WELL COMMUNITY
The Well has been around since before there was a graphical World Wide Web, way back when the Internet was text-based. It’s always been a place where some of the smartest and most influential geeks hang out, and it’s status in the online community is unparalleled. In order to keep it advertisement-free there is a monthly membership fee, but if you’re a tech geek very involved in Internet-related things, or if you lean towards long-running intelligent discussions on a wide variety of topics, this is one of the places to be.

SENSES OF CINEMA  and  STRICTLY FILM SCHOOL
Two great sites for the serious film lover, student or critic. These are more the serious academic type of website, not just a few reviews of the latest tired old Hollywood blockbusters. Articles and reviews guaranteed too obscure to interest the typical American movie-goer (and that’s a compliment).

  TOP DOCUMENTARY FILMS
There are still some things worthwhile that are actually free on the Web. Top Documentary Films has probably a couple thousand documentary films in many different categories that you can watch free online.

  ACADEMY OF IDEAS
Of the millions of YouTube channels (51 million as of early 2022), this is one of the best for intelligent, deep discussion of serious psychological, philosophical and social ideas. Their short videos are not lite entertainment viewing, but are written and edited very well in accessible and understandable language. As they state on their ‘About’ page: “We create videos explaining the ideas of history’s great thinkers. We do this to help supply the world with more knowledge, to empower the individual, and to promote freedom.”

[101BANANAS HOME PAGE]