Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Blogiversary V: The Internet Hamsters Strike Back
It's my fifth blogiversary, not worthy of Methuselah status, but a fairly long time in blog years. It hasn't been my most prolific blog year, although there's been a late flurry of activity, and a few highlights before that. Thanks to everyone who's stopped by, or otherwise supports small blogs or "long form" blogging. Here's my traditional retrospective round-up (mainly so I can find the damn things later).
For Armistice Day 11/11, I published a series of seven posts as part of an ongoing War Series. Many dealt with WWI and its connection to more recent conflicts, from poetry, to propaganda, to personal grief, to the psychological needs driving disastrous war strategies, to the human excrement that is the chickenhawk. The most notable entries were "Giddy Minds and Foreign Quarrels" and "War and the Denial of Loss." (After kicking a few of these pieces around for a long time, I was happy to get them done, however roughly.)
On the torture/human rights beat, I've fallen woefully behind (and have been doing research for some new, perhaps overly-ambitious, pieces). However, there was one notable essay, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" (a.k.a. "The Comforting Violence of Jack Bauer").
"American Politics Seen as a Japanese Monster Movie" is a personal favorite. Then there's the more serious "American Political Insanity Explained."
The Chart Project, an ongoing attempt to visualize issues, had two new entries, "The Social Contract" and "The Five Circles of Conservative Hell." (Just in under the wire!)
I sat in with other bands again guest-blogging (we got some good folks out here in L.A.). From those stints, the best entries were "Silent Questions", "We Cheat the Other Guy and Pass the Savings to You," the satirical "Field Guide to Political Creatures" and a look at teabagger insanity, "Deny Me Health Care or Give Me Death." (I should also mention "Attack of the Plutocrats.")
The latter built on one of my previous, cheery Holocaust posts, since conservative invocations of the Holocaust are about as counter-historical and darkly ironic as you can get. This year for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I focused on Primo Levi's exceptional memoir, If this is a man (normally known as Survival in Auschwitz here in the States).
On a lighter note, I did my traditional post-Oscar film roundup, most easily viewed though the Oscar category and scrolling down.
Thanks again to everyone who's stopped by. (I hope to finish some long-simmering pieces sometime in the next few months.) Al Green will sing us out: