Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2011

(The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Welcome to a tradition started by the much missed Jon Swift/Al Weisel. He left behind some excellent satire, but was also a nice guy and a strong supporter of small blogs. As Lance Mannion puts it:

Our late and much missed comrade in blogging, journalist and writer Al Weisel, revered and admired across the bandwidth as the “reasonable conservative” blogger Modest Jon Swift, was a champion of the lesser known and little known bloggers working tirelessly in the shadows...

One of his projects was a year-end Blogger Round Up. Al/Jon asked bloggers far and wide, famous and in- and not at all, to submit a link to their favorite post of the past twelve months and then he sorted, compiled, blurbed, hyperlinked and posted them on his popular blog. His round-ups presented readers with a huge banquet table of links to work many of has had missed the first time around and brought those bloggers traffic and, more important, new readers they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

It may not have been the most heroic endeavor, but it was kind and generous and a lot of us owe our continued presence in the blogging biz to Al.

Here's his 2007 and 2008 editions. Last year's revival is here.

If you're not familiar with Al Weisel's work as Jon Swift, his site features a "best of" list in the left column.

Meanwhile, Blogroll Amnesty Day (co-founded with skippy) is a celebration of small blogs that's still going strong, and coming up again the first weekend in February.

Thanks to all the participants, especially those who helped out behind the scenes. Apologies to anyone I missed who wanted to participate. You still can, by linking your post in the comments. Whether your post appears in the modest list below or not, feel free to tweet your best post with the hatchtag #jonswift2011.

As in Jon/Al's 2008 roundup, submissions are listed roughly in the order they were received. As he wrote in that post:

I'm sure you'll be interested in seeing what your favorite bloggers think were their best posts of the year, but be sure to also visit some blogs you've never read before and leave a nice comment if you like what you see or, if you must, a polite demurral if you do not.

Without further ado:

Mad Kane's Political Madness
Newt's Pledge (Limerick)
Madeleine Begun Kane: "A limerick satirizing Newt Gingrich's belated marital fidelity pledge."

Addicting Info
It’s a Sad Day When Some People Think the End of Discrimination is a Sad Day
John Sheirer: "A takedown of all the bogus reasons conservatives used to object to the end of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy. The article demolishes right-wing talking points on the issue with facts, logic, compassion, personal perspectives, and humor."

Self-Styled Siren
An Amateur Among Amateurs: Agee on Film
Farran Smith Nehme: "The title describes it. Agee is my favorite film critic; I put my heart into this one."

Sarah, Proud and Tall
In which the vengeance of God is justly meted out on earth
Sarah: "This is a little story about one of Bitsy Trump's famous Christmas parties, which contains gratuitous name-dropping, sex, drugs and an act of graphic violence perpetuated against Ayn Rand. What more could a girl want?"

The Satirical Political Report
Michele Bachmann Claims Slavery Ended By a 'Founding Fetus'
Don Davis: "The historically challenged tea-partier from Minnesota drinks the twisted tea to twist history. "

Clarence John Thomas
Dave Dugan: "The real answer behind the question, 'Why Clarence Thomas never speaks when The Supreme Court is in session.'"

His Vorpal Sword
They’re Going After The Wisconsin Teachers
Hart Williams: "How the Waltons, the DeVoses and the Brothers Koch are intimately connected in their attack on public education. And showing the obscene amounts of money they're using to do it...And showing how it's being applied in one state: Wisconsin."

Kiko's House
10 Years After the 9/11 Attacks, The Greatest Cover-Up In U.S. History Remains Intact
Shaun D. Mullen: "Ten years after the 9/11 catastrophe, the Bush administration cover-up of why the terrorist attacks were carried out despite the White House, CIA and FBI being repeatedly warned of them still holds… The mainstream media has been complicitous in ignoring this cover-up and ancillary efforts to hide the truth, which is not to be confused with the rantings of so-called 9/11 Truthers but rather an effort to hide the serial negligence and incompetence that characterized the government response before, during and after the attacks."

David E's Fablog
Hommage à Peter Watkins
David Ehrenstein

The Rude Pundit
The Case for Using Predator Drone Strikes Against Wall Street Executives
Lee Papa: "Hey, if we're not gonna bother prosecuting them, why not treat them as enemy combatants?"

U.S. Can't Take A Whopping Great Iraqi Hint
Steve Hynd

The Debate Link
On Bad Critiques of Rape Prevelance Studies (Part II)
David Schraub: "Two common (albeit somewhat contradictory) critiques of studies indicating rape is quite common in our society are that either the accusers are simply "crying victim" after the fact (e.g., to disguise a sexual encounter they retroactively regret), or that the label of "rape" is being foisted upon events they don't consider to be an instance of assault (as in so-called "gray rape"). In this post, I explain why these explanations don't carry water…"

The Triumph of the One Percent in Pictures
Jon Perr: "With income inequality at its highest level in 80 years while the federal tax burden is at its lowest in 60, the top 1% has already triumphed in the class war Republicans continue to fight on their behalf."

We Are Respectable Negroes
Black History Month is Herman Cain Playing a Race Minstrel For CPAC
Chauncey DeVega: "Here, I examined Herman Cain's breakout performance at CPAC in February 2011. I detailed how he channeled the figure of the race minstrel in order to please white populist conservatives (an argument which I was lambasted for at the time, but that many critics eventually used, in many cases verbatim, months later). Cain and the Right-wing echo chamber latched onto this post. Fox News, Big Hollywood, and many other Right-wing media outlets made it their talking point of the day (or week). Cain became a national figure, in many ways, precisely because of the critique I offered here."

Pruning Shears
Report from Columbus
Dan: "An account of the day thousands of Ohioans protesting SB 5 were locked out of their statehouse."

A Blog About School
Scenes from the first week of school
Chris Liebig: "A description of what my kids' elementary school looks like as it has become increasingly obsessed with behavior, behavior, behavior, and increasingly prone to emphasize obedience and at the expense of critical thought."

Poor Impulse Control
Gods Who Are Any More Vengeful
Tata: "The problem of televised crazytalk demands a solution in which surly sane people break the fourth wall – and do it right the hell NOW."

Mario Piperni dot Com
The Republican Primary – The Illustrated Edition
Mario Piperni: "Say what you will about the Republican primary so far but it has been wonderfully entertaining. I've put together a visual presentation which I believe captures the zany character and antics of all 8 Republican candidates. Enjoy!"

I'll Never Forget The Day I Read A Book
The Autobiography of Mark Twain
Clark Bjorke: "Maybe you remember that the first volume of Mark Twain's autobiography was finally published back in January of 2011, 100 years after his death. This is my review of the book in which I urge the reader to save a lot of time and money by reading one of the Mark Twain biographies written by a real biographer, instead of this meandering, bloated, Joycean tome. I don't think it was worth the wait."

Registration of Guns and Licensing of Gun Owners from the Alien Perspective

Bark Bark Woof Woof
Lanford Wilson – 1937-2011
Mustang Bobby: " A tribute to one of America’s great playwrights… and a good friend who taught me all about writing and character."

Diary of a Heretic
Readiness is All
Kathleen Maher: "This episode in a serialized novel-in-progress, "James Bond and the Girls of Woodstock," finds Matthew King, the new James Bond, preparing for, and nailing in one take, a scene in which Bond's arch-enemy tries to kill him with a fire bomb planted in the Brooklyn Museum."

Mock, Paper, Scissors
This One is for my Dad
Tengrain: "This was on the 4th anniversary of his death, and was just a quick little remembrance, but it seemed to have struck a nerve with my readers. It's not snark, so a bit out of character for the blog."

Watergate Summer
Police Brutality At Seattle Occupy Event 84 yr old Dorli Rainey is PepperSprayed...
enigma4ever: "Here is my post on 84 year old Dorli Rainey (which some media ended up using for research)."

How to embarrass your teenage daughter
J. of J-TWO-O: "I am submitting my post... as a public service to all bloggers and blog readers with adolescent female children."

Stump Lane
Democracy is FAKE (Part 2)
Montag: "A look at OWS used as a springboard to delve into root causes of hierarchy and oppression."

Stonekettle Station
Everybody’s So Different, I Haven’t Changed
Jim Wright/Stonekettle: "The question is, what's more important? Your convictions or how you're labelled for your convictions?"

Simply Left Behind
A Promise Made
Carl (aka Actor212): "What happens when you've been promised the American Dream, only to find out it no longer exists? You Occupy Wall Street."

How Unions Make a Nation Competitive
Marc McDonald: "Like Rodney Dangerfield, U.S. unions have long struggled to gain respect, especially since 1980. But the reality is that unions help make a nation more competitive by disciplining corporations into taking a long-term view and avoiding the short-sightedness that has long been a disaster for U.S. industry."

Bristol Palin’s Airing of Grievances

Whiskey Fire
Before We Go Licking Each Others' Balls to the Point of Unseemly Slobbering...

Balloon Juice
Three speakers, three listeners

Connecting the Dots
A Tale of Two Americas
Robert Stein: "An octogenarian compares his childhood in the Great Depression to today’s political climate—a different country in which government was seen as the answer to misery rather than the creator of it."

Mister Tristan
The Pixilated Side-Boob
Gary, A Relative of Mister Tristan: "The pixilation of a female Survivor contestant’s breast makes me think of how misdirected the righteous right is. They focus primarily on morality politics (abortion, Ten Commandments, prayer, etc.) while Rome burns (unemployment, lack of health care, poverty, etc.)"

Blue Gal
The GOP Debate I'd Like to See...
Blue Gal

I Plan and God Laughs
Gladiator Nation

The Spanish Recipe
Peter discusses a recipe through Mamet parody.

Strangely Blogged
Class, Cluelessness and damned statistics – or Why I'm not About Cutting Slack
Vixen Strangely

p3: Persuasion, Perseverance, and Patience
On Inoculation
Bill Nothstine: "Why many people apparently think that the unexpurgated Huckleberry Finn is as dangerous as smallpox."

Lake and Local
Florida Schools Have a Crisis in Wealthy Student Achievement
Billy Townsend: "This piece makes the statistical/political case that traditional poorer schools in Florida outperform wealthy schools. And has a little fun with local politics in the process."

The UN made me do it
B Psycho

Chimpanzee Tea Party
Foodies = Gluttons?
J.W. Hammer

An Immodest Proposal
Mark Gisleson: "Fair warning, this is possibly the rudest thing I've ever written, but it is done in the style of the original Modest Proposal."

The Inverse Square
I’m Shocked! Shocked To Find That There Are Neutrinos Going On Here
Tom Levenson: "This post looks at how the physicists response to the report of faster-than-light neutrino captures what it takes to assimilate major new results into scientific understanding -- and hence why climate change denialists have a very tough road to hoe."

Death of the Anti-Gonzo
driftglass: "On the occasion of the death of David Broder, as the over-the-top tributes and plaudits being offered up by every single person in the Beltway Media threatened to blot out the Sun, I thought it only fair that at least one contrarian jerk point out that, because of his willful blindness and reflexive hatred of the Dirty Hippies, the "Dean" of American political reporting completely missed the most important political story of the last 30 years."

Dreams Of A Straight Up World -OR- Isn't It Really Interdependence Day?
Rehctaw: "An Independence Day reminder that we are connected to this place and one another. For better or worse, so why actively go for worse?"

Chicago Guy
Tina Fey's Greek Restaurant
Chicago Guy explores the power of improvisation.

Huey Long Died 76 Years Ago
Darrel Plant: "Every year seems to make an annual posting of the Louisiana populist's "Share Our Wealth" plan more relevant. It began it on the 70th anniversary of his assassination, in the midst of the drowning of New Orleans, and it's been a staple through the years our economy has gone underwater."

From the ISLAGIATT (It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time) File
Tild Dallelie: "In which I clean out a folder of assorted graphics projects and share the best, or most memorable images."

The Hunting of the Snark
The Comfort of Others: Inequality Then And Now
Susan of Texas: "If you've ever wondered what Jane Austen would have thought of our growing income inequality (and haven't we all?), take a look at my guest post at Naked Capitalism comparing Sense and Sensibility to Occupy Wall Street."

Mental Floss
The Proliferation of a Virtual Species: You’ll Like This Alot
Miss Cellania: "How a typo became an animal recognized all around the internet."

World O' Crap
Your Suffering is Putting Me Off My Pu-Pu Platter
Scott Clevenger: "Dr. Diane Medved (Psycho Therapist and wife of right wing radio scold Michael Medved) bemoans the plight of wealthy tourists whose holidays are ruined by the sight of poor people, and cries out for vengeance against the Hobos of Hawaii."

Swing Time: "No Cuffs"!
M.A.Peel: "A look at the great Astaire/Rogers film on its 75th anniversary. Its story is amazingly fresh, something not far afield from the likes of The Hangover.

Hysterical Raisins
The Day After
nonnie9999: "Since the Raisin exists mostly to skewer the worst of politicians and politics, a lot of people would probably be surprised that this is the post that I'm most proud of this year. The sentiment still applies even though almost a year has passed."

Brilliant at Breakfast
So what on earth makes anyone think that more tax cuts will cause the executives of these companies to "create jobs"?
Jill: "What happened to rewarding the risk-takers; those who take a chance that they may lose, but that they also may win? In an environment in which a risk that doesn't reward is punished out of all proportion to the supposed "offense", why take the chance?"

Working until we drop: A fable for our times
Lance Mannion: "Apparently the geniuses down in Washington have decided that to "fix" Social Security, what this country really needs is a whole lot of people working into their seventies or until they drop dead."

Woman's Work
Melissa McEwan: "The hard truth for progressive men who care about reproductive rights is this: When you leave the public fight to others, you're leaving it mostly to women. This post is about the many ways in which treating the feminist/womanist fight for reproductive rights as 'woman's work' is some fucked-up irony, and why women need male allies."

Tom Watson
Here We Are Now, Entertain Us
Tom Watson: "The importance of Occupy Wall Street."

Zaius Nation
Paul Ryan's 2012 Budget: It Gives to the Rich, and Steals From the Poor!
Dr. Zaius: "A brief explanation of Paul Ryan's budget proposal."

Fried Green al-Qaedas
Mark Hoback: "Secrets of successful Speakers."

The Reaction
Osama bin Laden, 9/11, and the tweets of Rashard Mendenhall
Michael J.W. Stickings: "After Osama's killing, I defended Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall's controversial comments about 9/11 and the war on terror."

This Is So Gay
And Howe
Duncan Mitchel: "My review of Florence Howe's memoir A Life in Motion, a book about feminism, class, friendship, academia, the Civil Rights Movement, and publishing women's writings."

Just an Earth-Bound Misfit
Law, War and 9/11
Earth-Bound Misfit: "How to truly mark 9/11 by starting to roll back the National Security State."

They Gave Us a Republic
What is your Planned Parenthood story?
Blue Girl tells hers.

We are not bound by your dictums, Bob Costas
Brendan Keefe


Vagabond Scholar
They Could Not Look Me in the Eye Again
Batocchio: "Torture and wars of choice exist on the far end of an entire spectrum of dehumanization and cruelty that costs us all dearly."

Thanks again, folks. Happy blogging (and everything else) in 2012.

(A 2008 Jon Swift LOLcat, relevant every election season.)


Marc McDonald said...

Hi Batocchio, thanks for this. There's a lot of good reading here. I appreciate you keeping this tradition alive.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Great job! Thanks so much for doing this and for including my limerick! I look forward to lots of wonderful reading.

Party supplies said...

The blog is really nice one and full of information we appreciate the kind of information you have provided in this post. The information are useful for all of us and we would like to thank you from the bottom of our heart for this wonderful information.

Carl said...

Batochio, I can think of no more fitting memorial to Al than to keep the flame of his generosity and thoughtfulness alive.

Thank you for all your work and to everyone involved. I look forward to weeks of catching up!

Carl said...

Damn OSX. Sorry for the misspell...

bjkeefe said...

As Lance says, it may not be the most heroic endeavor ever, but yes, just as it was for Jon/Al, continuing this tradition is kind and generous, and you deserve great props for putting in the time and effort.

Thanks for doing it, and thanks for asking me to participate.

Mustang Bobby said...

Wonderful job. Thanks so much for doing this and keeping the tradition alive.

Chicago Guy said...

This is a treasure chest put out there with a lot of heart. I am really honored to be included.

mark hoback said...

So good of you to keep this alive. Thanks.

Tata said...

Thank you, Batocchio. The anthology's a thing of beauty. It was a hell of a year for hot writing, eh?

driftglass said...

What Party supplies said!

This blog really is "full of information"!

Also too, many thanks, Bat: this is some heavy lifting you have done here.

Tengrain said...

I miss Al, so this is really a nice way to wrap up the year.

Thanks Bat for keeping the flame.

(There's so much good stuff here, too! I'm making new bookmarks!)



Rehctaw said...

Like Party Supplies said: This blog is really nice one...The information are useful for all of us and we would like to thank you from the bottom of our heart for this wonderful information.

I appreciate your dedication to keeping this "tradition" going. Somewhere, Al W. and Steve G. are thankful for your continued commitment and efforts.

I know that I am personally grateful for this annual reminder of why we all do what we do.

I've added the `07-`11 Best of links on my sidebar and hope my readers drink deeply from this timeless well throughout the years.

Thanks again for the work you do and your continued support of what us lowly bloggers are doing out here.


Aramis said...

Thanks for putting this together. Fantastic work by all.

Here's the one I had the most fun with this year.

Adoration Of The Gipper


zencomix said...

It's good to break the habitual patterns of reading and find new blogs, nice ones full of information we find useful and wonderful and appreciate, information that really pulled the room together.


Mark Gisleson said...

Thanks for the pull quote. I don't mean to be so rude, but it's hard to parody the Republicans without rolling in the mud with them.

And thanks again for doing this. I've been laughing all morning long (but it's not a very nice laugh).

Marie Burns said...

Thank you. I'm working my way through the list. I'm glad to see you included a Driftglass post, but my favorite Driftglass post has to be "Predicting Mr. Brooks" @ http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2011/11/predicting-mr-brooks.html wherein Driftglass, having read only the two-word topic of NYT columnist David Brooks' upcoming column "Europe's Crisis," accurately predicted six stupid things Brooks would write. The guy's a genius, and by "the guy," I sure as hell don't mean Brooks.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Batocchio! I know Al would be glad his name and Jon Swift's live on. This year-end gift from him, and now you, enlightens me no end.

Vixen Strangely said...

Thanks for this, Batocchio. This is such a nice opportunity to catch up with blogs one might not have read before/checked out in awhile. I'm enjoying the reading.

Jill said...

If I have to be sick as a dog over the holidays, how better to spend these days when I'm too tired and weak to do any home projects than to curl up with a cup of tea and this fantastic reading list. Thanks for doing this.

Enigma4ever said...

thank you for doing this....very grateful....and thank you for remembering and honoring Jon every year....

Libby Spencer said...

Sadly, I didn't have time to submit a post for the round-up but here's my Thanks Batocchio post for keeping Jon's spirit alive by continuing the tradition. Really appreciate that you do all the work to keep this going.

Nothstine said...

Thanks so much for keeping this tradition going. I'm delighted by the company I find myself in!

cinesimon said...

The Pruning Shears link regarding the SB5 Columbus Ohio protest seems to be directed at a page that no longer exists:

Batocchio said...

Thanks for the alert, cinesimon. The link is fixed now.

Don Davis said...

Thanks, Batocchi, for keeping up the tradition and including me in such august company.

Arundel said...

Great, great stuff, so many bloggers I love and read every day, and new voices to check out. Appreciate this, a year of thoughtful writing. Wonderful.

TBogg said...

Watch out for that Party Supplies guy. Total Paultard...

Also. Thanks. Too.

danps said...

Thanks much for keeping this tradition alive, B!

roy edroso said...

Thanks for doing this, again, and sorry I was too lame to get a post in on time. (Not that it matters -- this batch needs no thickening.)

Tild said...

What driftglass AND Party Supplies said.

Many thanks and "bolshoiye spaseeba" for doing this, Bat.

I am honored and humbled to be in such august company. ~

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, Batocchio. So much good stuff in little blogs gets overlooked.

Nothstine said...

Has anyone else found that their Chrome browser really, really takes exception to Jon Swift's 'best-of' link? I get this message:

jonswift.blogspot.com contains content from vodyanoj.blogspot.com, a site known to distribute malware. Your computer might catch a virus if you visit this site.


bjkeefe said...

@Nothstine: I don't think it's Chrome. I think it's Google and/or some cooperative anti-malware consortium. I just got a big scary warning page when I tried to visit that site using Firefox.

If you're owner of that site, there are steps you can take. Details upon request.

Lotus said...

It's been a month of misses, and missing the deadline for submissions here was just one more.

I will be hours reading what is linked here - time very likely better spent than most of the rest of my month.

For those who would choose to go over and above the call of pleasure and accept the imposition, this is what I would have submitted:

Sealing our fates, Part Three

From the post:

Those who have profited even as the rest of us fell further and further behind, those who have eaten the meat and even the gristle and sucked out the marrow leaving us only the scraps they thought it too much trouble to pick up, they are the ones who now dare to tell us that we "all" have to do our part, we "all" have to sacrifice, that we "all" have to give more so their stock portfolios won't be damaged in some future financial crunch.

Just who do they mean by "we?"

J. said...

Thanks for keeping the tradition alive -- and (re)introducing me to some great blogs!

Cirze said...

Thanks, Bat, for a truly noble service to man- and womankind.

Sorry I wasn't able to submit one as I ultimately was torn between my tributes to Steve Jobs and Christopher Hitchens, and neither of these would have been deemed my best by a truly unbiased judge.

In your honor, I'm going to advertise your page of stellar choices to my readers as the place to begin their quality New Years' perusing. Skippy and Al/Jon Swift forever!

Love ya.

HNY to you and yours!!!


bjkeefe said...

@Suzan: Ah, you should've just tossed a coin. (Or put up a post asking your readers to vote.) And, if you're as obsessive as I am, also added a note to Batocchio to the effect that your submitted post was "well … one of the best posts of the year, as chosen by this blogger."

Anyway, as they say on the Internet, linx plz.

Billy Townsend said...

Many thanks. Very flattered to be part of the list.

Glennis said...

It's like a collection of essays wrapped up in a wonderful binding! Thanks!

Phil said...

Well done sir, many thanks for your time and effort.

Cirze said...

Ah, found one.

Enjoy my essay around the time of the Steve Jobs encomiums:

Goodbye Steve

I love you, Bat. Thanks again for all your work (and the necessary scholarship).

bjkeefe said...

Thanks for posting the link, Suzan. Wow. That tribute was monumental.

Unknown said...

I think this is a great tradition to honor, and I guess my New Year's Resolution as a small time blogger is to construct a post that I feel better about submitting to this list. It's hard to see your own ramblings clearly.

Dr. Zaius said...

Awesome as usual, Batocchio!