Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2012

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

(A 2007 Jon Swift picture.)

Welcome to a tradition started by the late 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 put it in 2010:

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 Jon/Al's 2007 and 2008 editions. The 2010 revival here, and here's last year's edition.

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. (I continue to try to find the right balance between inclusive and manageable.) 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 #jonswift2012.

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:

Brilliant at Breakfast
"The Pigeonholing of Adam Lanza"
Jill: "Musings on the media using the language of middle schoolers to try to turn an obviously troubled kid into a monster."

Ornery Bastard
"History Indeed Repeats Itself"
Bustedknuckles connects a recent disaster with an infamous past one.

"Come Home, George McGovern"
Darrel Plant: "How a change of 4.5% of the popular vote in the 1972 presidential race could have defeated the criminal re-election of Richard Nixon."

Mad Kane's Political Madness
"Alpha-Political Verse (Election 2012)"
Madeleine Begun Kane: "My humorous 26-line poem about Election 2012, in all its alphabetized glory. "

David E's FaBlog
"Normal Democratic Means"
David Ehrenstein: "Justice Antonin Scalia's virulent homophobia. The post reveals that he didn't even deign to read the facts presented in "Lawrence vs. Texas" before deciding (against the court majority) that "sodomy" laws should stand."

Real American Liberal
"Breathe In, Breathe Out ... In ... Out ... Good"
John Sheirer: "A post-election message to Republicans who believe Obama voters are crazy or stupid or America haters: Take a deep breath, unbunch your undies, be still and quiet for a few moments, and search for your faith in America and in humanity."

"How Ronald Reagan Unwittingly Laid the Groundwork for the Death of Capitalism"
Marc McDonald: "Over the years, Ronald Reagan has gotten a lot of credit for achievements that he had nothing to do with (like "winning" the Cold War). However, Reagan should get credit for something that he actually did achieve: laying the groundwork for the death of capitalism as we know it."

"The 2nd Worst Mass Shooting in US History"
Mikeb302000: "Concerning the very recent horror in Connecticut, I put the blame squarely at the feet of the NRA and their adherents."

"Santorum and Delilah"
Dave Dugan: "Satire of Rick Santorum's superstitions regarding his success in the Iowa Caucus."

Pruning Shears
"Concerning violence advocates and nailing jello to walls"
Dan, DCblogger, affinis, lambert and okanogen: "A look at how some have tried to justify violence at Occupy with endlessly slippery arguments."

"Please Proceed, Governor"
Jon Perr: "Now that Mitt Romney’s perpetual quest for the White House has failed, he doesn't merely need to leave the national stage. Mitt Romney must take his brand of "post-truth" politics with him. As a much better man once put it: "Please proceed, Governor.""

"You might be an old fart if..."
J. of J-TWO-O: "Although I have many good (satirical) political posts, I decided to go with a little much-needed humor."

Poor Impulse Control
"Waiting For the End Of the World"
Tata: "When the states go all dudely privilege, dames need a new state for a dude-free state of mind."

skippy the bush kangaroo
"king of bain"
skippy the bush kangaroo: "parody lyrics of the police classic."

The Rude Pundit
"Andrew Breitbart in Hell: A Fantasia"
Lee Papa (The Rude Pundit): "Andrew Breitbart drops dead and realizes that he's heading to Hell. On his way down, he wonders what awaits him."

The Agonist
"Totalitarianism in the US: An Accident Waiting to Happen"
Numerian: "Compares Republican political philosophy to that of Soviet Russia, starting with Pravda like propaganda and promoting themselves through big lies, and in our case, small ones too."

"The View From 88—Distress and Hope"
Robert Stein: "From the far shores of old age, an ancient blogger seeks perspective from the hype of his own Greatest Generation to the bashing of Baby Boomers and tries to imagine a future beyond what Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of now.""

"And I Ask Myself, How Did I Get Here? -OR- Do I Owe My Soul To The Company Store?"
Rehctaw: "Reversal of fortune for the middle-class and other casualties of modern life."

Mike the Mad Biologist
"A Modest Proposal: Alabama Whites Are Genetically Inferior to Massachusetts Whites (FOR REALZ!)"
Mike the Mad Biologist: "Every so often, like a bad case of hemorrhoids, the race/IQ/genetics kerfuffle flairs up. Well, the Mad Biologist can settle it once and for all."

"I Cannot Truly Want What I Am Told I Must Have"
Melissa McEwan: "A post exploring choosing to be a woman without children and why I made that choice. Set against the backdrop of the Republicans' war on agency, I explain that, for me, as long as my culture and government try to coerce me into motherhood, the only truly authentic choice I have is to choose against parenting."

Confession Zero
"Love is above all, is all and cherishes all and would no more send part of Love to writhe in agony than breathe hate into our lungs"
Mark R. Prime takes a poetic approach.

Mock, Paper, Scissors
"An Affair to Remember (Charted)"
Tengrain and the crack team at MPS spend literally minutes analyzing all the known players and whatnot involved in the nefarious Petraeus Sexy-Time Affair and document the timeline in this handy cut-out-and-keep chart.

Strangely Blogged
"Because He's President, That's Why"
Vixen Strangely: "A rumination stemming from the heckling by a Dally Caller reporter on how right wing irrationalism shapes the choices President Obama makes, and how it totally doesn't."

Simply Left Behind
"Bread and Circuses"
actor212/Carl: "The Super Bowl is an annual spectacle that most closely hearkens back to ancient Rome in its decline. It's a sign to be cautious that we are not that far away from collapse."

Bark Bark Woof Woof
"Yes, I Do Take It Personally"
Mustang Bobby: "When the Constitution talks about “We The People,” I’m one of those people. I didn’t give up the rights enumerated in that document because I happen to be gay.”

The Way of Cats
"Village of Elves"
Pamela Merritt: "Remember wanting Sea Monkeys as a kid because the ads were so compelling? Their promise has been fulfilled; feline style."

Southern Beale
"Sometimes A Bra Is Just A Bra"
Southern Beale: "The post commented on Sally Quinn's unwittingly patronizing/unquestionably hilarious column in the WaPo about that infamous photo of a female protestor in Cairo being hauled away by police, clothes stripped off to reveal she was wearing a blue bra. Quinn just couldn't seem to get past the fact that an Egyptian woman wore a blue bra beneath her clothes. Talk about missing the forest for the trees!"

A Blog About School
"What Does This Blog Want?"
Chris Liebig: "It's basically a plea for people to think about schoolchildren in the context of other historically disenfranchised groups, and to be more conscious of the moral hazard posed by our authority over them. In the name of "achievement," are we teaching kids to conform to a less humane, more authoritarian world?"

"Who is John Galt?"
driftglass: "An in-depth look at Paul Ryan's desperate denialism of his Randite roots."

"Good move"
Brendan Keefe: "If by "best" one means "what provoked the most reaction ..." I like this post for the comments – instructive or unintentionally hilarious, depending on your mood."

Amendments We Need
"Romney's Ever-Fixed Mark"
Paul Wartenberg: "For all of Romney's flip-flopping during his campaign, he had one constant stance the whole time: a massive tax cut for the rich. This article attempted to shred that stance."

League of Ordinary Gentlemen
"My Year of Guns"
Tod Kelly: "Three encounters with guns – each in my eighth year – that shaped my love, respect and occasional lack of comfort with them."

"Full Metal Redneck"
Peter Barrett: "A rumination on killing a varmint."

"Internet Man Does Not Want To Be On The Google Anymore"
TBogg: "George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina does not understand women or how the internet works. Hilarity ensues…"

Mister Tristan
"Will to Live…and Ultrarunning"
Gary Bruner: "This post concerns dying before one’s time, the will to live, and quality of life, triggered by seeing a downed limb while running."

The Rectification of Names
"Workers unite! You have nothing to lose but elections"
Yastreblyansky: "It's from a series of parodies of David Brooks columns (David Brooks writes...), this one the early November piece on "The party of work", by which he meant Republicans. I know, how can you satirize that?"

Polite Company
"On the Internet, You Can Be Anything... "
Thursday: "It really disturbed me to see a level of degenerate thought going on in what is a community that prides itself on thoughtfulness, especially those folks "defending" the (possibly unintentional) creeper."

Sketchy Details
"Reality Reflecting Criticism: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games "
Robert Gannon: "In one of the weirdest entertainment stories of the year, a feminist blogger trying to Kickstart a project examining gender stereotypes in video games became the voice of women harassed and trolled for daring to have a voice on video games. Video games are apparently serious business for young male gamers."

glad you asked
"still struggling to come out"
aarrgghh: "a freeper asks his fellow wingnuts for advice for coming out to his gay friends."

Lotus – Surviving a Dark Time
"Guns, gun nuts, gun violence, Second Amendment nonsense, and the bloody results"
LarryE: "Newtown was not the first mass shooting and unless we call out the gun nuts and realize how limited the reach of the Second Amendment really is and then act on that knowledge, it will not be the last – or the worst."

Mutant Poodle
"The Perils of Privilege"
Mutant Poodle: "A reflection on the downside of never having had a shitty job, among other perils of a privileged upbringing."

"Political Theology"
Michael Odom: "I don’t blog as much as I once did, but the theocratic leanings of Mourdock at al. led me to a piece about religious certainty. "

p3 – Persuasion, Perseverance, and Patience
"Two countries separated by a boorish candidate"
Nothstine: "The English Language, the American Language, and America's most embarrassing ambassador of good will in 2012."

"Vertical Solidarity Is Nonsense"
B-psycho: "A response to Ta-Nehisi Coates' essay about race & reaction to Obama."

This Is So Gay
"On Stereotyping"
Duncan Mitchel : "The triumph of the meme."

His Vorpal Sword
"The Congress of the Forest"
Hart Williams: "One momentous day, the Forest Congress assembled to debate the burning issue of the hour: a bill had been offered declaring every acorn a tree, and, thus, all criminal penalties should accrue to anyone disturbing an acorn just as they would to anyone cutting down a tree ..."

"Paul Fussell, Scotch, a Birthday, & the Sophomore: A Shaggy Dog Story"
Ellen O'Neill: "Paul Fussell died this year. I was one of his "cookie cutter" students at Rutgers, except there was another side to him than the complete curmudgeon he came across in a People magazine article."

"I Give It Four Farts"
Roy Edroso: "I took the opportunity presented by some stupid documentary about wingnuts to channel my favorite comic character, Jonah Goldberg."

Pass the Doucheys on the Right-Hand Side
"Truth, Hypocrisy, and the Legacy of Leviticus – Part Two"
DC Martin: "A questioning of the frequent citing of Leviticus when people tout their "righteous" homophobia while they continue to engage in other behaviors clearly banned by the same book of the bible."

The Inverse Square
"Anatomy of a Zombie Lie"
Tom Levenson: "This post is a take-down of the claim, repeated after every gun massacre, that guns save many more lives in their use for self defense than they cost in these tragedies."

They Gave Us a Republic
"You're not supposed to pull the ladder up behind you"
Blue Girl puts it in perspective.

The Reaction
"Privileged rich douchebag: The Mitt Romney narrative for 2012"
Michael J.W. Stickings: "Long before the remarks about the 47% became such a significant campaign story, the essence of Mitt Romney's character was clear. This post set the tone for 2012."

We Are Respectable Negroes
"White Men Like Adam Lanza Commit 70 Percent of the Mass Shootings in the United States. Why is the Media Afraid to Talk About This Obvious Fact?"
Chauncey DeVega: "After the tragic Newtown massacre by Adam Lanza, a conversation about the relationship between race, gun culture, and mass shootings began—however briefly. In a series of posts, I began a discussion about white masculinity and mass shootings. Because white folks are "invisible" and do not have a "racial" identity in the United States the mass media does not talk about "white crime"…"

Lance Mannion
"Asperger's Un-diagnosed"
Lance Mannion: "There’s a general conception that Asperger’s is basically a form of clinical nerdiness complicated by reflexive jerkiness. Long-time readers know why that idea makes my blood boil."

Blue Gal
"Welcome to the Culture War"
Fran/Blue Gal: "Why no one can be a bystander in the Republican war on women."

The Hunting of the Snark
"Power and Money"
Susan of Texas: "I picked [this post] because it reveals the lengths Megan McArdle goes through to hide her ties to the Koch brothers, despite her claims that she has no loyalty to them."


Vagabond Scholar
"The Four Types of Conservatives"
Batocchio: "Most conservative political figures break down into one of four broad groups: Reckless Addicts, Proud Zealots, Stealthy Extremists and Sober Adults. (A long form post.)"

Thanks again, folks. Happy blogging (and everything else) in 2013.

(Added: A special shoutout to DougJ of Balloon Juice for his help these three years in obtaining submissions and thus spreading the luv.)


Mark Gisleson said...

Fantastic as always. For the first time since I quit blogging, I regret not having posted anything for inclusion to this list but at least my New Year's reading will start out with some very good stuff.

Mark Prime said...

Thank you, Batocchio!

Love, peace and goodness to you, yours and the (H)eartH...

Tata said...

Thanks a million, Batocchio! You're the best!

Rehctaw said...

Thank you, Batocchio

A great list again!
I'm actually salivating to
see what awaits!

A million ain't what it used to...
Thanks 700 Billion!

Thursday said...

Considering the source of your name, this is some serious mocking going on here!

Thanks for the inclusion - this is some good company!

Tengrain said...

I'm going to be savoring this post like fine cognac.



Nothstine said...

Thank you, Batocchio! It's very gracious of you to share the leverage, and in such a good name.

Best wishes for 2013.


Unknown said...

thx, batocchio, as always!

bjkeefe said...

Thanks, Batocchio, for putting in this effort once again. Looking forward to a whole mess of good reading.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, Batocchio, thanks as always for doing this roundup. I've been working my way through the list and there is a lot of great reading here.

Phil said...


Thank you so much Batacchio, for what must have been an enormous amount of time and effort on your part to put all this together.

I am humbled beyond words to have been included in this,there are some real stars here, yourself included.

Al would be proud.

driftglass said...

Swirl, sip, savor. Swirl, sip, savor. Thank you so much, Bat, for your mad wrangling skills!

Yastreblyansky said...

Thanks again, what a great celebration. And many happy returns.

Yastreblyansky said...

And incidentally thanks for introducing me to Jon Swift/Al Weisel, a wonder of the world.

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Thank you, Jon Swift! I mean, where would we be without him? He was so much smoother and subtler with his schtick than Stephen Colbert, Jesus's General and similar fauxservatives. You could almost believe that he WAS a conservative, albeit a reasonable one. Which, of course, only exists in fiction.

chaunceydevega said...

Thanks for including me! How kind...and I am in good company. This is a great tradition.

EliRabett said...

Eli would offer this (to him) tasty bit

zencomix said...

Thanks for keeping the tradition alive!

J. said...

Thank you for keeping the tradition alive and for including me!

Remonster said...

Who are you people?

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, Batocchio. There's no greater end-of-the-year treat than to have a bunch of great posts to read.


Anonymous said...

Can't believe Charles Pierce is not on the list.

bjkeefe said...

@Anon: No one disputes how good a blogger he is, but I think Mr. Pierce is a little better known than the original Jon Swift tradition had in mind.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.