Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Jon Swift Roundup 2017

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

(A Jon Swift lolcat for a little fun. After all, Godwin's "law" was never meant to shut down serious discussion.)

Welcome to the 2017 edition! It's been a bizarre year. This tradition was started by the late Jon Swift/Al Weisel, who left behind some excellent satire and would have had a wealth of material this year. He was also a nice guy and a strong supporter of small blogs. As Lance Mannion explains:

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. Meanwhile, here are the revivals from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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

Thanks to all the participants, and apologies to anyone I missed. (As always, my goal is to find the right balance between inclusive and manageable.) You still can join in, 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 #jonswift2017.

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:

Empire of the Senseless
"Jammin' "
Zombie rotten mcdonald: "Race relations and music."

Poor Impulse Control
"You Can’t Take the Things"
Tata: "You can have Adorable Little Chicken Happiness, and by you, I mean me."

Ramona's Voices
"Our First Un-American President"
Ramona Grigg: "Wherein America falls for a populist line thrown out by a snarling, ruthless billionaire who scoffs at the title "public servant" and opts instead for "Grand Soviet Poobah and Tweeter Extraordinaire". "

Show Me Progress
"Trump Muslim ban protest at Kansas City International Airport – January 29, 2017"
Michael Bersin: "On the afternoon of January 29, 2017 over a thousand people showed up at Terminal C, the international terminal, at Kansas City International Airport to protest Donald Trump’s Muslim ban."

"And now here it is, your moment of cute"
Brendan Keefe: "A light blogging year for me, but this remains a treasured moment at work."

"Franken, Moore, and doing the right thing"
Infidel753: "Republicans and Democrats have responded in radically different ways to the revolt against sexual harassment. It's a defining moment in US politics, when doing the right thing will also mean political advantage."

The Way of Cats
"Tristan’s favorite music"
Pamela Merritt: "My cat and I program his own Pandora channel. From singing a song with their name it in to playing their favorite genre, music is something cats enjoy."

World O’ Crap
"Don't Come Around Here No More"
Scott Clevenger: "We remember the late Tom Petty. Not for his music — that’s a given — but for his delightfully eccentric performance in Kevin Costner’s 1997 bomb The Postman."

Just an Earth-Bound Misfit, I
"The Crowd Size Kerfuffle"
Comrade Misfit: "An analysis of Trump's lying about the size of the crowd on Inauguration Day. It signaled that Trump would be a no-substance president, concerned only about optics and how things looked on television."

Herlander Walking
"The Bitch of This Place"
Labrys: "How a browbeaten feminist got her bitch groove back and decided 'Fuck ‘em if they are assholes.' "

"I Write Letters"
Melissa McEwan: "In January of this year, a week after Donald Trump's inauguration, I penned a fiery piece in response to people who were demanding Hillary Clinton "do something" to save us. "Hillary Clinton doesn't owe you a goddamned thing," I wrote, with the reminder that campaigning for 18 grueling months was doing something -- the most important thing she ever could have done."

David E's Fablog
" 'Good Thing' Lying"
David Ehrenstein

Mad Kane's Political Madness
"Satirist's Quandary"
Madeleine Begun Kane: "My limerick laments the special challenge of writing political satire in the Age of Trump."

The Rectification of Names
Yastreblyansky: "A little song text I wrote in the spring, as our new president's habits and aspirations were getting clearer. Suitable for Palm Beach campfires or woozy midnights around the piano in the Old Post Office."

The Debate Link
"Today I Got Assaulted"
David Schraub: "I recount my experience being assaulted on the street in Berkeley, California; the comments of the police officer who took my statement (and was eager to share some of his thoughts on current media tropes about law enforcement to a Berkeley graduate student); and how we decide what experiences to code as 'crime'. "

You Might Notice a Trend
"The Only Number That Matters"
Paul Wartenberg: "As long as trump has a devoted fanbase within the Far Right, the rest of the Republican Party will do nothing to stop his disastrous reign. So it's up to us: We are the only number that matters now..."

Bark Bark Woof Woof
"It’s Not Just A Cake"
Mustang Bobby: "takes exception to David Brooks saying that it’s okay to violate a gay couple’s civil rights because 'it’s just a cake.' "

his vorpal sword
"Tiresias Notes, or, My Life as a Woman"
Hart Williams: "The first thing that Theodore Sturgeon ever told me was this: to really understand a character, you need to walk a mile in their moccasins. One Halloween, I decided to go as a woman; what happened next was something I could never have been prepared for, nor anticipated."

Strangely Blogged
"Which Side are You on? (Trump?)"
Vixen Strangely: "If the ten years of my blog didn't make this entirely clear, yes, I'm antifascist."

Heretic No More
"For William Todd"
Kathleen Maher: "I wrote serial fiction online this year but focused more on novels-in-progress. In memory of Jon Swift's generous tradition, I've chosen a memorial to another friend who died too soon."

This Is So Gay
Duncan Mitchel: "A discussion of some of the arguments around circumcision."

[this space intentionally left blank]
"A Year Ago, I Confessed Some of the Worst Things I've Ever Done to Women: Here's What Happened"
Dallas Taylor: "The title pretty well describes the post, I'd say. What happened was that I took a (well-deserved) hit, but now I have more authentic relationships with both the women in my life and myself."

M.A. Peel
"My Editions of the Romantics: That Which Connects"
Ellen O'Neill: "The theme for the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association essay this year—“To Friend”—stirred in me enormous emotions about my own relationship to John Keats, which I realized came through the various editions of his poems I’ve owned through the years. And if you can hum the Christmas Carol, “In the Bleak Winter,” well, I give my heart to you-know-who."

Mock Paper Scissors
"Civil War between White Nationalists and the Rest of Us: A Survivor and Thriver Guide"
Katie Schwartz: "Mock, Paper, Scissors answers readers questions about what to bring to a race war."

Hometown USA
Prudes in Hometown
Kevin Robbins: "Haven't been posting that much at the blog. Mostly just letters that have been submitted to the local paper. They're circulation is higher than my blog and I often focus on local issues or my district rep, hence Hometown. I aim for a Dale Carnegie approach that won't piss of my fellow parishioners."

"In The Beginning..."
driftglass: "With memory of our recent political history being shoveled down the media Memory Hole at breakneck speed, I thought we needed need a fast and dirty account of how things got this way."

The Professional Left Podcast (posted at Blue Gal's blog)
"Ep 410 Not Today Satan (Or Trump)"
Blue Gal: "Friday the 13th doesn’t scare us, and neither does that stupid person who says he's "the president." Trump literally does not know how anything works. Meanwhile, we discuss how to protect ourselves from toxic stress until he is removed from office. More at ProLeftPod.com."

Self-Styled Siren
"Bad-Movie Double Feature"
Farran Nehme delivers a fun review of two movies, both bad, but in different ways.

First Draft
"Glengarry Glen Ross On The Potomac"
Peter Adrastos Athas: "As the Kremlingate scandal worsened there were many comparisons of Team Trump to The Godfather. In this post, I argue that David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross is a more apt comparison."

Tom Sullivan
"It's not how many they are but where they are many"
Tom Sullivan: "If Democrats hope to regain control of Congress and redistricting, they need to compete in 50 states, many red and rural. Ask the South Vietnamese how holding the cities and leaving the countryside to their opponents worked out. (Note: Matt Coffay has since abandoned the race for NC-11.)"

"Vergangenheitsbewältigung in America"
Jon Perr: "It’s been 25 years since the late Molly Ivins joked that Pat Buchanan “sounded better in the original German.” But when it comes to its own troubled past, the United States could badly use an Americanized version of a term Germans use to confront theirs."

The Rude Pundit
"Fuck You, Rural Elitists"
Lee Papa: "I wrote this when the endless stream of Trump voter articles was just getting started, but they were and are awful, condescending, and wrong."

Gaius Publius
"Deficit Talk Is a Trap. Will Democrats Fall Into It?"
Gaius Publius: "What most people get wrong about how money is made, and how that heavily-promoted misinformation benefits the Corporate and the Wealthy."

Kiko's House
"Tribalism Run Amok: Trump Did Not Make America What It Is, America Made Trump"
Shaun D Mullen: "Tribalism is in our DNA, and that makes finding a way out of our national nightmare exceedingly difficult because it would require closing the gap between those tribes, as well as changing or at least diluting the mutations of the political parties."

Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
"Outrage of the Week: sexism, the cause of sexual harassment and assault"
Larry E: "Neither sexual harassment nor sexual assault are about sex. They are about sexism."

"Ripped From Today’s Headlines."
Roy Edroso: "As the relationship of Trump’s stooges and the Russians became better known, I imagined the circumstances under which Kislyak and Jeff Session might have become acquainted. And come to think of it, Sessions does have a 'tiny face like babushka.' "

“You Use Condo’s Arm For This?”
Peter Barrett: "It’s a takedown of the “Hand Salad” idea I saw in Bon Appétit."

Doctor Cleveland
"Some People Are Not Duelable"
Doctor Cleveland: "Examines the old idea that you couldn't and shouldn't duel someone who was too far below you, first as general life advice, and then as a comment on Trump."

Balloon Juice
Health Insurance (series)
David Anderson's series on the Affordable Care Act and other health insurance issues was the best "post" pick of the Balloon Juice community.

"I'm a Voodoo Child"
Dave Dugan: " 'Blood Sugar Hex Tragic', an intaglio printed comic on handmade paper about musicians in New Orleans."

Lance Mannion
"The warped, frustrated old and young men and women of Bedford Falls"
Lance Mannion: "There's a Pottersville inside every Bedford Falls and it doesn't need a Donald Trump to bring it out, although he's been very good at that."

Bluestem Prairie
"Nitrates: Brown Co turns down MDA well testing aid because somebody might blame farmers"
Sally Jo Sorensen: "In a political climate in which Big Ag defines any attempt to address environmental consequences of agriculture as an attack on farmers, one Minnesota County decided to turn down state money for well testing. Never mind the blue babies."

Vagabond Scholar
"Assessing Hearts and Minds"
Batocchio: "Due to a dearth of posting this year, I'm picking a relevant, slightly older post about evaluating the reasonability of other people in political discussions, especially old acquaintances."

Thanks again, folks. Happy blogging (and everything else) in 2018. (Vive la résistance!)


roy edroso said...

Thanks, old buddy, and a happier new year!

Comrade Misfit said...

Thanks for doing this.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Thanks as always for doing this and for including me!
And happy new year!

Vixen Strangely said...

Thanks for doing this--it is really always something to look forward to at the end of the year!

Kevin Robbins said...

Thank you for continuing the Jon Swiftian tradition. Look forward to reading what many have been blogging. May the resistance grow ever more bigly this year.

Yastreblyansky said...

It's a feast! Thanks as always, and many happy returns.

Yastreblyansky said...

Incidentally the Jon Swift site at http://jonswift.blogspot.com/ linked in the post and Lance's tribute seems to have shut down since last year. I haven't found an archive, if anybody knows of one please share.

Unknown said...

Thank you, for the umpteenth year, for continuing to do this. With any luck at all, the hairball will soon outlaw blogs and we can all meet for gruel at Kamp Ray-gun.

Ramona Grigg said...

Thanks for another year of incredible blogs. I always look forward to reading them (And thanks for including mine!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for compiling and posting!

Tata said...

Thank you, Batocchio, again and again. I can't wait to read these posts!

Stacy Pete said...

This has nothing to do with the post zI'm commenting on - I just wanted to tell you you've made me very happy. I was just reading a post by Ally Brosh about the use of "alot" and her personification of it. You said it reminded you of "Horrifying Cliches." Exactly!! I'd been trying to remember the name of that feature from Mad Magazine from my childhood Horrifying Cliches! THANK YOU.
It has never left me - I laughed hysterically at "A Case of the Screaming Meemies," "Sitting on the Horns of an Ugly Dilemma," and so many others. The blessed genius who came up with all that altered the way I think and visualize, and changed my life. I must do some research and see if he is still on the planet because I want to thank him. And thank you again for mentioning it. It made my day.

Stacy Pete said...

"Veiled Threat' 😂😂😂

Batocchio said...

Stacy Pete, the artist was/is Paul Coker. Apparently, the writer(s) varied, but Phil Hahn waas the first — here's the list of Coker's work. The most recent installment was December 2017, a Trump edition. There's also a short 2002 compilation book.

I had a cool English teacher (7th and 8th grade) who handed out a copy of a cliches installment and had us pick some other not-included cliche and draw it for an assignment. I read MAD and was familiar with the series already, but it was a neat way to get us thinking about language and how playful it can be.