Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Jon Swift Roundup 2019

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

(A Jon Swift picture.)

Welcome to the 2019 edition! It's been an interesting year.

This tradition was started by the late Jon Swift/Al Weisel, who left behind some excellent satire, but was also a nice guy and a strong supporter of small blogs. As usual, I'll quote Lance Mannion, who nicely 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 massive 2007 and 2008 editions (via the Wayback Machine). Meanwhile, our more modest revivals from 2010–2018 can be found here.

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

This year, I have to mention the passing of skippy the bush kangaroo/ Gil Christner, who cofounded Blogroll Amnesty Day with Jon/Al, a blogswarm celebrating smaller blogs. Long-time participant Shaun Mullen of Kiko's House also passed away.

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 #jonswift2019.

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:

You Might Notice a Trend
"A Cruel Month for a Cruel Administration"
Paul Wartenberg: "A summary of everything dark and vicious happening under donald trump and Republican rule, and this was BEFORE all the crap about trump extorting Ukraine and things getting worse..."

Just an Earth Bound Misfit, I
"We Never Will Learn"
Comrade Misfit: "A comparison of the War Against Drugs with the War Against Ethanol (Prohibition). It points out that our great-grandparents were a lot smarter than we are."

The Way of Cats
"Cats live in the Now"
Pamela Merritt: "Cats teach me Tao every day."

Mad Kane's Political Madness
"Open 3-Verse Limerick To Donald Trump"
Madeleine Begun Kane: "My 3-verse limerick message to Trump remains unheeded, but hope springs eternal. (I include an audio version along with my written verse.)"

Strangely Blogged
"Unbearably Hostile. And Also Very Contrite"
Vixen Strangely: "A heated discussion in my blog comments lead to me to unpack my hostility towards third party voting and my fears about the upcoming presidential election."

Show Me Progress
"This morning at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City"
Michael Bersin: "Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. As part of a grassroots organized "Everyone for Reproductive Rights" rally at the capitol in Jefferson City on June 22, 2019 pro-choice activists marched to the Governor's mansion to confront Mike Parson (r), Missouri's rabid anti-choice governor. After the speeches ended and as they left individually and in small groups activists placed wire coat hangers on the spiked cast iron fence in front of the mansion."

The Rude Pundit
"You Idiots Are Causing 'White Genocide' Yourselves"
Lee Papa: "The dumbasses who shout about "white genocide" support politicians whose policies create the circumstances for the immigration that they fear. But, well, they are dumbasses."

The Rectification of Names
"One Loopy Piehole; and Prolegomena to a Discussion of Russia Sanctions"
Yastreblyansky: "I usually submit what I think is the funniest post of the year, or the most satisfying from a literary point of view, but this year I want to focus on something different; this post starts off with a moderately amusing Fats Waller parody but goes on to one of the big things missing from the Mueller Report: the original! quid pro quo, or what Trump has done to repay V.V. Putin for his assistance in the 2016 election. Three-parter, follow the links at the end of the post."

Poor Impulse Control
"All This And No Surprises"
Tata: "Mental illness, not cancer, killed my mother."

Mock, Paper, Scissors
"Project Purple: Call It By Its Name"
Tengrain: "The "Both Siderists" tried rebranding and we’re having none of it."

[this space intentionally left blank]
"Bringing A Strongly-Worded Letter to a Knife Fight"
Dallas Taylor: "In which I answer the perennial calls for compromise and civility with a reminder that the people we're being asked to compromise with and be civil to are acting in bad faith while they hollow out American democracy in the service of authoritarian oligarchs while the climate we depend on slides further and further into crisis."

Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time
"The Erickson Report, Page 4: A Longer Look at open borders"
LarryE: "On my cable access/YouTube show "The Erickson Report," I have an occasional segment called "A Longer Look," going into some topic in more depth that a 30-minute show normally allows. This time it was on an immigration option that is rarely discussed and which may not be an answer but is surely worth considering: open borders."

"Some further ranting on culture and politics"
Infidel753: "Disengaged, low-information, pop-culture-obsessed voters aren't the ones who got Trump elected, nor are they the ones most likely to tip the scales toward his re-election. The problem lies elsewhere."

Self-Styled Siren
"Olivia (1951)"
The Siren: "It's a superb film (directed by a woman!) that truly deserves a resurrection."

David E's Fablog
"Nancy Finds Her Inner Faye"
David Ehrenstein

Bark Bark Woof Woof
"The Sting"
Mustang Bobby: "Was it enough to just impeach Trump in the House, knowing that the Senate will acquit him? No, it’s not enough. But it’s close."

"A long but thought-provoking read"
Brendan Keefe: "Some of the reactions I had to Scott Alexander's post, "New Atheism: The Godlessness That Failed." "

The Debate Link
"In Relating to our Black Allies, Jews Need To Stop Being Babies"
David Schraub: "We in the Jewish community has a problem relating to our Black allies: we expect them to be condemn-antisemitism-on-demand toys, and throw a tantrum any time they want to talk about anything else. That's not a mature way to have a relationship among equals."

POST J"The Most Important Issue for Democrats in 2020? The Courts"
Jon Perr: "Republican control over the Supreme Court isn’t merely putting reproductive rights and marriage equality at risk. The increasingly reactionary federal judiciary at all levels threatens the entire legal basis for post-New Deal government."

"History of Two Weeks' Tour Through Switzerland"
Ellen O'Neill: "I went to Switzerland to visit the hometown of my maternal great grandfather. It was an unexpected bonus that I found myself walking in the footsteps of my beloved Romantic Poets, Dumas, Dickens, Twain, et. al. When I got home, I discovered Mary Shelley's own travelogue of her travels with Percy, and the post is an homage to her writing."

First Draft
"The Wind Calls Willard"
Peter Adrastos Athas: "Willard Mittbot Romney: Hero or Weathervane? It's up to him."

"The So-Called Network."
Roy Edroso: "I was sufficiently amused by Aaron Sorkin, high on his own supply, trying to talk sense to supervillain Mark Zuckerberg that I wrote my own Sorkin script for their encounter."

Special bonus post:
Roy Edroso Breaks It Down
"The bad dog"
Roy Edroso: "Our dog died last summer. Actually she was my wife's dog, but in the course of her dying I put a claim on her, which is what the post is about."

Ramona's Voices
"I Would Make a Better President Than Donald Trump"
Ramona Grigg: "A light-hearted but semi-serious look at an alternative to our first (and hopefully last) dilettante president. Trump has set the bar so low even I could do a better job. One look at my cabinet choices should cement this whole idea."

World O’ Crap
"Corner Man"
Scott Clevenger: "Scott sits down with Hall of Fame boxing trainer and Fox Sports commentator Joe Goossen to talk about the Ruelas Brothers, two young Mexican boys who wandered into his gym one day while selling candy door to door and refused to leave until he made them world champions. He didn’t want to…but he did."

Thomas Neuburger (at Down With Tyranny)
"Why Everyone in the U.S. Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead"
Thomas Neuburger: "By many miles my most-read post of the year, picked up on sites both left and right. The world as currently run not only wants Assange dead, they want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we're watching today. The death will follow shortly."

his vorpal sword
"Law With No Rules"
Hart Williams: "Going through the last year's posts, I was astonished at how prescient this was, predicting very accurately the issues that would lead to impeachment ten months and four days later. It also contains an important warning as to how democracies die that bears repeating."

Bluestem Prairie
"MN01: the hostile world of Hagedorn town halls, updated with videos of Mankato area meetings"
Sally Jo Sorensen: "Freshman Republican Representative Jim Hagedorn faces hostile crowds across his Southern Minnesota district. He doesn't help himself with hostile answers about suicide, climate action, and other topics."

Spocko's Brain
"What To Do If A Trump Supporter Threatens You"
Spocko: "I'm very proud of this piece because it describes how to successfully deal with an online bully."

Brilliant at Breakfast Rebooted
"18 Years On – When Is It Time To Stop?"
Jill: "Musings on whether it's time to let the 9/11 dead finally rest."

This Is So Gay
"Caress, Fondle, Nuzzle the Hair of Your Feelings"
Duncan Mitchel: "The First Amendment guarantees your right to be marginalized, offended, and to feel like an outcast. Celebrate it!"

Doctor Cleveland
"Shakespeare Wasn't Perfect"
Doctor Cleveland: "Why do people keep coming up with ever less plausible candidates as the “real” Shakespeare? Because we can’t accept his flaws."

"The Bonfire of the Sanities"
driftglass: "Meet Mr. Michael Gerson: former George W. Bush chief speechwriter, senior Republican policy adviser and reliable Beltway Republican stalactite who now exists in a perpetual state of shock that his Republican Party is full of Republicans."

Blue Gal/The Professional Left Podcast
"Ep 524: Impeachment Articles At Last, and a Convo with Jay Rosen"
Blue Gal: "A brief discussion of our reaction to impeachment. . . . and a long discussion with Jay Rosen of Pressthink.org."

Special bonus post:
Crooks and Liars
"Rachel Maddow And Meghan McCain: A Study In Contrasts"
Frances Langum: "This post is one of my favorites from this year, a takedown of Meghan McCain."

Vagabond Scholar
"Bred for Circuses"
Batocchio: "Conservatives and Republicans can't win many arguments on the merits, so they try to reduce everything to an us-versus-them battle. Authoritarianism, a propaganda network, and outsized media personas are a big help for this."

Thanks again, folks. Happy blogging and everything else in 2020, which promises to be an eventual year.


Vixen Strangely said...

Thanks for assembling this seasonal blogular feast and for including me--it is always a pleasure!

Infidel753 said...

Thanks for posting this every year. It's a great way to browse around and see what everyone has to offer.

Tengrain said...

I love this. I really do, and I know how much work it must take. (Also: my RSS Reader is well fed now!)

Thank you,


Madeleine Begun Kane said...

A wonderful job as always! Thanks once again for including one of my political limericks!

Jill said...

Thanks for continuing to keep this alive. Happy new year to you and yours.