Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Jon Swift Roundup 2023

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

( A Jon Swift picture, which always seems timely during Republican presidential primary season.)

Welcome to the 2023 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.

The late Lance Mannion provided the definitive description of our endeavor:

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 2010–2022 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.

Thanks to all the participants, and apologies to anyone I missed. (It'd be nice to expand our numbers again, but many bloggers don't list contact information.) 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 #jonswift2023.

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:

Show Me Progress
"Warrensburg, Missouri Pride Festival - hand wringing, pearl clutching, and sign waving in the noonday sun - June 3, 2023"
Michael Bersin: "The drag show goes on at a pride festival in small town Missouri after weeks of anonymous threats and public moral scolding. Outside the venue, in the sun and humidity, busibodies with poorly made protest signs express their self-righteous indignation. Add local police, serious private security, and rainbow flags."

First Draft
"The Talented Mr. Santos Pop Quiz"
Peter Adrastos Athas: "Test your bullshit detector with this quiz. Lying is encouraged, it's what George would do."

"MAGA at the Movies"
Bluzdude: "If these movies were made now, in today’s highly polarized political environment, who would the MAGA crowd be rooting for?"

Mock Paper Scissors
"About Last Night… (Updated)"
Tengrain: "When the Fulton County DA Fani Willis released her historic indictments against a former President. It is the story of the year (century?) and one for the history books, and I for one rejoice that if convicted, he cannot be pardoned by any future president."

You Might Notice a Trend
"Punching Themselves Just a Little Bit More"
Paul Wartenberg: "The kabuki dance we're about to see from the House Republicans isn't about accountability, as they themselves do not believe themselves accountable thanks to safe gerrymandered districts back home. This isn't about corruption because despite all their wailing and gnashing of teeth they haven't proven it. This is about embarrassing Biden and weakening him on the political stage in order to depress voter turnout in 2024. This is about making it easier to deflect or avoid the real corruption Trump is confronting in multiple courtrooms over the next six months."

Bark Bark Woof Woof
"Twenty Years"
Mustang Bobby/Bobby Cramer: "Marking the twentieth anniversary of the start of Bark Bark Woof Woof. We’re still here."

Lotus – Surviving a Dark Time
"A not-so-easy question"
Larry Erickson (Whoviating): "Do Palestinians have a right to resist?"

Mad Kane's Political Madness
"Hope, At Last?"
Madeleine Begun Kane: "My two-verse limerick celebrating Trump's first federal indictment."

This Is So Gay
"Liberals in Flames"
Duncan Mitchel: "Maybe I shouldn't pick on Mehdi Hasan after his demotion at MSNBC, but here goes anyway: posting a bogus quotation against democracy attributed to the racist, pro-fascist Winston Churchill was just not a good idea. Nor was assuming that liberal media know best. What was he thinking?"

his vorpal sword
"October Twenty Sixth, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Three"
Hart Williams: "My fiftieth anniversary as a writer: the origin story. And the connection with Steve Miller's word 'pompatus.' "

Strangely Blogged
"TWGB: Trump Derangement Syndrome"
Vixen Strangely: "In this TrumpWorld Grab-Bag offering, I get down to what the common phrase 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' really seems to mean, and who the actual sufferers are."

Just an Earthbound Misfit, I
"This Holiday Season, Putin Should Send Gift Baskets to J.D. Vance, Gym Jordan, and the Resof the Anti-Freedom Caucus"
Comrade Misfit: "A discourse on the GOP's puzzling support for a dictatorship that is trying to conquer a democracy."

"Dear President Biden: A Birthday Tribute From a Strong Supporter"
Annie: "My decision to forgo a couple of self-satisfying anti-Trump posts and choose this one became easy when the despicable and feckless House Republicans voted unanimously to open an impeachment inquiry of President Biden based on zero crimes or misdemeanors. They know what so many pundits and the press don't seem to: Joe Biden remains a formidable candidate."

Crazy Eddie's Motie News
"Video tributes to George Zingali for his birthday on World AIDS Day"
Pinku-Sensei: I decided to write something personal for World AIDS Day, the story of an acquaintance who participated in the same youth musical activity as me and later died of AIDS. I wrote more widely read posts this year, but none as appreciated on Facebook with 101 likes."

"Yes, it could happen here"
Infidel753: "For years, people have been throwing around the epithet "Nazi" indiscriminately, at anything or anyone they didn't like. Now it turns out that our country is infested with real Nazis – and they're more numerous and dangerous than we ever suspected. The implications for the future are terrifying."

The Debate Link
"The Baggage of Whiteness"
David Schraub: "What is "whiteness" doing to Jewish identity in the wake of Hamas' 10/7 attacks, Israel's war in Gaza, and the resultant protests and antisemitic activity around the world?"

Bluestem Prairie
"MN Private Business Council gave $47,600 to Common Sense MN's mailer campaign in Mankato School District Referendum Question #1"
Sally Jo Sorensen: "An illustration of the value of an independent blog: local news reported on the mailings, but didn't track down the group behind them or the money spent. The referendum passed, despite large outside funding with a partisan edge."

"The Despairing Posture of Their Fail"
driftglass: "In which it becomes clear that none of the intellectual titans of the Right ever heard of the legend of the Golem. Or saw or read The Sorcerer's Apprentice, or Frankenstein, or..."

Blue Gal
"Ep 763 | No Fair Remembering Stuff: Immigration"
Blue Gal: "We review certain facts you'll want to have on hand when talking to MAGA relatives regarding the history of immigration in America. Special props to Maria Bartiromo, a grandchild of open-border immigrants."

God's Spies, by Thomas Neuburger
"This Generation's Problem"
Thomas Neuburger: "Analysis of Cenozoic temperature implies CO2 of about 450 ppm at transition to an ice-free planet. Current growth implies CO2 between 480–520 ppm in 2050. Time to change leaders?"

The Rectification of Names
"Israel's 9/11"
Yastreblyansky: "This was a first response to the horror in Israel of October 7 and a gloomy view of how Israel was likely to respond, which turned out to be, I'm sorry to say, fairly prophetic."

Filosofa's Word
Jill Dennison: "This post is from last January, a look at America through the news stories of the day, and reflections of how different our reality is from the America we once thought we knew."

"Past GOP Speakers, Ratings Agencies Warned of Republican Debt Ceiling 'Disaster' "
Jon Perr: "Ratings agencies and Republican House Speakers agree. GOP failure to raise the debt ceiling would result in 'financial disaster.' "

Roy Edroso Breaks It Down
"The Gut-Wringing Machine"
Roy Edroso: "A ghost in the AI machine."

"The Winsome Witchfinder Moves Up"
Roy Edroso: "Just a reminder, on the occasion of his elevation to Times columnist, what a repulsive piece of shit David French is."

The Rude Pundit
"The Georgia Indictment Is a Defense of the Workers Who Make Democracy Function"
Lee Papa (The Rude Pundit): "Fulton County DA Fani Willis's indictment of Donald Trump and his cabal of insurrectionists is a full-on punch to the face to anyone who would come to her state and try to ruin the lives of government workers."

Vagabond Scholar
"The Iraq War in 2023"
Batocchio: "Mostly a compilation of past posts on the Iraq War."

Thanks again, folks. Happy blogging and everything else in 2024.