December 29, 2001

There is a growing consensus among bloggers that Rand Simberg’s scathing and hilarious takedown, "Media Casualties Mount As War Success Continues," is the “Best Blog Post of 2001,” or at least a final nominee. It's definitely great (go read it now if somehow you've missed it), but what's really amazing is that it's just one of probably hundreds of intelligent, insightful, brilliant, hilarious, and/or downright stunning articles I've read over the past few months, all courtesy of the rapidly rising number of bloggers out there. Well, that's not really accurate, since many of the writers who I now read every day have been writing great stuff for years, but the difference is that it's now been made known and readily available to me and tens of thousands like me.

Last night I had a conversation where it occurred to me just how completely and permanently my news-gathering habits have changed over the past few months. I find it difficult to watch network news or read the big newspapers, and certainly don't expect too much more from them besides surface information or straight video. Obviously the events since September 11 have been the catalysts for growth, but the effects and benefits of the revolution will be felt for many years. Where can I learn more about Second Amendment issues, for example: by listening to another ten-minute facile Sunday morning roundtable discussion or by reading the detailed back-and-forth between the team at Libertarian Samizdata and Brian Linse? Hell, I subscribe to about a dozen magazines, and most of them don't produce as much interesting content in a whole year as Steven Den Beste does every single day (The Economist excluded, of course). I can go on for hours like this, but I'd rather just get back to reading some more, and working on my own little addition to the world of content.

Anyway, since this might be my last big posting of 2001, I thought I'd take a few moments to expand on Glenn's throwaway line about "The Best Blog Post of 2001" and add a few more nominees for this prestigious and just-invented honor (though my list will probably be more accurately categorized as The Best Blog Posts of the Last Few Months of 2001, since that's when I've been reading them regularly). Here are a few to get started; I'll add more as they're suggested. And remember, there are no losers here; everybody's a winner just for posting.

To get us started, Two Ships Passing in the Media Night, featuring Matt Welch’s much-more-insightful-than-mine comments on the public’s views on media and academia since September 11, with help from Glenn Reynolds’ Fox News article, The Academy Encounters the Real World.. As a representative slice of the devastating Straw Man parsing that he does so well, I present this destruction of Barbara Kingsolver, though there are about a dozen other worthy destructions I could have linked to.

James Lileks has written a number of terrific pieces over the past few months, but I especially admired his Friday Bleats/Rants on November 9 and November 16, from before he got sick.

Steven Den Beste writes at least two or three great pieces every day it seems, but I'll just link to two: Endgame: Why was the US experience in Afghanistan so much different than that the USSR? and Cultural relativism is chauvinistic.

Ken Layne wrote a piece I liked a great deal about...well, pretty much everything, it seems.

Will WIlkinson's Fly Bottle had some interesting pieces regarding the cloning debate.

A succinct Fevered Rant from Alex del Castillo about Know Noth-- I mean Buy Nothing Day.

There's a number of Moira Breen posts from her Inappropriate Response blog that I could link to, but the barely restrained fury of her Qala-I Janghi, Again post has stuck with me.

I'll try and work on this a bit more before the end of the year, but I need to get up early tomorrow to head down to the Princeton area for the day's Revolutionary War Reenactment. It seems like a good way to finish out this year.
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