Thursday, January 1, 2015

Another Year Older: My Top Ten Posts of 2014

Well, well, well: it's 2015 already.  Where did the last few weeks go?

Batocchio has posted his annual Jon Swift Memorial Roundup at Vagabond Scholar, in which he allows bloggers to select what we consider our best posts of the year.  Mine's in there somewhere.

Following my own habit, I'm posting here my top ten posts of the past year, rated in terms of page views.  By a nice coincidence, they're also the posts that garnered more than 200 page views apiece.  While I posted a lot less last year, and no post was viewed more than 300 times, it also looks as though I had more 100-plus posts than usual.  (Almost half of all posts.)  Anyway, let the countdown begin.

10. On "Confrontation".  A brief look at a new collection of articles by Noam Chomsky.

9. "Why Hell?": The Collected Wisdom of Jean-Luc Picard.  Another discussion of scientific authority, in the wake of the successful landing of a space probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November.

8. Therefore Do the Virgins Love Thee.  Reflections on Paul Collins' Sixpence House: Life in a Town of Books.

7. Sermon Style.  On writers and empathy, based on an entry in May Sarton's journal Encore: A Journal of the Eightieth Year.

6. Pay No Attention to the Racist Under the Bedsheet.  In which I wonder why so many people want to be racist, but don't want to be labeled racist.

5. What Illegal Looks Like.  Written to explain why I wear a "I Just Look Illegal" t-shirt.

4. Reach Out and Inappropriately Touch Someone.  How Democrats react to criticism of their party is very similar to the way Republicans react to criticism of theirs: with ad hominems rather than logic or evidence.

3. Off the Old Bat.  Is marriage "conservative," "liberal," or "radical"?

2. Girls Will Be Boys and Boys Will Be Girls.  I wrote several posts on gender, sex, and sexuality near the end of 2013 and early in 2014; this one got the most attention.  But I want to point also to this one, this one, this one, this one, and (especially) this one.

1. Our Childlike, Emotional Leaders.  I've often written about elitism (and its pseudo-scientific sibling "meritocracy") and why it doesn't work.  David F. Schmitz's Thank God They're On Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships gave me more ammunition.  Schmitz showed that the business and political elites who run America and our possessions, claiming that the masses are too emotional and childlike for self-government, are themselves easily gulled by strongmen (or women, exemplified by right-wingers' adulation of Margaret Thatcher) in uniform.

Thank Cthulhu, 2014 is over.  We'll see how 2015 proceeds.