Monday, January 12, 2009

Swift Reads 4: Weblog Awards Discoveries

Some, like Pia Zadora and Milli Vanilli, achieve recognition in their lifetimes, while others, like President Bush and, apparently, this modest blogger, will only be judged by history when "we'll all be dead." But as I come to terms with the likelihood of being a three-time Weblog Award loser, I prefer to think of the positive aspects of this emotionally wrenching experience: the new readers who graced my blog with their presence and the new blogs I discovered.

Although I am grateful for every one of the new readers who visited this blog in the last week, I am especially surprised and delighted with one new reader in particular who finally decided to drop in. For years she adamantly refused to read my blog or even mention my pseudonym even as she said the most scurrilous things about me. I'm not sure why she resisted coming here for so long unless it was because she was afraid that my writing was so persuasive and reasonable it would shake the very foundations of her carefully constructed world view and set off a dangerous logic loop in her brain that would cause it to short circuit. For many years she remained steadfast in her refusal to let one word of my prose sully the purity of her thoughts. But perhaps the evenings in Madison, Wisconsin, are particularly cold and lonely this time of year and perhaps she had had one too many glasses of wine by 5:30 p.m. on January 8, 2009. And so that evening, as a bitter wind howled outside her window, she checked her Sitemeter to see how many visitors Instapundit had sent her that day and saw yet another link from my site, just sitting there enticingly, beckoning, whispering, "Click me. Click me." Imagine the inner turmoil she experienced as she tried with all her might to resist clicking on the link. Must. Not. Read. Jon. Swift. Then her will power failed her and she could no longer resist, and throwing all caution to the wind, she finally succumbed and clicked that fateful link that whisked her away to my blog. And soon she was reading, feeling that first rush as my prose entered her veins. Who knew it could be so good, she said to herself as one by one the words swept away the cobwebs and the dust in the attic of her cranium, cluttered with crazy theories about breast-bearing feminists, the plots of unfinished books that bored her, deep insights into American Idol episodes and even that dark corner where Bill Clinton waits, crouched lasciviously, ready to betray her all over again. And imagine that moment when her giddy anticipation was finally fulfilled and she came to the first mention of her name, right there, right there in black and light brown, her name in all its glory!: Ann Althouse. So welcome to my modest blog, Ms. Althouse. I wish you had told me you were coming and I would have tidied up the place a bit. I hope you finally found what you were looking for.

But while it was exciting to have Ms. Althouse finally drop by after so many years, it was even more thrilling to discover so many wonderful blogs I had never read before that were nominated for Weblog Awards. And so I thought I would share some of my discoveries with you. Please go and check them out. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

NuVision for a New Day
The diary of a lovely blind African-American woman who sees things others don't see. In this post she talks about being flirted with at a friend's birthday party and confesses, "I can be a little shallow at times when it comes to looks." By the way, are we still allowed to use the word "blind"?

Grace the Spot
A very witty blog that was an unfortunate casualty of the Wonkette juggernaut. Here she talks about the importance of being boring in a relationship. I'm beginning to suspect, however, I may have been mistaken about its being a Lebanese blog.

Army of Dude
A military blog by an Iraq veteran. In a recent five-part series, he tries to describe to those who haven't been there what it's like to hear, see, smell, touch and taste combat in Iraq.

F--- You, Penguin
Who knew that existential despair could be so irresistibly, so heart-breakingly cute?

Curious Expedition
A beautifully designed travelogue that describes such wonders as the remarkably bear-free forests of Carpathia and other places you are glad you've never been to.

Medium Large
The blog of a comic strip artist, who in the helpful animation in this post, explains "What Is Comedy?"

Ashin Mettacara
This Burmese blog has a lot of posts about people being sentenced to long prison terms there. Apparently, they are very tough on crime in Burma.

I owe a big thanks to this blog, which provided me with the very useful information that plucking your eyebrows is a sign of homosexual tendencies, which has saved me from some possibly embarrassing misunderstandings.

Reading this Canadian blog I learned about subtle racist backlashes in Saskatchewan and that Canada actually has its own unique culture, something I was not aware of before.

Foodie at Fifteen (Now 16)

A food blog by a high school student who really should be spending less time in the kitchen fantasizing about pork bellies and more time playing video games like others his age.

Dr. Wizard's Advice for College Students
This blog explains the world in ways even a student on a rugby scholarship can understand. Here, for example, we learn why drugs are bad through illustrative metaphors.

Madam Miaow says…
Although this is a culture blog with a decidedly left-wing slant, the writer is from "across the pond," as she charmingly puts it, where they don't have as much access to fair and balanced media as we do, and she's not afraid to take on her fellow lefties on occasion.

And if that is not enough reading for you, then check out some of the other worthy blogs that were also nominated for Best Humor Blog (i am bossy, The Bloggess, YesButNoButYes, IMAO, Mattress Police, Mother May I Sleep With Treacher, The Comics Curmudgeon, My Mom is a Fob, and Boobs, Injuries and Dr Pepper), even though some of them could not resist dragging my pseudonym through the mud in their desperation to win. I forgive you all. And I even forgive you, Comics Curmudgeon, despite the fact that you took away my dream and crumpled it up like that piece of looseleaf notebook paper with the love poem to the cheerleader written on it, laughing tauntingly as you swept the long blonde hair from your face and tossed the wad of paper disgustedly into the garbage can.

Update: A coalition of two conservative blogs, who have apparently forgotten Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment, is trying to wrest second place from me armed with an endorsement from The Corner. Don't let that happen. Show them that we conservatives have learned that negative campaigning doesn't work anymore. Vote for Jon Swift here.

Update 2: Ann Althouse responds by email, "That post was awfully needy. Not that I read more than the parts right around my name," and later taunts me on her site: "No wonder he's losing the Weblog Awards voting. Man up, Swift, you pussy."

Update 3: As voting winds to a close I try to impart some valuable lessons to my fellow conservatives: "If we learned anything from the last two elections, it’s that negative campaigning doesn’t work anymore. Conservatives need to come up with a positive vision for the future if we are going to win again, which is what I have tried to do. I think the voters see that my blog is about change and the future and not about just tearing my opponents down and that is why I appear to be trouncing you."

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yellojkt said...

Once again you prove yourself to be the class act of the blogosphere. However, I fear that your little screen shot capture is not intended to out Ms. Althouse as a reader as it is to brag that you have had over one million (or 'one meeeelyun' as that spy movie parody villain puts it) visitors to your site.

My own humble blog has merely one quarter of that and I suspect the quality of the prose is similarly proportional.

Still, I want to welcome Ann to our cozy club and hope that she becomes a frequent visitor.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hello again my friend!..I could use a cupla thousand votes myself..I dont believe I won last year..all thanks to u actually!!!
In any event I am formulating a post bout these contests and the games people play...ahhhhhhh!..luv ya always!..Angel:)

Alex said...

Thanks for the link to Army of Dude, I appreciate you sending traffic my way. Like WHT, I could use a couple thousand votes as well, but that ship has long sailed.

Grace C. said...

Thank you for the link, Mr. Swift! :)

The Black Sphere said...

Thanks for the visit, Swift. You have a funny blog my friend, which is why I cast my vote for you. As you know, there were some shenanigans happening, so many of us were ACORNED out! But the exposure has been good, so I feel like a winner! Ok whatever!

I will visit from time to time, and recommend others. You know, even a sheriff has deputies, and sharks have those litle fish that clean them, and so on! Finalist for Best New Blog.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Bill Browning said i should vote for you. He owns me.

kathleenmaher said...

Jon, you've drummed up so many voters for me out of your pure and modest kindness that I really wish I could make you proud. And I'm still pulling for you and those you endorse (including me), but time is running short. And in my case, Neil Gaiman is miles ahead. Maybe light years. I haven't given up, though.
But the idea that once I die, my fate will change has long been my reason to live. The Weblog award and untold rewards are waiting for me in the hereafter. See you at the after-party--really after.

WomanHonorThyself said...

whew..have a hard time gettin your comment section..lotta error msgs..
Come read this my friend..its sort a dedication to u and YOU get an honorable mention! Heh

Weblog Awards

Angie-Nuvision said...

If it had not been for your faithful readers, I would not have known about the link love I'm getting over here. (Thanks to Blue Girl for tipping me off.)

John, I'm equally as glad that I found you. You're hilarious! And you're pretty sweet too.

Although I'm grossly and embarrassingly losing this popularity contest called the Weblog Awards (LOL!), I'm thrilled that the awards made me aware of some gems in the blogosphere. So, even though my numbers at the poles are shameful, I walk away from this experience with more than I had before I was listed as a finalist.

Traffic has increased on the blog, and more people are now aware that blind folks can think, interact, and participate in society. And again, if it had not been for the awards, I would've never taken a stroll on Swift Lane. :)

Well, I'll be back to visit. I have my work cut out for me. I'll be taking the time to read through your previous posts. I can't resist.

Angie B.
Swift's Most Recent Fan

Madam Miaow said...

Thank you, Mr Swift. You're just about to get my third vote for you.

Wishing you a comfy second.

Julian Meteor said...

Stop going ON about Althouse.
She is CRUD in bed. She ONLY knew TWO of the three positions.
ABSOLUTELY rubbish (and NO noise).

VERY disappointing.

JollyRoger said...

Mr. Swift, your time in the wilderness will not be long lived. Do not let these liberal automatons bother you! The wisdom of your ways will eventually sweep them all out of the way, both in the real world and also in the liberally-rigged weblog awards. Good conservatives shall persevere!

Mark said...

I haven't visited for a long time, but I can't tell you how disappointed I am to learn you've become obsessed with winning. Just sad. Real conservatives know that, like Elton John (a true conservative if ever there was one) said, sometimes "it feels so good to hurt so bad". Conservatives are used to being misunderstood and slighted, and being despised by librul voters is a badge of honour.

Ann said it, Jon - man up. It's not enough to have a picture of Ronald Reagan on the bathroom ceiling right over the tub; that's just breakdancing around the fringes of conservatism. Winning cheesy awards is the kiss of death to conservative pride.

Micgar said...

Jon-still can't believe you got 2nd to that other blog of which I don't speaketh thy name. Crazy!
I think you're the best!
Thanks for thinking about us "little blogs"!

Julian Meteor said...

Nice guys come second!!!!
In bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JOTD (joke of the day)


partoba said...

Just to remind you, I sent email thru your contact email. Nice blog, anyway.

Diesel said...

We were all schooled by the Curmudgeon, no?

I think I was preschooled by him, in fact.

Thanks for the mention!

skippy said...

well don't worry skippy came in a distant second to jammie wearing fool in the all important category of best large blog authority between 301 - 500. so that's how things go.

i think there were bots involved in this year's voting process.

your work is reward enough.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

So you finished an honourable second in an election. That's the conservative thing to do, just like John McCain and George Bush...

Tagesgeldkonto said...

Nice comparison, Gukko!
My vote is for you.. ;)

Phil said...

"But as I come to terms with the likelihood of being a three-time Weblog Award loser . . ."

Yeah, right, Jon. But do you really want to screw up a perfect record with a win?

Utah Savage said...

Even gracious in loss. This is the mark of a true winner. You are so kind to share the contacts you make out in the conservative world.

Stella said...

Forget 'em, Dean Swift. You'll always be a winner to me. BTW, I thought you might be interested in knowing about the following Swift 15-volume collection from Cambridge Press.

Unfortunately, the cost is quite high.

VE said...

And another new reader thanks to the Weblogs. I only recognize one other reader here so indeed the blogosphere is large...

ChrisV82 said...

And so that evening, as a bitter wind howled outside her window, she checked her Sitemeter to see how many visitors Instapundit had sent her that day and saw yet another link from my site, just sitting there enticingly, beckoning, whispering, "Click me. Click me."
* * *
And soon she was reading, feeling that first rush as my prose entered her veins.

This made me so fucking hard.

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.

Mick said...

Who's Ann Althouse?

Dinosaur Trader said...

@ "ChrisV82,"

I'm glad I wasn't the only one to have that reaction.


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Allonymous said...

Good sir, I would like to remind you that you have been dead for more than 250 years and indeed you have gotten much recognition since. Your works of truth-to-power prose have even been foisted upon middle schoolers across the English-speaking world.
Perhaps your illustrious compatriot will have the same honor.

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gih said...

Wow! too much books will make my head harder. :-(

denparser said...

HHmm, perhaps your eyes are not good in reading?

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