A happy 133,174 to you all
Last year, this relentlessly annoying blog signed off for the year on December 22, noting with undisguised self-satisfaction that it had received 640,000 visitors in its first twelve months of existence. And it fired a decisive shot in the War on Christmas:
It’s time to remind the infidels and agnostics that the mother-lovin’ Prince of Peace can kick their asses all the way to Gehenna! So this Christ-Mas season, get in the face of some pushy, hook-nosed anti-Christmas agitator near you, and say, “Merry My-God-Became-Flesh-And-Yours-Didn’t-Day, you un-American slimeball. Why don’t you just take your little ‘civil liberties’ someplace else.”
But this year, this humble blog has mellowed a bit. Partly that’s because we’ve hosted 1.6 million readers for the year as opposed to last year’s paltry .6 million (yes, I know some of you have visited more than once, but still, my annual stats are steadily creeping up on Kos’s dailies), but mostly it’s because we’re getting old, slow, and complacent. How old are we getting? This old: yesterday I used the word “pwned” in a conversation with 19-year-old Nick, whereupon he turned to his friends and said, “hmmm, now we’re going to have to make up a whole new word.” He’s been home 36 hours, and the parental mockery has already begun.
And as I’ve mellowed, I’ve come to realize that there is, in fact, no War on Christmas. In fact, the anodyne phrase “happy holidays,” far from being a brazen secularist denial of the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth, is almost as offensive as “Merry Christmas” itself, insofar as it suggests that some days are “holy.”
So I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Molochmas and a very pagan New Year.
I’ll leave it to the culture warriors to determine why the Christians have declared war on New Year’s Day; me, I’m just gonna celebrate the year 133,174 in style. I date my calendar the evolutionist way, from the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens, and you should too.
Oh, and speaking of things that you should do: please visit Digby and contribute a dollar or two to his (or her) Molochmas cheer. I chipped in last week, because (a) I visit his (or her) blog every day and (b) I visit his (or her) blog every day because every day, I think that the radical right has achieved a remarkable degree of hegemony over “official" political commentary in the United States except for the left blogosphere, and every day, I think that having Digby on our side is a reason to keep on living anyway.
Merry Molochmas to you, Mr. (or Ms.) Digby, and many many more.
Thanks to all my readers, who helped to make 133,173 (a.k.a. 2005) such a fun year for the blog. (Except for the appendectomy. That was a drag.) Thanks also to John McGowan for some fine guest hosting. Next year, folks, this blog will elevate its game, thereby taking its game to the Next Level, a state of being in which it is possible to wear a Game Face and give 110 percent.
I want to say thank you because I visit YOUR blog nearly everyday, and to say the least, it is a big breath of fresh air out here in the hinterlands. I admire your commitment to family and the intellectual life, and wish you all “all the best.”
StevePosted by on 12/23 at 10:26 AM
Thank you, Michael, for producing excellant prose, and the excellant Jaime too.
You know, of course, that it isn’t actually possible to give 110 percent, since that would entail giving more than 100 percent, and 100 percent of something is all that there is, and, having given that, there is no more left to give.
But you knew that.Posted by on 12/23 at 10:35 AM
Eat, eat, eat! Drink, drink, drink! Molochmas waits for no man! And a Happy 133,177th, too. More Eat, eat, eat! Drink, drink, drink!Posted by on 12/23 at 11:00 AM
I’d chime in with the thanks for your blog, except I’m pretty sure my keyboard strokes are being monitored by some kind of post-9/11 spyware. That leaves me no choice but to type that I only visit this blog in order to keep tabs on what the seditious left is thinking. So thank you, Mr. Seditious Left, for helping me stay abreast of the nefarious opinions of those who equate freedom with the state of not being spied upon.Posted by on 12/23 at 11:12 AM
My humble little blog had around 7000 visitors over the last two or three years until you linked to it last week. Now it’s up to 11181. Behold the power of Michael Berube Online.
This old: yesterday I used the word “pwned” in a conversation with 19-year-old Nick, whereupon he turned to his friends and said, “hmmm, now we’re going to have to make up a whole new word.” He’s been home 36 hours, and the parental mockery has already begun.
I have to know, how IS that word pronounced?Posted by Mark Earnest on 12/23 at 11:14 AM
"elevate its game”, take it to the “next level”? What kind of talk is this? Oh yeah, sure. And Osama bin Forgotten is “on the run”, the insurgents are “in their last death throws” and the latest purple finger election means Iraq has “turned the corner”. We’ve heard this before.
But we’ll keep coming back anyway.
And hey, time to remind Nickie who pays the bills.Posted by Bulworth on 12/23 at 11:30 AM
Just think, Michael. If only a hundredth of those visitors vote for you for “Best Writing” in the Koufax Awards, you will handily and deservedly trounce your opponents.
I have to know, how IS [pwned] pronounced?
The great minds of the modern literary world are so all over that.Posted by Chris Clarke on 12/23 at 12:48 PM
there are those that say that Digby is not a man. Not that there is anything wrong with that.Posted by on 12/23 at 01:22 PM
I chipped in last week, because (a) I visit
his</b> blog every day and (b) I visit his blog every day because every day ...Posted by Roxanne on 12/23 at 01:24 PM
Thanks for stepping it up this year. Blue-chip bloggers, like your Bérubés, your Digbies, your Chris Clarkes, your Roxanne Coopers, know the key to winning blogging is taking it one post at a time. And a good steroid regime during the off-season.Posted by on 12/23 at 02:39 PM
"The great minds of the modern literary world are so all over that. “
That was total mad ownage.Posted by on 12/23 at 03:10 PM
"Thanks for stepping it up this year. Blue-chip bloggers, like your Bérubés, your Digbies, your Chris Clarkes, your Roxanne Coopers, ...”
Whoa, no wonder these people all have time to blog. They all seem to have duplicates!Posted by on 12/23 at 03:12 PM
Has it been another year? My goodness, I can remember when this blog was just learning to skate by going up and down the ice pushing a chair. But even then you could see the quickness, peripheral vision, and the soft hands. My only complaint about the year? Well,of course, there was not enough Janet. Hail Moloch! Keeper of the net and destroyer of wingnut pretension. Peace.Posted by on 12/23 at 04:40 PM
Next year, folks, this blog will elevate its game, thereby taking its game to the Next Level, a state of being in which it is possible to wear a Game Face and give 110 percent.
Those are laudable goals, but I hope you know that you have to take it one blog post at a time. Stay focused, and remember that there is no “I” in “Berube.” Turnovers will be key—take what the defense gives you. You’re an impact player and a serious student of the game. Try to dig deep, dictate the tempo of the posts, and remember to just get out there and have some fun.Posted by Matt on 12/23 at 04:56 PM
Thanks, Matt—and remember, when the going gets tough, the tough sign up for blog ads.
Chris, I have been bugging Janet for months to follow up with the post she’s been promising (or threatening) since April. Next year I will take my Janet-bugging to the Next Level!
time to remind Nickie who pays the bills.
Oh, yeah, Bulworth—that always works.
And isn’t the plural of Digby “Digbys”? Unless he’s a woman, in which case it would be Digbies.Posted by Michael on 12/23 at 07:48 PM
Hey, anyone care to give me a pronounciation of pwned? Since I never activate the voice on games, and I refuse to talk to people under the age of 23 (the point at which I believe human life begins), I have no idea how that word sounds out-loud.
Please and thank you.
Thanks for the entertainment, Michael.
Carry on.Posted by Chris Moore on 12/23 at 08:03 PM
Well, Chris, excellent sense in the age cutoff, but I am compelled to talk to sub-23 parapeople constantly, and they have never used pwned in my hearing. So, I was compelled to look up this link.
This is what Michael has made of my life...sigh.Posted by on 12/23 at 08:32 PM
"Next year, folks, this blog will elevate its game, thereby taking its game to the Next Level, a state of being in which it is possible to wear a Game Face and give 110 percent.”
If you avoid penalties, eliminate turnovers and play a full 60 minutes, you can determine your own destiny.Posted by on 12/23 at 09:07 PM
Dear prof. Michael.
Digby is a she, not a he.Posted by on 12/23 at 11:06 PM
How does one pronounce “pwned”?Posted by on 12/24 at 12:29 AM
There’s an effort under way to save the archives of the New Orleans Public Library. Read about it at
Sorry to toss this into the thread but I couldn’t think of another way to bring it to folks’ attention and it seemed worth the lapse of manners. Thanks.Posted by rootlesscosmo on 12/24 at 12:35 AM
Thanks to Peter’s generous link above, we can now roll with the 1337 by pronouncing pwned. Rhymes with moaned. pwnly with P in the front.
Merry Happy Joyous Safe EverybodyPosted by Chris Moore on 12/24 at 04:51 AM
OK, I’ll redo the pronouns on Digby, having been thoroughly pwned and rendered teh l4m3 on that one. But I have an OT question, now that I’m on the road and doing the wireless cafe thing: is there a stranger Xmas pop song than Elton John’s “Step into Christmas”? I don’t mean a worse song, like McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time,” or a more WTF Xmas song, like the Bowie/ Bing duet on “Little Drummer Boy.” I mean stranger.
Step into Molochmas, everyone. I might check back in during the MLA.Posted by Michael on 12/24 at 08:46 AM
ah, the ever-popular Digby gender mystery…
I have to vote with the not-enough-Janet faction here.
Joyous solstice observance. Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia.Posted by julia on 12/24 at 11:32 AM
More to MLA than to Molochmas-- but i have been wondering where who is entertaining some grad students who might be willing to engage in researching one of the greatest untapped open data bases ever compiled. I refer to myspace.com, and open public network, now numbering around 43 millions worldwide users, most of whom (literally millions) have posted: personal, cultural, social, and consumer choice information about themselves. Hundreds of thousands have posted survey and “quiz” (those things Nick and i mentioned a year ago) data regarding all manner of cultural choices; they also provide lists what they read and view, along with relevant and directly related demographic data.
I notice, on Myspace, that while not one single student has graded Prof Berube’s efforts at Penn State (not any of those in literature, English, or Culture Studies), the Behavioral Science and Engineering departments seem to have encouraged students to do so.Posted by on 12/24 at 01:00 PM
Look at what Santa Claus has brought compliments of the NYT.Posted by on 12/25 at 02:41 AM
Bring back Saturnalia, if we’re going to do the pagan thing right.Posted by kchew on 12/25 at 07:35 PM
Moloch? But Moloch is so icky. And he totally pwned Willow. Do we hafta celebrate Molochmas?Posted by Another Damned Medievalist on 12/27 at 02:59 AM
Digby’s blog was the first one I found while searching for something to tell me I wasn’t crazy. I thought that Bushco and the Republicans were a boil on the butt of humanity but no one I knew felt the same. I guess that’s not unusual for a blue person in a red state. So I added him to my favorites and thanks to his blogroll I found my way here and to other fine blogs. I guess that is worth a few bucks, maybe more.
So Merry Molochmas and Happy 133,174 to all.Posted by on 12/30 at 06:54 PM
Hey sound advice from the Chargers’ game this afternoon. (Being Canadian, we have our NFL games selected for us, also our selection of Bowl games-but it seems we will get the PSU game, and Lou Holtz figures you’re going to win!!)
Anyways, the quote, and how it could apply to next year’s blog:
THAT’S WHAT GREATNESS IS-YOU’VE GOT TO LEARN TO PLAY ON THE EDGE, BUT NOT OVER.
And so now you are informed. Being only able to follow the MLA on the basis of the condesenction of Tech Central’s unbridled right-wing libertariansim, I await notes from our bloghost as to the actual details.
Oh, and happy New Year to you and all yors.Posted by on 12/31 at 09:50 PM
But I have an OT question, now that I’m on the road and doing the wireless cafe thing: is there a stranger Xmas pop song than Elton John’s “Step into Christmas”? I don’t mean a worse song, like McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time,” or a more WTF Xmas song, like the Bowie/ Bing duet on “Little Drummer Boy.” I mean stranger.
This cracked me up mightily, as over xmas, while cleaning out my remaining records (yes, records, despite the fact that I’m a genXer) from my mother’s house, I discovered, much to my horror, that my adolescent self owned 45s of all three of those songs. Must have been before I worked at the record store and got some taste. Though I have to admit I still love the WTF element of the Bowie/Bing duet—especially when you see it. Could they be more uncomfortable with each other?! And I like their voices together.
The Elvis Costello/Chieftains “St. Stephen’s Day Murders” on the latter’s Xmas album is perhaps stranger than “Step into Xmas.” Or maybe just more WTF-Man, Why-Are-You-Bringin-Us-Down?Posted by Dr. Virago on 01/01 at 09:17 PM
- Posted by English Song on 02/26 at 11:20 AM