Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Top 10

By The Editors

We don't normally do memes here - nothing wrong with them, but they often take more time than we have, and they usually refer to things we aren't big into. But we received one the other day from our old friend Cathy of Alex that was too good to pass up - our list of the top 10 blog posts we've done.

Now, this can be a particularly challenging task in the best of times, let alone when you're talking about a blog that has six people sharing writing responsibilities. Nevertheless, exercising our authority as Managing Editor, we've come up with the following selection, in no particular order, of the posts we're most proud to have hosted:

1) Perhaps the best piece that Mitchell has written didn't appear on the blog at all, at least not directly. His TVParty article on the premiere of Amahl and the Night Visitors, he says, will always occupy a special place in his heart.

2) The "Triumph" of Leni Riefenstahl. Drew originally was commissioned to write a series of posts exploring the relationship between art and morality. We liked him so much we asked him to stick around. This, one of his early pieces, challenges readers to take an honest look at art and the artist.

3) Aussie Police Searching for New Suspects in Irwin Killing. One of our true pleasures has been welcoming Steve and his often absurd, always hilarious "This Just In" pieces. This one is a typical Steve masterpiece - so good it inspired this follow-up from new Hadleyblogger Kristin.

4) Rider Stripped of Title After Having Failed to Fail Drug Test was Steve's first piece for Our Word. It convinced us in a hurry that this guy was too good to let go.

5) The Indignity of Work was a very early piece, but still holds up as one of the best at describing what we see as the contrast between morality and whatever it is that so much of Corporate America believes in nowadays.

6) Snow White and the Seven Wagners was Judie's piece that combined Wagner and Christmas. Come on, how could you pass this up?

7) No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, also known as "The Holiday Diversity Party," says all we care to say on the subject. As we said in another context, don't read it on a full stomach.

8) This is a trick selection - actually four posts in one. But our roundtable discussion on Art in Politics was the first of what we hope will be more discussions between our contributors, and was perhaps the most fun we've had - here's your chance to see what our editorial discussions really sound like.

9) Broken Families: How Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Sided With Hendrick Motorsports was Bobby's behind-the-scenes look at the breakup of one of NASCAR's leading families. Not only did Bobby have the story, he had the facts to back it up.

10) This is an unusual selection, and a personal one. It's the post we haven't written. What does that mean? Well, bloggers tend to get themselves into a lot of trouble by writing first and thinking later. It's a great temptation - after all, in this age of instant communications, technology has made it just so easy to shoot your mouth off, without much thought as tot he consequences that follow. Now, we're not saying we're perfect around here, but we surely know that there are some pieces that came very close to publication, but were dumped at the last minute after we'd thought better of it. There are blogs and bloggers out there that drive us crazy - two in particular for which we have a fair amount of contempt - and it's a constant temptation to take off the gloves and rip them a new belly button. (And we don't doubt at lesat some of us are capable of it.) But to what end? It doesn't dignify us, nor what it is we're trying to accomplish. It's one of those things that feels good at the time, but you regret it afterward. This doesn't mean we're better than everyone else, or smarter. We know that's not the case. It just points out the value of counting to 10 before doing something that's going to go out under your name, and has the ability to affect a lot of people other than yourself.

So that's the top 10 - feel free to agree, disagree, or make your own suggestions.

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