Best of 2014

TheAxisOfEgoFacebookA new job and shifting responsibilities caused my blog-related productivity to slip a bit.  Overall, I published “only” 41 pieces in 2014, including this one.

But, that’s life.  This blog was always intended to be both an outlet for things about which I couldn’t write elsewhere and a means to an end: Improving my writing, and hopefully (occasionally) creating work that would catch someone’s attention.

I’m happy to say that that has happened over the last four years.  My writing duties for various outlets have expanded, which necessarily means that I’m not as prolific here as I once was.  That said, I do think that I produced some content in 2014 that’s worth revisiting as I close out the year.  And here it is . . .

The Tonight Show’s Forgotten Host (2/3): This was an interesting look at the fact that Jimmy Fallon’s introductory promos glossed over Ernie Kovacs, who hosted Tonight two nights per week for a time in the 1950s.  I found his omission from the canon curious, and explored it here.

Anti-Bullying / Anti-Free-Speech Redux (2/10):  My growing concerns over totalitarianism in the name of tolerance (or “totolertarianism” if you prefer) seemed more justified after this story out of South Carolina.

Five Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loans (3/14):  Student loan debt is one of the bigger financial problems handcuffing recently-graduated Millennials.  Thankfully, I’m here to provide insights on how I was able to pay off my undergraduate and graduate student loans in under a decade.  You’re welcome.

Go Cancel Yourself (3/28):  One of the better things I wrote all year, if not the best, and yet another plea for free speech in the face of language police.  This post was a direct response to the (thankfully futile, as it turned out) “#CancelColbert” movement by the Twitter pitchfork-and-torch crowd.  Probably my favorite post of 2014.  Or at least one of the longest.

Adam Silver’s Mistake (4/29):  In the wake of the Donald Sterling excommunication, I argued that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver erred in framing Sterling’s ban in terms of his private comments alone.

A “Free Speech” Misconception (5/14):  Have you noticed I’m passionate about free speech?  Here’s another article about the topic, addressing a common mistake made by all of your armchair conlaw professor Facebook friends (and also by HuffPo writers).

The WWE Has a Big Problem.  Here’s the Solution.  Really.  (5/19):  Despite the subject matter, I think this is one of the more well-thought-out, logical analyses I created all year.  As it turned out, I was largely correct.  That’s always a bonus (but definitely not always the case).

“Make sure ‘MOUTH’ is in all-caps” (5/28): Along with free speech, the WWE, and old movies, my “Mount Rushmore” of topics seems to include silly one-offs about breakfast cereals for some reason.

“Case Closed” on “Redskins” Rationale? (5/30): This is as close to investigative journalism as I get (hint: not very close).  After Keith Olbermann issued a proclamation that there was no longer any debate about the origin of the “Redskins” nickname, I found several contemporaneous articles that cast some doubt on the pronouncement.

Fun with Offensive Trademarks (6/23): Along similar lines, I wrote this following the USPTO’s decision to invalidate the Redskins’ trademarks on the grounds that they’re offensive.  In the context of other trademarks, this decision seemed inconsistent.

RAW in Richmond (7/16): This was just a fun, in-depth recap of the WWE’s trip into the capital city last July, including plenty of insights one only gets when attending the show live.

Some (Possibly Unpopular) Thoughts on Rice and Goodell (9/21): Despite the title, this turned out to be a pretty popular post.  Here, I discussed the ongoing Ray Rice / NFL / Roger Goodell situation, especially some “conventional wisdom” among online voices that struck me as off-the-mark.

On the Integrity of Cereal Naming Conventions (12/16): A silly one-off about two topics near and dear to my heart – rules of syntax and delicious cereals.

Here’s to 2015, and the 10-12 posts I’ll write for this blog in the coming year.

Thank you for your continued readership.  I sincerely appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my work.  If you’d like to follow on Twitter or Facebook, please feel free to do so.

Happy New Year!

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