Happy New Year!
Since today is (observed as) New Year’s Day, I thought I would go through the usual motions of curating the best material I generated in 2016 and putting it all in one post.
2016 included a fairly major shift in content for The Axis of Ego. I really hadn’t done much in the podcasting realm in about three years—prior to six months ago. As such, most of the posts from summer onward were podcasts, not essays.
In fact, I only wrote a handful of pieces this year. Whether that’s lamentable or an improvement is up to you. Either way, here’s all the stuff I liked best from the past year:
Time to Bury Academia? (1/20): “The bubble is bursting. The mask is off. The end is nigh.” Exactly one year before what would be the inauguration day of President Trump, I pointed out that certain segments of our society were now wildly out-of-touch with the way that most Americans think. Here, I focused on campus free-speech issues, and how weak-willed academics were unwittingly destroying the foundation of their own institutions.
Untitled Online Dating Article (1/29): People liked this one. It was my first foray into something more personal, which is a luxury I previously afforded myself only once per year, coinciding with the week of my birthday. I think there were some very relatable elements in play for a lot of people who read this, especially folks in the DC area. I later repurposed (read: recycled) an updated version of this piece into a podcast with a similar name.
Tom Garrett for Supreme Court Justice (2/24): Good, dumb fun. However, the points I raise are actually pretty valid. I stand by all of them. And, hey, this piece was so successful that it generated an online petition that earned nineteen—COUNT ‘EM, NINETEEN—signatures!
Crossroads for the GOP; WWE (3/11): Really, is there anyone else who can write an astute, 2,500-word essay on the tight parallels between the state of the WWE and the GOP during the rise of Trump? I’d like to think that this is my little gift to the world. Not that the world was asking, or would ever ask, for this gift.
The Jerry Remy Phase-Out Has Begun (5/31): It became apparent in the early part of the Red Sox season that the organization was gradually pushing a beloved figure out the door with their usual clumsy approach.
Father’s Day (6/19): Speaking of the Red Sox, this is the tale of my favorite Father’s Day of all time. This is also the point at which I toggled from writing mode to podcast mode.
Flirting with the End of the World(7/5): The story of Stanislav Petrov, a man who saved the world. This story is so inherently compelling, all I had to do was to get out of the way of the narrative.
Spy vs. Spy (7/18): If you’re an intellectual-property nerd, or even just a pop-culture buff, it’s tough to top the convoluted tale of the battle over the rights to James Bond, a story that culminated in two Bond films with different stars coming out in 1983.
The Imposter (8/5): The “tennis” we know today isn’t real tennis. This one was a lot of fun to do, but also a lot of work. I broke a sweat making this one. Literally.
Ten Things I Learned in 2016 (12/30): Just under the wire! It’s never too late for a little end-of-year wisdom. While 2016 was a crappy year for a lot of people, and I certainly took some lumps myself, I also learned a lot and worked on some personal improvement. A few of these are open-ended, while some are mistakes I’ll never make again.
All in all, it wasn’t as terrible a year as it may have seemed.
As always, thank you for your continued patronage. I sincerely appreciate those of you who take the time to listen to or read anything I’ve created. If you’d like to follow on Twitter or Facebook, please do so.
Best of luck in 2017!