All the votes are in, and it’s time to pick the Best of The Waterglass 2005. Thanks to all three of you who took the time to vote!
Best Photo of the Week
A category that tries to strike a balance between the timely and the timeless, from the memorable to the fad of the moment. Animals tend to get a lot more press in this feature. Here are the runners-up, in no particular order:
4: An apparently electrocuted porcupine.
3: Poor doggies!
2: Sharpies and bitching.
The Winner: The Incredible Popeman!
Explanation: The “Sharpies and bitching” Photo of the Week included some interesting discussion, so it definitely deserved inclusion. The “Poor doggies” selection was rather poignant; it’s always been my feeling that if you’re going to have a pet of any kind, you take on a great deal of responsibility for the animal’s well-being in a way you do with nothing else except a child. You’re the whole world to your dog/cat/hamster, and it’s always terrible when for whatever reason (even a hurricane), you can’t hold up your end of the bargain. Yakburgers are very very tasty, and the porcupine is a damn silly-looking animal. But “The Incredible Popeman” beat out everyone by a mile. You can’t look at that and not experience some kind of visceral reaction. Long live Homopater! Who else will protect us from the forces of evil?
More awards below the fold.
Best Quote of the Week
Like the Photo of the Week, I try to pick quotes that range from the current to the everlasting. The Quote of the Week used to be Aggie’s job, but due to work pressures, I was forced to pick it up. Here are the runners-up:
5: The Iraqis really love Israel!
4: Does Nietzsche have an “S” in his name?
3: Put gloves on those cocks!
2: Once you understand this, you will never be on the defensive.
The Winner: Once you understand this, you get the entire internet.
Explanation: When I first started blogging, it was right before we went into Iraq, and I never once fooled myself into thinking that, as a people, Iraqis were especially worthy of redemption through blood and treasure. The quote about Israel, (now withdrawn from the Iraqi Constitution, to be fair), sums up why. The key to a happier life can definitely be found in the Nietzsche quote, and the “let the roosters do what they love to do” line is an absolute scream. The McCann quote encapsulates the nature of personal protection, which means that you have to be off-sides to win. And finally, the Wilensky quote (originally found by Aggie), is the best way to describe the blogosphere I’ve ever seen. Not that everything in the blogosphere is worthless, but the vast majority of it is. Believe me, I’ve contributed significantly to the noise end of the signal-noise ratio myself.
Best Political Cartoon of the Week
While I don’t agree with I.P. Freely’s politics most of the time, I believe that he’s the most incisive political cartoonist of our time, and his artwork has become my favorite feature of The Waterglass. I know that “Ip” is busy at work, but I hope we can continue to see more of his cartoons in future editions. The runners-up:
5: I have a heart condition!
4: Not an I.P. Freely cartoon, but FSM deserves worship.
3: The GOP-Teddy Kennedy Connection.
2: Hurricane R/M/D.
The Winner: Who will be outed next???
Explanation: There really was no contest for the winner. From the realistic wisps of steam from the coffee cup to the obvious expressions of concern on the faces of the CIA agents, this cartoon represented the pinnacle of I.P. Freely’s work. Hats off to Ip.
Originally Joshua’s suggestion for a category, so I’m taking it and running. We appreciate all comments that hew closely to the rules set by the Comment Policy. The runners-up:
5: On hold with a cucumber.
3: Wear your testicles proudly!
2: Morgan exposes himself! As an idealist.
The Winner: An imitation of President Bush.
Explanation: This category was the toughest, as it involved looking through dozens and dozens of posts, finding the cream of the crop of comments. Special thanks to Josh, who made me spend all that time doing it.
Most Bizarre Post
We post about anything we want on this website, within reason. Some posts are more bizarre than others. Let’s see the runners-up:
5: Undead dogs.
4: They’re still listening to you…and taping it.
3: Purplicious pork gelatin.
2: Is she too wild for you?
The Winner: It’s a tie! Between Jimmy Shaker Day, Redux and the start of the David Corn mockery that continues to this day.
Explanation: Apparently, we like dogs as much as cats here at The Waterglass. From living dogs to undead dogs, we post about ‘em. Josh was apparently quite freaked out that his behavior on hold was being monitored, and my adventures in consuming mass-produced cream-filled pastries just pegged Morgan’s Bizarre-O-Meter. The MSN quiz was just odd, and maintained 2005′s doggie theme. Finally, when it came to weirdness, the kind of weirdness that you have to have been reading this site for a long time to appreciate, I couldn’t pick just one.
Some posts just lay there like rotten logs, and some elevate the discourse. Of course, everyone who voted as too self-effacing to nominate any but their own posts for Worst of the Year, so as the administrator of this blog, I had to make some very careful choices. Let’s first see the runners-up:
5: A gigantic waste of time.
4: Another gigantic waste of time, and insulting, too. Elvis made an appearance.
3: A waste of time quoting a waste of space.
2: I made fun of people with a legitimate problem.
The Winner: I bitched in what is likely the greatest waste of time ever.
Explanation: I liked everyone else’s choices for Worst Post, so I couldn’t use them.
The best posts bring up issues that are worth discussing, provoke some real thought, or are generally well-written. Here are the runners-up:
5: Morgan’s activism helped to make a difference.
4: I’m especially proud of this essay.
3: Josh reports on liberal bias in grammar school.
2: Teo Peter is gone but not forgotten.
The Winner: Josh’s plea for integrity.
Explanation: Morgan has written many times about local politics, and his head’s always in the right place. I know he’d write more about it if he had the time. My essay on the blogosphere in general and Teo Peter have some sentimental resonance for me, so they made the list because I’m the boss, not because they’re particularly great. Josh’s post on educational bias elicited a very spirited discussion, but his open letter to pundits who think about taking money from politicians was the best post of the year, hands down. It might even take next year’s award, depending on how well we all write in 2006.
Other favorites include the hunting of feral cats, a discussion on the Minutemen, Newsweak, Memeeen Peeengweeen, Go-to dinners, my relentless attacks on moderates, Environmentalism for Mars, and too many others to list (including the various posts about my wedding to Aggie, of course). It’s always a pleasure to log on to the website and see a new post, even one I don’t agree with. Thanks very much to my fellow Waterglass bloggers for their efforts, and I look forward to seeing more good posts in 2006.
I’m also declaring a general amnesty for trolls and other individuals who have annoyed me in the past. All bans are off, except for spammers and people who call themselves “moderates” and really mean it.