A big thanks to all for participating in this friendly competition. The true goal of this annual event is to celebrate some of the wonderful work by our community in the last year and share their articles to readers who may not have had the pleasure of reading them when they were originally published.
As representatives for all of our talented authors and thoughtful articles, we now present the following posts receiving the most votes in each category. Excerpts from each article appear and if you’d like to read more articles by any author below, just click on their name:
Top News and Politics Post of 2010:
We speak of the RW as if they are abstract nuisances, distant shapers of policy. But for me they are up front, personal, and real. I can name names, and I know what they want. They are Christian Dominionists who truly desire to rule the world. Nothing less will suffice. They are after me – but they are equally after YOU. At the moment I’m the target because I DARE to say that Christianity not only does not require this veiwpoint, it repudiates it! Those are messages that cannot and must not become public. But next it will be you. All the things that make us laugh – the “prohibition” on premarital sex from Christine etc. – will come true if they win.
They will win if we do not take them seriously. We now have so many dead and maimed – like Emily Lyons the brave Birmingham, AL nurse who carries hundreds of nail shards in her body from Eric Rudolph’s bomb and the Springfield, MO staffer who is a paraplegic from wounds suffered in the first clinic assault.
And there are hundreds of us who have scars you cannot see – scars on our hope, scars on our optimism, scars on our hearts. We are the survivors – the family, friends, staff, communities who had violence beyond belief occur to us and who carry that every day.
I hate these people with a rage and disgust I cannot even articulate. I detest their success, their smugness, and more than that, I detest the apathy that exists about what they have done. These are American terrorist – oh, yeah – Tim McVeigh was one of them – and we just don’t give a damn. Until it happens to us.
And if the Dominionists prevail, let me tell you, it will.
Top Humor Article of 2010:
Top Series of 2010:
I arrived in Washington, D.C. on the final day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, April 11th. This is near the Ronald Reagan Building, with the Capitol in the background.
Southern Belles in Constitution Gardens by the pond.
On the other side of the pond Sikhs were celebrating Vaisakhi. One could hear the kirtan music being performed on the stage (an example) filling the air from where the Southern Belles were. Add a gaggle of Irish Pipe Band members in kilts and this is definitely my kind of city!
I really don’t need to identify what this next picture is. There is a park service ranger responsible there, with ladder and book, for helping anyone find a name on the wall. I was amazed at how efficient he was. One thing I was struck by was how much smaller it was than I had imagined. I mean, it’s hard to quantify nearly 59,000 names. Then again, it’s a bit of an optical illusion, being nestled as it is into a knoll.
One end of the arched Vietnam Memorial points towards the Washington Monument, the other, towards the Lincoln Memorial. Of all the many photos I took I decided to choose this. How many times have you seen the ceiling of the “Temple” in pictures?
Top Art and Multimedia Post of 2010:
Top International/History Post of 2010:
The assassination of Rabin was a shock to the Israeli public, and to world Jewry. Now, “we have met the enemy and it is us.”
I believe Rabin’s murder all but doomed future prospects for Israelis and Palestinians to come together and achieve a peace agreement. The assassination also signaled that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories had become, as it remains today, an explosive point. The lasting influence of Rabin’s death meant that the specter of future assassination or civil war in Israel if many settlements were removed appears to have encouraged future Israeli prime ministers to back settlement expansion while declaring their eagerness for peace with the Palestinians. Additionally, the assassination heightened tension between the Labor and Likud parties to an unprecedented level. The emotionally-charged climate is still simmering today. They are, again, parallels between the Republicans and the Democrats here in the US.
I have seen a hardening of Israel’s heart over the years. The exiled have become the exilers, the brutalized the brutalizers. I know of a few young Israeli soldiers who speak of the Palestinians as animals. They have dehumanized their enemy as the Nazis did the Jews. I see few rays of hope other than some sane sense that peace is always made between enemies, and that the state of Israel’s national security, if not its national psyche is at stake.
Top Society Post of 2010:
Janet’s “victimhood” went far deeper than the events of that day. Janet was helpless. She was incapable of taking care of herself and had been for many years. Therefore, the State had stepped in and basically played the role of her parent. Although the boyfriend had a sister who was his guardian, the State was also his parent.
From a political perspective, Janet and her boyfriend are everything that rightwing conservatives complain about. They rely on entitlements for their survival. They don’t even try to take care of themselves. They are not “deserving.” There is nothing lovable about them. When I climbed out of the ambulance to follow them to the hospital in my car, the first thing I saw was the animal control officer trudging through the snow with a small furry bundle in her arms. I asked her if it was alive and she shook her head. She was upset, knowing what possibly lay ahead for her inside the trailer.
At the hospital, Janet continued her periodic wailing for her cats. I am not using this verb lightly — she was wailing. I found myself watching her eyes for tears. I didn’t see any. I don’t know if this meant anything or not, but it seemed important to me at the time. By now, I did not feel real sympathy for her any more but I pretended to. I couldn’t imagine holding her and kissing her head as I did with that other woman who lost her son. Janet was also wailing for her narcotics.
Top Lifestyle Post of 2010:
I got my master’s with the intent of moving back to my beloved Canada, and yes, by now I had come to think of it as “my Canada” having only lived there for eight months. The dream was to be a novelist living in the great wilds of Canada. But, I got an interesting job in public relations for a wildlife rehab centre in the Pacific Northwest. So, I took it, with the idea that I would do it temporarily before making my inevitable move to Canada. It was just to be a way station.
The job consisted of writing monthly newsletters for our donors about the activity at the centre. I also took some of the permanent animal residents of the centre to local schools and gave presentations. To this day, I don’t know how I managed to avoid getting an eye pecked out by hawks and bald eagles. I made a miserly $9 an hour and lived in a tiny cabin out in the woods with an ancient woodstove as my only heat and an ancient propane stove for cooking (I had to hook up new propane tanks once a week for hot water and the stove.) I loved it. It was so cold during the winter mornings, but I was so independent and so proud of myself for chopping my own wood and hooking up the myself and putting chains on my tires myself. I adopted a tiny malamute puppy, who turned into a 130-pound brute. My entrenchment in America was getting deeper.
At the centre, I also chipped in helping to feed animals and I oversaw some of our volunteers. Some of our “volunteers” were actually people sentenced to community service. Little scrawny me was put in charge of these scofflaws, but they were mostly people in trouble for DUIs or smoking pot, so I didn’t mind. I never felt threatened. There was one guy who was there every week, though, and I kept thinking, “This boyo must’ve done something really, really bad.” He was doing hours and hours and hours of community service. We weren’t supposed to get serious cases at our centre.
Well, it turned out he was there of his own free will, just because he liked wild animals. It took me the longest time to find that out. We came to know each other better. It became a relationship. He had a child and I became that child’s mommy. We moved in together, I got a telecommuting gig that paid better. I got involved in politics working on Sen. Jon Tester’s campaign (He is a great big, flat-topped one-handed big-hearted bear of a man and beat an incredibly corrupt Republican), and I got my first taste of American politics. He won his Senate seat by 2,000 votes. It was a traumatic and emotional night. After that experience, I decided to finally quit mucking around and file for American citizenship. Then, suddenly, we stumbled into property together. I signed the papers tying my name to 7.5 acres in the wop wops of the Rocky Mountains.
Top Music Threads of 2010:
Fearless – Pink Floyd
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
O Brother Whereart Thou – I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow
Every Sperm is Sacred – Monty Python
Planetary props to our top vote-getters and all of our members for their articles and comments that made 2010 a remarkable year here at The Planet!