2014 In Review (Because Everybody Else is Doing It)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Now, because I’m not satisfied with just posting the report and letting everyone gawk at how successful I am as an amateur blogger, I’m going to give a break down of the top five posts that WordPress says were the most popular for me this year.  So yes, you’re reading a post about other posts that I’ve posted in the past.  It’s all very meta.

1. “Reading Dark Dungeons – The premier post from my now defunct Chick Tract series.  I started that way back in summer of 2013 when I was still trying to find my feet in terms of how to do topical blogging (and if you think that I sound like an expert for using a phrase like “topical blogging” then clearly you are not an expert either; it’s okay, we can be clueless together).  Some friends at a party pointed me towards Chick Tracts as a potential source of material, since it provides a nice overlap between two topics that I enjoy thinking and writing about: Christianity and comics.  I eventually discontinued that series because Chick’s very much a one trick pony; after you read so many of his tracts, it gets hard to see new things that are worth pointing out and criticizing, because he does the same thing over and over again.  The reason this particular post topped my list is because it was the one I posted over at the Slacktivist blog on a post where Fred Clark brought up the Dark Dungeons movie that was produced this year.  It ended up being an apparent hit, giving my single best traffic day of the entire year.

2. “So I Just Saw Her – My final opinion on Her was that it’s a movie that has much better parts than a whole.  I saw in this film the same formula that gets used in other movies about mopey guys like (500) Days of Summer and Garden State but with a sci-fi twist.  I still think it’s worth seeing if you haven’t already, but it’s better to go in without high expectations.  My friend David Steffen also reviewed Her this year, and he had a pretty different take on it.  I don’t fully agree with him, but he still brings up some interesting points about how the manic pixie dream girl narrative gets subverted by all the stuff that Samantha does off screen.  Go check out his review at his blog Diabolical Plots.

3. “Hippie Jesus Peace” – I’m always delighted and a little surprised when I see this one pop up as a hit on my blog.  It’s a really old post from early on (like, within the first three weeks that I started blogging), and it’s interesting to look back at it and see how things have changed.  My writing in that early post was a little more playful than it has been recently, and it’s much more steeped in the white evangelicalism that I was in the process of extricating myself from when I first started this blog.  I can see where I was trying to push back gently against the proof-texting habit that really irritates me about evangelicals, and I honestly don’t quite remember where I was in my own growth at that point.  I did a lot of mincing around ideas that I thought would be controversial for my perceived evangelical audience (by the way, if you are evangelical and you still read my blog on a regular-ish basis, feel free to let me know in the comments; we probably disagree on a lot of things, but I feel like it would be poor hospitality for me to not at least try to welcome you).  Readers of my more recent stuff probably notice that I tend not to talk about faith so much except when something’s really bothering me; I can probably point back to my extended series (if you’re interested in reading that series, it can all be found in March 2014 of my archives) parsing out all the drama that emerged from a conversation I had with a fundamentalist acquaintance on Facebook back in February.  It was exhausting, and I feel like I’ve spent most of this year just giving myself permission to not fret over religion; my faith’s still there, and it still informs my actions; I think that’s enough.

4. “So I Just Saw Dark Dungeons and Atlas Shrugged II – After getting such a positive reaction from my post on the Chick Tract, I couldn’t resist writing about the movie.  It’s a fun film, and because I happened to watch it around the same time I was hate-watching Atlas Shrugged II, I decided it would be interesting to juxtapose an intentionally bad movie based on an unrealistic and highly problematic worldview with an unintentionally bad movie based on an unrealistic and highly problematic worldview.  I think this was also my first big exploration of how Christian fundamentalism and white evangelicalism have become conflated with a political ideology that champions selfishness at all costs (I think I had better material to work with when I was writing my series on Bioshock Infinite, but the thread probably started here).

5. “A Blog About Something” – This is where it started.  Fun fact: I wrote my first post up in WordPress’s post wizard thingy, but I was weary about the thought of blogging on a regular schedule, so I wanted to have a stable of posts saved before I got the ball rolling.  I was also totally incompetent and posted the first one immediately.  That set off a chain reaction where I spent several months stressing about making sure I had something new posted every single day (I did pretty well too, until NaNoWriMo came along and tripped me up).  I’ve eased up on trying to post something every day (three times a week is eminently manageable during the school year, and doing something every weekday when I’m on summer break seems like a pretty good schedule), which I think was a healthy decision.  As for content, which you can see I was really stressing about in that first post, I think I’ve settled into a decent mix of movies, comics, and games commentary with a sprinkling of current issues when something in the news upsets me enough to comment.  It’s all about the stories, folks.

Anyhow, if you want to see more of my blogging stats for the year, here’s a link:

Click here to see the complete report.


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