Someone mentioned to me recently that if you have the patience to go back and read through the Deus Ex Malcontent archive, the material published on this site, taken in totality, provides a very visible, compelling story arc of the person who's been writing and editing it daily for the past three-and-a-half years. I'd probably be willing to see this phenomenon for myself -- to attempt to closely examine the little details and overarching sea changes that were willingly consigned to the big picture of history via the internet and now provide mile markers on the road of one human life -- if it weren't for the fact that the writer and editor in question is me. I just can't detach, play anthropologist, and Brundlefly it up these days -- maybe because I really have, over the past year, felt as if things were often spinning out of control and beyond any hope of revocability.
Put simply, 2009 was a bad year.
I guess it makes sense that the material you found here at Deus Ex Malcontent over the past year seemed to, even through nothing more than mere synchronicity, reflect the mood throughout the country. Not everyone out there watched their marriage crumble, were separated from their new baby daughter, lived in limbo between two cities, saw their sense of security and self -- their faith in love and in their own judgment -- stripped away. But there were a lot of people who were scared for, or at the very least uncertain about, the future, who were struggling to find their footing in a decimated job market, who lost faith in the idea that the little guy -- the average, hard-working American -- would prevail and the liars, cheats and thieves who'd collapsed the global economy would pay dearly. The election of Barack Obama gave many hope -- and I still believe that that hope isn't misplaced. But the kind of insanity and hostility we've watched metastasize all year across the political spectrum has been nothing short of panic-inducing.
And so, Deus Ex Malcontent reflected that. There were more quickie posts that acted as stinging shots to the head than in previous years, more rude, raunchy and sardonic gallows humor aimed at expressing my frustration with the relentless lunacy going on in the outside world while misanthropically alleviating the pain and anger swirling around my own head and heart. Honestly, I think the tone of DXM changed somewhat this year -- some will say for the better, some for the worse, some won't even have noticed, some will simply understand and accept that there is in fact an "arc" to this site since it chronicles the events and mood of the culture and, of course, mirrors my own mood.
Admittedly, I can still pat myself on the back for being prolific when it comes to content on Deus Ex Malcontent: When all is said and done, I'll have put more on the site this year than in any previously -- which actually does make it tough to narrow down the "Top 29" of the past twelve months. Like last year, I chose the pieces that generated the most reaction -- positive, negative or otherwise -- and asked for the input of a couple of readers whose opinions I trust to help me come up with a list of the "best" posts of the year and put them in order. The only column that wasn't eligible for inclusion as far as I was concerned was the 2008 year-ender, That Stupid Year: The Ten Most Ridiculous, Shameful or Generally Unfortunate People and Events of 2008, which was published as a completed piece on January 5th of this year but would've felt like cheating. Everything else was in bounds.
I'm okay with the end result. I think it's a pretty fair portrait of what DXM has been about this year. As always, I have to thank you all for being so kind in your support of this site and the considerable amount of work I put into it.
So let's get this show on the road so we can wrap things up and only look forward. Here now, the Top 29 Posts of 2009 -- 2 through 28.
29. The President is Near/1.16.09
28. Jesus Hates Me, This I Know/5.26.09
27. Welcome To the Suck/12.1.09
26. Exit Music (For a Film)/1.19.09
25. The Way It Was (and Never Will Be Again)/7.20.09
24. The Conversation/4.1.09
23. Guinea Pigs/12.14.09
22. In the Heat of the Night/8.11.09
21. Partisan Crashers/11.10.09
20. The Ugly Truth/11.13.09
19. Reject the Cock/10.23.09
18. Judge Dread/5.1.09
17. The Mad Profit of the Airwaves/9.18.09
16. Tales from the City/9.16.09
15. Game Over/1.30.09
14. Time Out/10.19.09
13. Schoolyard Bullies/9.4.09
12. A Petition To the State of California in Support of Roger Avary/9.30.09
11. With Friends Like These.../8.21.09
10. Feast of Burden/11.25.09
9. The Fall of Roman/9.29.09
8. Get Rich and Die Tryin'/3.16.09
7. Now It's Quiet/5.27.09
6. Autism Speaks (and Speaks, and Speaks)/5.6.09
5. And Now, an Open Letter to Kate Gosselin/8.27.09
4. What a Long, Strange, Thoroughly Obnoxious Trip It's Been/9.1.09
3. Revolutionary Goad/4.7.09
2. The Glenn Beck Show Generator/3.18.09