Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 29 of 2009 (29-2)

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

Tomorrow: #1


Adolphdrake said...

God Damn was 2009 a bad year! The world seems to be headed towards some sort of pocalypse and the worst part is that I'm almost hoping that something drastic does happen. Is that bad? Also, I've been following your personal struggles on this website and I must say: I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through. I really feel for you and I hope things get better, man. I went through something very similar this year, sans a baby in the mix and I wouldn't wish that type of pain on anyone. Happy Christmas!

Alanna said...

2009 should be obliterated from history. Worst year of my life. Regardless, after much analyzing to the point where my brain should seep out of my ears + nose like a "Tales from the Crypt Keeper" episode I surmise that only one thing can happen from here this low of low years where nothing was sacred and nothing was fair or right: It must get better. So there's my hope. That's the branch I hold onto steadfast, splintering my fingers.

And with that I sit without anxiety. It will get better. Welcome 2010. I've been waiting for your arrival. Pull up a seat, have a little scotch, forget the formality of overpriced finger food and let's just jump right into bed. 2010, It's your turn to make me cum.

You'll see, Chez.
By the way - where are you in that picture? you look adorable.

Chez said...

Taken by an excellent photographer at a vintage French housewares store.

Chris said...

Chez, DXM is one of the few blogs that I read religiously.
Your take on this year has helped me keep my cool when surrounded by the worst of the hate-mongering I see here in Texas.
Here's to 2010, it will be better.

Rivalen said...

Dear sir, you are not alone on the "personal shit year" train, and I'm glad to know I'm in good company. In the wake of my personal losses this year I went in seek of...blogs? Yeah, I don't know whats wrong with me either.
Thats how I stumbled onto Deus Ex and I thank you for not just being a distraction from my shit-life, but just as you said yourself, an outlet for my own pain and anger.

So lets hope 2010 is a little kinder to all of us...except Sarah Palin

aaron said...

The setting of that photo's lovely and all, but there's just a little bit of a Hannibal Lecter vibe coming off it. Merry Christmas, Clarice. Pull up a chair, if you dare...

Chez said...

I like to think Bond villain.

CNNfan said...

Chez, Is that you Under The MissleToe ?

P.S. Where's my email as one of your readers whose opinion you trust?

Happy Holidays Deus Ex Malcontent.

graceamazes said...

2009 was the latest (and last I hope) in a triumvirate of terrible years. I am so happy to see it go where 2008 and 2007 went -- into my past.

Big changes in 2010 -- selling marital house, buying one for me and teen daughters, almost certainly divorce. And after all this time, each and every one of those is a positive step in my life.

Even if it's not REALLY a new decade, when the year-odometer turns over 2 digits, it's easy to think it's an even newer beginning.

Wishing you better days and lots of time with that beautiful daughter of yours!

Anonymous said...

Here comes tomorrow, Chez. As unseeable as every other one.

Listen and take hope :

Shannon from Saskatoon

susanna said...

Not too shitty: 2009 considering my husband went to Iraq in March and he is still alive. I am counting my blessings.

Capt. Aclow said...

Dude, take down that picture of you sitting at a festive holiday table, it's depressing me.

It's like Ozzy Osbourne going on The View, it's just not working for me.

Wearing a black leather jacket in an alley holding mistletoe over some drunk chick in a short skirt, that's the photo.

Chez said...

Once again, it was taken at a freakin' store, for God's sake. I get that I have a reputation to uphold, but come on.

Capt. Aclow said...

Heh, well to make my above comment feel more like a compliment, the reason the photo's annoying me is because I've pulled up your blog multiple times looking for an update since it was posted, and the photo just stares back at me... taunting me. :-)

Bill White said...

Chez, you just got more Secular Progressive in 2009. My crusade has obviously failed with you. I'll just have to work harder on you in 2010 so that you will see the light to a righteous path that includes God, Sweet Baby Jesus and Jim Nabors (did you ever hear that fella's Christmas Hawaii record?-nice stuff).

Here's what's going to happen in 2010. That Boehner fella is coming back with a deeper tan and more golf clubs to swing away at this Socialistic health care disaster. Then, he's going to kill Crap and Trade. Then, he's going to take the gavel away from Wiccan Pelosi. Then, he's going to let us attend the school and churches of our choice, choose the docs we like, lower taxes and institute a God-fearing-life-respecting nation once again.

Sorry Chez, but Nobama's days are numbered. He failed to keep us safe from the jihadists as we just learned. Now, this installed-president (your president) must pay the ultimate price by resigning or maybe he-man Boehner has to come after Lil Hussein as well.

God Bless,

P.S. Here are my thoughts:

Sheriff Bart said...

I LOVE Jim Nabors.

Bill White said...

Mr. Nabors is a good Christ-centered fella. I think my son Kyle has some of his qualities.

Alanna said...

Why did you change the picture? you looked so good there!

CNNfan said...

And here you had me thinking those antlers on the dinner table, in the other photo, were a Christmas gift from Bill White who went deer hunting just for you.

Chez said...

Alanna -- Mostly because it became apparent that for whatever reason people would see this thing being reposted at the top of the page and assume that I hadn't added anything new to the site, so I changed the look of the piece to let everyone know that I had actually done some work around here.