in retrospect: 2010’s most read/talked about blog posts

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Saturday, January 1st, 2011 old design

in retrospect: 2010’s most read/talked about blog posts

word on the street is that it’s 2011.

yes, 2010 has passed and it was quite the year. life. death. and everything in between (we’ll get to all the in between stuff shortly).

i was planning on writing some kind of 2010-in-review post, but, i’ll just keep it real: i’m a little apathetic…and a whole lot busy right now. so instead, i thought i’d let my blog do the talking. i’ve taken a look back over 2010’s blog post and with the help of some quick analytics and “real life” response, i’ve culled the top 10 most read and/or talked about posts of 2010.

as noted, this list combines two types of “data”. first, i’m using raw numbers via my stats for unique visitors (probably the most noteworthy statistic). secondly (and maybe more importantly), i’m “crutching” some numbers with “real life” response such as personal conversations, twitter chatter and “lasting power” of the particular post. there are a few of these that have fewer numbers, but certainly many more subsequent and significant conversations.

so, here’s the list, in descending order. (each entry has a linked title to the post, date and a salient excerpt)

10. anne rice’s guide to quitting christianity and keeping jesus (july 30)

what i find most fascinating about her statements is that, at nearly 70 years old, rice is voicing the prevailing sentiment of emerging generations—20-somethings down. more than ever, people are intrigued, engaged with, interested in jesus

but not the system.

not the american version of christianity.

not the institution. not the rules. not the cultural shackles that come with it.

you see, jesus is beautiful. but the system can be ugly.

jesus is freeing. the system can be confining.

jesus is authentic. the system can be plastic.

jesus is dangerous. the system can be neuteringly safe.

9. why we should stop letting black people live in the quapaw quarter (august 16)

ban black people from living in the quapaw quarter.

seriously, it’s best to just keep them out. now, i get it that, legally, you can’t stop black people from moving in, but ultimately, it’s less of a rights issue than it is sensitivity to the family (who still lives in this neighborhood) of the man and the neighbors who have lived in fear of a repeat incident since that day.

my question for any black people who would want to move in is why they can’t just live in areas where more black people already live. i mean, if you just go a couple blocks south and cross roosevelt, there are black people everywhere. they’ll be welcome with open arms. violence happens all the time there. why do they have to bring it back to our neighborhood? why do they have to stir up all those raw emotions of the current residents from just a handful of years ago? why do they have to flaunt their “rights’ while stomping on their emotions and fear of the good citizens of the quapaw quarter?


i strongly urge that you read these related links: link 1 link 2 link 3

8. the good, the bad & the space between: in memory of rob toon (february 13)

rob was my best friend. and he was a good friend. ironically, there was a time that i only saw rob as a bad guy. as someone who i didn’t want in my life. what i found, though, was that during that time, i was the bad guy. rob never changed. i did. i discovered that, in fact, sometimes rob was the bad guy. but mostly, he was the good guy and a guy who lived in that space between. and i grew to love that rob. that guy whose life was good, bad and in that in-between space at any given time. and i learned that that was a beautiful, beautiful thing.

on saturday, february 13, 2010, rob’s life ended. he breathed his last breath and moved to another space. i don’t know what that next space looks like, but i’m certain that there’s a new community there who is enjoying the beauty of not just rob’s good and bad, but that beautiful space between.

i deeply, deeply love you rob and will intensely miss you. thank you for the time you gave me.

7. VOTE NOW! who has the best pizza in little rock? (2 posts: november 8 & 12)

according to the usda, there are 4 major food groups: grains, fruits/vegetables, dairy and meats/beans. while i certainly don’t want to question their authority, it’s clear—in my life—that they left out a 5th group: pizza.

indeed, pizza could be its own food group. i could eat it at virtually every meal (ok, even for me, breakfast is a stretch…). eating pizza is simply a duty of any god-fearing, america-loving person, right? at the core essence of living and being is consuming pizza. it’s truly the modern day manna of our society.

6. derek webb democracy vol. 1 series (notably, november 30 & june 29)

i have to be honest, when i first saw that it was yet another cover of hallelujah, i rolled my eyes. how many more covers of this song can we take!? 🙂 but when i hit play, everything changed. it may be to quick to say, but this is probably my favorite song of the entire project. everything about it is right…because it’s absolutely nothing that you would expect. instead of the more introspective versions we’re used to hearing from jeff buckley and others, this is a rollicking, 60s throwback vibe. one of the first comparison that popped into my mind was the byrds and bands of that ilk. it’s something you would hear on an austin powers soundtrack…and i mean that in the absolute best way possible. 😉 it’s fun, it’s completely unexpected and because of that, it’s brilliant.

5. feeling sheepish: concealed carry in church and the culture of fear (3 posts: july 12-14)

If you’re like most Americans, there’s probably been a time in your life when you’ve been sitting in church, listening to a particularly ennui-inducing homily or enduring another warbly version of “Holy Holy Holy” and thought, “Man! I could really reach for some steel right now, squeeze off a few rounds, and let these fools know what the score is!” Well, in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has recently signed into law a measure that would allow you to at least feel comforted by the presence of your gun in the house of the Lord.

4. help us throw a christmas party under the broadway bridge (december 22)

as we get closer and closer to christmas, stress levels grow closer and closer to a breaking point. between numerous family gatherings, wrapping presents, cooking dinner and making sure that every single i has been dotted and t crossed, this time of the year, for many, is a chaotic race to the christmas finish line.

so i’d like to offer you one more thing thing to do.

but a good one more thing.

in fact, a great and important one more thing.

3. the tweet heard ’round the world: a few words about segregation and educational options (august 23)

by far, this has been my most memorable post of 2010. i still believe strongly in what i wrote & it proved to be the most misunderstood post/tweet of the year. i literally (and sadly) lost at least 3 friends over this & that alone attests to its significance (for better or for worse).

my point was simply to say that, yes, making the decision to place your child in private school is a decision to self-segregate. the numbers are clear.

what needs to be stated over and over is that regardless of intentions, segregation occurs. yes, you might have chosen a private school because of some special program or because you just really like the school or because you have money to burn, but it still creates the same outcome: racial segregation. one of the many jobs of a sociologist is to observe social patterns and accordingly report. the fundamental task isn’t to draw subjective opinions or form scathing commentary. it’s simply to observe and report.

many people got bent out of shape about the tweet, but it simply stated a very easily observable reality: racial demographics at private schools are incredibly skewed, relative to our city’s racial makeup. simply put: putting your white child in private school puts them in a self-chosen highly segregated educational environment.

2. listen to the new track, ‘exorcist’ from kevin max (october 29)

you’ll want to go read the comments on this one. pure brilliance…

today, via a newly launched (and admittedly atrocious, flash-based) website, kevin max released a new special track for halloween, titled exorcist. long-time fans of max know that halloween—for him—is the near equivalent of yom kippur for jews. ok, that may be a little strong…but only a little. 🙂

1. offering some feedback: first impressions of derek webb’s ambitious worship project (november 4)

what happens when derek webb retweets you? over 1,000 unique visitors in a day, that’s what. (i average around (200/day to give some context.)

all in all, derek webb’s feedback is a beautiful and worshipful art piece (and i didn’t even touch on the visual pieces). it’s exciting and refreshing to see an artist step outside his comfort zone and still create something that is wholly unique and superbly executed. it’s ambitious and adventurous and, quite frankly, the church is missing this. i don’t know much a project like this will be used in the context of corporate worship, but the church could stand to venture out and engage people in this kind of experience.

other notable posts (scan the archives in the sidebar to find these posts):

what your pastor will (likely) never say publicly or to you privately (february 3)
faith without politics is dead (march 30)
letting go: jennifer knapp confirms she’s gay to christianity today (april 14
rampant religion roundup: lifeway christian stores, jennifer knapp and johnny piper (april 23)
in memoriam: the way of jesus remembered (may 31)
of max and men: teaching a boy to be a man (june 12)
so i’m the dude who crashed little rock family’s mommy blogger story (june 29)
weekend worship: reflections on the west memphis 3 rally (august 31)
best of 2010: albums (december 17)