A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
This is my one-hundredth posting. I don't keep track; the only reason I know is that the software of this program tracks the number of entries and displays it on a file-manager page. So - I thought I would do some reflecting on the last ninety-nine entries.
Local stories, public health, music, economics, politics, sports, history, and reflections on our culture have constituted my subject matter. In no particular order, the five most viewed postings of 2008 have been:
Person of the Year - A look at the life and death of Benazir Bhutto - the assassinated Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Nearer His God - A tribute to our American Churchill - William F. Buckley, who died a few months ago.
Out of Balance - Sports and Forensics in Brookfield - A look at the disturbing levels of local media attention paid, and not paid, to these two activities.
Time to Say Goodbye - A farewell and tribute to Brett Favre.
Wish List - A musical review of this Pearl Jam song, combined with a whimsical recounting of a cherished ride to school with my daughter; a life-long memory that I will always associate with this song.
The article I put the most time into was last year's three-part series on the Virginia Tech. Massacre entitled A Bed of Straw. Perhaps my personal favorites have been the ones about music, and in particular, Wish List. What I consider two of my better pieces were Getting Small - a look at history and modern times as seen through the lens of my back-packing trip through Glacier National Park, and the more recent Time to Say Goodbye. The ones that generated the most criticism were the two part series Church and State, a look at the historical origins of this issue, and my take on the legacy of the Sixties entitled The Summer of Self-Love.
I have received all kinds of feedback ranging from contemptuous to favorable. It's good to get both - the criticism keeps you grounded, and the kind words provide encouragement to continue.
I try to draw from a number of "wells" as I write, and have admitedly ranged far afield at times, knitting together disparate subjects to make a larger point. Whatever your view of my writing I say a sincere "thank-you" for considering it. And thanks also to the staff of Brookfield Now for providing this venue.
Lastly - thanks for the fun you all have provided. It's been a blast.