It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Nah, let’s not be so melodramatically Dickensian or so Dickensianally melodramatic. The past year of The Daily Chrenk, a.k.a. Chrenkoff blog 2.0 back from the great online beyond, has been quite OK. I share my broader reflections on the return to blogging elsewhere, but here I want to merely create a link-o-rama collage of the year that was, drawing together my favourite highlights and lowlights, and a few things in-between, for your perusing pleasure, dear reader, and in a not-an-unlikely event you might have missed a few things over the past twelve months, even if a diligent TDC follower. So here it is.
THE LOWLIGHTS OF THE YEAR
1.Being abused by a CFMEU thug – This is not really a low point strictly speaking, as it provided me with plenty of material to blog about (parts one, two and three), not to mention also making me go viral. Here is the infamous short video that made the Australian news during the 2016 federal election campaign:
2.Being hacked by a depressed Jordanian – A scumbag called Mohammed Meteb Mallak hacked The Daily Chrenk and locked me out of the site for a month, while demanding ransom. I didn’t pay up, the good guys at 6YS rescued the site, and Mohammed is still around and still hacking websites in Australia and Germany, seemingly at random and without any particular agenda except mischief and boredom. Plenty of heartache and plenty of lost time in November and December last year, and while the old contents of TDC is still there, you will find all the posts affected by font issues, which I don’t have time to fix.
3.The eye surgery – which, luckily, only put me out of blogging action for about a week, and not two or three like I originally feared. Now in recovery and going strong.
THE BEST OF THE YEAR
Two posts generated the largest audience and reaction, thanks to my old and good friends at Instapundit who kindly linked to them, bringing the famous “Instalanche” of thousands of new eyeballs.
“Ten Commandments of Social Justice Warriors” – “All cultures are morally equal and worthy, except one’s own”, and nine other dictums that animate the “cultural Marxist left” (related: Ten Commandments of the media coverage of terrorism, crime and violence).
“The New York Times Style Guide to Alternative Cultural Practices” – since the NYT has started to refer to Female Genital Mutilation as “female cutting”, TDC offered up some other useful and culturally sensitive euphemisms for various controversial practices and traditions. Do you think “vertical monosexuality enforcement” will take off for throwing gays off buildings?
THE MOST REWARDING TO WRITE
Unquestionably “Dreams from my grandfather on the bridge too far”. I grew up listening to stories of my grandfather who fought at the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944, was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans. A day before the 72nd anniversary of the start of the battle to capture the Rhine bridges with a combination of an airborne assault and an armoured thrust I finally had a chance to realise one of my life dreams: walking in my grandfather’s footsteps and visiting the exact spots of his own private battle. It wasn’t just the longest post I have written for TDC or the one that was the most joy to write, but it was also one of your favourites, judging by the comments, reactions and shares.
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITES
“Nailing it” with readers is a mysterious and elusive phenomenon. I can never tell if what I write will resonate with people, but everything I write I enjoy and I write because it interests me. So here is a selection of some of the posts I’ve had the most fun writing, even if some of them didn’t end up attracting a large audience:
“Good news from…?” – revisiting “Good news from Iraq”, on the 12th anniversary of starting the controversial and famous blog series.
“Inter-political dating” – on perils, and joys, of dating across the ideological battle lines.
“On missing the 1990s” – sure, it was the decade about nothing, but that’s what so great about it with hindsight.
“Who are the mass shooters?” – looking at the background of the biggest mass killers in American history. The results might surprise you.
“Is Islamophobia rational?” – how to think of terrorism, multiculturalism and immigration.
“The tragedy of Indigenous disadvantage” – tackling the unhealing wound on the soul of our country.
“Welcome to the 2024 Paris Olympics” – an attempt at satire.
“I was a young communist” – time for an embarrassing confession.
“A tale of two cities” – a long walk through the migrant and the Dutch Hagues.
“The terrible truth about staffers” – defending, kind of, the much maligned creature that is a political adviser (I know, I was one).
“Fight vallumphobia!” – why even normal, non-MAGA conservatives should not fear “the Wall”.
“1984 + 32 – Secret Dispatches from Trump’s AmeriKKKa” – postcards from a dystopia (satire, or rather an attempt)
“Chrenkoff or Jerk-off? or the one in which I became a hashtag” – criticise a Q&A panelist, become a hashtag – an incorrect one.
“The hell is ready for Fidel Castro” – dancing on the grave of one of the 20th century’s worst.
“Check your actor privilege, Meryl” – poor Meryl Streep thought she was part of the most persecuted minority; TDC put her straight.
“I was a teenage invader” – my shameful confession on the Australia Day.
“Loving the Democrat anti-heroes” – the entertainment industry hates the Republicans so much that even its anti-heroes are Democrat.
“Check your hot female privilege” – forget the white privilege, it’s the beautiful people that are allowed to get away with murder.
“Looking the dead in the eye” – an Egyptian travelogue.
“We have democratised censorship” – it’s not the governments that increasingly censor people for their unpopular opinions – it’s us.
“Canberra – don’t mend it, end it” – moving public servants out of our national capital and into the regions will neither destroy the “Canberra bubble” nor help the regions.
“What are the Australian values?” – mateship and larrikinism are fine, but there are far more important things that made Australia Australia that we need to celebrate.
“May Day, November Day” – it is only right we celebrate the Labour Day, but how about the Business Day?
“Donald Trump – the president the left deserves, and we all get” – Trump and the left truly deserve each other, but what has the rest of us done to deserve him?
I’M SO ASHAMED OF MYSELF
And so should you for liking this disturbing series, but “Girls Gone Wild on Brisbane Tinder” is unquestionably your guilty pleasure. Just remember, as you browse again through part one, two, three, four and five, that somewhere out there, dozens of fathers are crying themselves to sleep (related: for gender balance, “Boys Gone Wild on Tinder”).