I forgot to write a 2023 Year-in-Review post
Good morning everyone,
I hope you’re all doing well. This week has been a bit crazy for me (though it was great to ring in the New Year on the waterfront with family) and I’m still playing catch-up.
So, first things first, let’s talk about the state of the Substack. To kick off the Year of the Black Flag (tm) I launched a brutal no-holds-barred ebegging campaign. Having reached my sinister, secret, and insane goals, the campaign is now officially at an end. I solemnly swear that no longer will I spam your inboxes with increasingly desperate and threatening requests for $5 USD, or at least that these requests will be kept to a dull roar.
As I’m sure some of you have noticed, the character of this Substack has morphed a lot over the last few months. Initially it was dominated by history/culture articles. The Substack became current events-focused once I realized that the best way to get new free subscribers was by pumping out stuff that could easily be posted on content aggregators. Finally, the Substack became mostly a podcast (the best way to get new paid subscribers).
Now that the dust has settled and growth isn’t the main focus, things are going to be shifting back into content mode. Politics are boring and the stuff you see on the news mostly doesn’t matter. I’m hoping to find the right balance of history articles and book/movie/game reviews on the podcast. If there’s something you’d like to see more of, please let me know in the comments. I really do appreciate all suggestions. I only found out about “A Disease in the Public Mind,” which is the best book I’ve ever read on the Civil War, because a friend recommended it to me recently.
As a preview of coming attractions for people who subscribed recently and missed the earliest days of this Substack, here are a few sample articles:
"Grab the Revolution by the Throat" (Free) - An introduction to Russian Interior Minister Pyotr Stolypin (1862-1911), Russia’s last great statesman before the 1917 October Revolution. When faced with thousands of political murders and mass social paralysis following the 1905 Revolution, Stolypin stared down the barrel of a loaded gun and stabilized the situation, saving his country (at least until he was assassinated). This is the model for conservative reformers.
ALERT! The Boomers are fedposting (Free) - A response to the common refrain that people are really angry and that that means something big/good is on the horizon, with discussion of the (very relevant) aftermath of the Russian Civil War.
Revolutionaries vs. Counter-revolutionaries (Free) - Thoughts on the role of the American Right in the modern system. It’s very important to know who you are and what you’re shooting for, because political movements can easily lose focus.
Of course, the Substack will also keep the podcasts flowing. People seem to really like these. New episodes are going to be mostly (if not all) paywalled for the next few months. I’m sorry, I just genuinely hate and resent free subscribers and think they deserve less. The free subscriber is beneath contempt. He is the wretched of the Earth. If you want to upgrade your subscription to paid, just click the button below and select the monthly option.
You can find a list of the podcasts available here. There are several in the hopper that will be dropped over the next few weeks:
Closing business. The Top 5 movies of the year were:
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Godzilla: Minus One
There were no other even decent movies this year, that I saw at least
Game of the Year was Robocop: Rogue City (please buy it for full price)
Biggest winner was President Donald J. Trump, who has miraculously survived and thrived in response to the increasingly desperate attacks launched against him.
Finally, I just wanted to stress to everyone that your life is going to take you strange places and the worst thing you can do in response to big changes is despair. I’ve had a lot of personal and professional ups and downs just this year alone (many more across my life). Five years ago I couldn’t have told you I’d be in the book business. Three years ago I couldn’t have told you that I’d be getting out of it for good. One year ago I couldn’t have told you that I’d have a Substack, and three months ago I couldn’t have told you I’d have a podcast.
You just don’t know how things are going to turn out, you’ve got to keeping moving. It really is horrible to see all the potential out there that gets wasted by people just treading water. Never forget that, no matter what happens or how bad the situation gets, you still have a lot of control over how your life turns out. There’s never any excuse to give up and stop thinking. Get up and do something!