The third annual Whatsies

Well, that’s another year under our belts, with plenty of changes in the world at large and on the site itself. For a brief summing up, let’s hand the mic to Jeremy:

So this year TGW was memorable for several things. First of all, of course, it was an election year–The Election Year–and so, it was wonderful to analyze, predict, vent, commiserate, wring hands, fret, toss and turn, and best of all, go through all of it with such a smart and interesting community of thinkers. There were many posts on this topic, of course, but one of the first that was memorable, for me at least, was Brooke Maury’s “A poignant and moving blog posting”, since it also foreshadowed the importance of activism and engagement in propelling our guy to victory.

I also marveled at Scott Godfree’s ability to combine caustic, biting criticism with spot-on ironic humor (not to mention those amazing visuals) in his post on the anniversary of the Iraq war.

It was also the year Bryan Waterman left us.

The year the economic crisis hit our TGW home.

The year that hate won, for now.

And Lisa Parrish:

It was another fine year for The Great Whatsit; hurrah for us! But it was also sad to see a few of our original writers go on hiatus, either officially or unofficially. I miss those voices of yore, though we’ve still managed to sally forth, day after day, with quality posts.

And now, in no particular order, more notable posts, nominated by a self-appointed committee contributors and readers to whom the editors are deeply grateful:

Best interview and best glimpse into the creative process: Bryan Waterman’s interview with Sam Amidon. “Fascinating look at how an artist re-imagines existing materials. I love Bryan’s questions, the curiosity of a fan.”

Best series of posts on a similar theme: Stella’s amusement posts over the summer. (For example.) “I love the nostalgia and Stella’s light and yet formal voice. I enjoyed how interactive they were. They generated so many great comments, memory and participation.”

Best post on a movie: “Danse Macabre” by Ruben Mancillas. “I thought to note Bob Fosse was important enough but to do it in such a thoughtful way, thank you!”

Best “I am sharing a great thing about me by talking about something else entirely”: Dave B, “The Finer Things.” “We can see right though you and we are so happy for you.” [Ed. note: Yikes.]

Delighfully weirdest: Pinky by Dorothy Gale.

Called out as both “Most disturbing” and “Most unnerving behavior”: When the Stories We Create Become True by Rogan Ferguson.

Best work-related post: Les enfants terrible by Stella.

Best guestwriter ghostwriter post: “”College Application

Most fun Thursday Faves: “Google 2001” by Lisa Parrish.

Best reform post: “Voting right” by Stella.

Best generator of supportive and thoughtful comments: “Straddling offense” by Literacy H. Dogfight.

Best title: “You say two mottoes” by Ruben Mancillas (nominated independently by two people — its bestness is that good), with an honorable mention to “Why the Olympics totally blow” by Jeremy Zitter (which sentiment also received a “True, dat” from another nominator.)

Most interesting childhood watershed moment: “My first Republican National Convention” by Dave B.

Notable identity revelations: “Fugitive at the Fantasy faire” by Pandora Brewer and “This little Marxist goes bourgeois part 2” by S. Godfree.

Boldest suggestion: “The few, the proud, the suicidal” by Literacy H. Dogfight.

Best descriptions and best closing line: “Toughskins” by Bryan Waterman.

Best debates: “The great prostitution debate” by Literacy H. Dogfight and “Rock-n-roll nigger” by Bryan Waterman.

Best new words we learned from TGW: Latrinalia, chocabulary.

Best parenting post: “On nature, nests, and Bryan’s Brussels sprouts” by Pandora Brewer and
Teach them well and let them lead the way” by Ruben Mancillas.

Biggest relief that you live in the 21st century: “1943 guide to hiring women” by Lisa Parrish.

Best thematic playlists: “But now I see” by S. Godfree and “The Breaks (Through, Down, Up, Out)”.

Most balls-out post (no, not Rogan’s steer castrating post): “Did the movies totally fuck us?” by Dorothy Gale, also containing the best parenthetical aside, “(maybe plead booze?).”

Best dilemma: “The dilemma” by Lisa Parrish.

Best going ahead and saying what we’re all thinking but are too afraid to voice: “The other shoe to drop” by Dorothy Gale.

Best series: Crack House Diaries by Rogan Ferguson.

Most heartbreaking: “A new season” by Stella.

Best travelogue: “Out of the frying pan” by Brooke Maury. (Rogan’s comment on this post was also called out as notable, though not as a travelogue.)

Best video: Trixie singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

Best confession: “This little Marxist goes bourgeois” by S. Godfree.

Best glimpse into a life choice not one’s own: “Crack house diaries” by Rogan Ferguson.

Best “Hell yeah!” post and most irritating ensuing argument in the comments: “I thought I was done with this” by Dave B.

Most realistic recreated conversation: “Lazin’ on a sunny afternoon” by Stephanie Wells.

Most evocative: “The Welcome Home Band” by Lisa Parrish.

Most wrenching posts, coming in quick succession, revealing unfairness of the universe: “I wish I had a river” by Jen Mandel and “And…scene” by Literacy H. Dogfight.

Most emotionally fluent: “Refusing Collusion” by Stella.

Post after which we took a deep breath in relief it hadn’t ended differently: “Just the facts, ma’am” by Tim Wager.

Best food post: “Whenever you’re feeling good and hungry” by Pandora Brewer.

Most knowledgeable playlist: “Superheroes” by Adriana Velez.

Funniest observations about other human beings: “Stranger behavior II” by Stella.

Besides words, we have pictures. For best art: “With love on this special occasion” and “The writing’s on the wall” by S. Godfree.

Best use of graphs: “The good fight” by Brooke Maury.

A number of posts were mentioned for best or favorite photography. One reader mentioned Stella’s “Stella and the Sea Creatures” (also “best final photo”) and “Olive Festival” by Lisa Parrish. “I love the 3rd person narration in ‘Sea Creatures’ and love the character shots of people at the Olive Fest – the first was like a magical kid’s book and the second was like an Indy film where they just set up a camera to see what happens next.”

Also mentioned for photography were “Between Then and Now” by Pandora Brewer, “Virtual Tours with Rogan’s New Hobby” by Rogan Ferguson, and E. Tan’s Thursday Favorites post on “Polygamist Houses.”

Other posts nominated as “great” for unspecified reasons: “eDating adventures” by Slade; “I am breaking this one” by Jen Mandel; “Consumed with love” by Stella; “1994. Paris. 11th Arrondissement. Hotel de Belfort.” by Julie Grimm; “And so we begin” by Ginny.

Finally, the editors would like to thank the new voices that have joined us this year, both posting and in comments. And a huge thank-you to everyone who contributes to the site in large ways and small. Going through the archives to pick out notable posts, you’re confronted with an embarrassment of riches — the list above is far, far from comprehensive in listing the moments of pleasure and discovery that we had here in 2008. Here’s to another great year!

Oh, and I almost forgot: Lane’s nomination for “best comment”:

that poop tree one


13 responses to “The third annual Whatsies”

  1. Oh wow, nice graphic! (I feel like I fell down on the job by not sending in any nominations or comments… I like all the posts! I hate awards shows! Who’s going to be Melissa Rivers on the TGW red carpet?…)

  2. Nomination for “Best post, category posts that got TMK interested in TGW”, Bryan’s For National Poetry Month: Hart Crane’s ‘To Brooklyn Bridge’.

  3. Dave says:

    I fully intend to get a photo credit page up, really I do. For the record, today’s banner photo (which I think is truly lovely) was sent in by TMK. We also have photos by Kate, Lane, Rogan, and Parrish in the rotation. (I’m not forgetting anyone, am I?)

  4. Who’s going to be Melissa Rivers on the TGW red carpet?…

    …and what is s/he going to have to say about my fashion choices?

  5. Jane says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! Well deserved.

  6. Kate the Great says:

    I’m just waiting for a comment from Bryan. I mean, he got nominated and mentioned here so many times, he should at least acknowledge that he’s still lurking, right?

  7. Natasha says:

    Congratulations guys!

    The Other James, I still want to mention your playlist. It was awesome and tied to a great story.

    TMK, you are overdressed for a hike in the woods. But if you decide to go out looking like this to any place else, well…don’t :) and no, I don’t want to be Melissa Rivers for various reasons.

  8. LP says:

    I’d like to thank my lawyer, my agent, my accountant, the producers, the director, the editors, the best boy, the caterers and most of all Barack Obama. Thank you, thank you! I hear the music starting, but wait! No! I’m not done yet! Oh god, who am I forgetting?! Thank you, Kate Winslet! Thank you, Mickey Rourke! Jesus, I’m all verklempt.

  9. To celebrate this moment I am inappropriately kissing a Google image search for ‘Halle Berry.’

  10. Stella says:

    And we all thank Dave, the tireless, patient and persistent Dave.

  11. LP says:

    Yes, let’s hear it for Dave! You rawk!

  12. Yes Dave! And what about some Whatsie mad props for the new site design? I hope those crazy looking Whatsit weener people pop up in the banner head from time to time, just to help everyone keep their bearings. But the site, with the addition of biscuits, is even more fun now. Thank you Dave.