The Greatest Hits

I’ve been asked about this twice now: What are Rotten Chestnuts’ “greatest hits”?

I have no idea.  Of the posts I’ve written, the ones I personally like the best seem to get no response.  Stuff I consider crap, on the other hand, gets lots of response.  But not consistently — since I believe that in blogging, as in democracy, the people deserve to get what they want good and long and hard, I’d happily produce nothing but crap if I knew what specific kind of crap y’all want.  But I can’t figure it out.

And anyway, response rate is probably a very poor metric.  We had an idiot troll collective infesting the place back in the early days, so some posts have dozens and dozens and dozens of comments…. they’re good posts, mind you, but probably not “triple-digit comments” good.

Finally, the posts that stick in my mind as having sparked discussion are often way outside my wheelhouse.  This one, for instance, is about Star Wars.  Despite being on the Internet, I really don’t care about Star WarsStar Trek, anime, manga, comic books, Dungeons and Dragons, or video games.  I haven’t watched network tv in years, and haven’t seen a movie in a theater for at least that long.  That piece represents the sum total of my engagement with nerd culture, and it’s mostly about Socialist Realism.

So I’ll open the floor.  Do y’all have any suggestions for “greatest hits”?  That is, if you wanted to convince someone to give Rotten Chestnuts a try — and God alone knows why you would, but if — which posts would you pick, and why?

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9 thoughts on “The Greatest Hits

  1. WOPR

    You could always get a ton of posts by talking about the War of Southern Stupidity. 🙂

    Pop culture posts get a lot of replies because society has been stripped of any longer lasting frames of reference. It used to be you could count on at least a basic level of Biblical and general American history literacy. You cannot even count on that now. So, you end up with people making pop culture references. The problem there is pop culture has shattered for the most part. The 80’s and early 90’s were the last era of any shared culture. Shows that are considered hits today would have been considered abject failures in the 80’s. Game of Thrones got 17.4 million pairs of eyeballs for its ultimate episode. An equivalent in 1980 would have been Little House on the Prairie in the number 10 spot with 17.7 million. Add in the population of 226.5 million in 1980 compared to the estimated 328.7 million in 2019 to realize that there really isn’t a pop culture any longer.

    Personally, the post that the progressives are Machiavellian’s with everything being will-to-power is probably one of your best posts. Tie that in with one of your progessivism as a religion posts, and things tie up nicely.

  2. MBlanc46

    I’m pretty new around here, so I’m not well positioned to comment on your top posts. When I first stopped in you were talking about recognition symbols—the white baseball caps, which I thought was a great idea. Any thoughts about organizing in digital or physical space are welcome. We haven’t a chance of defeating them until we can come together in space-time. Your ruminations about European history, and its possible relevance for our times, are always welcome. Please keep at it.

  3. Pickle Rick

    I’ve not been here long, so my most memorable post has been the Cat Fancy series.

  4. RRW

    Dang, I don’t have a database of my favorite Chestnut posts. I usually give your posts a “like” simply because it tickles me to do a social media thingy, as I have no accounts at any of the social media sites. Mind you, I really do like them.

    Your posts are all worthwhile, which is why I check daily. I think the ones that always knock me out are the ones where you propose actual tactical ideas (purely hypothetical, of course). Almost no one in Our Thing is doing this. So I would suggest a separate Tactics section (in a purely symbolic sense). You do have a Strategy label, but I think your suggestions (purely as a thought exercise) merit a top bar button.

    Still wearing my HB ball cap, by the way.

    1. Severian Post author

      If I ever felt hostile towards my “fans,” I’d quit.

      That’s the problem: I really don’t have any idea why people read this thing. It’s nice to know that they do, but it’s just a hobby. I’m not some kind of frustrated artiste. Stuff that interests me apparently doesn’t interest others; throwaway comments in the middle of larger posts seem to generate more interest than the post itself. It beats my pair of jacks — I don’t have a vision; I’m not trying to build a multimedia empire; I don’t want to sell anything. In any case, I’m fairly open with my opinion that all this stuff is just pissing into the wind — we can gripe all we want on blogs, but History is what it is.

      Apparently some combination of those elements appeals to people, at least intermittently. If I knew what they were, I’d put them together more often.

      1. Pickle Rick

        That’s the point. You’re not selling anything, and you’re not a lunatic or a pseudo-intellectual. The audience you have isn’t here just to hear you parrot the latest outrage du jour or blow your own horn, and we’re not commenting just to hear ourselves. When I’ve got a point to make, I make it. When I don’t, I don’t, but I read everything.

        1. Maus

          I second Pickle Rick. I too read everything, but comment only when moved to do so. That means I don’t frame Sev’s offerings in terms of favorites. Why? It really is this simple. In order to preserve my own sanity, I need to know what demonstrably rational, intelligent people are thinking about our culture and society. Just yesterday, I found myself at the threshold of despair because my interlocutor would not credit a distinction between mere unwanted inappropriate touch and forcibld rape in the context of the Catholic priestly abuse situation. Truly, I now find abundant evidence daily that Our Thing cannot argue (or vote) a solution into existence. Yet, to avoid existential despair and paralyzing apathy, I need to see ideas and insights thrashed out in the crucible of debate. That is the classical manner cultivated in my academic sojourn those many years ago and now found only rarely practiced in a handful of thoughtful blogs such as this one.

  5. Martinian

    I don’t recall how I got here, but I stayed for the posts on education, which is my own field and primary concern.

    I mostly appreciate Sev’s attempts to seriously think through what a realignment of the current system would entail, and how it’s much harder than anyone casually supposes. The corollary to that is that Our Thing really isn’t going to get anywhere without most of those details hammered out and ready to go when Random Events occur and open an opportunity. In other words, it’s not just being at the right place at the right time, but also having the right set-up to capitalize (heh) on the lemons life gives us. The Left understands this (“Organize!!!”); we still don’t.

    Along those lines, here’s an idea I don’t think I’ve seen sussed out here (or maybe I’m just forgetting), but I’d be very interested in Sev’s thoughts: What does our hypothetical Opportunity look like?

    I’m asking also because the vivid description of this is part of the narrative that keeps the hope up in your shock troops, assists recruitment, and prevents the decay of movement morale (“Even now, the Robber Barons are selling us the rope by which they will be hanged!”). The Left is awesome at this, i.e., converting every single inconsequential detail of reality into “proof” that the fated hour has Arrived, or that the enemy is at the gates, or that the latest inconvenience is truly the last stand against the imminent regressive theocracy (cf. respectively: Climate Change, alleged Pallor Ascendancy, Pronouns/bathrooms). I think a large part of their frenzied misery is a key to their success — the next domino to fall is always the one that will “make a difference”. Our guys, on the other hand, seem so “meh” about it all that we can never take advantage.

    So…assuming we don’t get anywhere until we throw a major wrench in the manufacturing center of the current Hive Mind (i.e., Academia), Two Questions:

    1) What do our opportunities in Academia look like? Maybe we could take a page from other societies that had rebellions in their university systems (e.g., Mao’s China?)

    2) How do we convince people that our side is Good? Sev has a lot of good posts about the necessity of a Mythology, i.e., what takes the place of actual thinking. What is our counter-programming to what gets shoveled out in the Academy, and how do we translate it into a broad perception in our favor?

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