Last week marked the second birthday of AOTW, an event that went largely unremarked upon, except for a day of public celebrations in Kazakhstan. As I did at this time last year, I've put together a list of my ten favourite posts for the second year, again listed from most distant to most recent. Enjoy!
10. Off the artistic role call. I'm sad to say that this one is still the record-setter when it comes to comments on a post. Having found a rather unfortuante set of facts that suggested The Age had not been up-front with their readers, I chose to publish and my damned. I stand by my decision.
9. What a wonderful world. Welcoming Sasha and Natani Ernest into cyberspace. Surprise, surprise, S and N are not on the verge on their first birthday. Happy birthday, girls.
8. Ten of the worst. Ten of the worst ministers in the ten years of the Howard government. The good, the bad and the very ugly get a run, although mostly it's the lazy, incompetent and basically unnoticed ones who dominate.
7. Africa: Trade or aid? Researching and writing this piece dramatically changed the way I look at the 'welfare state' approach to dealing with corrupt, inept and poverty-stricken regimes. Reading The Shackled Continent later on reinforced my belief that proper governance and self-reliance is far more desirable than having the third world as a heavily subsidised basket case.
6. The 'The Latham Diaries' Diaries. Remember when everyone's favourite slightly crazed former Labor leader had his fifteenth minute of fame? I did my best to publish the best bits of the diaries, although like most people got bored before I made it to the end.
5. "...then your children will be next." In which AOTW endears himself to the creeps and neo-Nazis of this world with a playful little post about the rise of Prussian Blue, a Hitler-loving 'tween pop duo.
4. Scott Ritter: On the trail of WMDs. The biggest interviewee in my fledgling journalism career was formers UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Ritter is a formidable and interesting character, although his agenda is often difficult to read.
3. Publish and be fatwa'ed. Four months after the Danish cartoon controvery, it seems clearer than even that free speech must be protected if we are to build the sort of society that encourages frank and open discussion in order to improve itself. Here was my contribution, Mohammad and all.
2. Ari's on the Beat. This post is not significant in itself, but it marks my first (semi-)regular paid writing gig.
1. Transport, tax and the environment. Melbourne, like most industrialised cities, (with a few notable exceptions) is choking on its cars. The problem arises from the massive negative externality that motorists create through their bad habit. Someone should do something. Fine. I will.