Friday, December 29, 2006

The Outdated Almanac 2006


Congratulations on your purchase of the Outdated Almanac 2006. Yeah, right! You didn't buy this! Let me rephrase this intro: Once upon a time, it was dark and stormy night...

Ah, to hell with it. You know what's coming! Just like everyone else on the Internet, I'm doing a year-end roundup. But unlike everyone else, I'm tapping an untapped market: my own words. What follows is a best-of list (or worst-of list, depending on your viewpoint) of my work here at Not Right throughout 2006. This was a wacky year with many ups and downs, both personal and political. One thing that has remained the same, however, is my compulsion with chronicling these events. And while this collection is by no means a complete roundup of the year, it does capture what went through my mind during this tumultuous time.

So what qualifies an entry to be on this list? I considered several factors, though "greatness" wasn't one of them because that doesn't narrow anything down. After eliminating the semi-regular short takes (Caption Central, Not Right News, P.I.M.P. dispatches, etc.) and most of the more malnourishing blurbs, I was left with a bunch of essays, rebuttals and graphics. Sifting through those, I considered 1) their coherence and cohesion as stand-alone writings and 2) how much they stirred up reader response. After all, what's the point of a good article if it doesn't divide Americans? Seriously, though, the below list reflects what I believe is the best work I've self-published this year. Enjoy...again!

Taking A Stand
Don't You Wish Your Nation Was Hot Like Mine? (4/5)
Why America is sometimes like the world's testy trophy wife.

Emma Great Shun (4/6)
Say it aloud and you'll understand.

Sermon from an Irreverent Reverend (4/18)
The speech I would give if, by some perverted turn of events, I was slated to address a convention of religious people.

Vexing Logic About the Flag (7/7)
Flag-burning is lame. Almost as lame as those who wish to stop it. The title of this post is a pun on the word for flag studies, vexillology. Bet you got it right away, didn't ya?

Dubya Dubya III (7/18)
Why I disagree with Newt Gingrich that WWIII is afoot. Gets technical.

Religious War: Beyond Belief (8/3)
I could go on all day about this. Hell, all week!

Cakes and Candles Not Necessary (9/11)
Five years later, 9/11 is old enough to start kindergarten. But who really needs to learn?

Time to Take Back the Talk (10/7)
Sparked by a conversation I had at a party, I muse on the hijacking of patriotic words by the far right.

Limits are for Fishermen (10/13)
My argument against term limits.

Kerry is so very, very... (11/2)
Democrats apologize too much. A look into why they need to stop letting the GOP paint them into corners.

The Message in '06? 86 'em! (11/9)
Democrats sweep Congress. Time for a cool change.

A Matter of Carbon Sense (11/17)
Starting in 2007, Louisiana will become smoke-free in almost every public place. Rock on!

In Defense of O.J. Simpson... (11/21)
What's worse than reading O.J.'s purely hypothetical explanation of How He Did It? Censoring that purely hypothetical explanation.

Spank This! (12/13)
Why I think spanking is bad. The comment section is probably the most informative and enlightening seen here all year.

Louisiana Ian
A Martin Luther Xing in Lafayette? (2/9)
A look at the biggest local debate of 2006, and how every single angle of this debate (pro, con or otherwise) was ridiculous. Postscript: the issue was finally settled Dec. 19 (!!), with a portion of Willow Street being designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Parkway. The name is as binding as one of George W. Bush's voluntary pollution regulations. See what happens when governments refuse to listen to me?


This picture netted 45 comments?!!

Personal Ponderings
Narrow Minds Make Great Insulation (3/31)
A pet peeve of mine is hearing people who have lived their entire lives in one place insist that they live in paradise. Such unquestioning love for one's home base never seems to originate from people who have seen other places.

Monday Morning Musing: Hard Worker, Work Harder (10/23)
Why is it that those who prove themselves in the workplace always seem to be punished right along with the slackers? Or have their skills and work ethic rewarded with even tighter oversight? I have to remind myself not to repeat this rant every week.

The Pimpin' Pumpkin P.A. (10/31)
A cool Halloween story about my grandfather's clever karaoke pumpkin, which was a bright spot in a scary neighborhood.

Taking You To School
What's My Votivation? (4/17)
In grade-school politics, the term "name recognition" takes on extreme meaning. A story about my shallow method of choosing student-council candidates, and how it unfortunately represents the attitudes of many American voters.

Pick-Up Lines Throughout History (6/14)
You'll either love 'em or hate 'em. Either way, you'll learn something. Originally written in early 2003 as one of my first graduate-school assignments. I actually had to try one of them in class, in front of everyone. The girl just gaped at me, in awe of my genius. At least that's what I've convinced myself.

Monday Morning Musing: Middle-School Diplomacy (7/31)
A startling parallel exists between the Bush foreign policy and that time in 6th grade when I punched some random kid in the stomach.

Stuff I Wrote While Mad
I Love Lucidity (3/5)
When do aspirations become so hard to achieve that they're no longer worth it? A profound treatise sparked by my inability to play an old Back to the Future video game.

Parallel: Parking (10/26)
At a time when my perception of my southern brethren was at an all-time low, I got to witness everything I despise about them in one ugly incident. And where other people might have channeled that rage into guns, fistfights or vehicular homicide, I turned it into a written parallel of American society. Doesn't everyone?

Stuff I wrote in Utah
Mountain: the Neglected Time Zone (7/4)
In honor of America's birthday, I see some of it. Fun ensues.

A Composite Conversation I Had in Salt Lake City (7/10)
For those of you wondering why Katrina aid for New Orleans seems to not be a national priority, you only have to click here to understand why.

Missiles for Missionaries (7/13)
While riding a bike in Salt Lake City, I got mistaken for a Mormon missionary. How that happened, I'll never know. Some teenage punk threw a smoothie at my face. That I can understand.


Re-learning how to breathe in Utah

Making Fun of Things
The Trappings of Lent (3/2)
It's the same joke I've made for years, in blog form: I'm giving up smoking for Lent, because I don't smoke and I know I can maintain that sacrifice. I also rhetorically asked why fish wasn't considered meat, and actually got a somewhat satisfactory answer! Who says you can't learn anything from reading this stuff?

Nothing 'By Numbers' About Clinton (4/26)
A scathing critique of the official Bill Clinton presidential portrait, from the point of view of the Clinton-hating press of the late 1990s. Stuffy, as all good art critiques should be.

Liquids, Humans Banned from Planes (8/11)
A nice piece of satire I liked so much I posted it on Daily Kos. I never do stuff like that!

Tips for Surviving Black Friday (11/24)
Jokes about the day after Thanksgiving, widely (if inaccurately) considered the biggest shopping day of the year. As a budding George Plimpton, I found myself embroiled in this chaos for the first time. It was actually funner than I would have imagined! But the tips presented here are, nevertheless, very good advice.

The 12 Months of 06 (12/23)
A song describing this year's events, sung to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas." Nuff said!


The end product of some lengthy LSU debates

Reviews
Book Review: Lapdogs (6/6)
Simon and Schuster's Free Press sent me this book and asked me to review it for Not Right (which they mentioned by name). I did. Look for the quotation on the paperback edition any day now: "Lapdogs so effectively destroys the myth of a 'liberal media' that its readers might feel guilty even mentioning the book to their conservative friends, knowing the rhetorical beat-down it will cause." --Ian McGibboney, Not Right TV (Comedy Central)

Borat: Reviewing of Film for Make Glorious Blog of Not Right (11/15)
As American journalist, I see documentary film Borat. Is very reportery movie. Borat talk to many Americans for hilarious and gets in fight with naked fat producer over Pamela Anderson virgin book. I throw up my Ike-Mikes and cop-porn! Haven't had this much jolly in theater since I kiss American girl during Tom Hanks movie The Thing That You Do. My date loved Borat too! She sister.

Sports Punditry


New Orleans Goes for Bush (4/30)
Fooled EVERYBODY! Damn, I'm good!

So This is What Winning Feels Like... (9/26)
Go Saints! Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints!! But you know who really won that night? New Orleans.

H.S. State Championship: A Whiff of Sulphur (12/8)
Sometimes I wish I were a football coach, because I think I'd be good at motivational speeches. Especially if I utterly hated my team with every fiber of my being.

Why the Saints Were Smart to Lose (12/18)
Written after the Redskins embarrassment, this piece is my first-ever attempt at positive thinking. It worked, so now I'm hoping for more bad things to happen so I can be positive about them. Just kidding! But it did feel good to be optimistic. And, believe it or not, that's exactly how I feel going into 2007. Good things are afoot for Team McGibboney! Hope they are for you as well.

Sincere thanks to all of you who took some time to read Not Right this year. The world needs more people like you...both to read my blog and to affect change in the world. Peace!

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