Saturday, December 31, 2011

The TDS Top 10 Posts of 2011

When I started blogging regularly back in May of this year, I never expected The Downward Spiral blog to take off the way it has, either in terms of the number of page views (over 155,000 and counting!) or in the number of my own postings. My original intent was to do about a post a day, but as things got rolling I found more and more stories that I wanted to comment on. By November, I was averaging about three posts per day, much to my own surprise as I have never in my life been this prolific with my writing.

I figure I have written about 120,000 words in the past eight months, not counting the excerpts from various news articles. That is an awful lot for someone working without an editor, more than your average novel in fact. Although I can't promise I will always be this prolific, so far it has been a lot of fun, even if the subject matter has been anything but.

In that spirit, I'd like to end the year by presenting a links list to my personal top 10 favorite posts from this past year. They are all like my babies, of course, and it was hard to choose among the 450 or so total posts I've written this year. But these are the 10 that if I were introducing a new reader to TDS I would suggest they start with. Thank you very much for reading, and I hope everyone has a good New Year in spite of all the bad shit that's going down.

So without further ado, the TDS Top Ten of 2011:

1). The CIA Accurately Predicted How Long World Oil Supplies Would Last—in 1978 (May 30) - Also reprinted by The Energy Bulletin. Recalling a newspaper article from my childhood, I did some research and discovered a CIA analyst's uncannily accurate prediction about the future of world oil supplies written 33 years ago.

2). Ten Ways You Can Screw Up Your Life (October 26) - This is the guest post I wrote for Dave Cohen of the outstanding Decline of the Empire blog summing up how people need to change their mindset when thinking about their financial future in the age of peak oil.

3). Friday Rant: A Half-Century at the Local Tire Factory in a Globalizing World (August 12) - I did a number of posts about globalization this past year, but this one about the effects of "free" trade on my own hometown was personal.

4). Fear and Loathing in the Illinois Army National Guard (or How I Managed to Pay My Way through College) (May 29) - My first post about the Iraq War included some personal insight about Bush's betrayal of the military reservists who fought there.

5) Lindsay Lohan: The Perfect Sex Symbol for a Crumbling Empire (October 22) - A rip on celebrity culture and one screwed up young woman who is literally dying for our entertainment pleasure.

6). No Country for Old Men (November 9) - As much as the younger generation is getting screwed, the future will REALLY not be kind for older Americans.

7). Friday Rant: America’s Plutocrats are No Different than the Leaders Who Ran the Soviet Union into the Ground (July 15) - My take on Dmitri Orlov's prognostication that the U.S. will eventually go the way of the USSR.

8). Friday Rant: Unlike in the Movies, in Real Life Americans HATE the Underdog (June 17) - In which I call out Americans for rooting for the rebels in the movies and the Empire in real life.

9). Free Your Mind (December 9) - Those who are peak oil aware think they have taken the "red pill," but how do you know for sure?

10). Once Upon a Time a Peak Oil Aware Candidate Ran for President of the United States
(May 21) - Also reprinted by The Energy Bulletin. In which I fondly recall the 1980 presidential campaign of former Congressman John B. Anderson of Illinois.


  1. Kudos for you many thoughtful posts, thanks a million for the time and effort you put into your blog so that we may read it. Your efforts are noticed and they do make a difference. It is a worthwhile pursuit.

    Keep going.


  2. @gardener1 - thanks for the kind words, and a happy new year to you!

  3. Well done Bill, checking out The Downward Spiral has become part of my day in 2011. I can't say I am looking forward to 2012 which is shaping up to be a very wicked year for us all, but I do look forward to more clear and incisive posts from you. Keep up the good work, there is no more important job right now than trying to alert people to the dangers we face and get them to wake up.

    Best wishes to you and you family.

  4. @iwe - those are some very kind and humbling words. Best wishes to you and yours for the new years as well.