January 14, 2018

All right... time to start Year 15.

It was 14 years ago today that I opened the blinds on this little window into my head. I didn't know who would peek in, only that I had made it possible to see the things I let show, and the sheer possibility felt incredibly exciting and almost too frightening.

As I said in the second post on that first day, January 14, 2004:
I had just emailed [a blogging colleague] about my admiration for her and my own timidity: "I'll have to think about getting up the nerve to do this sort of thing. It seems if you're going to do it, you need to become somewhat chatty and revealing, which is a strange thing to do to the entire world." Then it seemed altogether too lame not to go ahead and start the blog.
Having set aside my lifelong timidity, I got on the blog ride that let me see what I thought about everything that happened — including things that happened to me — for 14 years. I got to pick what I genuinely felt like talking about and to say only what I wanted to say. Of course, once again, as in all of the other 14 years in the life of this blog, I have written here every single day.

I write for the flow — the sheer intrinsic pleasure of unfiltered writing. I love having readers, but only if you like this sort of thing. Why else would you be here? Actually... ha ha... I can think of a few other reasons people could be here, since I often read things I don't like, so I can write about them here.

It's fine if you're reading because I annoy you and you want to fight about it in the comments. The main thing I wanted in going into law teaching was to have more vibrant conversation than I'd experienced in law school, and what drew me into the blog was a desire to get into discussions that in real life were muffled and suppressed.

The desire still rages, so onward to Year 15.

113 comments:

Fabi said...

Brava!

Richard Belaire said...

Ann - Keep up the excellent work! I'm sure there are many of us "out here" that don't comment, but enjoy very much your posts and the give-and-take in the comments section.

sodal ye said...

You’re very impressive.

Tank said...

Congrats ... and thanks.

Chuck said...

Your blog used to be a place for vibrant conversation, Althouse. Now it is largely a place where you rationalize the worst of Donald Trump, and where anyone who engages on that subject is personally attacked by a small gang of thuggish pro -Trump bullies.

That your comments pages are now effectively in their teens, seems oddly appropriate.

MayBee said...

Happy birthday, Althouse.blogspot.com! Isn't life full of surprises, Althouse? You never know where your path will take you, or who will come along with you.

rehajm said...

Congratulations on 14 years and continued success for as long as it sparks joy!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Thank you-- and here's looking forward to the next 14 years!

David said...

"a desire to get into discussions that in real life were muffled and suppressed."

Why writing is different than talking. It not only sharpens and polishes the thoughts, it creates thoughts you did not know were there.

whitney said...

Congratulations. That's impressive. I am happy you are continuing to blog.

Bob Boyd said...

It's a beautiful mind.

Annie C said...

Thank you, Althouse. You are my first stop every day, and the community you have created here is always vibrant and enticing, very rarely dull, and has been evolving in some very unexpected directions. It has been so much fun!

I have enjoyed the eclectic atmosphere for years now and sincerely hope you continue for many more years. There is so much to explore.

Congratulations and again, thank you.

Annie C said...

And jeez louise Chuck, can't you just give your hostility a rest if only for one post?

james james said...

The more I think about it, the more I can't quite get my head around fourteen years, day-in, day-out.

And not just supplying links: thought-provoking work, every day, along with the occasional gymnastic whimsy generated of a single word, or a stream of consciousness that skips like a stone thrown over the water.

Thank you.

And a question: what is something that this arc of experience has surprised you about yourself?

- james james

AllenS said...

Everyone is happy for you, Althouse, except for Chuck. Course, we all knew that.

Rob said...

Congratulations, Ann, and thanks. I’m curious about your readership numbers, if you’d care to share that information.

David Begley said...

“Having set aside my lifelong timidity....”

Quite the change.

In any event, a top ten blog with wide reach and influence. And always interesting.

Owen said...

What everybody else (above) said. Except Chuck.

I learn a lot here, from you, Prof A but also from the commenters. You have an enviable following of smart, funny, decent people, and I love the way the ideas surface, evolve, return through different threads and the same or new voices.

Thanks.

Gahrie said...

Once again Chuck makes sure that it's all about him. But Trump is the rude and vulgar one.

William said...

Words are really not adequate for expressing to you how important and relevant the Althouse Blog is. Some of us—for whatever reasons—are not in a position to discuss the events of the day with informed, like-minded people. While it is not a dialogue in the literal sense, the blog is still a terrific forum for good back-and-forth on the issues.

Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't, but I always come away being more AWARE and plugged in. As they say, Priceless.

No way to pay you back for all the work you put into this thing (Sisyphus anyone?), but I'm a big believer in the good Amazon connection and use it often.

Keep at it. It's very much appreciated and enjoyed. In your own way, you're making a difference, and isn't that what it's all about?

Gahrie said...

I appreciate the effort you put forth Althouse, as someone who attempted a daily blog, and found it too much work.

I don't always agree with you, and find some of your opinions/ideas perplexing but I too appreciate the conversation.

I don't know how long I've been here, but I bet it's over ten years, and I still look forward to coming here every day.

Thanks again.

traditionalguy said...

Fifteen years and what do you get, another day older and deeper into millions of hearts and minds. And you have spread intelligent civilization everywhere. You get the highest honors.

Bay Area Guy said...

I remember being drawn to your blog by your (and Meade's) outstanding, at-the-scene reporting of all the Wisconsin protests against Gov Scott Walker.

I thought it was incredibly liberating to read honest and accurate accounts of what these leftist anti-democratic activists were actually doing and how they were doing it.

I still think it's some of the finest reporting from any source over in the past 20-30 years.

Thank you for all your time, energy and creativity in writing this blog.
Also, thanks to the Commentariat, whom I always find insightful and witty (despite a few notable exceptions:)



Jim Grey said...

Congratulations on completing 14!

My far less popular personal blog is about to complete 10. I write one post each of six days a week. So I have some idea what kind of time commitment you're involved in here. My hat would be off to you if I wore a hat.

Tommy Duncan said...

Happy Blog day! We get to see your life experiences embedded in your posts. I'm within a few days of your age and I greatly enjoy experiencing the differences and similarities in our thoughts. You provide me with perspective. Thank you!

14 years of blogging every day. You surely understand what it means to be a dairy farmer.

AllenS said...

Your blog is now older than most dogs. So, there's that.

Paul from Decatur, GA said...

You have created an excellent blog over the years. Thank you. Congratulations and please continue for at least another similar period.

Francisco D said...

Congratulations, Ann!

I appreciate your passion, inquiring mind and willingness to put up with whiny bullshitters like Chuck.

Freeman Hunt said...

Best blog on the Internet. Thank you, Althouse.

tcrosse said...

I admire your patience, and your light hand on the Delete key.

Lyssa said...

Happy blogaversery, Althouse! I’ve been reading since 2007, and your wit, interest, and sometimes just plain weirdness, continues to amaze me. Keeping up this level, day after day, is an extraordinary feat. I hope it goes on for more years!

Darrell said...

Thank you, Althouse for all you do.
And for all you re-do, as Blogger makes it disappear.

Barry Dauphin said...

Congratulations and thanks!

Chuck said...

Blogger Francisco D said...
Congratulations, Ann!

I appreciate your passion, inquiring mind and willingness to put up with whiny bullshitters like Chuck.

Right on schedule.

Mark said...

Congratulations and Happy B-day.

Marylou said...

Happy blog birthday! Thank you so much for this wonderful blog.

Tim at large said...

What Chuck said! ....

LOL, just kidding. Grow up Chuck! You hold your own here, and I don’t really think you understand what is really going on, anyways.I think this blog is more an examination of a kind of group-think about Trump, pro and con, and how it is engineered and what drives the people on both sides of it.

Does the world need another mindless partisan blog unquestioningly joining in the jeers against Trump, or mindlessly dismissing every criticism of him as bullshit? There are plenty of those. I don’t know why the existence of such a blog among millions of blogs drives some people a little big crazy... but actually, it makes perfect sense that it does. Can we all agree that the full on anti Trump side of this argument is pretty well covered?

mockturtle said...

Well and faithfully done. Best blog on the planet--maybe in the universe!

Mark said...

6:41 a.m. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Right off the bat, a caricature of himself.
And again at 7:57.

It's rather sad, really, instead of funny. And not at all healthy.

CWJ said...

AllenS,

Are you trying to say the blog is really 98 years old? That IS commitment!

Darrell said...

I've spent the last two years looking for Chuck's killer.
Alas, nobody would step up to take that job. . .

stlcdr said...

Very impressive to keep it up so long.

Or perhaps not. It’s certainly an achievement - especially today - but maybe we fall into the modern twitteresque ideal where doing anything for longer than 5 minutes makes you skilled in something.

There are kids today who have known nothing but the internet...

Dan said...

Congratulations! I visit everyday, sometimes multiple times. Like Tommy Duncan sang, you often provide valuable perspective. Thank you.

Gahrie said...

Very impressive to keep it up so long.

That's what she said.

(sorry, I couldn't help myself)

mezzrow said...

I'm glad this is still fun for you, Althouse. Sometimes it's hard to keep the sandbox clean and I'm sure there are those days, but it is nice to have an outlet, isn't it?

(looks for pail and shovel, waves at Meade in other corner)

Inga said...

I alternately love and hate this place but always enjoy your writing even when it’s frustrating and confounding. Thanks for your dedication to your blog and for providing a forum for us to speak our onions too.

Lucien said...

Allen S:

Older than most dogs is a high standard.

Annie C said...

Speak our onions, okay that was a new one, I'll have to look it up.

Unless you mean opinions. If so, i love onions so much more! Better than ilk any day.

Mrs. X said...

Inga speaking her “onions” at 8:23 made me lol. Love you, autocorrect. Happy blogday, Althouse!

tcrosse said...

Inga speaking her “onions” at 8:23 made me lol.

She meant "spewing her onions".
I kid.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

Congratulations, especially on doing it every day. Alongside your voice and the cruel neutrality, that makes this a very special and treasured place, with the OED journeys and the pics being a wonderful lagniappe.

Inga said...

“Speak our onions, okay that was a new one, I'll have to look it up.”

Yes meant “speak your onions”, no not an autocorrect, although that would be funny. Yes look it up.

cubanbob said...

Althouse I wish I was able to better convey my thanks for the enjoyment you have provided me over the years but a simple heartfelt thanks to you is all I can do. Thank you. And to another fourteen years!

Inga, onions, interesting word choice. I like it. It does convey a certain quality. If it is auto correct, serendipitous.

tcrosse said...

One can be said to Know One's Onions, so it's not too unrealistic to Speak them.

Inga said...

Speak your onions Althousians!

MadisonMan said...

Has anyone written a PhD thesis with this blog as the topic?

Original Mike said...

Chuck reminds me of Yogi Bera: 'I used to enjoy coming here'.

mezzrow said...

Know onions, no doubt.

No onions, know doubt.

Bob Boyd said...

At the vegetarian church, when the spirit is on them, they speak in onions.

Leslie Graves said...

I'm extremely grateful for this blog and the work you do here. It's the best.

Martha said...

Your blog is a valuable and unique addition to the analysis of world events.
We all benefit from your erudition and work ethic.
Thank you.

Fabi said...

"Entering our fifteenth year of gratuitous profanity!"

mockturtle said...

Bob Boyd quips: At the vegetarian church, when the spirit is on them, they speak in onions.

LOL!

Inga said...

Larry the Legend a talk show host, in the Milwaukee radio market, was the first person I ever heard say “Speak your onions!”.

Rusty said...

14 years. Has it really been that long? I better change my password.
Anywho.
Thank you for letting me play here.

JPS said...

Happy anniversary and thank you, very sincerely. You always make me think.

Luke Lea said...

Though I've always been a fan of Ann's appearances on bloggingheads.tv (and wish she would go on there again), it's not until Trump came along that I moved her to the top of my blog list. Have her numbers gone up since then?

Lyle Smith said...

Woo! Hi-five!

BudBrown said...

Happy 5115th day of blogging. I've enjoyed many of them. Thank you.

james james said...

Rusty said...
"14 years. Has it really been that long? I better change my password."

THAT was funny!

-jj

Jeff Brokaw said...

Congrats Ann - 14 solid years of blogging EVERY single day is really amazing. Hat's off to you.

And congrats for cultivating a fine comments section based on your intelligent writing and topic selection. A pretty unique place.

Here's hoping you keep going for another 14 years!

Nancy said...

Hooray! Congratulations. I find this blog very inspiring and love reading it every day.

Jim Gust said...

Thank you, Professor Althouse. There's is much great free content on the interwebs, and your blog is among the greatest. Your commenters are occasionally great as well.

jp said...

RAGE ON!

Gahrie said...

Has anyone written a PhD thesis with this blog as the topic?

Probably not yet, but I started making jokes about the poor graduate students that were having to read the blog for research years ago.

hugh42 said...

Your explorations intrigue me much of the time because you get to a third level I don't normally have the patience to reach.

Keep up the good work

YoungHegelian said...

Why you & the other commenters here are like my friends after all these years...

Wow! Izzat a scary thought or what?

Seriously, still one of the best places on the web, and for reasons that still baffle me. Such oases shouldn't be as rare on the web as they are. Perhaps the denizens of MeadeHouse have some magical gifts unknown to other mortals.

FullMoon said...

Impressive. Some commenters here have started blogs and given up-first and last post same month. Or a post every several months.

Some commenters here think they could do a blog as well or better than AA but have many ego defensive reasons for not to do it. Cowardice, lack of intellectual capacity, paucity of imagination, volatility and weakness of spirit being more realistic reasons than lack of time or disinterest.

Georgia Lawyer said...

I am 5 years older than you, and still practicing, so I have some appreciation for the time and effort commitment you make. Your blog is one of the hand full of sites I visit every day- it is simply magnificent. Please persevere.

Ipso Fatso said...

Thanks Ann, it has been a great ride.

Leslie Graves said...

I was just listening to this. You could play it to celebrate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz0b4STz1lo

or this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V92OBNsQgxU

Michael said...

Well done, A. Althouse. Thank you for hosting this and for your discerning choice of topics and your super takedowns of the press here in these opening days of the Trump era. You are a classic liberal of the old school which makes you a borderline fascist in these nutty times.

MountainMan said...

Thanks for a great 14 years. I have been reading Althouse since early 2014. Glenn pointed me here on one of his posts, I was hooked, and have come back every day since. Enjoy your selection of topics and also all the great commenters. Looking forward to year 15, I think 2018 is going to be very interesting.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Congrats! I’m another one that reads Althouse everyday with breakfast. 15 minutes of sanity before plunging into the randomness of life.

It just occurred to me that Chuck doesn’t hate Trump. He’s just bitterly envious.

Ann Althouse said...

"I was just listening to this. You could play it to celebrate... or this!"

Ha ha. Thanks. Listening as Meade watches the football game on mute.

Drago said...

14 years!

Congratulations!

And a most interesting 14 years it has been.

Unfortunately, Trump and the republicans have murdered over 958 Million Americans so there aren't that many commenters left. Yet you persist!

Drago said...

AA: "Listening as Meade watches the football game on mute"

Ha! So I'm not the only one!

It keeps the home calm and allows me to do other things with the kids while the game is on in the background.

Seeing Red said...

Happy Blogday!

Stephen said...

Congratulations! A real achievement. I've been reading since 2004 and have both enjoyed and been irritated by what you say here, and the irritation is valuable, because it helps me to clarify my thinking. Your writing on sexual harassment has been discerning--I still learn from it. Also have learned from your musical enthusiasms, which have put me on to several great songs, most notably Can't Explain.

Mountain Maven said...

Good blog. Retirement has been good to you. Tho u Are becoming more obtuse.

Feste said...

“It's fine if you're reading because .. you want to fight about it in the comments.”

I’d rather fight about it in my private journal.

I continue to read this blog. I’m thankful for it. And thankful for the fights in the comments.

An unintended consequence of reading this blog has been a decrease in the number of my comments here in public, and, an exponential increase in the volume of entries in my daily private log. Privately, I frequently end up with more questions than answers, discover my endless capacity to argue myself into unexpected circles based on unchecked assumptions, and return and harvest here on this blog for notes on news, leads, and subjects on which I’m ignorant, or on which I know a little and want to know more, and so on - this private richness that came as a complete surprise.

I wonder if this internal and unexpected reward will continue over time, this crazy and novel discovery that my private entries, with all their confusions are more pleasurable and rich than posting in public here, or on other fora, where (in public fora), because timidity isn’t my problem, I post and then look back and ask myself, “what the hell was I thinking?”

The other beneficial consequence of reading here and posting less has been an increase in a feeling of almost violent inward jealousy to guard my time, almost fasting from daily news cycles, and spending my time with other conversation partners from so-called classics, and a return to a childlike love for science and its history, where I find a greater richness. I’m amazed, really, at how sources like Márquez, Shakespeare, and Cervantes can expose inner monologues and I’m amazed at how science as an inter-subjective communal project can turn erstwhile monologues into a fund of community knowledge.

Perhaps this surprise consequence of jealousy about my time would have happened without ever stumbling across this blog, though I wish this blog another 15 years, should the hosts remain in pleasurable good health about it, and if not (should it expire), then life itself finds a way forward.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Undoubtedly, my favorite blog. Thanks for giving me interesting content to check in on and occasional validation. So many times I come here and find that you have blogged the very same event that I have just talked about with my wife. More times, you inform me of interesting content and/or fresh perspective.

Richard Dillman said...

I appreciate your commentary and the passages you post. I originally discovered your blog when you had a series on the style and language
of The Great Gatsby. I think I was doing some online research on Gatsby, and your blog popped up. I especially appreciate your interest in
language with a philological emphasis. Your interest in language seems to synthesize rhetoric, linguistics, and philology, as well as traditional prescriptive grammar.

Jim at said...

Congrats. Been visiting off and on since 2010.
Always a good spot to stop in to get some balance on certain issues.

Appreciated.

Fritz said...

If it was a kid, it would be getting close to time to kick it out.

mockturtle said...

AA: "Listening as Meade watches the football game on mute"

Ha! So I'm not the only one!


Especially when Joe Buck is doing play-by-play.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Congratulations,Althouse and thank you. I discovered this blog via James Taranto's "Best of the Web" during the Walker recall madness. You provided coverage that was far superior to anything reported by the media. While I don't always agree with you, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and "cruel neutrality.

surfed said...

I started reading in 2006. Been an everyday reader since. Thanks ever so much...

Ctmom4 said...

Congratulations, and many thanks for your thoughtful and provocative works. I never miss a day! Your blog is better than nothing, which as you have taught us is a very high bar indeed. Keep on keepin' on.

MadisonMan said...

Your blog is now older than most dogs

Not mine! He turned 15 earlier this month. Our cat is even older.

Ctmom4 said...

Also meant to say - I never would have pegged you as timid!

Sydney said...

Thanks for your perseverance. I've learned so many things here, especially about art and writing and law. May you have another productive 14 years.

Ambrose said...

All the best. Four years longer than Odysseus wandered.

Eric Landgraf said...

You have many attributes but timidity is clearly not one of them.

Owning a .40 CAL Glock will help you end your timid impulses. I am always amazed by how self-confident women become when they learn martial arts, sword fighting and marksmanship. A woman who is able to defend herself seems, in my experience, more poised, with greater self-confidence and is at peace with herself. You should explore this path. Perhaps you and Mead could learn together.

I frequently disagree with your views. But I always learn something from you. You force me to think and to re-examine my opinion in view of your observations and proofs. Reading you writings is not a waste of my precious time.



Jessica said...

I e been reading since I attended law school, sometime in 2005 or 2006. I've been a daily reader since then. I love your insights and your humor, Althouse! Thank you.

n7wbjohn said...

thanks - carry on please - John

n7wbjohn said...

thanks - carry on please - John

LordSomber said...

Prorsus et sursum!

Danno said...

Got here late as we were celebrating my son's 25th birthday.

Congrats!! Always learn a lot on this blog and it is interesting in many areas. Only blog on my bookmarks bar.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Eric Landgraf said...
You have many attributes but timidity is clearly not one of them.

Owning a .40 CAL Glock will help you end your timid impulses.


Dude-covered; say no more.

Art in LA said...

Congrats! Every day for 14 years ... that's an amazing feat. I set up a Blogspot blog 6 or 7 years ago now and I *finally* posted for the first time earlier this year. I think I went three days straight and now, sadly, a gap. I'll re-start when I get back home from a road trip. I'm sure I have zero readers.

Phil 3:14 said...

Thx Professor. Thx for keeping the voices in my head going since '08.

Birdwatcher said...

I love your blog, Ann Althouse! I started reading it one day about 10 years ago, went back and read all the archives, and have pretty much kept reading every post until today. Thank you for your writing, drawings, videos, photographs, links, keeping the Comments section open.... Thanks, and God bless you.