The end of the year is upon us once again, and with it come a lot of annual reviews and polls and prizes and awards. And once again I have failed (as far as I know) to merit even a nomination for any kind of blogger plaudit. (Well, I was named a Superior Scribbler at the start of this year, of course; but that's a bestowed by a friend kind of honour rather than a triumphing in a competitive vote one, the result of the favourable opinion of one reader rather than many.)
Rather than just sulk about it, I thought I'd invent some awards to give myself.
Most Prolific Blogger of the Year
Getting on for 1,000 posts this year, between my 2 (er, 3) blogs. Crazy. Logorrhoeic.
Most Alcoholic Blog of the Year
My alternate blog, Round-The-World Barstool Blues, of course - which has catalogued my meanderings through Beijing bar life on, I would guess, well over 200 nights out over the past year, including at least two 16-hour binges. Not many people have that kind of dedication. Some bloggers put their heart and soul into their writing, sure; but I give you my liver too.
Most Uncomfortably Personal Blog(s) of the Year
I know, I know, I'm rather too introspective - and ruthlessly frank - at times. Between the two blogs this year, you have been able (if you were so inclined) to chart an odyssey of spiritual torment - stressful interactions with landlords and letting agents, disintegrating professional relationships, a perpetually thwarted love life. If you think this makes uncomfortable reading, what do you think it is like to live it??
China-Basher of the Year
I have mocked the country's lamentable English skills, continued to foment splittism in the Western regions through my coded picture posts, and even dissed the national "birthday" celebrations. No contest, surely?
Most Diverse Blog of the Year
I mean, where else would you find posts on topics as varied as the population dynamics of vampirism, a satirical take on the Chinese government’s attitude to Tibet, a sketch of an opening for a novel about sniper duels in Sarajevo, an essay on Ancient Greek profanity, a dozen Twitter-length ghost stories, a modern art review, a commmentary on “China’s 60th birthday”, the usefulness or otherwise of St Anthony, the first truly comprehensive theory of history, the endless amusement value of Chinese condom brand names, a roundup of favourite film quotations, a meditation on the psychology of ‘bad taste’ jokes, some wise words on censorship, advice on how to make Chinese friends, memorable cinema-going experiences, speculation on the causes of the severe drought in China this year, North Korean chat-up lines, abstract photography, an innovative business idea for an exclusive men’s club, the shortcomings of Beijing taxi drivers, the sex life of Chairman Mao, astronomy (and The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy!), a satirical rundown on some of the most conspicuous elements of “Chinese-ness”, a defence of the “Ponzi scheme”, gay penguins, the difficulties of translating classical Chinese poetry, possible poltergeist activity in my kitchen cupboards, a 1940s advertisement for a non-existent product, the odd outbreak of paranoia, a tribute to Bon Scott of AC/DC (and a passing jibe at Mao), the poverty of scholarship in Chinese academe, the bizarre delights of Victorian magazine advertising, and the Dalai Lama in a Santa hat…. and some speculation on what Internet archaeologists of the future will make of all of this? Really, where??
I feel so much better now.
A Happy New Year to all my readers
(if I have any left after all that).