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What a Difference a Year Makes
2005.11.19 (Sat) 00:34
When we started our website one year ago today, the United States was in pretty poor shape. The country was being run by an idiot who played to a radical religious agenda in order to serve his true agenda of rampant cronyism. Pseudoscience was being validated by the entertainment industry and an alarming number of people believed in utter nonsense like astrology, spirit mediums, psychic healing, demonic possession, and god (though few believed in ass gnomes). Creationism, an idea that should have died out shortly after man harnessed the magic of fire, was being thrust into public schools, alongside bible classes and the daily uttering of religious mantras. The Neo-Con Christian Radicals (for lack of a better designation, like "Xian Asshats") were simultaneously exerting a growing amount of control over our lives, and at the same time incessantly whining about how they were being oppressed — no small feat of illogic on their parts. And the majority of Americans seemed to think of "intelligence" and "education" as dirty words.
Where are we now? Well, the idiot is still President — though his approval ratings are now in the toilet — and he's still toadying to the religious fanatics and engaging in rampant cronyism. Pseudoscience is still being validated by the entertainment industry, though we'd like to believe that at least a few more people now know what a hypocritical bullshit artist Allison DuBois really is. An alarming number of people still believe in crazy shit (and yet ass gnome belief is still in a lull). Creationism, though dealt some blows to the head and neck, continues its stubborn and ignorant thrust to insert itself into the public schools. Most of the country continues to believe in the biblical story of creation and reject evolutionary theory, even though their actual knowledge on the science of evolution isn't enough to fill a small thimble. The Neo-Cons, well, they're still fucking with our lives, and they're still whining about being oppressed — in fact, their annual refrain about how "liberals" want to kill Christmas has already started up again. And the assault on intelligence and education seems to be continuing unabated.
So, it looks like we'll have to stick around for at least another year if we expect to make any changes around here. Heck, by next November 19th, we fully expect to be living in a place free of stupidity, ignorance, and silly beliefs — just as soon as someone gives us directions to such a place.
What have we accomplished in a year? Well, in keeping with our empirical approach to questions, we've amassed the following raw numbers:
|Number of Rants Posted:||246|
|Number of Comments Received:||1,040|
|Number of Trackbacks Received:||49|
|Number of Total Hits:||1.4 million|
|Number of Total Visits:||135 thousand|
|Amount of Spam Received:||A shitload|
|Number of Score Updates:||Uh...pass|
Which brings us to our next topic — the Score. When we first started the Two Percent Company, our plan was simple — we wanted to build a repository for all of our thoughts and opinions on the problems and issues we saw in our country and in the world. This ranged from politics, to science, to religion, to civil liberties, to various forms of pseudoscience and bullshit. With this goal in mind, we laid out a foundation for the Score, fully intending to flesh it out as time marched on. We gathered up our thoughts, mostly in the form of bulleted lists, and — not wanting to keep everything offline until the Score entries were completed — we uploaded these draft lists to our site.
As an afterthought, we also decided to add a blog to the site, on the off chance that we might want to post a few time-sensitive entries concerning news items and other current events. These were to be our Rants — simple, off the cuff reactions to stories and events that got us particularly excited, interested or outraged. We fully expected to write no more than one or two Rants per month and we figured we'd spend the bulk of our time refining the Score.
However, as happens so often, one project overtook another, and our Rants became so interesting and topical (to us, anyway) that we felt the need to concentrate on them, carefully constructing and elaborating our views on the latest news and discussing and defending those views in the comments. As a result, almost 250 Rants later, we've updated just about...wait, let's count...two of our Score entries, and both of those updates came as a result of — you guessed it — Rants. Currently, most of the Score entries are still the occasionally vague "rough draft" lists that we posted a year ago. Don't get us wrong, we have lots of notes and plans and e-mails from readers that we want to incorporate into the Score, but just about all of our Two Percent time is taken up by Rants and comments.
What does this mean to you? Well, it means that some folks who've written to us over the past year or so — telling us that some entry or other in our Score was inaccurate or not so carefully thought out — have made some really good points. The Score is unfinished, as we haven't yet taken those basic foundations posted a year ago and built upon them a well-constructed framework of ideas and opinions. In some cases, what we've written is pretty vague, and we haven't separated what we think should be done — for example, we think the recording industry should lower the price of music instead of suing their listeners if they truly want to curb music piracy — from what we think must be done — for example, the recording industry is absolutely free to piss all over their client base if that's what they want to do. Of course, our Score entries don't always make these distinctions entirely clear.
So, we'd like to extend major thanks to the folks who've pointed out the flaws in the Score. We know that we haven't responded to all of the Score-related critiques that have been sent in, and for that we apologize. All of them have made us think, and we will update the Score to reflect the intelligent suggestions we've received. In fact, we'd also like to invite others to scan the Score, kick the tires, try to poke some holes in our logic or refute our stances. We can't learn anything in a vacuum — give us some feedback, tell us what you think. For our part, we'll do our best to tighten up our entries, with the help of our readers, over the coming year.
In closing, thanks to everyone for making the past year a whole lot of fun. We've thoroughly enjoyed the chance to discuss a wide range of issues with so many rational, intelligent folks. And, in some cases, we've even enjoyed kicking the shit out of the idiots who've stopped by to peddle their personal brand of "moron" to us. It's been a fun and educational trip so far, and we look forward to another great year. And maybe — just maybe — the next year will make a difference, and ass gnomes will finally get the respect they deserve.
— The Management.
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[ Filed under: % Greatest Hits % Two Percent Company ]
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