June 10, 2016

American Digest is 13 Years Old

American Digest: 10,000 entries.
"The Top 40" / SideLines: 19,200 entries.

Well, turn around and a decade plus is gone. Or, to put in another way, I've been trapped inside this thing for nearly 5,000 days. Which was pretty much as long as The Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned at Château d'If before digging his way out. I'd do the same at this point but all I've got is this little rock hammer I keep inside my Shawshank Bible.

Yes, indeed, every year about this time my aging brain goes, "Hasn't this thing been going on for awhile now?" And I look deep, DEEP, DEEP into my archives and there it is. At least in this iteration.

In a previous iteration American Digest goes back to the first half of 2002 and was spurred on by 9/11. The Wayback Machine has a couple of captures from that time:


Of interest from that era are the names in the sidebar. Arts and Letters Daily is still going as one of the original "curated and aggregated" pages although it has outlived its creator. Andrew Sullivan seems to have disappeared into his odd gay marriage and the ravages AIDs battles can wreak on a body. He still shows up from time to time on the web as a "consultant" on various "TrumpVeryEvil" pages. Best of the Web rides on lashed to the Wall St. Journal. Instapundit still looms over the center-right blogsphere like the Colossus of Rhodes. Lileks, James is still cranking out pop culture commentary with the best of them even if I miss his rants. Jonah Goldberg continues at his high-paid sinecure at National Review as the Pillsbury Posterdoughboy for Cuckservatives. Kaus is still about and still working against illegal immigration still without making the inner neural network connections with conservatism. The rest fall into the categories of "I don't know" and "I don't care."

The second oldest post in American Digest's current incarnation is this one from June 2003 starring Michael Totten (still current and working after all these years) and Roger Simon (also still going strong even if his tennis game isn't improving.)

Small Satori: Zen Moments for Democrats @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Over on Roger Simon's comment boards the thoughtful and articulate Michael Totten is working his way through the current flavor of Democratic Party Angst:
Do I want a Democrat to win the next election? In the abstract, yes, but in the real world, it depends. I've never voted for a Republican president in my life, and it would be physically difficult for me to do it. But I can't vote for a peacenik. If the Democrats pick a peacenik in the primary who wishes Saddam Hussein were still in power, I will have no choice but to vote for Bush. I'm not going to get on the wrong side of this issue. I would rather break party ranks.
I would choose Joe Lieberman or Dick Gephardt over Bush. I would probably pick John Edwards over Bush, too. I will not vote for Howard Dean or John Kerry, and especially not for Al Sharpton.
It's good to hear someone like Totten looking about for a viable Democrat to vote for. I'll be looking too since I too don't know if I want to break a life long voting record of never voting Republican. Check that. I just lied. I looked into my heart and realized that right now, today, I desperately want to vote for Bush. And I suspect that there are other deep and secret longings among lifelong Democrats like myself. And I suspect that no matter who the Democrats run there will be a goodly number of people who talk the Demo talk but won't walk the Demo walk when the curtains close behind them on election day. I looked at Totten's list of likely candidates (two) and realized that old and deep truth of electoral politics: "You gotta beat somebody with somebody."
I would think, at this point and with this year's offering of the ClintonThing that Totten is well over his yearning to find a Democrat.

Also back at the beginning I was given over to posting my photos from my massive photo project "1,000 Photos of New York City." This was one of them from June, 2003,

Street Scenes: On 14th Street. @ AMERICAN DIGEST

At that time I was hearing Bob Dylan in "Like a Rolling Stone" sing:
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People call say 'beware doll, you're bound to fall'
You thought they were all kidding you

These days, looking at the bills, what I hear is more like:
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal

Ah well, we didn't get into this line of work to become rich.

So it's been 13 years with more at the door. I guess the most I can say at this point I feel (even if I do not dress) exactly like Lili VonSchtup from Blazing Saddles:

And the other thing I can say is to thank you, past and present readers all, for tuning in. Thank you all very much.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at June 10, 2016 2:03 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

It's been a pleasure. Thank you!!

Posted by: leelu at June 10, 2016 3:34 PM

13 and just entering adolescence. Good times, good times.

Posted by: Ed McCabe at June 10, 2016 3:41 PM

Couldn't help but notice your link list on the sidebar of that screen shot: "Little Green Footballs" Now there's a story of insanity running deep.

Posted by: Doug at June 10, 2016 3:59 PM

Nice work, Gerard. It was nice to have hitched an occasional ride on your wake. Maybe I should get my skis back out.

Posted by: Andy at June 10, 2016 4:00 PM

I've been reading you at least 10 years, and I send links to your stuff almost every day. When I feel like pulling out all my hair, I come here and get grounded again, or laugh my butt off. I'm going to miss you when the SHTF.


Posted by: SAHMmy at June 10, 2016 4:11 PM

Jumped in in '05, and, you have been my first stop every morning. Thanks, Gerard.

Posted by: Leslie at June 10, 2016 4:26 PM

Just think if you had named your photos, "Humans of New York." :)

Still a daily read, still a delight. Thank you so much, Gerard.

Let's hope for a 14th year that sees America as Great again.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at June 10, 2016 4:35 PM

I didn't realize that I actually started (a month) before you did. Congratulations on thirteen years. Congratulations on not burning out. Many, many have. I'm pretty close myself.

I've enjoyed your site greatly over the years. Thanks for all the free ice cream!

Posted by: Kevin Baker at June 10, 2016 5:03 PM

Thanks for all you've done. Everyday a wealth of information. I don't remember when I happened upon the site. In 2003 I was still in Brooklyn swilling after the Day Of Helicopters.

Posted by: Will at June 10, 2016 6:07 PM

It has been a pleasure to read you all these years.

Congratulations, and thank you.

Posted by: TmjUtah at June 10, 2016 6:55 PM

Your Life in Weeks: The matrixes

Posted by: G6loq at June 10, 2016 7:11 PM

I got referenced here through MICHELLE OBAMAS MIRROR, which is a daily stop. American Digest is also a daily stop of the few blogs I read. Yourself, Ghostsniper and Rob Dewitt inputs are always enlightening...even when they disagree with a post of mine and torch me. heheh.

I watched this clip of Blazing Saddles so many years ago with my father when I was about 12. "Always coming and going and going and coming...and always too soon". My Dad laughed out loud and I didn't figure that out for about another decade.

Posted by: Snakepit Kansas at June 10, 2016 7:23 PM

Happy blogiversary, Gerard. I don't remember how long I've been reading here, but am very, very glad you are still here.

Posted by: Julie at June 10, 2016 7:54 PM

Gerald: I've been reading your blog for a long time now and I'm very grateful. I've discovered some wonderful blogs--Zman, Remus, &c. Thank you muchly!

Posted by: Brooks at June 10, 2016 8:24 PM

Great stuff I tells ya. Just great stuff!

Thanks a bunch and keep on truckin'!

Posted by: Old Codger at June 10, 2016 8:41 PM

The fun is here, and thanks to you, Gerard. 13 years? That's like a millennium in blog years.

Top of my daily reading, directly after Drudge. I usually mutter to myself, "now for some red meat," as I click on American Digest.

Like Mel Brook's cowboys in the sketch, I'm celebrating your longevity. Please continue.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at June 10, 2016 8:54 PM

Keep it up Bro! First stop after coffee each morn.

Posted by: JoeDaddy at June 11, 2016 3:22 AM

10 years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

Older, grayer and maybe a little wiser we all are now than back then. So many of your wonderful essays to look back on. So much good humor. Your brush with death. How we have all changed.
The Name on the Stone.
Vaya con Dios, friend.

Posted by: David at June 11, 2016 5:18 AM

Thanks for the site Gerard. Congratulations. In a perverse way, I like it when I miss my daily dose and have to binge read the site on a Sunday morning. Best time spent with a cup of coffee.

Posted by: Alex C at June 11, 2016 5:57 AM

I love stopping by your oasis. Thank you.

Posted by: James LePore at June 11, 2016 7:09 AM

I looked through your photo album last evening. Many familiar spots. The images of the missing and lost on 9/11 are heart rending, still. Nice to see Sam's. The wife and I would go down for some pasta and ambiance, watch the old guy shuffle back and forth. Also pleased to catch sight of our old apartment building at 5th and 1st. (fourth floor, we looked down on the Porsche). Nice collection, evokes much of the sadness I always picked up on, in the city.

Posted by: Will at June 11, 2016 9:54 AM

This is one of only a dozen bookmarks I check out every day.

Out of 186,954,288,136,891 blogs... not bad!

And being the same age, I can relate to all the historical posts, like Leave It To Beaver, Howdy Doody, and the Civil War...

Posted by: Smokey at June 11, 2016 10:41 AM

I'ts been a real trip. Thanks for letting come along. Thirteen years! As the man said, Tempus Fuggit.

--- Fuggit, from an old Redd Foxx routine and no, you don't want to know.

Posted by: Roy Lofquist at June 11, 2016 11:05 AM

Glad to have you with us this long! Hope to have you with us a lot longer!

Posted by: Teri Pittman at June 11, 2016 12:20 PM

No.. THANK YOU... I don't say all that much but I've been here since early on.. and it's been a pleasure ..

Posted by: Jake in Seattle at June 11, 2016 2:37 PM

I know I stumbled upon you not too long after 911 but I thought it was a little closer to the event. Back when my stops were Lileks, Tim Blair, USS Clueless, and yes, LGF. How the landscape has changed. But you, Mr. Vanderleun, have been doing yeoman's work and you just keep getting better. I don't know how you do it but I do thank you for keeping me sane in an increasingly insane world. A tip of the Hatlo Hat to you.

Posted by: D S Craft at June 11, 2016 2:42 PM

Thank you so much for being here for us.

Posted by: Browncoat at June 11, 2016 3:59 PM

Always the last blogstop, for ending on an up note.

Posted by: Foodog at June 11, 2016 4:04 PM

I try to stop by every day, Gerard. I essentially use AD and Drudge Report as my springboard to the events and the analysis of daily events.

Remus, Molyneaux, Whittle, Fernandez, and Greenfield resonate with me.

I loved watching you haze the millenial jagaloons on Twitter but I had to swear it off for my peace of mind.

As always, I am very grateful for the amount of time that you put into curating the site. I appreciate and trust your judgement.

I'll gratefully place a few spondulicks in the tip jar as a birthday gift.

Posted by: Clinton at June 11, 2016 6:32 PM

Big hugs and kisses.

Posted by: Daphne at June 11, 2016 8:03 PM

Thanks Gerard. I don't really remember when I started visiting probably more than 10 years. Keep up the good work I do appreciate your brand of sanity in a mad world.

Posted by: tonynoboloney at June 11, 2016 8:05 PM

I do enjoy reading your words, how you put them together to paint your thoughts. The "enough gin to fill the bathtub" makes me smile today.

Here's to 13 more, and more!

Posted by: DeAnn at June 11, 2016 8:24 PM

Here's to 13, or to 113, more.

Posted by: CGHill at June 11, 2016 8:51 PM

Your site is one of the best. It is well laid out and stylish. I view it every day. Thanks!

Posted by: Quent at June 12, 2016 7:02 AM

Thank you for sharing your grace.

Bravo! Encore!

Posted by: Howsrd at June 12, 2016 8:37 PM

I appreciate your blog and the work you put into it. Thanks for keeping it going. It's been a pleasure reading it.

Posted by: Scott M at June 18, 2016 11:47 PM