This is my 1,111th blog entry. I was originally going to mark the 1,000th, but that was right at the beginning of my trip to Easter Island and Chile. And then I was going to mark 1,100, but that was a Saturday and would have interfered with the Saturday Comic, so I decided to wait for this singular occasion.
Entry number 1,000 was also a Saturday Comic, this one:
It’s been an interesting time. This started out as a blog for the Society for Barefoot Living. Somehow I thought I was doing them a favor, but the folks in charge there seemed to think it was fine for the bully there to attack me, and only intervene when I pushed back, hard. Also see Why this Blog is Pretty Much Defunct.
I was pretty mean—I called the guy a liar, which really upset the head honcho there. “Oh, you don’t know that he’s a liar; he really could believe what he is saying.” Yeah, that’s called willful ignorance. He was continually outvoted by the blog steering committee, yet continued to claim I was just going my own way (to the detriment of the SBL). Then when the votes were pointed out, it became that those that voted with me were my toadies. Lies, willful ignorance, whatever.
In some ways I’m reminded of the current flap at Dual Survival, where Cody was driven nuts by Joe’s bullying and arrogance, and the producers allowed that to continue. But in this case, I wasn’t fired—I out and out quit. It was quite clear that the SBL management were never going to effectively punish the bully and were just going to keep blaming me for reacting to him.
But their loss was your gain. I did pull in my old blog entries from there, and they count towards the 1,111. But also, when I wrote there, I cared about keeping the topics quite germane to the group and to barefooting.
Once I was on my own I wrote more about what I felt like writing, even if it was only peripherally related to barefooting (though, of course, anything I did write about was done while barefoot). That meant that, instead of publishing two to three times a week, I somehow started publishing nearly every day.
That also made a difference in the amount of traffic I got.
Every day did get to be a bit much, so I cut back and gave myself Sundays off. And then I came across the idea of the Saturday Comic, which meant that instead of having to think, I just had to search. (Actually, that sometimes takes a lot more time.)
So far I have 64 posts with comics (some are repeats). I probably have about another year’s worth, so you’ll have to stick around if you want to see them.
I keep thinking I will run out of things to say, but I guess it hasn’t happened yet. I have to admit, though, that it is getting harder and harder. That may just be burnout. If I start cutting back, you’ll know why. Again, let me make an offer that if any of you want to become part of a stable of writers for the blog, let me know. And if you’ve volunteered in the past and I dropped the ball—yes, I know I did; sorry—feel free to volunteer again. But everybody should be away that constructing an essay that makes sense and hangs together is rather like English class. Who’d ever have thought that a physics major would spend every morning (or occasionally the evening before) writing an essay?
I also note that overall the blog has gotten 3,014 comments. They are nice to get in that they show folks are reading it.
Most of my hits are on the Dual Survival posts. I’m afraid that the barefooting community is really rather small, so most of those hits are from non-barefooting viewers of the show. But maybe some of them will read some of the barefooting entries and learn a bit more about barefooting. And after all, they are coming from a show in which they got to see Cody Lundin survive just fine going barefoot in all sorts of locations.
(I also suspect the number of real barefooters is rather overstated if you go by the membership numbers for the various groups—either that or they can’t be bothered to look at even my blog, even the most popular ones that have gone “viral” in the barefooting community.)
It’s funny which entries take off. Sometimes I’ll be in a funk and have no idea what to write, so I’ll just throw something off. Somehow, it’ll catch someone’s eye, it’ll get shared, and next thing I know a lot of people have seen it. Other times, I’ll think I’ve got a killer story, and it just sits there.
Over the years, I think the top two barefoot “discoveries” that I am most proud of are finding out about the Seri Boot and finding out about the short story and movie The Man Who. The Seri Boot was in an obscure journal (I don’t even remember exactly how I came across it) and I suspect almost all barefooters were unaware of it or even the possibility of making our own. I also loved “The Man Who”. I’m still looking for the silent movie version, but so many of those early films were destroyed I’m afraid we may be out of luck (which is really tragic).
In addition to Dual Survival being popular, my reporting on the Vibrams lawsuit also racked up a lot of hits (probably from non-barefooters). It’s ironic, since I do rail a bit about calling shoes “barefoot” shoes. (A bit, you say?)
Again, I’m generally easy-going enough (if not attacked) to not care what other people want to wear on their feet. Whatever works for you is fine by me, as long as you let me do what I want, which is go barefoot. But I really object to calling a shoe “barefoot”.
The most popular, real barefooting entry is one I like, too: What Feet Are Supposed To Look Like. As I had to do with a lot of my essays, I really had to research it to come up with the pièce de résistance of the entry, this picture:
I’ve also tried to keep up and report on the research going on regarding going (or running) barefoot. Sometimes that’s easier than others. And I also try to be objective—I realize that bare feet are not some magical panacea that means one is always bigger, faster, stronger, healthier. But I also suspect that for many barefooters, the mental, spiritual, and experiential aspects are more important than whether or not you can run 3% (pulling a number out of the hat) faster (or slower) when barefoot, or whether studies prove going barefoot stresses your knees x% less. (And I say this fully recognizing that for many, going barefoot really does appear to allow many to do stuff they had to give up when wearing shoes—I’m one of them myself. But I worry about the placebo effect, too.)
Anyways, Happy 1,111th to me.
We’ll see where it goes from here. I may take a vacation at some point (though I have this fear that if I stop for a bit all my readers will drift away, never to return).
And thanks for reading.