I refuse to replace perfectly good words with ugly, cumbersome, polysyllabic abortions which are designed to obscure the truth with a cloak of vagueness, or to clutter good English sentences with a host of qualifiers, de-intensifiers, weasel-words and apologetics intended to sap the strength of the text like a school of lampreys attached to a shark. – “New Year’s Day”
January of 2011 was a transitional month for this blog. I was still only writing a little in advance, and an unexpected event like an illness could leave me flat-footed; hence the rather disorganized “What’s the Buzz?” (in which I clearly state that I’m still manually posting columns rather than scheduling them, a practice I didn’t start until August 1st of that year). “Gilda” was one of the last biographies of someone I knew personally, and “Hello, Dolly!” the last of a non-harlot in the harlotography slot; other than the still-undeveloped way I was organizing the miscellanea columns (“January Miscellanea”, “January Updates” and “Holiday Leftovers”) and the absence of some features that came along later, the blog otherwise looked much like it does today. As I mentioned last month, most of the columns from this period even read like my current style, and several (notably “Welcome To Our World”) are frequently linked in TW3 columns.
This month also marked the first appearance of a number of people and things that would later become regular topics. “Dog Bites Man”, “Social Autoimmune Disorder” and “Harm Reduction” introduced concepts I would revisit often, as did “Creating Criminals” (universal criminality); then “Doublethink”, “Grow the Hell Up!” and “Convenient and Inconvenient Victims” all looked at the trend toward redefining whores as victims. And though I had looked at “sex trafficking” hysteria before, there were several landmarks: “Acting and Activism” saw the first appearance of “trafficking” buffoons Mira Sorvino, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher; “A Manufactured War” was my first attack on CNN, “Aggressive Ignorance” my first full-scale mockery of rescue industry organizations, and “Numerology” my first full-scale debunking of the numerical myths. The latter column also provided my first huge surge in traffic when Radley Balko linked it on The Agitator a week later. The post still draws quite a few visitors, but not as many as my expose on “Ashley Madison”, which is my second-most-viewed post of all time.
Of course, there were already some regular features by this time; besides “January Q & A” and a fictional interlude (“The Specialist”), there were the miscellanea and harlotography columns. The month’s holidays were “New Year’s Day”, “Twelfth Night” and “King Day”, and though “January Second” isn’t a holiday, it got its own column nonetheless. Rounding out the month were “The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn” (in which the truth begins to dawn on some prohibitionist sympathizers); “Born, Not Made” (could there be a “hooker gene”?); “Walking Stereotype Sues Whore” (self-explanatory); “Shifting the Blame” (“authorities” pretend Long Island killings are the fault of someone other than the murderer); and “Wild Guessing” (a two-part vivisection of yet another ersatz prohibitionist “study”).