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Letter from the Editor

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Reviewing "the year that was" is an affliction that affects all of us who ply our trade in journalism. We feel compelled at the end of each calendar year to compile lists of the past 12 month's most significant events. Music and film critics write their "10 Best" movies and albums columns. Even dining critics love to review "the year in food." Like I said, it's an affliction.

Since it's inevitable, let's get it over with ...

One of the pleasant side-benefits of being a blogger is that all the stuff I thought worthy of throwing my opinion into cyberspace about is neatly and chronologically stashed on my laptop. You can literally scroll back through the year and see what was on your mind.

I blogged extensively about the trip my wife and I took to California — a journey that started with our attendance at the Grammys in Los Angeles and was followed by a drive north on Highway 1 to San Francisco. A good way to start the year.

I wrote about Memphis being rated "Most Miserable City" by Forbes magazine, which seemed a big deal at the time but now seems just stupid to have spent any energy on. I posted about Teabonics, my kid's appearance on Saturday Night Live, high gas prices, the NRA's takeover of the Tennessee legislature, Willie Herenton's refusal to debate Steve Cohen, and the shooting of two West Memphis police officers.

By mid-year, I'd become obsessed with the British Petroleum oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. I blogged about it. I wrote columns about it. I even went to Florida to see it first-hand and blogged about it some more.

As the political season got into full swing and the oil spill finally was capped, I wrote a lot about the Tea Party. I weighed in on gubernatorial aspirant Ron Ramsey's comments that he "wasn't sure what a Muslim is" and the "crisis" over a "mosque" being built a few blocks from Ground Zero.

In September, I wrote about the death of my father, as much as anything, to help me get through it. Somehow, writing about the emotions of those weeks helped me process it.

All in all, a heck of a year. I'm grateful to be here, doing work I care about in a city I love. I look forward to 2011 with optimism and the hope that we'll all be here next year at this time to reminisce about it.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

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