My traditionally local (Duluth area) readership has been disappointed (or pleased) by my recent dearth of posts over the past couple of months. I don’t know if they have given up on me or not as they have in other times of my silence. That’s because their absence has been covered up with new readers who have visited despite my recent quiescence.
In recent years I’ve averaged roughly a thousand different readers each month. For reasons I can’t explain that has jumped dramatically since my fingers fell silent in April. Since that time Lincolndemocrat has gotten on average 5000 visitors a month.
I noticed that starting some months ago I began getting larger page views from overseas. The data for the first half of June 2013 shows that my Japanese and Turkish readers are in hot pursuit of the US readers. The list below from my stats page lists the top seven nations peaking in on Duluth, Minnesota’s Lincolndemocrat:
…………….Pages, hits, bandwidth
US us 2,591 3,514 59.52 MB
Japan jp 1,721 1,721 10.47 MB
Turkey tr 1,266 1,266 4.72 MB
Mexico mx 993 993 3.11 MB
Ukraine ua 885 885 4.51 MB
Peru pe 623 623 1.95 MB
China cn 586 595 22.18 MB
Why should people from these nations flock to my webpage which spends so much time badmouthing the local school board and a Fortune 500 firm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin? I suspect it is because of my use of our nation’s most beloved (except by today’s Republicans) President’s name. If so, Thank Abe! What a great name it is. No doubt Spielberg’s recent movie has encouraged Google inquiries far beyond our nation’s borders.
Its not the new readership that may prompt me to break my recent silence. It turns out my fingers like to pull words out of my brain and spread them on the Internet. My last major silence took place two years ago over the month my wife and I visited Australia. That was a time I resumed reading after the Red Plan Calamity had hung me out to dry. The trip to Australia prompted a major spurt of reading most of it Antipodes related. I’ve recently had another spurt of reading which can be confirmed by checking out my “my reading list” page on my old website. I’ve read books (cover to cover) at a rate of one a month so far this year.
I’m currently juggling books on Lincoln on Twain and the Greatest Migration in American History; that of black Americans fleeing the inhumanity of the South after World War 1.
My most recent post mentioned Life on the Mississippi, the book that made America take Mark Twain’s humor seriously. I cheated by putting it on the reading list. I was only half done but had no doubts that I would conclude it. It was written a few years before the Supreme Court confirmed in Plessy v Fergusson that the South had free reign to pass Jim Crow laws. The consequence was the migration which is described in The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. I read almost fifty pages of Warmth to Claudia today. I ordered it from Amazon last December.
I’m looking through two other books only one of which I’m certain I will finish. Both were purchased at my recent, and second, stop at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. In two days I’m half way through Lines of Contention, Political Cartoons of the Civil War. It will be a nice addition to my book on the cartoons of the years of Harry Truman. The other is the latest printing of Herndon’s Lincoln. William Herndon was Lincoln’s law partner and he decided to defy Victorian convention and write about his longtime friend warts and all. I devoured thirty pages of Introduction by his latest editors and nibbled into the first chapter. I was afraid the writing would be stilted but it is amazingly direct and fresh. I still don’t think I’ll get it read now but I can see why it is the book all Lincoln Historians rely on to know the real Lincoln.
I should also mention the other book I devoured very speedily. Polk, The Man who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman was a fast read. I bought it and a dozen other books a year ago after consulting internet lists of good reads. Polk pretty much finished off America’s borders adding almost 40% to its landmass by fudging a war with Mexico that Abe Lincoln took the lead in attacking in his one stint as a Congressman. It cost Lincoln his popularity back home because Illinois was in a very expansionist frame of mind at the time.
All this reading has put me in a mood to do some writing. It may not all show up here in the blog. I was recently asked to resume my column in the local tabloid. I’d cranked out a hundred columns over a four-year period before I hung it up. At the end of June I’ll submit another and offer them up every other week. The publisher wants me to limit myself to 650 words which is a couple hundred fewer than I generally wrote before. He’s not confident in his reader’s attention spans (or maybe my captivating writing).
And let me be honest. The last time any nation other than the US ranked high on LincolnDem’s list it had to do with some sort of spam operation.