Beyond the Rhetoric

Some time back, I was tagged by Chang Guohua to do a post like this. In short, the goal is to highlight some of the older content that has been published on this blog over the years, offering a retrospective into the history of the site and what I’ve had to say.

While Beyond the Rhetoric has been around since 2006, I’ve actually been blogging for over ten years. This is in addition to the various other sites where I work as a freelance writer and contributing blogger. And so, for the purposes of this list, I’ve stuck with content that was published right here on BTR. Let’s get down to it.

My Most Beautiful Post:
Why Life Is a Song, Not a Race

The main take-home lesson from this post has been reiterated a few times on this blog, but this iteration was easily the most beautiful. Life isn’t about the destination; it’s about all the singing and dancing that you must remember to do along the way. The embedded video, featuring the words of Alan Watts, is positively life-affirming.

My Most Popular Post:
How to Open a US Bank Account as a Canadian Citizen

Beyond the Rhetoric has always been a personal blog, but I also aim to provide value to my readers by way of useful information. In addition to the various grammar tips, I also share other knowledge that I have gained, like how to open a checking account. According to Google Analytics, this post has the most page views in the life of BTR.

My Most Controversial Post:
Sell Out Bloggers

I didn’t really intend on stirring up the pot, but I had some frustrations that I had to get off my chest. I have no problem with people who make money from their blogs, but there is a line in the sand that needs to be drawn. Ironically, I met Lemmy later on without knowing he was Lemmy.

My Most Helpful Post:
NEXUS FAQ: Skip the Wait at the Border

The NEXUS trusted traveler program is pretty great, helping you skip all sorts of lineups when crossing the border. When I tried doing some research on the official government website, I found the information to be a little lacking, so I put together my own FAQ after having gone through the application process. I’m glad that it has been useful to other people who have considered joining NEXUS.

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me:
But I Don’t Need the Quadratic Equation

It started out with a brief debate conversation I had with Matt Freedman, who was still in high school at the time, but it developed into a much larger discussion. You may not see the direct applications of what you learn in school right away, but recognize that there is long-lasting value to be had there. Education always comes first.

A Post I Feel Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved:
What It Means to Do What You Love

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m really big on life lessons and philosophical ponderings, particularly as they relate to professional endeavors. The lesson of this post is very powerful, which is why I’m a little disappointed it didn’t generate as many comments or page views as I had hoped.

The Post I’m Most Proud Of:
Apparently, I’m a Pro Blogger

The pride I take with this post has nothing to do the writing I did for that post. Instead, it has to do with the fact that someone else referred to me as a “pro blogger” for the first time in my professional career. I saw myself as a professional freelance writer, but it’s very affirming to hear someone else say it.

Five Blogs I Nominate to Snowball:

As part of being tagged by Chang Guohua, I am supposed to continue the “snowball” by tagging five other bloggers to publish a similar list of posts. I chose five Vancouver locals whose blogs I read regularly.

Even if you are not tagged and not from Vancouver, feel free to continue the snowball (and let me know that you did).