When a Blog Goes Insane

01 Jun

OK, there’s something strange going on. Today, and the day ain’t done, I have 674 page views on my blog. Of those, 552 are to my post on whether Origen castrated himself. Heck, even the 122 non-distesticulation hits would be a pretty decent day. I have only averaged 100/day for a couple of months since I started it up. The even stranger things is the vast majority of visitors came to the site once, to that page, and from all over the country. I’ve had times where an ISP locked onto the blog with quite a few hits and there was a period a couple of years back where the Russian Federation seemed to take an interest which I have never figured out.

When I first saw the stats for today I wondered if someone had hacked my account with a free car offer or Cirque du Soleil tickets or something. Nope, it’s Origen’s self-surgery or, IMO, lack thereof.

This post has been a favorite since I put it up, supplanting my A World Lit Only by Fire review as the most viewed post. And there have been some rather disturbing search terms which have accompanied it such as, “How do I castrate myself?” or “Self-castration methods.” But whatever’s going on today is something else.

I’m happy for the traffic but it can’t be real – my best previous day was somewhere in the low 300’s. If this has happened to someone before and you have an idea of what caused it, I’d appreciate some insight.

I logged on to work more on, maybe even finish my first session report from Kalamazoo but this has distracted me. Maybe by the end of the week. Or maybe 700 hits/day is a new normal – maybe I should do the ad placement thing after all?

Or not.

Edit: Found it. My blog is on Esquire!. Or a link to it anyway, next to the last paragraph. And I thought it was cool when I started being listed as a source by Wikipedia. Of course the main article has nothing to do with medieval history, unless Bob Schieffer is really old.


Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Blogology



8 responses to “When a Blog Goes Insane

  1. Michael Bower

    June 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Charlie Pierce at the Esquire Politics blog has a wry outlook on the world, and I’m glad he pointed me here. Glad to find your blog, and I enjoyed reading about Origen. M. Bower

    • Curt Emanuel

      June 3, 2015 at 5:14 am

      Michael, Thank you for your comment. Mr. Pierce seems to have some pretty interesting columns. I certainly appreciate the site traffic but it was quite the surprise and I imagine a bit different from what most of his readers are accustomed to.

      Obviously you can read anything you like but if you’d prefer some of my lighter posts, such as the one on Origen, The Acts of Peter is another decent one. I mean St. Peter and Simon Magus in Thunderdome? Can’t go wrong there.

      Take care and I appreciate you visiting and taking the time to comment.


  2. esmeraldamac

    June 4, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Ha! Yes, it’s funny when that happens. I have a post that vaguely references Lord of the Rings in its title, and every few months it’s recommended somewhere and the stats suddenly shoot up. I guess it means we’re extending our reach, with someone else’s help! All good stuff…

    • Curt Emanuel

      June 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      My thing is when AP History testing comes up and “A World Lit Only by Fire Sparknotes” as a search term starts showing up for my review – I doubt the review does them much good. Anyway, my little time in the sun is ended – 678 June 1, 192 June 2 (which would be darn good) and back to 82 June 3 which is close to average.

      I do have an upcoming post on the nature of God once I begin summarizing the Christianity reading period which may gather some interest. But I still have Origen’s testicles (well, not in my possession but talking about ’em gets me a few hits).

  3. Mike

    February 3, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Hi Curt,
    I don’t know what causes these blog spikes (I get ’em too) but a self-mutilation obsessive thing is possible. There’s a fairly disturbing but all too real mental condition where people ideate voluntary amputation and even surgical paralysis to express their mental pain. Your site may be one of the very few legitimate “normal” sites where self-mutilation is mentioned. I too am fascinated by your chosen period of history, but to be honest I found your site only because it came up on a search for evidence that Origen castrated himself. I was following from a passage in Abelard’s “Historia Calamitatum” where Abelard tries to identify his own punishment by castration with the supposed self-sacrificial piety of Origen. I’d better keep the copyright reference where I copy from the e-book:

    “The sixth book of the Ecclesiastical History tells us that the greatest of all Christian philosophers, Origen, inflicted a like injury on himself with his own hand, in order that all suspicion of this nature might be completely done away with in his instruction of women in sacred doctrine. In this respect, I thought, God’s mercy had been kinder to me than to him, for it was judged that he had acted most rashly and had exposed himself to no slight censure, whereas the thing had been done to me through the crime of another, thus preparing me for a task similar to his own. Moreover, it had been accomplished with much less pain, being so quick and sudden, for I was heavy with sleep when they laid hands on me, and felt scarcely any pain at all.”

    Excerpt From: Abelard, Peter. “Historia Calamitatum.” iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    Check out this book on the iBooks Store:

    Maybe you need to find this “sixth book”, to check Abelard’s sources?

    Cheers, Mike

    • Curt Emanuel

      February 4, 2016 at 7:04 am


      Thank you for your comment. Yes, when I have clicked on the links from which people came to my Origen post I have come across items such as forum discussions of people who believe that the troubles in their lives are caused by their sexuality and they believe that the most appropriate antidote is the physical removal of that sexuality. Often their posts reveal a long-term period of severe emotional pain. I’m not qualified to comment beyond this but it is very disturbing to know that people suffer so profoundly that they are driven to consider this.

      The “sixth book” is Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History, VI.8, as discussed (and footnoted) in my original post Did Origen Castrate Himself?.

  4. joao

    December 26, 2018 at 10:34 am

    is the blog active?

    • Curt Emanuel

      December 26, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Not right now. I’m still reading on Medieval History (about to get into N African Christianity & Donatism) but a little while back my life got busy with some other things. I decided I could either keep blogging but do a lousy job of it, IMO, or set it aside. I’m hoping to pick it back up sometime but I have no idea when that might be. I do check it each day and respond to comments.


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