For current events reasons, today I thought I’d go take a look at traffic to Mark Twain’s The War Prayer, which I’ve maintained continuously since late in 2001, for then-current events reasons. Typically, in “down times”, the site gets somewhere between fifteen to twenty views each day.

Starting last Monday, views starting to uptick to between around 50 and 175 views per day. Then last Thursday, views spiked to around 1,100 driven primarily by a thread on Democratic Undeground. Since then things have hovered around 50 to 75 views per day.

Yesterday traffic seems primarily to have come from Instagram, and today it’s primarily been from Twitter.

I’ve no idea how I’d first heard of the story. I feel like it might have come from my father. At some point in the blog restoration project, I’ll probably run into the answer to that question. I just remember that back in 2001 when I’d searched for it online it always was on a terribly-designed website with lots of what I’d come to call “cruft”, and I wanted there to be an unadorned, cruft-free version for people, mostly students, to be able to access.

This most recent iteration has been hosted on Carrd for quite awhile now, but I just went in and fixed the fact that it broke when using Reader View (or whatever), because Carrd isn’t really built for long texts, and I had to go make every paragraph a separate Carrd block to fix this problem.

It’s the longest-surviving of any domain I’ve ever registered, and it tends to see seemingly random spikes when linked by teachers in online portals for schoolwork, and then large surges like last week’s driven by the news.


  1. I did some rummaging, and the first reference I could find was from September 19, 2001. By five days later, I’d set up a cruft-free PDF. It wasn’t until mid-October that I registered the domain and simply made a website for it instead.