Just a drop of water in an endless sea.
By Thomas Posted in Death of the McChicken | goodbye cruel world | Miscellanea — Comments (92) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
I thought about calling this And thanks for all the fish, but that's been done. I confess to being tempted with The Wrath of the Valheru, but only because it's the coolest phrase in English ever. I also thought about The Bad Wolf, but that would be lost on the non-geeky.
So, I'm leaving.
Traditionally, diaries such as these tend to focus on how awful everyone's been to the diarist; how the blogosphere is a great, teeming mass of unfairness that stalks the land like a great, teeming, unfair, massive thing; and they tend to be interesting only from an anthropological perspective. We've been blessed with relatively few of even the truly interesting type -- the great kowalski's numerous successes in defying convention notwithstanding -- so I'm hoping this one will at least do all the budding archaeology majors a service.
One last time, please, read on.
I've been with RedState since just before it went live, and it's been one helluva ride. In honor of that ride, there are some things I need to get out there.
First and foremost, whenever someone leaves, there's the inevitable Why? followed by the even more inevitable I know the real reason. This isn't helped when the person leaving is coy about the rationale, as some have been, so let me put the record straight, right hand raised, left hand on the keyboard, gripping hand on the Bible.
I'm so tired. That's pretty much it. I don't mean this to be a Waah, waah, woe is me moment -- if what follows doesn't make clear how enjoyable all this has been, nothing will -- but it really does take a lot of effort to make this nominal hobby work, and balancing that against a job that eats, and has always eaten, a lot of my time, and an ever-growing brood, is a balancing act without easy parallel. Moreover, it has been driven home to me by everyone's decision to focus on the 2008 GOP Presidential nomination, forsaking Congress and local government, that my voice carries a lot less weight than it once did -- a good thing, I stress, because that means the community has several hundred minds of its own, but a tiring thing, nevertheless.
I have lost a few friendships as a result of my work here, including one that I treasured, of someone I admire and respect (and rather like) to this day. I'm by nature a fairly darkly cynical fellow, and the occasional cheerleading that is needed for good Party efforts has become harder of late.
I am, until the end of this diary, a Director of this site, and I am honored to be one; but my chair is a rotating one, and it will soon be filled by another. My production on the site has become limited to behind-the-scenes work, some nasty troll-killing, and the odd bit of meta-site work to keep the comments and diaries from getting out of control. In other words, my real value to the site has plunged to very close to
And, I must confess, I no longer take the great joy in troll-killing that I once did. It's a short, grim smile, where before I'd have a grin that would last whole minutes.
The intra-site bloodfest that has been the 2008 primaries has been ... hard. No matter what someone says about your preferred candidate -- or their own voting tendencies -- it would have been nice if most folks had remembered that we're gonna wake up next to each other the morning after the primaries, and that we can't do that thing where we awkwardly pause before mumbling something, grab the keys, and never making eye contact, hurry out the door. Basically, it's been like having a year of Schiavo and Miers all bundled up into one big lovefest that never ends: Obsessive ranting and spinning and condemnation among folks who normally share politics, conversation, and hobbies is enough to drive anyone who cares about this site bonkers.
I have the option to remain a Contributor and moderator; but I don't do halfsies.
Because the seat is rotating, this is probably the best possible time to hang up my holster, smile, softly sing A Wanderin' Star, and leave.
So, that's why. Nothing romantic, nothing special, just being ready for a break at the right time.
That leads to thanks where due.
First, I owe Ben, Mike, and Josh a sincere thanks for bringing me on board as the least talented, affirmative-action Cajun Editor three and a half years ago; and an even deeper thanks for opening the toolkit to me, while I was making fun of Mike's shirt, no less.
Second, I owe Ben, Erick, Clayton, and Mike, a thanks for this turn at being a Director. It was worth the wait, guys.
Third, I owe my fellow Contributors a hearty round of thanks for putting up with, befriending, and offering encouragement and jibes to me when I needed both. I'm privileged to have been part of such a wonderful group, and don't ever think I don't know it.
Fourth, I owe every diarist and commenter whom I haven't banned (permanently) a sincere round of thanks for the good arguments, the repartee, and Tbone's Cajun jokes. Actually, that last leads to an important point: A lot of the smiles, laughs, and happy cackles of determination I've experienced these last three years are due in no small part to all of the wonderful members of the community that have made their online home here. Naming Tbone doesn't take away from the hundreds of others whose words I've treasured; I could name them all day, and still not finish.
Fifth, I want to take a moment to thank Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, Duncan Black, Oliver Willis, the whole crew at Obsidian Wings, and the writers of any other far-left wing moron factory I've inadvertantly omitted, for sending us the waves of cretins who've, between them, managed to make target practice a sport for the whole family again. A special thanks for MKS, acupuncture-boy.
Sixth, Rachel: Thank you for sending me one email that kept me going when I thought I shouldn't. And congratulations again.
Now, a few remaining administrative notes.
First: I have withheld any statement of support for any GOP Presidential candidate because it seemed like bad idea, as a Director of the site, to make such an endorsement, and -- God, how I've waited to say this -- because the whole damned lot can go to Hell. What an incompetent mass of horse rear-flesh bound up in what, on paper, is one of the most talented groups the GOP has ever had. I could go on, but the full thing is in my concurrently posted piece, And the horses you all rode in on, one at a time, then rotate.
Second, Lonewacko Blog, if you're reading this -- and based on your obsessively repeated tirade across half the blogosphere and Wikipedia, you are: I banned you, you dirty little racist. I banned you for being a racist, and for showing us that you are a racist. I did not ban you for criticizing George W. Bush, in no small part because where you disagreed with him, I have publicly disagreed with him, you diseased piece of rhinoceros pizzle; I banned you because you decided to share your problems with brown people on this site.
Speaking of whining, puling little men without chests: Dear Adam Bonin: You pathetic excuse for a mockup of a pigtailed little girl. You were banned because you were an obnoxious ass who liked to drop off-topic bank shots into comments whenever you didn't like the way a thread was going; because you lacked more than infrequent courtesy in how you treated a place that doesn't resemble the asylum you call your community home; and because whenever you felt threatened, you went running for Mommy and Daddy as loudly as you could. Your weaselly attempt to frame (I used a word with which you're familiar to bring this back into the realm of the comprehensible for you) your banning to any and all who would listen is replete with a priori conceptual, logical, and, best of all, factual errors on a nearly unparalleled scale. The next time you want to whine about getting a richly deserved punishment, save yourself the embarrassment of making up new facts you like, and just cry into the hindquarters of a baboon at the Philadelphia Zoo.
Speaking of little girls: To Matt Stoller: One day, you're going to learn that there are consequences to pathetically seeking friendship from people offline, then knifing them in the kidneys online, not least of which is that when those pictures of you and the obese, naked clowns come to light, there's no one there to defend you. I will come out of retirement the day that happens, Stinky, to pee on the burial site of your reputation.
Third: Oh, how I've longed to say this -- to the astroturfing advance scouts of certain political campaigns, many of whom alternate between singlehandedly driving the collective IQ of the site from above 100 to just above 1, and to suddenly turning out pieces that magically change writing styles and abilities: I hope your conscience lets you sleep well at night, because were I the little angel on your shoulder, I'd be trying out an Ogre Battle style halo shot on your skull nightly.
Fourth, because no one else will say this: Mitt Romney belongs to a cult. Not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; that's no cult. His freaking political campaign is a cult, and I could have been one of his supporters but for the cult he founded. A pox on everyone formally associated with the campaign, and indeed, everyone ever formally associated with that cult.
Fifth: Guys, when commenting, please hit preview. Please.
Sixth: To all the banned Ron Paul supporters who've filled my inbox lately: Go worship your Nazi-coddler in the privacy of your own home, and stop wasting my Party's time with it. Oh, and **** Ron Paul.
Final, random notes:
These will be the last words I ever write at RedState. I can say that with 99% certainty, because I'm a horrible sucker for nostalgia. I sometimes, on long road trips, pass the old Publix where my wife and I shopped for the first couple of years after we married, and I tear up and start choking just driving into that parking lot. Dropping three-point-five years of commitment into a website means that if I don't want to bawl like an Adam Bonin, I need to stay away.
I've transferred my best content to my old site, now three and change years quiescent. I may write there again; I may not. I'd say comments are welcome -- and they are -- but I can't get any commenting service, neither Blogspot's, nor a third-party's service, to function there, and I'm too cheap to spring for private hosting.
The email address on the contact form is going to go inactive right after I hit "Submit" on this diary, so don't use that if you want to get in touch. My old blog has my current email address on the left bar.
I have five regrets, in total, one of which, no one knows but yours truly. One is known to three people, and can be guessed by about four more. One is known to every Contributor, each of whom is sworn to secrecy. Aside from those, I regret not being able to see RedState 3.0 -- you guys have no idea the work that's going into that. It's gonna rock. The fifth, and most poignant regret, is that I never had the chance to properly beg Ramesh Ponnuru to write something for the site. National Review may have slipped a peg on the old respectability scale, but not because of any work of Ramesh's. The man is one of my heroes, and this regret stings.
There's so much more, but I don't want to make this diary any longer than it already is. Thanks again, folks: It really has been an adventure. So:
I don't know half of you as well as I should like, and like less than half of you as well as you deserve.
Always all the best, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year,
Thomas H. Crown