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For those of us left behind



I remember the way I felt the day Astra Navigo murdered his blog. The day Squatlo killed his. The A Beer for the Shower guys theirs.

We found them in the dumpster, starved and strangled. Not even any blood. Discarded like leftovers. (The blogs, I mean.)

I felt. Betrayed.

This was a wrong, taken against me. Each one, each time. All this senseless killing. Blogicide, and it is not too much a thing to call it that, what it is, blogicide, is always a selfish act, you see, you know, because what about the ones, like us, who are the ones left behind? Left to pick up the pieces after? Left to carry on?

I remember. I remember those cowards. Those bastards. Those burn-outs. I do not forgive.

Now listen to me: I do not know who I am without a blog, not now, or, to be more specific, without planning my next blog post. Endless walks taken to find, hopefully, those perfect introductory words. This time, a relatable title. A repeatable catch phrase. And again and again, like Sisyphus, really, until it is all that I know.

This week, I’ve spent more time offline since, well, since the Clinton Administration. I don’t know why. There’s been no blog planning, either. This post isn’t planned. This post isn’t firing on all cylinders. Perhaps you can tell, perhaps, perhaps not, but something happened either way and what happened was I planned a vacation. My first, or the first worthy of the name, since 2011. I visited a friend. I looked out around me. I read a book for the pure love of reading.

All of these things. They happened. This week, they happened.

I am unfinished with blogging. Far from it. There is much to do. I have yet to post the world’s weirdest-ever flash fiction. The mind-curdlingest insight. I’ve never gone viral. But what does it mean that I feel… free?


Comments

  1. Remember Multiply when each post used to get at least thirty to forty readers? The same people no longer read now. Attention spans have imploded in seven years. People who are not serious about writing, who used to write for fun, no longer write because nobody is reading. It's as simple as that.

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    1. I want to say you're wrong, but it's hard when it seems like internet communication has now reached the emoji and meme stage.

      As a side note, Astra Navigo blocked me for linking to his name in my facebook post on this, of course, Astra Navigo (facebook name Astra Navigo) defriended me back on the day when he said it was time to give him my real name and I did. So maybe not a coward and a burnout, but maybe a little bit of a dickhead. I sort of regret using him as an example of a blogger I miss when I was really mostly using three names that jumped to mind. Dumb ass...

      Delete
    2. Astra and I are no longer connected since I deleted my Facebook account.

      I'm still waiting for the mystery of your photos.

      Delete
    3. OK, I'm going to do it. Although it's impossible to tell it, I write these things in series of seven (more a matter of themes and, well, rising action and closing action than topics), and I'm only three through this series.

      But the next one, by God, it's going to be "Here begins the story of my multiple personas." I've been saying that for almost two years and it's time.

      Delete
    4. That would be a lot interesting blog.this is a perfect mystery.could even be took as an movie.Tim Burton as director,really.

      Delete
    5. If I had my choice of directors for it, I'd choose either Darren Aronofsky or Gaspar Noe.

      Delete
    6. I have heard about them but never watched their movies.only Hollywood director whose movies I watched mostly were Tim Burton and it partly lies with my fascination for both burton and Johnny depp too.they took a biographical movie edwood.such a wonderful movie.your blogging story is a perfect plot for a mystery ,psycho thriller film.

      Delete
    7. Are you saying I seem like someone with a split personality?

      Delete
  2. Your paragraph comparing blogging to the endless task of Sisyphus is brilliant! Blogging as divine punishment . . . yes, yes, it all makes sense now, LOL! And you're right about blogicide -- "The readers! My gawd, won't someone think of THE READERS!" I think that if someone quits blogging, they should put up one final post telling people that and saying goodbye. It's only common courtesy and decency, it seems to me.

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    1. P.S. Oh yeah, while you were on holiday, I gave you a shout-out (kinda) on my blog.

      https://shewhoseeks.blogspot.com/2018/09/lawyer-up.html

      Please don't sue me.

      Delete
    2. I meet a lot of people through blogging - and I don't know that many people. I'd definitely miss the ones I've met here and wouldn't want to just leave them on the lurch.

      I have bookmarked the lawyer post and I'm going to come back around to it, too. Funny, and definitely not the meanest lawyer jokes I've heard, even this week!

      Delete
  3. I've contemplated blogicide several times this year, but I just can't do it yet. If I do I will leave a note explaining my action.

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    1. I hope so!

      I have killed blogs but always kept blogging. Each time, I've pulled most of the old people along with me to the new place, which sort of defies part of the purpose of killing as blog and starting over.

      I know I always hate not knowing what happened to someone.

      Delete
  4. I remember Squatlo Rant. That was a good blog. I missed it when it disappeared.

    There can be times when blogging gets exhausting or burdensome. I find that that happens when one can't escape dealing with stupidity. For those who focus heavily on politics, the time of Trump must be especially wearying.

    There's no harm in taking a break. You don't have to commit yourself to coming back to blogging nor to not doing so. Just see how it feels. You don't owe anything to your readers. If it's not fun any more, why bother? Wait and see if it eventually feels like it would be fun again.

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    1. Appreciate the kind words, Infidel. I sort of miss ranting via the blog. But given the insanity of the current administration's Reign of Error, I'm not sure anyone would be interested in hearing one more voice screaming out in the wilderness. There's already a million others singing the same weary song of panic and depression.

      Delete
  5. What about the bloggers that die? I've followed a few blogs that not only the blog dies but the author too. Really depressing. When I kill my blog I will let people know, not that I'll be missed much. Photos of tacky t-shirts and sheep are hardly memorable.

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    1. You slowed up last year when you were having family stuff going on, and I kept going over to see whether I was just missing posts. You have a lot of loyal readers for a 2018 blog!

      I think I've had a few blogger friends who died. I wrote a post about one last year, and there's another one that used to come by here for whom I fear the worst. I need to ask Fang sometime what happened to one guy.

      If I go, my brother has to tell everyone on here.

      Delete
    2. Who is it? I don't know that many people.

      Delete
    3. Mark Noyce seems to have completely disappeared off the web.

      Delete
    4. https://twitter.com/Mark_Noyce/status/950814654758039552

      idk if he's still appearing on those wrestling podcasts, but yeah, the worst isn't unimaginable. ):

      Delete
    5. Thanks. It looks like he was still active on twitter at least as late as June. Once his blog disappeared last year, I didn't know.

      Delete
  6. In the face of some genuine encouragement, I still have yet to start a blog.
    I lied (as it turns out) and said that I would start one at the end of 2016, but never did.
    I don't think that I can blame it all on politics, although they are surely a factor.
    For years political blogs were the only ones I read and commented on, so I feel a certain need to include them in any blog with my name on it, but that hasn't been true about my blog activity for five years or so now, so what's my excuse?
    I'm gonna run with "I can't even be certain that I'll have internet access past next month" and "the 2G data speeds I get for 20 or so days a month aren't conducive to anything but the most basic of online activity and it took seven hours to get my Windows update yesterday" and slink off to a cybercorner and hope I don't lose too many of my favorite blogs too soon.
    What ever happened to Zaius Nation? Bitch&Whine? The Black Snob?
    And then there are the ones I know what happened to like They Gave Us A Republic, and Princess Sparkle Pony (a stroke, and a switch to Twitter) so how about this?
    I hereby give heartfelt thanks to the bloggers who are still hanging in there after all of this time, yourself very much included.
    Blogging is its own thing, distinct from the myriad other forms of writing there are and those who practice it deserve their own kind of recognition.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. I appreciate the two or three people here who don't blog but still comment, and this is why: I know they actually want to read the blog! The thing is, a lot of us are trading comments on each other's pages, and will comment, from time to time, even on a shaky blog hoping to get a comment in return.

      It happens. We can't pretend it doesn't.

      So commenters without blogs are gold!

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  7. I miss those blogs that disappear without explaination .....like someone died

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    1. Yes! I'm not enough of a techie to ever find someone online who doesn't want to be found, so if someone disappears from their blog, they're gone. I get attached to the people whose lives I read about. Your page documents your life to a point where I think everyone FEELS LIKE they know you.

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  8. I have commidtted 'blogicide' in the past.....I'm sorry,.....I won't do it again. Sounds like you really enjoyed your 'blogcation'.

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    1. My real world vacation is coming in the next couple of weeks, but I'll document it here!

      I am the king of killing blogs, really, and each time, i switch identities. I've been Jerry Larson, Adri Anna Oopsy, Katy Anders, Amnesia Grok, Nasreen Iqbal, and Harry Hamid. I think I'm here for the long run.

      Delete
  9. As one of the "cowards" and "burn outs"... I took my tenuous grip on mental stability as a sign that my blog needed to be put down, in much the same way a concerned owner might have a beloved pet euthanized (as opposed to letting it suffer on for purely selfish reasons). I had allowed the blog, and my obsession with the blogs of others, to affect my personality and in one case, ruin a personal friendship. If I thought there was a happy path back to those carefree days of posting photos, memes, and the occasional rant about current events, I would consider a resurrection... perhaps call it "The Curse of Lazarus" or something. But to tell you the truth, the computer is already more of a time-suck than I had ever imagined possible. To the lovely Katy, I offer a meek mea culpa for having abandoned ship, mid ocean. Hope she'll find it in her heart to forgive.

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    1. Yeah, I recognize an addiction when I see one, and I know what it is I'm part of here, haha. I am humbled to have coaxed you back up from the grave here, if only for a moment, and I thank you for not blocking me for linking to you, as one of the other two former bloggers did.

      Besides, we still get your political thoughts via facebook post, if only in short bursts rather than the long guano posts.

      Delete
  10. Put me in the bastard category (probably). I'm not a burnout or a coward. Plus, if there's one thing I know about myself, it's that I'm a bastard-flavored bastard with bastard icing.

    I'm a "think big" kind of guy. Always have been, always will be. The blog isn't dead in a dumpster, so much as it's a sort of digital corpse that I'm using as a stepping stone to get to my next destination. I've officially started my own animation studio, and right now I'm putting together my very first feature length animated film, The Escape Artist. I'm hoping to have it done by 2020.

    Think big.

    I still follow along your blog posts, and I look forward to that mind-curdlingest madness. And if you want to know more about the film, you're always welcome to message me. It helps to justify the insanity to someone that isn't my wife or my cats.

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    1. I knew there was something big in the works, and I was hoping it wasn't a music album. Not that there's anything wrong with music, of course, but there are only a few things that have less pecuniary possibilities and smaller audiences than blogging, and that would be one of them.

      Animation is probably much more ambitious and much better use of time, long-term, than posting a blog. Wow. I'm proud of you, even though you misled me about "The Missing Link," which has nothing to do with evolution.

      Delete
  11. I often fell like mine is a piece of me. Like a horcrux.

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    1. That sounds like the sort of thing I agree with but am afraid to admit. Two people from my daily life know about this page, and I'm always a little nervous about that, as though they've seen me naked without my knowing or something.

      Delete
  12. I never blogged at the level of you and those you mention but I did blog daily going back to Yahoo 360 and then Multiply. I haven’t blogged once since a Multiply died however long ago that was, in blog years. Occasionally I think about it, quickly dismiss it and do what ever it is I do now, memes. I still look forward to your blogs. Today’s was good.

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    1. Thanks. I'm not ashamed to say I believe that Multiply was magic. There's never been anything else like that and the way it challenged each of us to do better and better. The level there was pretty great.

      Your old blogs (and I hope I'm not out of line in saying this) were explosions of surreal insanity and I loved them. I'm not sure where they'd work today, but... wow.

      Delete
  13. Harry, don't you dare absquatulate your good self from blogger before you learn what absquatulate means. I'm serious, and a grandfather! I'm opposed to abandoning anything as valuable and rewarding as Blogger. I need this venue and you will too --even if you're not a grandparent. There are people yet unborn who will be searching these old posts to find out what the hell happened. Don't despair!

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    1. Ha! I think my ongoing blogging addiction has not abated... although they do say admitting I have a problem is the first step. I've never before admitted I have a blogging addiction.

      I'm a long ways from seeking to break the habit, I think. I have not hit rock bottom.

      Delete
  14. I was getting worried that you were going to commit blogicide. Enjoy the freedom. I know it's hard to do but don't question just enjoy it.

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    1. I am gearing up for my actual vacation soon. I'm only going to have my phone on me for a few days, so there will be no chance for posting the way I post. It will be a full detox.

      Delete
  15. I have been a tad MIA, with having lost a chunk and all, so I didn't have time to notice the absence. I'm glad for that. My grief runs much too deeply when I think another blog has been sent to oblivion, especially a good blog. We can't allow blogicide. It isn't right. It's too... difficult to digest... it leaves too much life unshared (and I don't like that). Now, I shall wait for the world’s weirdest-ever flash fiction. I'm writing... with coffee... Is it here yet?

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    1. It is great to see you around, Magaly! It has been amazing to read your recent posts, which I have been following religiously despite my inability to contribute anything (I write a comment and it all seems ineffective and trivial to be saying at a time like this). Your words have been blogging at its best and I'm there each time you share.

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  16. Good for you going on vacation! I hope you had fun! I have to admit, I think I blog less, then when I first started, but I read more! LOL! I don't know if that makes sense? I thought in the beginning, if i didn't write like 3 posts a week, I was a bad girl! Not any more. I just take my time! Don't be going anywhere Harry!!

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    1. Hi, Stacy. I know I blog a lot less, but I'd like to believe the quality is higher. I reject a lot more ideas before ever writing them now. Posting just so as not to feel guilty is... bad.

      Delete
  17. Bloggers talking about blogs. Way back at first it bother me that non-bloggers couldn't see any appeal to blogging. Why are you blogging? They didn't know what they were missing and on occasion I would try to explain to them the magic. No more. I don't care if they don't "get it".
    The best part about this blogging discussion is there is no talk about gaining followers, rankings and making money. Money, ha you only need it when you don't have it. I do believe that was initial reason for many to start blogs. I had other reasons but the money aspect was interesting at the beginning. But comments and feedback on my posts became the reward.
    While I know I won't be posting as often I know I'll keep it going. Maybe I'll need to revise an old post to give it a measurable pulse but it will stay active.

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    1. That's true - no one is really talking about fame and fortune here. The people left are the people who feel compelled to do it just to do it. And I like blogging because of the immediate feedback.

      I'll keep doing it in some form. Someday, I might not spend so much of my free time planning things out, but there will be some variation on what I do now.

      Delete
  18. You're scaring me. I remember when Brian hit the road, Dr. John went 6 feet under and Andy ran off to Facebook. They left me feeling high and dry. Please don't leave me, too.

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    1. Running off to facebook seems like the worst of those three possibilities.

      Wait... could I get likes?

      Hmmm...

      Delete
    2. No one has ever liked me, but you're more popular. So... maybe?

      Don't go!!!!

      Of if you and reinventing yourself take me with you.

      Delete
    3. I've lapsed into incoherence. That should have been "Or if you reinvent yourself".

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    4. Ha. I'm definitely not disappearing to facebook. And twitter, well, I can't even say hi in that few words. I'm stuck with blogging so long as I stay online.

      Delete
  19. I think I would become physically ill if I stopped blogging. It's journaling, mindfulness, writing practice, human connection, a direction of energy - we're like a pod of dolphins playing in the sea here! Or whatever your aquatic/aerobatic equivalent might be.

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    1. I'm still addicted to it. Taking breaks from blogging and declared myself free of it is like taking breaks from drinking and claiming I'm okay there. (Which I do, too.)

      I still have a few ideas to get down and the need for a little feedback.

      Delete
  20. I just had the best vacation ever. First one in twelve years. That is all.

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    1. That is fantastic. I don't really take vacations, but I'm going to. I've heard good things.

      Vacations with my ex were never really vacations, and that's the last time I tried. So we'll see.

      Delete
  21. My blog is my therapist and also the story of my life. I love the process and am in it for the long haul. I have a long term project to turn all my posts into a large document that hopefully will be read by my descendants, that way I can extend my life beyond the confines of my mortal life.

    There are so many that have fallen along the journey, and I miss them but I've new friends that have come up since.

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    1. Your blog would make a fantastic time capsule.

      I have no descendants, so I'm relying on everybody else to carry on my message, whatever that message might turn out to be!

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  22. Hope the vacation and detox is going well.

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    1. Thank you, Mr. Shife! No complaints so far.

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  23. I got suddenly reinterester in ur blog again.it's pure fun reading it.you should write a book or blog about ur multiple identities,such a perfect mystery.I love this song.few English songs in which words r clear.

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    1. Thanks, Arun. The last couple posts have been doing better than they've done in a while. There are always ups and downs, I suppose, and I just keep trying.

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    2. Looks most of the people who commented in nasreen blog r back now and a few old bloggers too.great reunion.

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    3. And you! You were gone for a while.

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  24. I don't know, blogging is weird. Not that I've ever really explored it, as a space, but still I find it weird.

    There's a really wide and fairly evenly distributed range of points at which blogs get abandoned. We've all seen and smiled at the "hello, I'm gonna start a blog" post from ten years ago, with no other content to keep it company. Some realize it's just not for them after a few posts, others bored after a couple months, and eventually the rest of them just burn out after some amount of years, either by loss of audience, motivation, confidence, or any sequence of those three.

    Interestingly, most deaths I've witnessed had a fairly good community around them, or at least a bunch of regular readers who clumped together around that. Was their ongoing support not worth enough? The bonds not strong enough?

    Of course the internet isn't real life. Sometimes things just take priority.

    Now, because the kind of people who write blogs are often the kind to read them, a decline in the one leads to a decline in the other. But we are clearly long past the glory days of Blogspot and the likes. What else could there be at play?

    I don't think it's about attention span. Blogging is a way different medium in more than just average content length. Perhaps the seeming immediacy of social media is what draws people to it, not for desire of brevity, but that of contact. Typing something, sending it, and having it quickly consumed by your peers mimics much more closely how natural human interaction takes place. Face-to-face, friendly tit-for-tat, instant. That's something blogging could never offer.

    Not that it doesn't have good qualities, of course! In fact, blogging is an overall great medium. Just trying to guess at how these things happen.

    Wow thanks for letting me soapbox I guess. I'll just copy-paste this for today's post, seems fair. (^:

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    1. While wandering blogs (usually from links on others' blogs), I see a lot where the last post (generally from about 2014) says, "Wow, it's been a long time since I posted!"

      Especially here on blogspot, I'm a little concerned by the % of retired people doing the blogging. Great blogs, for the most part, but I'm concerned that it's turning into the equivalent of people who subscribe to newspapers.

      Delete
    2. Agree with your comment, with one caveat: if no one subscribes to newspapers, there will be no money to pay investigative reporters. What's left if no one checks up on local politicians, city councils, school boards? State TV. If you want Faux News to provide exclusive "information" to the sheeple in the herd, do away with local newspapers.

      Delete
    3. Yeah the "okay I'm back" ones are also prone to giving up, I imagine for the same reasons that "hi this is my blog" ones do.

      I'm not sure I understand your concern? An older userbase isn't problematic in and of its own, and as long as they can provide the content to draw new people in, it isn't a symptom of a dying medium.
      But then, for your long-form to compete with social media, you have to be *good*.

      Though I wouldn't attack one specific news network (they're all equally bad an you know it, squatlo), I do agree that local news is suffering big losses, and that means local communities are losing out in all kinds of ways. But hey, age of globalization, local communities don't really matter to the world anymore. ):

      Delete
    4. Squat: Yeah, no one has perfected how to monetize investigative journalism online yet, have they? I try to vote with my clicks, but then Michelle Malkin posts an article called "Here's Why Jesus Wants Us to Jail Babies" and I end up peeking.

      Fang: Yeah, I'm not exactly sure what my point was... Maybe that, yeah, if new people aren't constantly being drawn in, then the medium is slowly dying.

      Delete

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