This Site Under Construction

Crowdies –

The facts that 1) there hasn’t been a post to this site in more than a month and 2) there hasn’t been a general outcry over Fact #1 strongly suggests that we are talked out.

There’s no shame in this conclusion. Over the course of the last seven years we’ve had more than 780,000 visitors and almost 24,000 comments in response to 1,720 posts. That’s a pretty long-running cocktail party.

We, your humble hosts, thank you for coming and hope that you had a good time. We’ll leave the door unlatched and the light on for the off chance that one of us will feel moved to say something here in the future, but I wouldn’t spend a lot of time worrying about that possibility.

– Austin, for the Crowd

PS – I’m actually in a conference room doing real work for a client so the post above comes across a little more rushed than I intended.  While I have a few minutes between Wave 1 and Wave 2 let me add that – by far – the most enjoyable and valuable part of this site over the years has been the people who have shown up to comment on whatever silly topics your hosts have seen fit to post. The smartest, funniest commentary has come from you. The best ideas and the most thoughtful positioning have come from you.  Even the people I’ve disagreed with – especially those people – have taught me much.  Thank you.

Back to Wave 2.

35 thoughts on “This Site Under Construction

  1. Dennis Lang says:

    Wow! Good to hear from you. I thought I had unwittingly “unsubscribed”. Yes, it has been a wonderful run. Entertaining and provocative. Super mix of voices on the masthead and attracting some great contributors from cyberspace along the way.

    Kudos and thanks to you folks!

  2. PM says:


    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see
    Lately it occurs to me
    What a long strange trip it’s been

    Been a lot of fun, met some good folks, even had some beers out of it all. Who can ask for more?

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      PM–You had beers out of it all? Nice of you to mention it. No doubt a big bash long anticipated at Keliher’s–Lang here overlooked. Sad.

      1. PM says:

        Yeah, Keliher was pretty coy about it. Couldn’t quite understand it all, but something about someone breaking furniture the last time, so play it close to the vest….

  3. Yeah, it basically jumped the shark after Hornseth left.

    (cymbal crash)

    But seriously folks, I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.

  4. Disappointing choice, I think. Your blog has like 2000 followers. You may be out of words, but the audience that congregates around you remains interested, certainly in speaking to each other. There are resources and easy ways to accommodate them.

    Comment moderation was a disaster, but I get it, and feel at least some minor embarrassment for having loved this blog to death, made it too much work for the people who ran it.

    Topically, this blog was consistently intellectually intense to me. I learned a lot, and thank (in no order) Jim, Joe, and PM for that.

  5. PM says:

    Speaking of wave 2:

    This fun experiment started at the end of the Bush II era in US politics. As we can now begin to contemplate a post Obama era, Jonathan Chait has taken a close look at what the GOP has to offer for the future, and…….it is back to the Bush era!

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/01/george-w-bush-future-of-republican-party.html

    Given that we have already flogged that particular horse to death, I suppose it is fitting that we end this as we began it!

    1. I started a comment last night where I was going to use horse beating as an idiom. But then some sense of the moment took hold of me and I deleted that.

      But look – fact is there’s lots of dead horse beating left to do. Chait can anger me any day of the week, and I need an outlet for that just as much as PM needs to use Chait and the Daily show as an articulation of his various projections. What’s going on is very symbiotic. Then you get Bertram going. Youtube links from various members. It’s very festive, without fail.

      I kid. But you got a couple dozen people who congregate here who are in tune to various topics or even nuances. And this is local, high brow, and unique. It can’t / won’t be replaced.

      You know, I understand where ya think things ran amok. But while acknowledging my role as a bad apple I would assert also there’s been something of an overreaction. The editorial and labor dilemmas that come with comment moderation and make you want to shutter the site arise from the fact that you’re doing comment moderation. So don’t do comment moderation, and don’t worry about it. Remember, it’s the internet. Make PM an author.

      For me, I have in the last six months consistently expressed an intention to be less provocative, cuz I’d like to converse here. But I’ve been thwarted by capricious comment moderation.

      Post this (and don’t make me use my email list). If your mind can not be changed I will not belabor it after you close this thread.

  6. Bertram is wintering in the South of France (Avenue, near 44th St), this year but I dare say, despite continued bleatings to the increasingly rotund Mr. Lambert regarding the veritable plethora of ripe topics (the multiple allures of April Todd Malmlov, “That Hodges Gal”‘s breathless ascension to Mayor and then the sudden reveal of her radical black husband being Bertram’s most current fascinations), I believe the utter fatigue of Obeyme and his failed presidency, and the attendant Recession with No End is what has sunk the once proud bow of the USS SRC.

    The jig is up!

    The beer has been drunk!

    Long live the King!

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Ah Bertram–Even the notorious 3rd-person cynical Bertram capable of springing a smile: “Wintering in the South of France (Avenue near 44th St). Nice!

  7. Speaking only for myself, the issue is not that I don’t enjoy the dialogue or the association – even if only virtual – with the denizens of this locale, but just that I’m too damned busy to take responsibility for maintaining the conversation.

    As an example, I’ve been writing a post for about six months about the NSA’s data collection practices and it’s a pretty good one except that because I get to it about once every week for about 15 minutes, it’s constantly being eclipsed by the latest news.

    The second element is that – as smart and as interesting as this crowd is – after seven years a lot of what we say to each other is repetitious of what we said yesterday, last week, last month and in the last administration. Maybe if we were more successful in attracting new voices I’d feel differently about this but that leads me back to point #1.

    A modest proposal: host your own cocktail parties. It takes all of 11 minutes to create a site that is the technical and stylistic equal (or better) of this one. You can be anonymous if you want or stand on your reputations as you wish. Pick the topics and send fancy engraved invitations. See who shows up.

    – Austin

    1. Said it before, I’d write here. I mean hey, I know I’ve trolled and turned people off and you have no reason to trust me…but you should really take my advice and subvert all those instincts. Embrace your troll…

      Your ownership feeling is understandable, but you’re making this overly complex.

      Actually, the news is a lot of what people want to talk about.

      There’s a certain point where you take your post and say, I’m done, and hit publish.

  8. Joe says:

    Thanks to all commenters and principals, past and present. It takes a village to raise a blog. Well done.

    Autopsy:

    Just so you know, comment moderation isn’t very burdensome. So that isn’t the cause of death.

    Here is what is burdensome for the principals: Writing a steady stream of posts (1,720!) that are at least somewhat thought-provoking, unique, entertaining and supported with credible evidence. Even with our very, very low standards, it’s difficult. I putz all hours of the day, so I can usually find the time to write extracurricularly. While I can usually find the time and interest, I often can’t find the insight.

    To constantly feed the beast, you need about a dozen or so talented and committed masochists posting, and SRC has never been able to attract that much neurosis onto the roster. One by one, we ultimately ran out of intellectual gas.

    I also got weary of the tone of some of the debate too, but I don’t think that was a major issue for most of the principals.

    Anyway, thanks for the nice comments, and back at you. I’m glad I had a chance to do this.

  9. Erik –

    That’s a great site. I’m glad you shared it and I will visit from time to time. I appreciate how hard it is to keep up that sort of pace and how easy it is to lose a couple months because of life.

    – Austin

          1. Dennis Lang says:

            Hey Erik–I continue to respect your passion. Pulling for you to gain momentum for your site and that the energy you have for it never wanes.

  10. Joe says:

    As long as we’re shamelessly plugging, I have a poorly tended garden at http://www.wrywingpolitics.com

    I only post about once per week and require commenters to disclose identity, and those two things make it a much sleepier place than SRC. But, it’s an option.

    1. Your garden would win a prize at the State Fair so don’t poor-mouth yourself. Mr. Loveland’s site is an excellent methadone for those trying to wean themselves off the SRC heroin.

      – Austin

  11. PM says:

    Hey–a PSA here for all of you who find yourselves spending too much time searching the Web for information, as opposed to actually finding really interesting things on the Web:

    Check out Prismatic. Sign up, start checking off your interests, and then spend some time liking and disliking things. Pretty soon, everytime you go to the site it will be bringing to your attention articles and information that you are interested in but had no idea existed. It is a compiler program that can actually learn what you are interested in.

  12. Ellen Mrja says:

    I want to thank all of my co-writers on this blog. You are smart, funny and talented. Best yet: you’re all good people.

    I also want to join in thanking our regular readers. You mostly conducted yourselves as gents and ladies. Just as we did.

    Carry on in good health, with best wishes.

    -Ellen

  13. Minnesotan says:

    I have to admit, even after my vow to never return, I broke that promise to myself and checked in from time-to-time. Enjoyed the debates and the rhetoric over the years. Still think there’s a lot of battery life left in the authors, they just need to be recharged. For example, would love to hear Austin’s thoughts on Target’s response to their ongoing crisis.

    But, it’s hard to write a blog when you have client demands, and wife demands, and kid demands, and SportsCenter demands. Good luck to all!

  14. Hal Davis says:

    I dropped in here one last time, drawn by a Joe Loveland link in his latest blog post. I was just glad that a line from a David Bromberg song was so well memorialized.

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