Monday, October 08, 2007

Sign off

I started this blog exactly two years ago today. Today, it ends.

I have found it increasingly onerous, mentally draining and difficult to justify the enormous amount of time and energy spent here, all largely for the benefit of search engines and Google bots. I really can't tell how many actual people visit here, but considering that the hit statistics are 95% driven by search engines and hardly anyone comments, there is no strong sense that I am providing much of anything that people find very interesting. As we all do, I had hopes for a little more circulation, but, since a peak last summer, visits have been ignominiously sliding and it feels like I could pretty much accomplish the same things I do here by simply talking to myself in a room. I think we can all agree, that gets pretty boring after awhile.

I've met some great people through this venue, though, and for that I am grateful. I've been pointed to some fine blogs, and I encourage those so inclined to trip on over to any or all of them, which will be listed below (I will leave this blog up for awhile anyway). For the most part, these are blogs you won't find the Blog Establishment mentioning very much, as the A-list has ossified into its own self-referential structure. It was bound to happen, of course, as all social networks do. Nonetheless, I wish them all well and hope the struggle does not seem as fruitless as it does to me right now. Some people have boundless faith and energy in fighting the corruptions and crimes of the political classes of this country and let's give thanks for them. I am not one of them, however. Day after day after day of seeing the same cruel intentions and mean-spirited bullshit spilling across the pages and airwaves has rendered me near limp and lifeless.

I may start up another venue at some point but it will be focused on a subject that, while writing this blog, I have discovered is really where my own true interests lie: the ongoing projects of various competing world powers, the jockeying for position and the American empire's response to the rising and would-be hegemons. I can no longer stand listening and watching the asinine spectacle that passes for politics in these United States; horse races, money races and who wears a lapel pin and who doesn't.

I've come to a conclusion that echoes Chomsky. It really doesn't make any difference on the world stage whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. And as our corporate media will continue to ensure, that situation will only become more solidified. Sure a few domestic policies get shuffled around but the tide has been turning against the social compact for thirty years. The vast majority of people in this country have lost ground on real wages and wealth accumulates at geometric rates in the upper reaches of the richest households of America. And the Democrats had been in charge for most of this period.

But the real march of empire, the undeclared wars, the assassinations, the death squads, the black ops, the coups, all conducted for the advancement of "American interests," has mercilessly continued to beat a deadly path across much of the most destitute and ravaged parts of the world. This has happened with Democratic presidents and Republican ones; with Democratic majorities and Republican ones. Lie after lie after lie about US government comportment in the world, whether it was lying about the Gulf of Tonkin or lying about Iran-Contra or lying about Iraq WMD, has never resulted in even the slightest whiff of accountability for any of the perpetrators, whether Democrat or Republican. What did result in an impeachment? Lying about a blowjob. But you won't see impeachment for real crimes. We all know this is true. To borrow a favorite phrase of our current epoch's lexicon, accountability for real crimes has always been "off the table," forever and always. And as long as that remains the case, then, no, things are not going to change anytime soon.

Key to this, of course, is that Americans must remain misinformed, entertained or otherwise distracted from the real news. The real news is not whatever the fuck Hillary said, or whether Obama wears a pin or Larry Craig in an airport bathroom. It is not even what their "policies" are right now, because, a year from the election, it means nothing. You cannot get a straight answer out of Clinton about Iraq, and for good reason. But you won't be told what that reason is. The truth is known but no one can acknowledge it.

The real news is hard to come by through passive absorption of corporate media and for good reason: they are corporations making fortunes from arrangements as they exist today and which are intended to be extended as long as possible. Those arrangements are not very pleasant viewing for most Americans, which is why news about them is not forthcoming. In fact, most Americans would be damned horrified to know all the things that are executed "in their name." This is why, having been publicly exposed, torture must to be turned into something palatable, something that "must be done" to save lives. Can you conceive of having conversations about the efficacy of torture before Abu Graib was brought to light? But we do it now. And on national television and especially on Fox News, where it is now pumped into the soft heads of millions that torture is not only necessary but just, while presidential candidates are asked whether they "pray for the troops." Torture and praying. All together now. Torquemada would be proud.

So, no, I can't really stand paying any attention to that which passes for politics in the United States. It is increasingly stupid and always irrelevant to the conduct of American empire.
***

Well, I've certainly gone on a bit longer than I first imagined. I hope I haven't bummed you out too much. As I said, another outlet may arise sometime later and I'll let those I know about it, if or when it happens. And visit the blogs linked below. You are sure to find some good work there.

Cheers and good luck in your endevours, whatever they may be.



-- Ken Anderson


(in no particular order)

The Newshoggers
Hotpotatomash
The Osterley Times
The November Blog
Swedish Meatballs Confidential
Leftwingnutjob
Existentialist Cowboy
Another Point of View

and special shout to*

Toner Mishap and
The Heretik

and thanks to

spiiderweb

for all the comments.

*I think the Misanthrope may have been my first link and The Heretik punched up the first comment.

43 Comments:

Blogger noahnoah said...

Dude, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

6:39 PM  
Blogger Firestarter5 said...

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.

Edward R. Murrow

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to see you go. I do understand, I'm extremely discouraged myself. I've been reading your posts for some time with a feed reader (am I invisible?), and appreciating thoroughly your efforts and skill. Thanks for being here and speaking out.

7:28 PM  
Blogger spiiderwebâ„¢ said...

I understand. The effort and time are extreme, but I truly hate to see you go.

Perhaps 4 or 5 people comment on my blog posts and I appreciate that, but I'm not a great commenter and know they read if not comment.

If you feel the need for an outlet, you are always welcome at SPIIDERWEBâ„¢. Just email me.

Bye for now good friend.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

I drop by every few days and read everything you've posted since I was last here. I'm going to miss you.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Mentarch said...

Aw no ...

Come on man - your writing is excellent and your observations and conclusions are always spot on.

We need more like you - not less.

Please?

10:19 AM  
Blogger The Misanthrope said...

This is indeed a sad day. I am glad I was able to be your first link. I loved your posts from the first moment I read them. Now, who the hell can I steal from?

Let me sincerely make this offer to you: I would love to have you write for Toner Mishap anytime you want. For some reason I have gotten a second wind, but I have my good-bye post ready to publish. I would be honored to have your insightful commentary. However, I do believe that numbers everywhere in blogland have dropped. We used to get 500 a day at our peak, today 200 is a big deal and yes it's Google people looking for shit such as The Simpsons or Bjork, but hey every now and then someone sticks around.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous HPM said...

you have bummed me out big time.

12:29 PM  
Blogger The Misanthrope said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:36 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Hey folks,

Thanks for your comments and various offers to blog with you all. Obviously, I didn't make it clear that I will be working on getting stuff published elsewhere, bigger, longer articles, etc. I just found that doing it here hardly felt worthwhile. I'm sorry Firestarter5 thinks I'm a sheep.

I have published articles in The Humanist magazine, OpEd News, Smirking Chimp. This outlet has been cited by The Guardian, Bradblog and The Booman Tribune. I have my other outlet, which has been neglected for awhile now, The Bonehead Compendium, that I would like you all to check out, if you can.

I think my decision is based on my desire to write longer, more in depth stuff. I have also recognized that that kind of article needs a different venue. Most blogging, I think we can agree, is not geared toward anything approaching "depth." There are exceptions, of course, but in wanting to do more of this sort of thing and considering the effort it takes to produce those kinds of articles, I definitely feel such a effort in writing and research must also be paired with an effort to get it "out there." And "out there" sure as hell hasn't been here.

So, please note that, as I indicated above, I have an idea to start another outlet, which will be focused on foreign affairs and America's intersection with the outside world. That is where my interest really falls.

Anyway, thanks for the offers and comments! And stay tuned for new stuff.

cheers!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous filcher said...

Sorry to see you go. You and the Newshoggers were my 1 2 to read each day.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Stop fucking with us Bonehead. Nobody runs a sweet rag like yourself and then just walks away from it - not without incurring the most unpleasant pornoschtikfic wrath of the SMC clan of meatballs.

We will grant you a hiatus - even a long one at that. But leave? Forget about it buddy. That's not a fair way to leave a lover.

Meatball One

6:53 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

M1:

"pornoschtikfic wrath." That sounds rather bad and certainly not what one would want to incur.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

It sounds bad but a lot of upstanding folks can be heard in the quietest of moments secretly begging for it.

Beyond begging...

Perhaps you might consider, if all other solicitations fail to twist your heart and mind to keep the farm, to post links here to other forums and venues where your writing appears.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Cernig said...

Hey Ken,

All the best in your move to longer articles and more respectable media :-)

But if you ever want to put some words up on an unrespectable blog in the interim, we'll be glad to host you as a guest psoter or occasional contributor at Newshoggers.

Regards, C

5:27 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

I know you're joking about that, but the only problem I've had with blogs is the fact that mine is not respectable.

I need a "clean slate," a phrase that is embedded in my head now that I am reading Shock Doctrine. Hopefully, my clean slate won't lead to unmitigated suffering.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Robb said...

Christ!, I feel a bit responsible... As a reader (and a friend) I used to check in daily, comment a bit, and even sumbit ideas of things that I wanted to see you research.
But recently I became so frustrated with all the stuff that I read on a daily basis that I started check in less often because it only depressed me further.
We live country where people care more about reality shows, custom ringtones, and magnetic ribbons than they care about the fact that world is being screwed over for profit and ideology.
I hope that your frustration, as well as mine, is temporary.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous marain said...

I didn't know about the Bonehead Compendium until now, so I will start reading it instead of this one from now on. Will I be able to find your future new blog from there? I have very much enjoyed anythingtheysay and I have learned a lot from reading your posts here, but I never made any comments. I'm glad you are still writing somewhere and that I'll be able to keep reading your work. Good luck!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous DKM said...

Ken,

Sorry to see you go. I would try to visit every week or so. I confess, thought, lately it has been less frequent. Thanks for all your efforts. I have really enjoyed your posts.

Cheers,
Dan

1:31 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Thanks, Dan and marain. I appreciate the sentiments. And, no, Robb, it is not your fault.

Cheers!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Firestarter5 said...

uh....the sheep thing wasn't directed at you personally, it was more along the lines of your view of both Democrats and Republicans. Do you choose between bad or worse, either way you lose.

**We just had our Provincial elections up here last week, and there were 4 parties to choose from in my riding! The Green Party (We Love Trees) is the 4th largest political party in Ontario now.

6:52 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Firestarter5,

Ahh, I see. Forgive my misunderstanding.

The very idea of a viable multi-party political scene in the US is antithetical to the two controlling parties. They have constructed, over the years, an elaborate set of hurdles and thresholds designed primarily to prevent other political parties from becoming serious contenders. This is not an accident. They exhibit the precise behaviour that all corporate entities do in a market place (yes, the Democratic and Republican parties are registered corporations): they seek to eliminate competition.

As viable and in demand as other political parties might be, the problem for American citizens is that the Dems and GOP are the corporations that get to write the laws and, naturally, those laws will favour them -- and their friends (just look at the immunity the House tried to grant the telecoms). I don't see that changing much in the near future either.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Kel said...

Ken,

I will be very sorry to see you go. I honestly think you provide some of the best informed observations of any blog.

Please drop me a line whenever you know where you will be writing next. And thanks for my Bonehead Compendium T-shirt. I still wear it around London and get strange looks from people.

And various other more important blogs than mine have made the offer, but if you ever want an article printed, my door is always open to you.

Good luck in everything that you do.

10:05 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

"... Bonehead Compendium T-shirt. I still wear it around London and get strange looks from people."

eeehxxxcellent.

Thanks for the offer, Kel. I'll keep those who've asked, informed. I'll probably post a link to a new site here, as well. Pretty sure I will be starting one -- even have a name reserved -- but still psyching up.

Frankly, after watching the Dems offer up immunity to the telecoms, things will obviously continue like this for awhile. Everything done by that pathetic Reid and the embarrassment that is Pelosi has merely reinforced my sentiments here. They never fail to quash my cynicism. I wonder if Dodd is going to be effective with his promised filibuster.

Oh, who cares?

8:03 PM  
Blogger Kel said...

Bhc,

I wish Dodd all the best with that. Like yourself I find the general Democratic spinelessness simply vomit inducing. It makes me think that they have never looked at an opinion poll in their lives.

As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out Bush has actually been given more leeway since the Democrats got their majority than they ever did when things were controlled by the Pepuglicans. It's simply breathtaking. Living over here under Blair was testing, but watching this bunch of Democrats - with the obvious exception of noble men like Feingold - makes me thank God I don't live in your country. It would make me want to scream.

Please post a link when you finally psych yourself up enough to start a new site and I'll obviously provide a link immediately.

And the offer to post at the OT any time you fancy is a serious and an open one.

Take care my friend.

2:55 PM  
Blogger gary said...

Your post certainly resonates with me. I've been blogging about two years myself, and get about 200 hits on a good day, including the guy who was searching for "rectal thermometer porn." Meanwhile I often neglect my own blog, much less have time to read good blogs such as yours.

Let me suggest though: don't delete the blog. People will be googling "Valerie Plame" or "lesbian barbies" or whatever for years and I am sure will find material of interest on your blog.(Actually googling "lesbian barbies" will probably take them right to my site.)

2:32 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Well, Gary, I don't think I've ever juxtaposed the words "lesbian" and "barbies" in any post, though this comment may now receive some hits. Nonetheless, I'll leave that search hit bonanza entirely to you. And good luck with your perseverance; you always provide fascinating stuff.

I will let you all know when I am and running again. Taking some time to read stuff of real interest right now, rather than bellyaching about the spineless Dems, which is obviously pointless and you can find much better ranting about that at Greenwald's outlet.

Cheers, mates! and thanks again for the support and contact.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Amir said...

I hope you are just joking.

6:08 PM  
Blogger likwidshoe said...

Another liberal stops spilling his crazy marbles all over the blogging world.

Oh no. Whatever will the world do. How will we go on.

2:49 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

As a "liberal," I'd like to correct your punctuation: the last two sentences appear to be questions, but lack the appropriate question mark. Furthermore, I take these to be rhetorical questions, and they are. Exactly my point.

I'm not quibbling.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Your first paragraph says it all.

As a blogger with less than a handful of readers, I empathize with your frustrations completely.

I recently came across some very sane advice for frustrated bloggers, which goes something like this:


You shouldn't have to look at your blog like it is a treadmill.

Its okay to just say what you have to say. If that makes for a long post, fine. Short post, fine. Frequent post, fine. Infrequent post, fine.

It's okay to not always be enthralled with the sound of your own typing.

Sometimes less is more.

Only blogging when you feel truly inspired keeps up the integrity of your blog.

They are probably not going to inscribe your stat, link and comment numbers on your tombstone.

For most of us blogging is just a hobby. A way to express yourself and connect with others. You should not have to apologize for lapses in posts. Just take a step back and enjoy life, not everything you do has to be "bloggable".

If you blog without obligation you will naturally keep your blog around longer, because it won't be a chore. Plus, just think you will be doing your part to eradicate post pollution. One post at a time.

4:21 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Hi Christopher,

Thanks for the calming advice. I have taken a break for awhile now, taking some much needed breaths during that time. Your advice is appreciated and acknowledged.

In the now homeostatic environment of the blog world, trying to drum up "business" becomes defeating and frustrating. Much better to just do what one does and enjoy it.

Thanks again for your kind advice.

cheers,

Ken

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, everone's a social pervert with-in... human imagination...JT...

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, but the Jews had Christ wrong, as of course, they were emotionally left behind...JT...

7:54 PM  
Anonymous QuestionGirl said...

Well what a day. I make the rounds to collect posts for my mission accomplished day roundup and already two bloggers on my favorites list have posts up that they are shutting down. Good luck to you in all your endeavors!

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the sudden urge to DL and print out every page of this site, as it will soon be gone from the record. In fact, I think I will....

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance!

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