A few correspondents have been kind enough to wonder where I’ve been. Thanks!

Part of the answer is preoccupation with other, more personal matters; and another part is wondering whether there’s any point at all in saying, again, things I’ve said a thousand times before.

I admire people like Chomsky or Cockburn who never get discouraged, and just keep slugging away as long as they have a breath in their body. But maybe I’m not made of that metal.

Still, it’s nice to know one is missed. So thanks again.

5 thoughts on “MJS, MIA

  1. My Dear Mr. Smith,

    What is halting you is the news itself. The reason so many of these grand progressive blogs are falling apart is that their authors started them with the goal of dissecting the news–of offering a critical perspective on wealthy lies.

    You guys are all so smart, so motivated, so compassionate. You know that the New York Times, the Oregonian, and even the Palookaville Post are spinning an illusion meant to keep everyone dull and uninformed–and you can prove it. You can analyze it, ripping apart shreds of obvious fallacy; you can cite to foreign authority; you can cast it against historical perspective, and you can just laugh. And you’re right, every single time.

    However, many of you are now coming to feel–without even knowing it–the fuller effects of the news. The people who write the news are not just trying to manipulate the sheeple into bombing Arabs, oh no–they are trying to deaden and dishearten you, as well. The entire purpose of this media is to capture your attention and divert you away from reality. Even when you approach the news from the most adversarial position, it controls you.

    If you guys want to keep your hearts in it, and be able to update with a good post more than once every month, you need to start choosing your own topics. Be griots; rebels; storytellers. Have a vision that goes above and beyond a critique of the Powers That Be. Don’t be an endless tool, like Chomsky or Cockburn, whose job is only to further intimidate the masses by re-repeating imperial propaganda in a way that increases solely-rhetorical anger and the sense of powerlessness. The Gallows By the Roadside.

    Those men are paid to increase public awareness of the government’s poison. Stop ingesting it. Stop basing your internet-typing self around it. Forge new paths to brighter tomorrows. Decide on your own what topics to discuss, rather than simply choosing to refute, day by day, whatever latest rhetorical or literal atrocity Obama has committed.

    That’s what they want, Mr. Smith. They want to bind you all to their cycle of information; keep you talking about the subjects they have chosen. Even your most powerful critiques are part of their plan. That’s why nearly all the radical blogs, save for astroturf like “The Nation,” and the individual DHS operatives running the-future-is-hopeless blogs, are dying out. Nothing more to read, nothing more to say, but the same pithy “I told you I was right” remarks on the latest corporate article.

    Yours Truly,


  2. i was hoping you were on an unannounced hiatus on your boat. if you do decide to jump ship rather than continuing to bail out, thanks for many laughs and much information & perspective. imperium is labor sine fine as vergil knew; so is commenting on its follies.

  3. I hope you keep posting, if only sporadically. Your use of language always leaves me happy to know that someone can write pretty damned well. Yet, I understand your argument. What is the point of writing about matters that too many others are also writing about, albeit with far less skill. And with far more narcissism (you seem altogether devoid of this modern disease, another good thing about you and your posts). I’ve been trying to write more about simple pleasures, like hiking, wildflowers, my granddaughter, what I’ve learned by living (probably not much!). A few people appear to enjoy these pieces, so what more can I ask? I’ve written much about labor, unions, economics, but what more is there to say? On facebook, people like above anything we post about politics and such the photos Karen takes of our adventures. This is probably a good thing. At least they take some pleasure from these.

  4. If commenting on the passing scene doesn’t motivate you then pack it in. You will be missed by a few of us longtime readers however.

    If shutting down the site is your choice then let me say that I have enjoyed it and that I’ll miss it and that I wish you all the best.

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