This decision may come as a surprise, but it wasn't arrived at lightly. Allow me to explain to you exactly why I've decided to call it quits.
- Writing is hard.
I've been known to mock people who can't write very well, or who riddle their writing with scores of grammatical and spelling errors. But that was unfair of me. Writing is really hard!
As it is, I spend a minimum of 4 hours on every post I make. One hour writing, one hour trying to adjust the flow of the post so it's not just a giant brain fart of words, and two hours fixing my myriad spelling and grammatical errors. I ask trusted confidants for revisions and editing, I go through three different spell-checkers, and I still miss stuf!
I just don't have the time to keep that sort of thing up.
- I've offended too many people.
Sometimes it was purely accidental, other times it was probably intentional, but mostly it was just because I said what I thought without regard for whether or not people would be offended. The shame of this carelessness weighs on me.
Yeah, I pretend like I don't care if people are offended by what I write here, but it's just an act. Sometimes I find it hard to sleep at night, just going over the list of all the people I might have made feel bad. That's no way to live.
- Public discourse in Fitchburg is too enlightened.
That may seem like an odd thing to say, but it's true! The public is so enlightened and so reasonable that what I have to say pales in comparison to the average person on the street.
Don't believe me? Just check out the Sentinel's reader comments forum! Unlike the internet as a whole, you'll find absolutely no petty bickering over unimportant issues. Nor are there constant racist remarks, nor uninformed diatribes about people on welfare, nor public access tv hosts pretending they're smart, nor lynch mob mentality, nor people just making stuff up and pretending it's true. None of that!
How could I keep up in such an environment? I can't add anything to the conversation, because I'm unable to do the research and provide the necessary footnotes to make the sort of iron-clad arguments that are required to convince the highly erudite and skeptical commentators of Fitchburg of my point. I've been left behind.
- Expressing different views isn't always good.
One thing I've tried to do here is provide a different viewpoint on things than you're likely to hear elsewhere. Perhaps I hoped to shift the Overton window, or perhaps I was just looking for attention I was deprived of as a child. Who knows?
Either way, it doesn't matter. If the public at large doesn't already think the things I do, who am I to go around mouthing off? I'm sure they're plenty well-informed on their own, and giving them a different viewpoint probably just annoys them.
Anyway, the extremely diverse media outlets of this area provide enough differing views to keep anyone interested in such things happy.
- Everybody has figured out who I am.
I started this blog anonymously for a reason. That reason, of course, is that I'm a highly visible public figure with a lot of skeletons in his closet. I didn't want these skeletons coming out.
But I've come to the conclusion that everyone knows who I am! Or they know someone who does. Or their aunt knows.
I've tried to throw out red herrings from time to time. "I'm Matt Straight," "I'm Dan Mylott," "I'm Boots Riley," "I'm Rachel," etc, etc. It's not working anymore.
Oddly, none of these myriad people that know who I am have yet bothered to actually mention it to me. I assume this is because I've offended them (see my second point above).
Regardless, since who I am in real life is obviously super-relevant to this blog, I must bow out.
- The newspaper isn't really that bad.
Yeah, you heard me right. Sure, I've had a lot of complaints about the quality of the Sentinel. And sure, one of the primary reasons I started this blog was to provide a counter to the right-wing claptrap they were consistently putting out. But things have changed.
If you read the S&E now, you'll find it presents a totally fair and well-researched vision of not just Fitchburg, but the world. You'll see deep, meaningful investigative reporting on the issues that matter most. You'll see nary a poorly-reasoned editorial nor the slightest bit of fear-based reporting. It's a standard more papers should live up to.
Also, I'm taking a job with them. I start on the 14th.
So, for all these reasons, I bid you adieu. Thanks for reading!