As anyone who was following Cynics Party noticed, I trailed off on posting there in about June. As anyone who has been following this blog, well, likewise. Part of this was due to a money crunch that hit in about that time that required that I pitch stories, work my ass off, please everyone,etc., and that left me little time to write more about politics (not that I had any desire to write anything else after a 12 or 13 hour day anyway). Part of that was a number of simultaneous personal crises and life requirements, including two family weddings and the illness and death of my grandmother which had me on the road for more than half of the summer and did little for my emotional well-being. I mostly felt like I was clawing for some sort of emotional balance and needed to take my head out of the web of electrons -- when I could -- and sit with real people who knew me and cared about me and didn't give a shit about some public persona.
All that is to say, despite the fact that my name remained on the masthead, having not written a word or engaged on the comment boards for a few months, I felt I had abdicated any responsibility for it. Moreover, that the feeling that I ought to write something became another sense of responsibility and foreboding that I couldn't really handle and that, as it became clear that the Jezebel thing was going to be full-time for the foreseeable future in addition to Glamocracy, I wasn't going to be able to have time for it anyway. So, I hadn't kept up.
When Hunter and Greg came to me a few weeks ago and said that they were in a position to write again, having stabilized their job situations to a degree, and that they wanted to try to grow the site, I was happy for them but expressed the sentiment that I'd been out of it for too long and wasn't going to have the time for it. One thing that they'd had issue with some time after we founded the site was the quality of the writing on it -- the typos, the grammar, the too-insidery humor that might turn off potential new readers. Having been then, as now, not in a position to edit anything let alone write a lot, I was loathe to do more than ask some of the writers to tone certain things down or make an effort in regards to quality control. What they told me is that, as we'd all tried to focus on our day jobs and despite the fact that ours were the only non-pseudonymous names on the masthead, the site had become a collection of short posts, many of which were not about national politics, lacked pictures, had similar grammatical problems or worse than before and made the site look like a cross between a personal tumblr and an effort to set up little more than discussions between long-time commenters. None of that was what we intended when we launched.
What they did was go to the person who had, in our absence, assumed much of the responsibility for the site's upkeep. Initially, he had offered to help with some of the backend stuff and I'd suggested to Greg that we take him up on it. When he asked to write here and there for it, I was happy to have him. They suggested to him that they wanted to try, again, to make the site more than just a message board for the regulars, to make an effort to have people post regularly but less prolifically so that everyone's posts could get attention and to make sure that they were commentary/newsy things about politics again, as we did when we started.
Around that time, the site went down again, and he told them he was working on it. Come to find out, he was actually working on starting a site of his own and farming the commenters to abandon the site that Greg, Hunter and I had founded because they had to audacity to suggest to him ways they wanted to work with him to make it more professional. And that's, in fact, what he did.
So, look, I've seen the invitations in the comment threads to join you guys. That's not going to happen, I'm sorry. Greg and Hunter are my friends, and they did nothing wrong. Also, frankly, the reason our site got founded at all was because of them and their efforts, and because they used it as a way to drag my incredibly depressed ass out of bed the week after I got fired from Wonkette and give me something productive to do besides drink and sleep. The fact that there have been posts on said rival site bashing on the integrity of my friends and their intentions does nothing to endear me to it. That there was a falling out between my friends and our commenters saddens me, and that said falling out means that people have been asked or have decided to take sides saddens me more. I have no doubt that each and every commenter makes time in their day to visit multiple websites, including the ones I write for to pay the bills, and could choose to visit both the new site and the old if there wasn't an effort to discourage you from doing the latter.
When Greg and Hunter managed to get our site back up, they made a change to the masthead at my request. I'm now the Cynic Emeritus. Given that most of my days start at 7:30 am writing for Glamour (for 3 more weeks at least) and end at 6:30 pm when I finish my last post for Jezebel (where I was just made an editor this week), I don't foresee having a lot of time or energy to write about politics elsewhere. But I know that if I do, Hunter and Greg will always welcome me back. I'm sure they feel the same way about our commenters.