Dawn Of The Dead Website [Mar 30, 2004]
My Dear Beagles:
The Internet is a magical place. Nowhere else on earth, either virtual or corporeal, can people share so much factually questionable information colored by willfully ignored partisan bias. Nowhere else on earth can rumors designated to destroy the careers of longtime public servants be started and spread so efficiently. Nowhere else on earth can you be exposed, in great detail, to the drinking habits of thousands of aimless New York trust-fund party dogs. And nowhere else on earth can you watch the faces of Australian hippies as they bring themselves to orgasm.
Until five months ago, the Internet was also the only place you could turn to receive a daily dose of my humor writing, called “annoying self-absorbed bloviation” by some and “deliberately overwrought” by others. Then, on November 10, this website went dark. For that, I must apologize.
Thank goodness that I have this forum in which I can address those of you who are sitting in front of your computers, or who have programmed updates to this website directly into your cell phones. Your government failed you. Those entrusted with providing you the best in fact-based Web opinion failed you. And I failed you. I tried hard, but that doesn’t matter, because I failed. For that failure I would ask, once I’ve explained to you why I stopped blogging, for your understanding and your forgiveness.
There were several reasons. The first was obvious to anyone who paid attention or who cared. I had something akin to a nervous breakdown when the New York Times hit my last book with a cruel and ill-intentioned review by a jealous and less-talented rival of mine named David Kamp. That review was the final blow, flushing years of hard work into the sewer, and I collapsed.
But also, the Internet had changed by then. When I’d started a year-and-a-half earlier, conservative voices were much stronger, both online and in the country. There was a direct and immediate need for people to call bullshit on the Bush Administration, particularly when it came to the fraudulence of the war on Iraq. While I’ll make no claim to having been a leading, or even an important, voice of dissent, I know that my words were part of the chorus, and I take pride in that.
Now, I would argue, liberals dominate online political opinion. Online journalists like Atrios and the Daily Kos have stepped to the front of the line, to the point where they’re quoted like normal pundits and invited to Democratic Party fundraisers. And I’m sure this is the first place you’ve heard that news.
In addition, Andrew Sullivan, the pundit who this site was created to mock, has become distinctly less annoying. The President’s position on gay marriage and his administration’s reckless fiscal policies have finally pushed Sullivan, if not to the side of good, then at least to the side of reason. When it comes to Iraq, Sullivan’s psuedointellectual jingoistic pomposity, along with that of Christopher Hitchens, have been discredited by that country’s continued unraveling, by the continued parade of untelevised body bags shipped back to the States, and by the continued number of American young men and women whose lives, minds and bodies have been scarred by the ravages of needless war.
Wacka-wacka. With former Bush Administration officials writing books and testifying in Congress about the incompetencies of this White House, with a liberal radio network set to launch tomorrow, and with a reasonably united Democratic Party, mine is hardly a voice in the wilderness anymore. Lord willing, the combined efforts of sensible, intelligent, and good-humored people, along with the efforts of Michael Moore, will mean that we only have to endure nine more months of the worst Presidency in American history. I’m willing and prepared to play whatever tiny part I can in the struggle to take back our country from the Bible-thumping, oil-swilling forces of intolerance.
I’ll update this site from time to time, though not daily. Probably more like once or twice a week. The “character” who dominated this site before is gone, as, regretfully, is his beleaguered manservant Roger, now happily gay-married to a Canadian television reporter. Such semi-popular features as the journal of Raul, the last Iraqi teenager with access to the Internet, will continue, as Raul has survived the occupation against all human odds. Also, the Blogs Of The Candidates has been reduced to the blogs of John Kerry and George W. Bush, but as long as The O.C. is on the air and the next generation of Strokes lookalikes prowls the earth, there will be room to simultaneously make fun of party bloggers and Presidential candidates.
In addition, I’ll still use this site as a platform to mock certain trends and pomposities in American literature. While the world reels from the effects of an undeclared World War III, the American literary establishment lurches forward in its inevitable plodding, clueless, inbred way, like a mastodon uninformed of Ice Age’s end. I’ll be here to wave an uninvited middle finger in its face.
That’s all for now, except, of course, for this: