I should have posted this a long time ago because I’m sure that at least some of you have been wondering, but I really couldn’t since I didn’t even know myself.
Sure, I’ve been very busy, other things have demanded my attention a lot, but that’s not the whole story. Thing is, I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I guess I could just call it “burnout”, but that, while accurate, wouldn’t have explained much, and certainly not what I was “burned out” BY.
But I’ve had a lot of time to think about it because, as I hope you all know, this site means a lot to me and I really wanted to find out, not to mention feeling horribly bad about just abandoning something that has given me so much over the years, thanks to all of you, but I wanted to get it right, and I think I might have. I could be wrong, but here’s what I’ve got.
Back when I started this site over 20 years ago it was mainly because a lot of commenters on other sites encouraged me to and because I felt that it would be nice to have a site of my own where I could decide what the subject matter(s) on any given day was. A place to vent but, and this is what I think I lost sight of, even more so a place to make fun of all of the Stupid™ in the world. As a matter of fact, I clearly remember writing that I did all of this for fun, and as soon as it stopped being fun I’d probably stop. That was many, many years ago, mind you, so a lot of you may not remember.
Sure, there was a lot of vitriol, hyperbole and anger, but it was all mixed up with mockery, ridicule, sarcasm and irony, making it FUN too. It was a place where I could simultaneously hyperventilate and get angry amongst a great community of like-minded people AND share silly jokes, photoshops, sarcastic comments and so on, allowing all of us to have a hearty laugh together while letting some steam out.
It was glorious and some of the best times of my life. Then it changed, gradually, and I blame myself. Slowly it shifted from that healthy mixture of outrage and humor to being more and more anger, cynicism, frustration and just plain “un-fun” all the time. This affected not only me (I was the one who encouraged and enabled it, so no pity for me on that count), but more importantly also our community of fun-loving LCs, which was horrible. It used to be we could call each other names all day long and, at the same time, crack jokes with each other, knowing that, were we ever to run into each other in real life, we’d have a lot of fun together, even if we don’t agreed on everything.
I did, as a matter of fact, get to meet quite a few of you over those years and those are memories and friendships that I’ll forever cherish.
And then it started changing. Very gradually, but more and more the whole site and our community became hostile, angry and, well, not fun. Make no mistake, I’m responsible for this. The buck stops here. I’m the main admin around here, the setter of the tone, and even in cases where I didn’t personally do it, I allowed it to happen. My bad, no argument about it. I just didn’t realize it. Not that I blamed anybody else, I wasn’t even aware until I slowly lost all desire to remain engaged. I was as confused as anybody as to what had changed until I had time to think about it and, I admit, it took me quite a long time to recognize the obvious but I’m occasionally a slow learner.
It was eating away at me and I found myself not enjoying what I was doing and I had no idea why, so I just stopped caring. Sure, I could blame the world, individual posters, the weather, who knows what, but it was really always a “me” problem. I forgot what “fun” was and instead got addicted to being angry and cynical, and it did me no good.
I should have followed my own general advice to others: “Don’t get upset and angry about things you can’t do a thing about. Either make fun of it or ignore it altogether.”
Well, at least now I know and I apologize to all of you for what I did and the time it took for me to realize it.
So is this goodbye? Nope. I’m not going to say that my muse is back and I’ll be back to my old irreverent, joking self just like that, it takes time and who knows if it will even happen, but now that I know what the problem is, me, at least I can do something about it.
I just thought that you should know what it was all about, especially those of you who have been some of the most loyal friends I’ve ever known who undoubtedly wondered what was going on. I may not still know all of it, but now you know as much as I do.
Let’s have some fun again! No, this doesn’t mean that we can’t get outraged together and it certainly doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my desire for hyperbole and over the top vitriol, but it has to be fun, too.
L-rd knows we all need a laugh, particularly these days.
Can I unfuck the situation? I don’t know. I’ll try an any assistance, comments and advice would be very much welcome. I’ve received some of the best advice in my life from this community of ours. But if the mess needs cleaning up, I should start with the one who, unwittingly, created it.
Oh, and I also won’t stop using the royal “we.” This post is an exception. I AM an Emperor, after all, and standards have to be upheld.