As many of you know, Cheryl left us the other day for the always outstanding LGM, and I would be remiss if I did not thank her for all the wonderful and informative posts. And while she is not really going anywhere, it’s still sad to see her go.
Next year, this site will have been around for twenty years, and it’s just been a weird journey. My own political changes, my lifestyle changes, my interests changing, all mapped out for several decades with a bunch of people following along is weird, but more surprising to me is all the relationships we have formed along the way. There are so many people from earlier years who I still am in touch with via facebook and twitter who newer members of the current community wouldn’t know if the names were mentioned- Redkitten, Justsomefuckhead, ABL, Minna, etc. And not to give you a lethal dose of egocentrism, I’m just talking about my personal experiences. All of you have formed your own relationships and like any community, some of you like some of you more than others, etc.
Reading the LGM thread, I saw a lot of old names of I had not seen in a while- Aimai, Linnaeus, and many more, and so on. A lot of complaints about the commenting system. And it makes me wonder, do people hate the comment section design that much? Or is that just what they are saying now? Maybe they left because they no longer felt the website compelling and the blaming the comment features is just an easier way to put things. I dunno.
It’s hard keeping communities together, because people change and interests change and the community itself changes. I see it in my online gaming communities- people lose interest in a game and before you know it, a core member of your team is but a distant memory. Do we focus too much on pets and gardening and cooking? I don’t know. I can only write about what interests me. Every day there are tons of things that hit the news and I just don’t have the energy to fucking deal with the same idiots again- right now I am thinking about the execrable David Brooks who wrote another tedious piece on the Bobos, managing to blame everyone in his elite caste except… himself. I sat down to react, typed out a few sentences, and just stopped and all I could think was “THIS FUCKING GUY AGAIN.”
That has happened a lot the last couple of years for me, not just on the blog, but in real life. My youngest sister, who never paid attention to politics until a couple years ago, started posting shit on facebook. And she was always unintentionally posting right wing memes thinking they were reasonable, and I would just unload on her. She’d get hurt, and ask me why I was so mad when she was just asking a question. And I finally had to explain to her that she was not asking a question, she was advancing right wing frames, and the reason I didn’t want to argue with her about it is because I HAVE BEEN HAVING THE SAME FUCKING ARGUMENTS WITH BAD ACTORS FOR TWO DECADES.
At any rate, this got rambly, as my posts often do. Go read the LGM thread. Read the comments. Are we as a community failing others? How can we grow? Are we too insular? Are the commenting features in need of a complete overhaul? I want this site to be around for another 20 years. I want it to keep going after I am dead.
And back to the point of the post in the first place- thanks, Cheryl, and best of luck to you and LGM!