A Funeral for Autonomous Source
Most blogs just fade away. The bloggers lose interest and post less frequently, and the readers drift away to find livelier destinations. Eventually their hosting is canceled, the URL is taken by squatters, and all that remains of a person's thoughts and their passions is some residue on the Wayback Machine.
Blogs are going to die. There's no avoiding that. People change, their responsibilities change, they want to move on. It happens all the time. But I don't think people should let their abandoned blogs live on as undead internet orphans. They should kill them; and show them no mercy. If they make it quick there's no pain. Then they can have a funeral for their blog, raise a glass to its memory, bury it and move on. That's what I'm going to do.
I've mostly enjoyed working on this blog, and I'm proud of the writing I did. When I look back at things I wrote in my 20's and early 30's, I frequently cringe. But nothing in the archives of this blog has that effect. I've never deleted a post and I stand proudly behind it all. There's some great stuff there that can still make me smile.
As I was staying home and looking after my children, the blog became an important outlet for my creative energies. It was a doorway into a community and was a place to air my frustrations. After a day of chaos, it was nice to have at least created something -- a post! -- that had a semblance of permanence and was the product of intelligence and inspiration. It was important to have something interesting to roll over in my mind as I wrestled with the many more mundane matters that required my attention.
As Captain Destructo and the Mistress of Chaos got older however, life became much less mundane and my intelligence and inspiration were now always in demand. Blogging became more difficult -- and more frustrating. Even with various schools and daycares taking them off my hands for very welcome breaks, there was less free time and more interruptions.
As well, I was trying to communicate more complex ideas and frequently I found myself unable say everything I wanted. Blogging can take a lot of work if you want to do it well. I'm a harsh critic of others, but I'm much harder on myself. I want to be able to back up my claims and not just throw out gut opinions. And that requires research.
Simply put, I've been wasting too much time and energy on this thing. Even when I try to ignore it, the blog still has a claim on my thoughts and distorts how I interact with the world. And if it isn't the blog, it's the blogosphere. I've spent far too much time monitoring the war of words about the war, or capitalism, or political strategies, or whatever. But no more. It's over. Hugo Chavez, Stephane Dion, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Jeffrey Simpson are not going to be in my thoughts. I'm not going to read long comment threads arguing about geo-political events.
I'm not abandoning what I believe in. I'll still browse the blogs and scan the papers. I'll still work with the local Conservative riding association. And I'll still continue to share my opinions and thoughts with acquaintances. But those things are not going to be a big part of my life.
I'm 42, my kids are moving into school full time next year, and I've got to move on. I'm going to concentrate on things I have influence over and that are important in my life: my home, my family, and my friends. And myself. The business idea I mentioned a while ago still has possibilities -- or maybe I'll just get a job. It would be so relaxing to be sipping coffee in a cube again...
So. Grab a shovel and toss some dirt on the grave. Or just spit on it, if you like. Raise a glass and make a toast, or roll your eyes and walk away. I'm done here, and though there's so much left unsaid, it still feels good.
Here's a goodbye song that is almost too apropos:
This blog will lie in state for a couple of months, to be eventually replaced by a valuable resource in aid of those suffering the heartbreak of erectile dysfunction.
UPDATE (two days later): Thanks for the kind words. There certainly is an element of attention seeking in blogging -- and in shutting it down -- so it's all very much appreciated.
The transition to the new lifestyle is not going as smoothly as I hoped. I'm still battling the urge to call "bullshit!" on stupid things I read, and still spending too much time reading unimportant stuff. But I'll get there.
I appreciate the offers to post on other blogs, and I may make use of them in the future. But for now I'm on the wagon.
Aaagh! I'm blogging! Now I gotta go do penance...