Winds of change

Bob initially signed on to the blog with the understanding that he was going to help keep it chock full-o-content during a particularly busy one-or-two week period in my life which has now come and gone. I’m delighted that he decided to stick around as long as he did, but all good things must, in fact, come to an end, and he’s let me know that he needs to start phasing out his contributions so that he has more time to devote to, you know, his life. I imagine, after awhile, being the guest blogger on a site like this must feel like sleeping on someone else’s couch, but here’s hoping that Bob gets his own blog going sooner rather than later — the blogosphere would clearly be a richer place for it.

So. A round of applause for Bob Harris, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe we can pull him out for a few more encores before he exits the venue entirely. (And management intends to let him keep his backstage pass, so maybe he’ll make a surprise cameo appearance every now and again.)

And as for me: I think, at least for awhile, what has previously and apologetically been referred to as “sporadic posting” will henceforth be known as “business as usual.” Which is to say, I’ll keep posting and writing, just at maybe a slightly more relaxed pace. I’ve been doing this for a year and a half now, and the landscape of Blogtopia (yes! skippy coined that phrase!) has changed quite a lot. I’m much less of a voice in the left-wing wilderness now, and if I take a break from my duties as a central clearinghouse of Articles You Simply Must Read, Atrios or Kos or Hesiod or August or Billmon or some-damn-body or another is going to get those links up anyway. We may still be in the wilderness, but there are plenty of voices around us these days.

When I started doing this, it was my intention to use this space to write, leisurely and at length, unconstrained by the four-to-six panel format into which I am locked as a cartoonist, albeit the world’s most verbose cartoonist. But somehow, somewhere along the way, the frantic sense of urgency which defines so many blogs took over. Sorry I haven’t posted for the last forty-five seconds! I’ve been taking a piss! As soon as I get my zipper zipped up, I’ll be back! I have seen it suggested that the advantage of the blogs is their immediacy, but I would also posit that it is their Achilles Heel. The first time I heard of the Instapundit site, I actually thought it was a joke. Instant punditry? Surely, I thought, this must be some sort of sly meta-commentary on the tendency of pundits to instantly, and by implication thoughtlessly, formulate opinions before they’ve had a chance to really mull things over, do some research, consider the implications. But no — it’s a serious self-designation, trumpeting what the author apparently considers the strength of the blogs — the ability to draw conclusions even more quickly than normal pundits.

Anyway, the point being, I didn’t start out to be your complete one-stop source providing immediate links to All the News You Really Need to Read. And it seems to me more and more that that’s what some people are expecting here — I get way too much email asking why I haven’t written about this or that topic, and if the answer’s not self-evident — didn’t have time, didn’t want to, somebody else already covered it — if the expectation is that said topic will be covered and is only notable for its absence — then something’s gone off track somewhere.

So what I’m saying is, maybe this would be a good opportunity to indulge in that soft bigotry of low expectations of which we liberals are supposedy so fond. It’s summertime, and the livin’ ought to be easy. If you check in every couple of hours, maybe cut that back to once a day. If you check in once a day, maybe cut that back to every couple of days. If you check in once a month, maybe cut back to once a year. You know, like that. I’m not going away — chances are the casual reader won’t even notice a difference — I’m just slowing the pace a little bit, while I try to figure out exactly what it is I want to do with this site. Dammit Jim, I’m a writer, not a reference librarian — and I think I would like this space to reflect that a little more than it has lately.