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Boo!

I dropped off the edge of the blogosphere pretty suddenly last summer. I owe apologies to several people for leaving unfinished business when I vanished — those I’ll try to email. Basically what happened is that things I had been putting off started to catch up to me, then a family situation arose that complicated life quite a bit, then the semester started and I had to, you know, go to work and stuff.

I have to say, though, that it turned out to be a relief to get away from this thing. When I stopped trying to write the blog I put Google Reader aside, too — I didn’t need to follow a dozen different blogs, some because I liked them and some because I really really didn’t like them. I’ve continued to get the daily HuffPost email but mostly ignored it. Going to that site is like stepping into a high school gym where a few dozen people are up on soapboxes shouting at the top of their lungs. It turns out that it’s a whole lot more pleasant to read The New Yorker and watch a little Jon Stewart now and then, just to check in on the crazies.

Going into the summer I had a backlog of half-written things that kept not getting written, and by August that had gotten pretty discouraging. I’m an intensely slow writer and also verbose — a bad combination. I’m hoping that someday I’ll figure out how to be a functional blogger, but the idea of leaving all that unfinished stuff to lurk on my hard disk is just too depressing. So before I can move on to either some better kind of blog or no blog at all, I need to wrap up this obsessive experiment that I started over two years ago.

Back in September 2008 I noted that I’d already spent way too much time picking apart Durham-in-Wonderland, KC Johnson’s blog. I had a few loose ends to deal with, I wrote, and “a wrap-up post mostly written.” Ha! I don’t even remember what that post was going to be, but apparently in morphed into something else. I got sidetracked looking at things Johnson has written about academic-culture issues other than the lacrosse case, I turned to some other things (music, even!) and then got sucked into a lacrosse blogosphere soap opera early in the summer.

Back in July, as the soap opera was in full swing, “One Spook” very helpfully pointed out my problem:

When you began commenting on the lacrosse case professor Zimmerman, I think Johnson and others, myself included, rightly or wrongly concluded that you as a faculty colleague of the Group of 88 might offer some new insight or new information in order to explain or even justify their unprecedented, craven, and tortious actions directed against their own students.

In all of your very wordy commentary, that has never happened and to me (and I believe Johnson and others) you’ve become a “One Trick Pony,” or, to strike a musical metaphor, “Johnny One-Note.”

It’s funny looking back at that, actually — it reminds me of how much fun it was to pop Spook’s sanctimonious bubble, and then Debrah’s, too. Not that either of them has the wit to realize it. But anyway, what I wrote then is still apropos.

I have to admit that Spook gets a few things right here. There’s no question that I’m wordy and that I’ve wasted way too many of those words on KC Johnson, to an extent that most sensible people think that either there’s some ulterior motive or there’s something seriously wrong with me (I’m leaning towards the latter).

I’ve kind of painted myself into a corner where every new post I write about KC Johnson makes me look more and more like a obsessive crackpot or stalker or something. But what the hell — the damage is pretty much done already. The stuff I have ready to post is about Johnson being treated, by people who should know better, as a serious and conscientious critic rather than a polemicist and self-appointed prosecutor. That’ll serve as a good wrap-up, I think.

But before I get to that, some miscellaneous odds and ends. Most of it is ancient history, I’m afraid.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. RoseMontague | March 22, 2010 at 17:51 | Permalink

    You have been missed, Robert. Glad you are back.

    Rose

    ~   ~   ~

    Gee, I thought maybe I could fly under the radar for a few weeks. Apparently not! Thanks for the kind words, though.

  2. One Spook | March 22, 2010 at 19:31 | Permalink

    [Robert] … it’s good to see you back. I’ve missed you about as much as I’d miss a bad hangover. I sincerely hope that your “family situation [that] arose that complicated life quite a bit” has been resolved. I’ve had those too and you have my sympathy there.

    And, perhaps it was “sanctimonious” of me to have had the expectation that “rightly or wrongly concluded that you as a faculty colleague of the Group of 88 might offer some new insight or new information in order to explain or even justify their unprecedented, craven, and tortious actions directed against their own students.”

    I plead guilty to having my own expectations.

    But thank you for admitting to my point that you clearly are “Johnny One Note” by writing, “I’ve kind of painted myself into a corner where every new post I write about KC Johnson makes me look more and more like a [sic] obsessive crackpot or stalker or something.”

    In my post that you reference, I also wrote, “I’ve probably disagreed with Johnson in my comments at DIW more than any other regular commenter there.”

    And, in my comments at DIW I’ve also often criticized the Queen of Narcissism, dear old Debrah, for her “puerile adoration” of Johnson [my words], so I am in agreement with you on her older woman blind juvenile crush on the much younger Johnson.

    I concluded in my last post here that “So, it now appears that your Blog has become a gathering place for folks to vent on the subject of “KC Johnson-Done-Me-Wrong.” Perhaps a name change is in order.”

    You’ll have a handful of followers in that effort. I wish you well, Sir.

    One Spook

    ~   ~   ~

    Since your expectations are a personal matter, my interest in them is a function of my interest in you as a person. What reason have you ever given me to care? Anyway, the bubble I referred to wasn’t your expectations, it was the feeble critique that followed them. And it really does seem that you don’t have the wit to figure out what happened. More likely, since you don’t seem quite that dumb, you’re so sure you’ve got me in the right pigeonhole that you haven’t bothered to read what I wrote, or you did read it but only to verify that once again it doesn’t conform to your expectations and so it’s best ignored.

    As far as your record of independent, critical thinking, as Archie Bunker would say, “whoop ti doo!” What’s really cool is to think for yourself but not announce it as your calling card.

    The family situation is ongoing but manageable, thanks.