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.