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Belmont Club

Behind the Scenes

February 19th, 2013 - 12:40 pm

The irregular blog posting of late has been due to three things. First, the pressure of work. I am trying to finish a key component of a project and it’s proving more complicated and involved than anticipated. Second is the time required to read more books, which currently mean Jonathan Foreman’s Aiding And Abetting: Foreign Aid Failures and the 0.7% Deception and Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven — and more in the works as snail mail arrives. The third factor has been a variety of long neglected and deferred chores that are claiming their due.

These are the obvious explanations. But on reflection there was yet another factor that was harder to express. The simplest way to put it is that the times now call for fewer words, or least for words of a different type. That is because most of the things that are easy to say have already been said on the blogosphere. While it would be easy to run on about the miserable state of the world and the folly of politics, this corner of the blogosphere is victim of its own success. The readers know that stuff already. We have beaten it nearly to death in these pages. What they need now is ways to do something constructive within the limits of their situations, otherwise these realizations lead to bitterness and bitterness to futility.

This may mirror what is to some extent a general trend; a change in mood that is palpable in the air. The British authors of yesteryear would probably have written “Carruthers sensed a subtle difference in the beat of the ship’s engine. He realized that his chance had come …” or hackneyed phrases to that effect to convey the shift in the story line if it were an adventure story. It may only be imaginary, but I think the game is changing — to what, I am not sure.

Whatever befall, I’ve resolved, for my part, to do more in the context of ordinary life; and to write fewer current events pieces in favor of more broadly themed items. The goal is to make the Belmont Club more fun, but not in a mean way. Whether it works out … time will tell. Let me check to see how well Carruthers is doing. He should be climbing over the rail by now.


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My gratitude to "Fail Burton" on the next thread, who knows when with this worthless system, for informing that old comments are still in Google Cache.

Therefor for posterity and in defiance I have retrieved for my records and offer here my "lost comment." It has what I take to be the distinction of being the last comment entered before PJM management deleted the archives.
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6. Blast From the Past
Carruthers climbing over the rail is immaculate in his bespoke suit from Savile row. Behind him scrambles his American friend Toby looking distinctly rumpled in something from Moe Ginsberg. Toby however remembered to bring ammo.

Current events illustrate big themes.

Do you mean that every thread isn’t about the P-51?

February 19, 2013 - 2:01 pm
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To go against the negative tone, a few things. First, wretchard, if you wrote instruction manuals for appliances here. I'd still read your blog. And whether BC stays here or elsewhere matters not to me either.

Second, I have found that community on the web is a bit more like a Rotary club than like a college. While a like minded subgroup may form that passes through time together, growing and discovering ideas on unison, there are always newcomers who haven't gotten to this stage of the path yet. So while your thoughts have worked out all the big theory already, and it is time to do something different, others are back half a decade ago.

Personally, I walked the cataloging in exquisite detail the sickness of a certain administration that corrupted federal executive dept after dept from 1993 to 2000. I don't need to do it again. Similarly, in another web world between 03 and 09 I worked out just how broken the education system at teaching math to k-8 kids. By 1009, I was no longer interested in just talking about what was wrong in the big picture. I had to actually change my postage stamp size community on the actual world. I did something. Not enough, but planting seeds and watering is real.

Maybe it is time to focus on the real things we can each do. I would love to hear you muse about what once had to be done in secret to organize an opposition that can now be done virtually, say.

But maybe another idea is to have a blogroll of classic posts for those who haven't been in the ride with you since sept 11 2001. So they can see the development of thought. Not all will stand up to time , some won't even sound like you remember sounding probably. But they'd be valuable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you Wretchard, from another long fan, from the beginning, who has long admired your wit, wisdom, and sense of events, past and present.

I also appreciate the erudition and deep experience of the many posters here, and while I am also disappointed in the comments archiving issue,

here is my customer feedback for the executive team.

I hope you will remember that without readers, good writers are shouting in the void. The attraction for new readers, and most important, what makes PJM so unique in alternative media is that interactive process that demonstrates respect and growth together, and by the way, sets PJM apart and adds value, thanks to the talent you have on board now AND the thoughtful commentary here, which you just dont find anywhere else.

I realize this is an adventure/media business effort that is just getting going, relatively speaking, and I am sure there may be unexpected turns in the road for everyone, but most important-

and this is to the disgruntled among the commenters-

if words do matter, and if one cares about the direction of this country, one has to speak up, and share- and that record needs to be made available somehow- and monetized, if its to be sustainable.

I dont know the social media business ins and outs, but I do know I will be coming back to PJM long after Fakebook is dust, if PJM keeps attracting thinkers like Fernandez, Reynolds, Simon, VDH and the many others who co-create this zeitgeist AND the readers too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We were promised change. As a conservative, change is often not a good thing. Companies are started by visionaries who see what is not as if it is. Then visionaries are replaced by bean counters who think those who "see what is not as if it is" are crazy, and change things to "make money".

The problem is that they don't know what or why things were working, so they keep what should be thrown out and change that which never should be changed. For example throw out a wealth of knowledge in past comments because they have no idea it is valuable, like mothers who threw out comic collections, or movie studios who threw out old movies, or libraries that throw out old books...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
...Whatever befall, I’ve resolved, for my part, to do more in the context of ordinary life; and to write fewer current events pieces in favor of more broadly themed items. ...
Special request? I'm not necessarily a "list" person, but I value your erudition, perspective and writing style, and would love to read about the books that have most informed and/or inspired you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Verschlimmbesserung (sorry, no good english translation, approximately: "an improvement that makes things worse). Part of modern life, but I'd hoped to see little of it *here*
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Often it's the indirect essay that get's faster to the current point if that makes sense.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I hope that Richard's change of direction is of his own volition, and not some diktat from the PHBs at PJM. But given the tone of things here in the last month (Simon's last post, "Elsewhere on the Web", the snowjob over the previous comments), I think I'm justified in being a wee bit concerned. As others have said, it feels like the old guard has been given the heave-ho to make room for more mass media, non-thinking crap. I guess the brass at PJM are taking to heart that plea for conservatives to target the famous low-information voter. :(

I also would think that even though PJM didn't deign to give us schmucks any advance warning, they would have at least done so for their columnists. But it's very hard to imagine Richard agreeing to blast all the previous comments into the Memory Hole, given that he often put a ton of effort into his own comment threads (unlike virtually every other author here). I'm know he also values the input of the commenitariat. Hell, he promoted LL3 to a co-contributor!

Don't like feeling that one of my few islands of sanity on the 'net is going bye-bye...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Over at the announcement thread at PJMedia, one of the regular writers in the PJLifestyle section said that no warning was given.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, thank you. Given that, plus reading between the lines in Richard's parenthetical update in the latest thread, it kind of smells like a palace coup of some kind. Sorry to be so conspiratorial, but I've been on the Internet for close to 20 years now, and I've never seen a major website do something quite like this. We already know about Cass Sunstein's "cognitive infiltration". And as much as I don't trust Hagmann, his latest post about the alleged OFA internet warfare corps is a perfect fit with the previously mentioned doctrine. So, I suspect your theory about what's going it has a good chance of being true.

Hopefully Richard has maintained a list of emails from this group. Just waiting for the word.

Can't stop the signal...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My concern is that PJM is becoming less user-friendly with these format changes. The previous site format changes, for instance, eleiminated the blog rolls for the different authors. I used to use BC as my "portal" to that particular portion of the blogosphere I like to explore and communicate in. Now this new coments format. I don't know . . . .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, here I am! Maybe. This is very disorienting.

Well, this is new. Not sure what "new direction" either PJM or BC are taking. It will become clearer over time I guess. Also: I note that HTML tags don't work based on attempts I'm seeing from commenters above. We are usually a literate and nuanced bunch, and italics and bolding have their purposes here.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And no "edit" capabilities either?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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