Dear David Sirota,
Your letter of resignation from political blogging was received here with a heavy heart. I'm puzzled by the subject line "in case you think I'm dead and gone" since, you know, you showed up for work yesterday with a pertinent and important post on healthcare. Anyhow. The riots in the left-wing blogworld caused by your absence may now abate, but it does leave me wondering why we always burn down the liquor stores first.
I totally understand your need to re-assess your commitment to political blogging. Regardless of what that douche Mark Penn says, blogging does not pay. It doesn't pay, it won't pay. I wish to God I could change that.
I laughed out loud when you said you'd be "Mostly Off the Grid" at the America's Future Now conference. Really. The Jersey Shore with family trip, and especially the rural China trip from June 18th to July 12th, sound like just the kind of activities that will take your mind off of how you can make more of a living. [Memo to my own readers: from June 18 to July 12, I'll be on hold with the food stamp people. Call-waiting will be turned off at Casa Blue Gal unless you're calling from rural China. Thanks.]
Reading between the lines of your letter, the whole "kitchen cabinet" discussions you've apparently had, it appears you are wanting to appear to make more of a commitment to paid work. Telling us you're quitting except for "one post a day in the morning, ...[a] syndicated column... upcoming new book, and monthly articles for In These Times"? I hope the kitchen cabinet is more gullible than I am.
And time will tell if your writing is "less hard-core political and far-more cultural than my previous writing." We're all dialing back the politics because, um, it's not an election year. I double-dog dare you to write about "culture" on the day Newt Gingrich announces his candidacy for 2012.
But finally, I have to respond directly to these paragraphs, David:
The reason for this change is fairly simple: I'm in need of something more creative, and I want to get back to the basics of writing. It is my passion, it is what I love - and I am interested in more than just the hard-core political world, whose media (blogospheric/magazines/TV shows/etc.) and activist outlets in the Dear Leader Era I believe are becoming less and less creative, more and more sycophantic, and ultimately, completely unstimulating.
I say that with an asterisk, though - and that asterisk is In These Times and OpenLeft. Those are two of the few places where I think generally creative and bold-thinking writing is still being done - by journalists, front-pagers, diarists and commenters. That's why, in fact, I am going to keep writing on a limited basis for both.
Now you're a douchebag.
I'm amazed how you clutch your pearls with one hand and wipe your brow with the other, while still finding the manual dexterity to circle jerk your personal colleagues and backhand the rest of the hard-working writers of greater Blogsylvania. While resisting tossing the old "heigh ho and fuck you" canard onto the floor, I actually get where you're coming from. You're coming from a terrarium where the only blogs you read in addition to Open Left and In These Times is Daily Kos and Huff, and where your perception of the blogosphere comes from Chris "hey this is the blog elite lifeboat and there's no room for anyone else" Bowers. I also get that you were treated like shit by Kos commenters. Dude, that's their job.
I never thought I would have to repeat the Blue Gal Rule for Paying Attention to Commenters (tm) to someone with your experience, but here goes:
If they don't blog themselves, and they're assholes, fuck 'em.
Someone who has a web presence and is an a-hole, you can link them and chide them and point back to specific instances, etc. They have street cred for commenting at your place. David, you show a distinct lack of blog cred yourself when you allow your feelings to be hurt by a bunch of has-been bottom feeders who don't realize the Kos so-called 'blog empire' died when they could no longer say the three little words, "fuck President Bush". End of story.
There will be no panties parting gift for you, my friend. We can't miss you if you won't go away.