5 comments to May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back.
Best wishes, SW! You’re one of the good people and I’ll always be happy to work with you, Raja, Matt, Adrena, Actor and Kathy, my core team, anywhere and anytime. Thank you for all your efforts on Agonist’s behalf, all of you.
I am a relative newbie here, but I enjoy the plethora of interesting links, good music videos and snarky comments. Is there something on going on behind the scenes that the average reader is not aware of?
I found the Agonist during the build-up to Iraq war 2 while searching for real news. My gut told me our government was lying. I am amongst the longest standing members of the site.
I wasn’t a Democrat but I detested Neo-cons, although I’m not sure I even recognized what the label meant at the time. War pigs, perhaps, but not Neo-cons.
My natural political inclination has always leaned toward anarchism, not because I think that necessarily a good system, but instead because the available alternatives I’ve had to choose from are so goddamned bad.
I’d written a couple of books and identified with liberal minded people, or, better said, people calling themselves liberal minded. Getting published placed me into the community of liberal intellectuals, but it didn’t take long to learn those are not my people.
I was surprised early on at the rejection of my war-only-as-a-last-resort and non-intervention stance here at the Agonist by people so obviously opposed to bush and his compatriots. I learned that having a common enemy does not necessarily make another a friend.
Back then it was Artappraiser and others with whom I clashed. Over time, faces changed, but clashes continued. A few names along the line: Stirling Newberry, Ian Welsh, JDP and even Sean-Paul, though in his case, our arguments remained civil and I regard him as a personal friend to this day. Some of the rest hate my guts.
So I retreat to the people I come from and live with: Texas country red-necks and Mexican migrant workers. I avoid talking politics, but when the subject comes up, I feel compelled to state what I believe, regardless of the company. This makes me an outsider in the community where I live, and also an outsider in the world of the intellectual community I still visit.
Over the years, the way I see things has changed from exposure to both these worlds–I’ve grown to despise the labels that divide: left, right, liberal, conservative, democrat, republican, libertarian, etc.
I never got paid for anything I have written here. I don’t want to be an editor. I have no desire to force others to believe what I believe, but I do like the platform we have here to state my opinions and listen to those of others.
I became a publised author, only to be rejected for having non-converntional opinions; now I once again live in the ranks of the unpublishable. I’ve signed numerous film options, only to get panned when the real me conflicted with the aims of filmakers in love with the lie rather than the real deal.
I hope to keep stinking this place up as long as I am allowed. It’s one of the few place I still have something resembling the right of free speech.
Like you, I came here in the wake of the Iraqi war and, like you, I was looking for whatever was passing for unvarnished truth (if anything like that really exists). I found a vibrant, intellectually stimulating community that quickly became a major part of my life. Your stuff has been among the most interesting and thoughtful material on this site. I’ll continue to read you wherever you post.
I stopped trying to contribute anything of substance a while ago; I came to a point where I no longer felt I had anything worthwhile to contribute and that I was shouting down an empty, echoless hall. In my short stint as an editor I quickly came to feel out of step with what the rest of the regulars thought was interesting. I do read here every day, however–several times day in fact–and leave the occasional drive-by, “attaboy” comment to let people know their contributions are worthwhile and that I have been enriched. And while I still enjoy a good portion of the material, I was fucking livid that the Diaries went away and that only certain anointed glitterati would be allowed to post. Many of the people whose words resonated most with me are gone, and I genuinely miss them. I’m glad to hear tat you’ll be hanging around.
Don, I and a lot of others here appreciate your honesty, your no-nonsense outlook and your lack of pretension. You also pay attention to things many of us miss (and need to be reminded of) because our day-to-day life is pretty divorced from the basics – we associate meat with shrink-wrap and milk with containers, while you think of cattle. You help keep us grounded in things that are real instead of merely intellectual. You also call a spade a spade (or worse). That may not make you popular in Hollywood or on Publishers’ Row but you’re certainly welcome here.
We don’t expect to agree all the time (with anyone, including the wives and kids) but we all benefit from being exposed to a wide range of views, if only to remind us how screwed up others can be (we, of course, are always right LOL).
The Agonist has a vibrant history and it would be a shame to see it fade away. I hope the owner of the site sees fit to find a new editor-in-chief.
I’ve been temporarily and by default put (unrequested) in a position of semi-authority and will continue to comment from time to time and do some general cleanup but few if any posts. I’m about to be involuntarily retired and have a lot on my plate as I try to refocus and take my life in a different direction. I am exchanging 50 years of high-tech work for a new life of publishing, writing and preparing for the hard times I see on the horizon.