A Blogger Breaks Free: Your Thoughts

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 29 2015 @ 1:00pm

dishness-explained

We’re still processing your emails. I couldn’t look at the in-tray yesterday. But today, I ventured in and am still reeling from the range and depth and sincerity of so many of you. These are a first batch of immediate reactions (more to come). A reader writes:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another reader:

Denial: Ha ha, very funny Andrew.  Early April Fools!  Got me there for a second.  Probably just another vacation or sick leave.  Yeah, gotta recharge those batteries, right.  The staff will step in.  Or some great guest bloggers.  They always do a great job.

Anger:  Wait, what?  Seriously?  Shit.  Fuck!  I mean … FUCK!

Bargaining:  But you’ll stay on as editor, right?  For the new Dish staff run group blog / new model internet magazine?  I’ll increase my subscription!  What do you need to make it work?  $50?  $100?  Seriously, you gotta stick around.  You can totally make it work as executive editor.  Even as just a figure head!  The staff is great!  You wouldn’t want them to lose their jobs, would you?  Take a break, however long you need – two weeks, a month, whatever – and get back to us.  Whatever you need buddy; we’re here for you.  We can get through it together.

Depression:  Well, that’s it then.  The Internet is dead to me.

Acceptance:  *sob* We love you, Andrew, and we don’t want your last blog post to be a long string of “jjjjjjjjjjjjjjj” after you die face down on the keyboard.  Be free!  We your readers release you, our wild bear kept too long captive for our own amusement.  Go!  Perhaps in some distant happy day we will spy you from a distance in your natural habitat, frolicking on the beaches of Cape Cod, or stalking the dark alleys of D.C.  Then we will know that it was the right thing to do – that we could only truly love you by letting you go.

Another:

I’ve heard of getting dumped by phone, by email, even by text … but getting dumped by blog?!?

Yes, it felt like a break-up. Another possible headline for that post would have been “It’s not you; it’s me.”

Another reader:

Oh, shit! Are you sure you’re not just being hysterical again?

It’s been a long time in the making. Another reader gets vivid:

I won’t pretend this hasn’t hit me like a bag of hammers to the essentials.

Another:

Holy crap Andrew, I need a drink.

We had many last night. Another reader:

But . . . but . . . but . . .

I just bought a fucking mug!!!

One of our longest-running and daily critics from the in-tray:

I am shocked and horrified!  Don’t do this … find a way …

Another remembers the last time I tried to stop:

Andrew quits blogging?  I hope the Pope’s doctors are on alert.

Another:

I’m sorry I took you for granted. It never crossed my mind when you would stop blogging. It’s just that you have always been there. Good days, bad days and everything in between. I’m really at a loss for words.

Another:

First Colbert and now the Dish? I am not sure what I’m going to do at work now.

Another:

I totally get this.  In fact, in the last few weeks, I haven’t been reading The Dish as ardently as before.  It wasn’t “you”.  I was feeling the stress of the 24-hour news cycle myself.

Another:

Betrayed. That’s what I feel. I know it’s not fair and I don’t really understand it, but that’s the best word I have right now.

Maybe it’s because I was a subscriber, or maybe it’s because I’ve read and shared your articles for so long. But it’s like a piece of the internet is being taken out and now the whole is somehow much less. I had hoped I was supporting a new way of doing business, a way to be free of all the ads. But I guess the ads will win after all.

Another also fears the ads:

I just want the record to show that I would happily maintain my current subscription indefinitely for a single article a month from you, or any variation on such a theme that helped you do what you love and not kill yourself in the process. The Dish is not about maximizing content for me, but about smart, honest, opinionated journalism uninfected by the corrosive virus of advertising.

And you already know this. But it is also about love. It is about your ability to be not just a journalist, writer and opinionated public figure, but your ability to be a person just behind the screen of the blog – flawed, struggling, self-questioning, and occasionally a little bit heroic – for whom I can’t be the first to have professed a kind of love.

Go do your best, and let us know where that will be. We’ll follow.

Another won’t:

I got to your final post as a mistake, but once there I did read your final tripe. Wow you wasted 15 years of your life on that? You will have trouble living in the real world, which is a far cry from the bubble you have lived in. Don’t respond back, as I have no interest.

A different view:

Chatham, N.H.-12pm

Chatham, New Hampshire, 12 pm

A first-timer:

We’ve never met and I’ve never written in. I’m the ultimate Dish lurker: I go on multiple times a day and love all the different insights from readers/guest bloggers/Andrew/the team in general, but never felt like I had the requisite expertise or a unique-enough perspective to write in and improve the conversation. But today I realized I’ve been with this community long enough (just two years, which is far from the decades under other readers’ belts) to send a simple but genuine message to the Dish inbox: thanks.

Thanks back. More from you soon. Stay tuned.