Full disclaimer up front: I know that there are few things lamer on the internet than blog posts about blog posting. So what follows here, in this post, by definition, completely sucks. I know that. I absolve you if you want to leave and go read something else, somewhere else. I probably would do so myself, if I was you. So to you folks with taste and common sense . . buh-bye! See you next time, when I have something actually entertaining and not self-indulgent to write about! Thanks for stopping by! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! Ciao!

Okay, then. For those few of you who remain, and who clearly are masochistic souls who want to keep reading the most self-indulgent variety of blog posts possible, this is for you: I wrote a poem six years ago that contained the following two stanzas, among others:

Look and see the pundit on the TV screen:
desperately he gibbers, spouting bile and spleen.
He’s shouted right down, by all the other monkey-suit wearing clowns,
as the networks clap with glee.
We’re entertained by screaming, don’t bother with the meaning,
why does he have to yell at me?

Look and see the blogger, honesty his pledge,
making news in real time on the cutting edge.
His facts are all wrong, he doesn’t care, ’cause his convictions are strong,
though he makes no guarantees.
Quote him today for others, confuse your friends and brothers,
why does he have to yell at me?

I don’t remember what annoyed me enough at the time to write those lines, but I find the sentiments they contain becoming ever more common for me again in 2011, when more often than not, my time online results in me getting up from computer, shaking my head and walking away annoyed. And what, I ask all three of you still reading, is the point of spending time doing that? My life is filled with so many good things involving so many people with whom I share a strong, real emotional bond. I am so, so incredibly blessed in that regard, all things considered. So what do I gain from spending intellectual or emotional energy being annoyed by people I barely know, or don’t know at all? A: Nothing, duh.

I’ve written before here (and elsewhere) about the pleasures associated with destroying things that I once worked hard to create. And I must report that over the past couple of months, my enjoyment of the act of creative destruction has grown exponentially. I’ve had a website since 1993, but I blew it up, and it’s gone, and that feels good. I’ve had a blog since 1995 (though I did not know it was called a blog then), but I vaporized it, and it no longer exists (except for the pieces being held hostage by a corporate entity that I regretfully got into bed with), and I am pleased. I used to have 550 Facebook friends, but now I have 45, the vast majority of the survivors being folks from my high school days with whom I have no other means to communicate, and this feels appropriate.

Those of you who I e-mail or see or talk to regularly, or those of you who have never communicated with me since you befriended me, or those of you who befriended me in the hopes that I might review your concert or album . . . well, sorry, and no disrespect intended, but I’ve deleted you, since you don’t need to read my routine piffle and tripe updates any more than I need to read yours. Let’s interact in the real world someday, alright? Cool.

The sense of liberation associated with these acts of creative destruction is profound. It’s similar to the sense of freedom I felt when I stopped hosting a television show, or when I finished my Masters Degree, or when I gave up my byline in a local newsweekly. Once upon a time, many, many years ago, I had no public persona at all. But then, for a variety of reasons, some sound, some not, I worked very hard and I built a fairly powerful personal brand in our local market. And that was cool, for a while. But now, in 2011, I find myself increasingly wishing to be free of the bonds that such a public persona imposes. I’m ready to return to a place of greater anonymity, where no one outside of my family, friendly and professional circles pays any attention to what I do or say.

I’m vanishing, in other words. Yeah, sure, I know that there are ways to find all sorts of my old stuff online, and my footprints in the internet tubes aren’t that easily swept away, but I intend to be far more judicious and fickle about where and how often and with whom I walk online in the future. Once upon a time, I was an internet pioneer, blazing trails for others to follow. Now, I’m the old guy on the virtual corner telling the kids to get the hell off my lawn. Enough’s enough. Game, set, match. Give me my golden watch, because I’m ready to sit on the porch and rock. But, seriously: get the hell off my lawn. Now.

This website, for now, is going to be my last and only stand in terms of internet presence, unless you were an old drinking buddy, or a former band-mate, or an ex-girlfriend, or a fellow military traveler from ages and ages ago, or a college or grad school chum, in which case I’ll see you in Facebook, more privately, without a peanut gallery of gawkers. For now, anyway. I suspect I may bail on that increasingly annoying platform sometime soon as well.

This site provides me with all the creative satisfaction I require at this point, as far as the general public is concerned. Beyond that, I’ve shared more than enough, for long enough. It’s selfish time now. I have some other “real world” creative endeavors that I’m working on, to which only my family is privy at this point. I also have loads and load of things happening on a professional and community volunteer front, and the folks involved there know what they need to know, when they need to know it.

It’s hard to imagine that, once upon a time, these kinds of social connections were viewed as being more than enough, isn’t it? I’m ready to wax nostalgic. I’m ready to go quaint. I’m vanishing, and it feels so good . . .

In closing, I apologize again to the couple of you who stuck with this post to end, as there are few things lamer than watching a writer using an internet outlet to complain about internet outlets. That’s overflowing with suck, and I know it. But I’m putting this post here tonight anyway, so that when people grumble about being deleted from my Facebook friends list, or about why my Worst Rock Band Ever page is gone, or about what happened to the Hidden in Suburbia photo-essays, I don’t have to expend any intellectual energy on replying, but can just cut and paste this link instead.

Because I’m vanishing. Poof. Pow. Gone . . .

13 thoughts on “Vanishing

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  5. I’d like to say I am shocked that people are still hurling invectives at you for things you wrote on the innerwebs more than a decade ago, especially when the topic was Motley Crüe. Sadly, I am not.

    As Jeff said: you keep writing, I’ll keep reading. Thanks for sharing for so many years…it has been a pleasure.


  6. Eric-

    I can understand your frustration over the reactor problem in Japan: I suffer similar agitation discussing medicine with people who don’t work in the field, but think that 5 minutes on Google is just as good as medical (or, in my case, PA) school.

    In any case, as one of the few who read your whole post, let me say this: you keep writing, I’ll keep reading. There’s too little good writing around as it is. I intend to support the little bit that’s out there in my back yard.


  7. There is much freedom in vanishing. I contemplate it routinely…

    But I for one (among many, I’m sure) am glad you’re still here in this solitary creative outlet.

    Except for the fact that you just insulted both my taste and my common sense, since I clearly stayed til the end. That, my blogging friend, is overflowing with suck…



    • You just named my next band, Mikalee . . . .

      Ladies and gentlemen, please give it for . . . . J. Eric and the Overflowing with Suck!!!!!!!!

      [Insert crazy wild audience response sounds here].


    • (On a serious note, though . . . what you’re doing on your blog is Batshit Brave . . . I’m retreating into anonymity because I’m tired of 10+ years worth of threats from drunken metal heads because I declared Motley Crue the worst rock band ever, or because as someone who spent a long time in the nuclear industry, I find 99% of people’s comments about Japan inane and inaccurate . . . . but, wow, you’re dealing with stuff at a whole ‘nother level of seriousness, and handling it with aplomb. Hats off to you for that!!!)


      • Aw shucks…thank you kindly! Not sure if I’m worthy of those incredible words of praise (for which I’m truly grateful), but I do know I’ve grown weary of just sitting back and taking what others are dishing out. This seemed a slightly better alternative to padded walls and thumb-sucking.

        And btw, on a related note about Japan: My ex’s new wife wrote a blog post admonishing people for contributing money to relief efforts in Japan and not helping those affected in the U.S. (Hawaii and California coast) by the tsunami. Seriously. Ugh. 😦


  8. The twice yearly visit to the dental hygienist allows me to experience what it must have been like for you too de-friend so many of you FB “friends” only the de-friending was probably less painful. When I walk out of the hygienist sessions I feel so free and pure it’s almost like I’ve gone to confession and actually meant it.

    Well written Eric, you have made your point loud and clear.


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