Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lights On

Hi. I want to thank everyone who wrote to the page today, and thank everyone who revitalized the Misery over these past six months. Terry P. gets all the credit in the world. When he talked to me and others last summer I thought he was crazy, but it's been quite a cool period and I respect the hell out of him.

And to what happened today, well, it's unfortunate we didn't all have a better plan together, because some loyal readers were unnecessarily ruffled and inconvenienced.

I've just talked to Terry about all of this, so I'm not saying anything behind his back. It was not clear to me, Leslie, or Cal that Terry was shutting the page down. While it's true that no former moderator was ready to start the page back up when he did, we didn't want it to simply evaporate. (Although after the "mediocre reveal," I don't know what else could ever follow!)

Terry started sending me emails from readers this morning and it was clear that many folks could not conceive of the page going away, especially since it really had only gone 6 months in its current form. It was only then that I realized that Terry was going to shut things down for real. (Like many of you, I thought his amazing post was just another April Fool's doozy.)

But in between classes I talked to Cal and Leslie and we decided that we, too, had been enjoying the page in Terry's iteration, and we decided we wouldn't let it die. Who knows what will happen.

The short story is, I'm going to run the page until I crack up. (Kidding.) The page will remain open so we can see if it's still a going concern in a month. If things go well, we'll revisit the long term goals. If it's just collecting spam and dust, I think it'd be best to close it. It's been slow, let me tell you. I know the comments have been great, but Terry has generated most of the content, and that was one of the things that wore him down. (He's a great guy, but he himself admitted that he'd never run the page for a long period, and it's different than what people think it is. Add to that that he's suddenly blown half his sabbatical, and you can understand his need to hit the eject button.)

If you want the page to be active, send me posts to the email in the sidebar. (The old address is going away. It's now Shit, just click the button in the sidebar; it works.) I'll post things as they come in. Comments will be operational again by morning. Terry cleared all former "correspondents," and Leslie suggested we try to reserve those for people who plan on contributing at least 2-4 posts a month. It's always easy for me to get your material up on the page.

What else? This is scattered, I know. Truly, sorry for the inconvenience. Terry feels like shit because he says he handled it poorly. I wouldn't go that far. I think he underestimated the feelings of many readers, and he certainly didn't explain to any of the former mods and counselors of the page what he was doing. We could have smoothed things a bit.

I'd guess by Thursday morning the page will look okay and we'll see what the next month brings.



  1. Thanks Terry for a great six months and a great early April Fool's gag.

  2. Yes, thank you, Terry. And thanks also to Fab, Leslie and Cal. To quote Darla, smooches.

  3. A heartfelt thanks to Terry for bringing the site back and for putting up with us, and to all previous mods for everything over the years.

  4. That was the best April Fools Day prank ever for this page! The countdown until April 1st was a great way to build expectations then the Reveal post (itself a piece of excellence) became a complete surprise. Kicking everybody off the blog, updating the CM history, and closing the comments added extra touches of realism.

    But this? I don't know what to say. Continuing the ruse by making up reasons to "explain what happened" is taking this prank a step farther than I could have imagined and speaks to the creativity and thoughtfulness of the mod(s). This was a magnificent April Fool's Day, two weeks early.

    I can't wait to see what you have in store for us actually on April 1!

    1. It's why I'm the highest paid mod in history. Lowest too.

    2. If you can make it work, we'll vote to increase your salary by a generous percentage -- 25%, maybe?

  5. The RGM has burned out; long live the RGM! Ditto to everything said above, especially the thanks to Terry, and to all who have carried this enterprise along at various times. It's clearly not an easy thing to do, and tremendously grateful to those who're willing to do it, for whatever time they can do it.

    And I liked the "confession" -- an update for the internet age of the Poe-esque tale of a descent into madness (complete with the usual feature of a tale told by an unreliable narrator: once he's told you he's unreliable, you don't know what to believe, or not, including that).

  6. I thought my hotel had suddenly decided to block me from the site when I got the "You do not have access to view this page" message when I went to write an update about what's going on here in Cheeseheadland (some people care, some people don't).

    Moderating this place has always been a ton of work--so thank you to all the mods, past and present, who make it possible.

    There have been times in the last three years or four years that I'd have gone nuts without this place. And maybe I don't post as much as I should/could, given that I had posting rights. I promise I'll post more. One of my alter-egos is followed by JS, so that's an abyss we can peek into from time to time...

    1. Do let us know how it's going.

      And in the meantime, enjoy the sun (if I'm correct in my assumption about where you are. My facebook feed is full of people arriving at this year's very pleasant Cs location, just as those of us back home are about to get what I sincerely hope is a last-gasp snowstorm).

  7. I sent this to myself, uh, Terry P. last night. I thought the group might derive enjoyment.

    From: Ogre Proctor Hep
    Date: Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 11:05 PM
    Subject: Lights
    To: Martin Bell

    Dear Terry,

    Thank you for keeping the lights on as long as you did. I well understand that projects like these come to own you. Your post titled "The Mediocre Reveal" was wonderful and illustrated the phenomenon quite well.

    The post also called to mind a certain post of several years ago. As I was reading the current one, I wasn't sure if it was a very good joke in that vein, or a way of saying good-bye in great style. I saw the ominous "RYS/CM: 2005-2015" at the top of the page and worried it was the latter, but then, when I checked back, the dateline on that post clearly said "Wednesday, April 1, 2015," and I had hope it was the former. Now, with the "Lights" post, I see it was both. (And the dateline has reverted.)

    By giving us this space as you did, you have helped me more than I could express in words. I might come closer to expressing how much if I could express it in beer. Actual beer, not the kind that has been pre-filtered by my kidneys. So if our paths cross, I owe you a few. A few beers, I mean. Not kidneys. Not that I wouldn't at least try that too, if the need was dire. I should probably keep one for myself, though. What I'm trying to say is, I hope I can buy you a few fucking beers, like, sometime?

    While I am talking to myself here, I need to check my memory on something. I'm not sure that we, I mean I, photoshopped Martin's face onto the right body. I remember that photoshoot. It was a seasonable [redacted details that are way better in your imagination than what I actually wrote]. So I have these very detailed memories, which absolutely proves it happened just as I remembered it.

    OK. It's time for me to get another beer, which means it's time for you, too. Take care, my friend, and keep fighting the good fight. I wish you whatever kind of good things you wish for yourself.