The End of the Road
A good writer knows better than to stretch their story beyond its natural conclusion, and for myself and this blog, the writing was on the wall for about a year and change, and I was just scared to embrace it.
Shortly after Covid hit — and from anecdotal observation, I gather this has not been only the case for me — viewership took a massive hit across the board after what was a pretty bountiful 2019. I owe a lot of my earlier growth to a series of stories I did on the original ContraPoints pile-on that now seems like it is a part of some very distant history–but I didn’t want to be known as “the pro-ContraPoints essays guy”, and so in an attempt to escape being pigeon-holed in a niche I didn’t necessarily desire, I adopted the wholesale pitch of internet culture coverage as the central identity of my writing.
While things looked briefly on the come-up as readers took keen interest in what I wrote no matter the subject matter, Covid and the 2020 Democratic primaries soon halted any momentum I’d built up as they’d consume the media cycle for what seemed like an eternity. I did partake the only way I knew how — by tackling the systemic dimensions of the issue instead of hyperfixating on specific bad actors — but that wasn’t nearly enough to maintain the pace of past growth.
I’ve done my fair bit of media commentary and criticism over the years because I believed it was a crucial piece of any holistic attempt to comprehend internet culture–even in our haste to dub the internet the first form of a truly democratic expression and propagation of ideas by individual users, many actors would come to assume a media-like tenor in an attempt to shape the discourse in their favor. Where that tension proves quasi-catastrophic for folks like me who don’t really care to influence things either way, is that by assuming a more passive role towards internet creators’ various triumphs and misdeeds, it is actively signaling to readers that the partisan tone of more provocative fixtures — like Glenn Greenwald, Jesse Singal, Katie Herzog and others similar — is not something they should not seek your commentary for. In a roundabout way, by taking conscious stock of the perverse incentive structures of the…