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All Right, Then, I'll Go To Hell - A Goodbye To The Commentariat

It is with some measure of sadness that I announce my departure, effective today, from Cartilage Free Captain. I've only been around here for a little over a year, or at least that's how long I've officially been a member of the staff, and what an eventful year it's been.

I have chosen to leave the site for a number of reasons. Not least of which is law school. For those of you that have been or are there now you understand just how time consuming it is. When I was working full-time I had way more free time to devote to the blog than I do now. I want to provide you guys with good pieces and I tried to do that with my tactics posts, but I just don't have the time to commit to doing that anymore.

Another reason is that I was just burnt out on writing. When I started doing this it was to kill time at work. It was the best part of my day and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Now, it's an onerous activity, more of a chore than anything. If I derived some economic benefit from the site maybe I'd have fought through the burn out, but I don't and so there's really no incentive to do so.

I've been around to see this blog grow from something that used to get 10 or 15 comments on a post and maybe 150 in game threads to a site that garners upwards of 10,000 pageviews a day and more than 1000 comments in game threads. The growth of the site and the commentariat have been incredible things to participate in and, hopefully, have an influence on. However, I can't pretend that the culture on site isn't playing a small role in my departure.

I've enjoyed being a part of the fun on this site. I don't mind the Stachlock meme's or the jokes about me being a communist or any of that. I always found them hilarious. I always took the opportunity to poke fun at fellow editors like Kevin and Mechanick and of course there was my well-known bromance with theroosevelts. All of that was fun. It was lighthearted and there was no malice intended.

Lately, however, the community has taken a different turn. I'm sure some of you have noticed it. How many times in the last few weeks, or the last few months, has one of the editors had to tell members of the commentariat to reign it in. The best part of this site used to be the community. It was a safehaven from all the ignorant assclowns that populate the ESPN or Yahoo Sports comments. It was a place where there were no personal attacks or blatant racism, sexism, and homophobia like we see all to often on other blogs and forums.

I don't know what changed here. I hate to think that the tone the commentariat has taken on of late is a reflection on the editorial staff here at CFC. I certainly don't think Ryan, Brian, Kevin, or I inspire the types of things being said in the comments lately. Maybe it's just been because of an influx of new readers, people who haven't been around for long. Then again, some of the old heads around here aren't completely innocent.

When it comes right down to it this community isn't nearly as fun as it used to be. I used to care about what you all thought about what I wrote. I used to do my damnedest to write something funny or insightful so that you would appreciate it, but now, frankly, I don't give a damn. That's when I knew I couldn't do this anymore. The CAPSLOCK trolls had gotten the best of me and I'm not too proud to admit defeat.

Mark Twain wrote the line that gave me the title for this post in his book Huckleberry Finn. That line represents the moral climax of Twain's famous novel. Huck has decided that going to "hell" if it means following his gut and not society’s hypocritical and cruel principles, is a better option than going to everyone else’s heaven. This moment represents Huck's break with the world around him and so it seemed fitting that it represent my break from the blog around me.

I can't say whether or not I'll be around, at least in terms of commenting. I don't think I want to be a part of the community in that way any more. I'm sure I'll keep reading, mostly because I value the opinions of the writers here, Kevin's in particular, and I wouldn't dream of depriving the site, that I helped build to its current state, of its page views.

In short, I'm saying goodbye and thank you. I had great fun on this site for the last year, but I just cannot continue to do this. I hope the problems that I see here work themselves out. Perhaps, someday I'll even make my way back into the fold here. For now though, I'm going to close with a thought from my second biggest literary influence, Twain being the first, Calvin & Hobbes, "From now on, I'm not doing anything I don't want to do! The world owes me happiness, fulfillment and success.... I'm just here to cash in."