Of Bangs and Whimpers
Not that is wasn't obvious lately, but as it is now December 1, I feel it's time to officially announce that the Lance Blog will be shutting its doors.
I got the call from Lane Editor-in-Chief Ryan Rogers a couple weeks ago, citing a need to trim operating costs in the wake of slowing ad sales at both a national and local level. No hard feelings there, and I can't say I blame him. I think the best part of that conversation was when the clearly tired and overstressed Rogers asked the following:
"Did you ever want to be Editor-in-Chief when you were News Editor?"
"Fuck, no. Too much stuff like what you're dealing with now."
Anyhoo, I'm not shuttering the doors quite yet. Blogger tells me I'm at 892 entries including this one, and I think I'd like to get it up to a nice even 900 before I lock the place up. And I'd like to make sure I have somewhere set up for all you loyal readers to follow me to. All three of you.
The next week may be a tad nostalgic, Windsor. But you'll forgive me the indulgence, as you've forgiven me so many other things before it. As we kick off the Paper Trails requiem, I've dug through the archives to give you five of the better moments of the past two years.
5. Gollum Watch
Some of you might remember this blog started when I lived in Kingston, Ontario. You may not know that it started there because I had followed Lady Trail there while she attended Teacher's College, because I was fairly certain if I stayed in Windsor, I would have lost her, and I didn't really want to risk that. And she was cool with me going, so why not. You never knew this blog had such a romantic inception, did you.
Anyway, as much as we loved Kingston as a city [still do, want to get back for a visit badly], we didn't really feel much in common with the people there, and making friends was troublesome. So we kind of stuck to ourselves with another pair of Windsorites who had gone to Queen's.
Which brings us to March '06, and Lady Trail had to leave to do an alternative practicum for her course requirements, which basically entailed everyone scattering across the globe teaching in non-classroom settings. Lady Trail went back to Windsor for the month, and I stayed in Kingston. Gollum Watch was the tale of my descent into isolated madness, and was pretty funny, I though. I had visual aides and everything.
4. Mission Statement
This post is the first time I ever rolled up my sleeves and tried to break down for all of you the issues of net neutrality, internet culture and new vs. old media that would become sort of staples over the years. It's still a good read, I think. And well laid out, to boot.
3. The Trail vs. The Pussycat Dolls
Very dated by now, and certainly says nothing new, but never let it be said I was unwilling to make an ass of myself for your amusement, Windsor.
2. [tie] On Anonymous Commenting and My Nemesis
During the 2007 UWSA election we posted a series of debate videos from the candidates here on the blog. On one entry, someone [still don't know who] left a rude and suggestive comment about one of the candidates, which opened a debate on whether or not anonymous commenting should be allowed on this blog. This is the entry where I laid out why I was allowing them [the best weapon against mean speech is more speech] which was not met by a lot of support by the people who were angered. I was just happy people were interested.
The closest thing this arena ever came to out and out internet flamewars was the day I referred to former UWSA rep Ken Birchall as a 'Warrior of Virtue', fighting what he saw as injustice at every turn. This was apparently an insult of sorts, as Mr. Birchall took exception and left what what would become a typically impulsive rebuttal in the comments thread, as well as in emails to other Lance Editors and columns for the opinion section.
In the end, it was all too much for Kenny, and he resigned from council over the UWSA's failure to heed the recommendations of the Electoral Monitoring Committee during last year's general election.
I trust he's out there swinging his sword of light against injustice as we speak. God bless him. *gives one-finger salute*
1. How Great Thou Art
To this day, the one entry to receive the most traffic is my flimsy report on the Dominion Christian Centre in Hamilton after I had seen it featured on CTV's W-Five program. Essentially just a recap of what I had seen on the show, a somewhat disconcerting story of extreme religious fervor, families ripped apart and failed cult deprogramming, the post sparked a brief outburst of commenting after it first went up, but in the years since, I will still see hits going directly to that post two years later. People are still interested in this story; maybe they just find it hard to believe that something like this could be happening in their own backyards, among their neighbours.
If you want to watch the show in question, it's still on CTV's site here.
Also worth noting: for months after that post went up, an IP address in Hamilton spent a lot [and I mean a LOT] of time at the blog. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was being watched.
More nostalgia to come as we bring the curtain down, Windsor. And it won't all be sunshine and orange juice.