End of the road
A sad day in Chicago, 1974.
This post is a long time in coming, although I'm sure most of you suspected something like this was bound to happen. Simply put, Pole Hill Sanitarium, in its current form, has ceased to exist.
The problem, as it pertains to this site, is that this page is no longer viable for my blogging uses, at least not without putting a lot of work into it that I have neither the time nor the inclination for. Pole Hill's template is still one of the old Blogger types that has none of the improvements of later versions. I have to put everything into the template manually, which is a pain in the ass that I no longer have the desire to deal with. Also, none of the additions I made to make life easier function any more. The blogroll disappeared when BlogRolling went out of existence in November. Then, Echo jacked up their rates at the end of last year, and I didn't pay my bill. I'm surprised that the old comments are still visible. But I can no longer log in to manage the comment section, so you can come in and spam all over the comments all you want, and there's nothing I can do about it except to remove the code from my template, and with it all the old comments too.
There are other factors involved as well. The golden age of blogging is definitely over. Nearly all the amateur bloggers have left for Facebook or other social networking platforms that are less labor-intensive and provide access to a larger audience than a traditional blog can. Most of the blogs left that are worth reading are either groupblogs and/or written by people who are paid to write. The professional blogosphere has devolved into a myriad of echo chambers whose general rule is to agree with the host or get your ass banned, or at least get mercilessly flamed by the comment section regulars. You can still learn some useful things from reading the blogs, but good luck finding any intelligent discussion of them. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how much communications technology continues to evolve, people insist on reverting to their same old patterns. My last few months of regular blogging were disappointing more than anything; more often than not I just felt as though I was pissing into the wind.
Having said that, there are still things I would like to work on. The Album Project has been left hanging - in the middle of The Beatles' career, no less. I'd also like to have a platform for those rare occasions when I feel like writing on current events. At this point I'm weighing my options on that; most likely at some point a new blog will pop up in some form or other. I don't plan to take the archives here down any time soon, and I'll post over here when the new place is up and running. I'm also considering a Facebook page, despite my many reservations, privacy concerns, and the numerous assholes that infest that place. I've made a number of friends over here who these days are mainly active on Facebook, and I'd like to keep in touch with them, as well as using Facebook for things that don't require a more involved blog post. Again, I'll keep you posted.
I will miss this old place. We've had a lot of good times and good discussion here over the last five years. I've met a lot of good folks through this blog who I would like to stay in contact with. Without this blog I would have never met Jenn and her kids, Amanda and Lucy, with whom I've started a new chapter of life that I'm happy in. Thanks to all of you, one last time, for making Pole Hill Sanitarium far more interesting and successful than I dreamed it would be when I started out, figuring that the words here would be seen by no one but myself.