PIVOT TO THE OLD PIVOT

Something has been bothering me lately.

First, remember when Insane Clown Posse's popularity started to wane – I mean, how many times can you write the same song and put on the same Faygo-soaked show? – and they made the Big Reveal that for their entire decade-plus long career their secret message was actually…Christianity? It was one of the strangest deus ex machina moves in the history of showbusiness. People around the world could honestly say in unison, "I did not see that coming," and anyone who said they did was obviously lying. Nobody saw it coming, especially given that it wasn't true and made no sense and was just a play for attention as the rest of the world was losing interest.

That was amusing.

I can't offer an equally compelling or nonsensical Reveal, but sometimes I wonder if the handful of people who read this or follow Gin and Tacos in other formats get what it is about. I've been doing this for a long, long time now and I find it extremely rewarding and if someone else gets something out of it, that's terrific. Whatever level you might enjoy it on is fine by me. If you don't enjoy it, I don't take it personally. Nothing is going to appeal to everyone, with the possible exception of cheese fries.

Regardless of whether you are new or have been around forever, or read every day or once per year, or hate it but still read it for some reason, lately I have had this nagging feeling that a lot of people (who comment, otherwise I have no clue what you're thinking in response) are missing the point. So, here is the Big Reveal: this isn't and never has been about Politics. It's a blog about bad logic. Bad arguments. Conservatives are not The Enemy. Centrists aren't either. The whole point, and what gives me some small amount of pleasure, is to make fun of bad arguments and the motives of people who make them. Usually the motive is either 1) they are lying to you, and think you're stupid enough not to notice that their argument makes no sense or, 2) they're really bad at logic and don't understand that the argument doesn't make sense (or, more often, is totally inapplicable to the point).

My parents could tell you stories about me at age four throwing tantrums because something didn't make sense, or school detentions piling up because I had the really unfortunate habit of pressing adults with questions about Why when rules were clearly arbitrary or when the motives were misrepresented (I mean, if we're clearly doing something to kill time, let's just admit it, ok?). So I don't know, maybe I'm just difficult. Scratch that. I am a very difficult person. OK. I get it.

Here's the thing, before I digress too far – a lot of people (apparently) read the things I barf into the ethers with the understanding that it's About Politics. And that causes a lot of problems, because the point here isn't to support one political viewpoint or another. It's to make fun of really bad logic that makes no sense. The consequence is that if you're following this as the average Sports-type politics blog (Our team is great! Go team! Boo, other team!) you're probably going to get super cranky when the criticism turns toward Your Team. The 2016 election, for example, was a ludicrous experience (for many reasons, of course). Team Hillary couldn't stop screaming that I'm a Bernie Bro, Team Bernie couldn't believe what a sellout centrist fake-liberal asshole I am.

As a result, over time I've been trying harder and harder to make everyone happy on the politics front. At the same time, as many of you know, I've been trying to break into Professional Writing for Serious Media Outlets, which (as I've rambled about) requires changing one's writing style to appeal more broadly. The combined result is that it has been getting less fun. I don't enjoy it any less, but it's less fun. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

The more you try to massage something to make it appealing to Everyone, the less interesting it's going to be. And lately I feel like everything I say is trying to anticipate and preclude various inevitable criticisms. And not only is it less Fun, and not only does it feel defensive, but it's also pointless. It's pointless because when 10,000 people see something, some of them are going to respond critically without even reading it. Some of them will be critical because they misread it intentionally or otherwise (It's always much easier to respond to what you heard than to what a writer said). Some of them are just assholes.

And there's one other complicating factor that is unpleasant but undeniably a part of this: the world of writing creates strong incentives to Build the Audience. Want to write a book? Better show off how many followers you have on Social Media. Want to write for a big website or magazine? Well how many people follow you on Facebook, sonny? Which, as much as we all hate admitting that the Free Market influences us, is a powerful incentive. Don't piss off the audience that took so very long to build! Keep everyone happy! Offend no one! Apologize readily! The audience's eyeballs and various clicks are a valuable currency, not to mention that it's hard to see something you worked so hard and for so long to build (an audience, because who wants to write stuff nobody will ever read?) recede.

So, there's a lot going on here. And it has made this no less rewarding, no less enjoyable, but a little less Fun. When it's not Fun, the final product isn't nearly as good or nearly as interesting. And after the last highly stressful (politically) two years, I'm tired. I'm exhausted, even. I'm not tired of expressing opinions that you are free to take or leave; I'm tired of trying please everyone. And I'm going to stop doing that, and go back to what I did for a very long time when nobody aside from a handful, maybe a hundred, people read this. Audience Building is tiring.

If you can't handle someone criticizing Your Team, go read Wonkette or Jacobin where you can be guaranteed 100% consistent Go Team coverage. They're both good. I read both regularly. If you can't respond with criticism that actually has something to do with what I said, go ahead and mash that "unfollow" or whatever. If you are an asshole, I'm probably going to be an asshole right back. If you want to yell at someone about what you heard without understanding the possibility that you're hearing what you want to hear based on your own biases, this might not be for you. If the best response you can come up with when someone criticizes a media figure or politician who is female is "omg why do you hate women," go read Jezebel or something. I have no interest in changing your mind, nor in being a target to absorb your late night drunken anger every time you are personally insulted by something that is not about you at all because you're kind of a narcissist. It's fine. We all have narcissistic tendencies. It makes neither of us a bad person. My only point is that nobody is forcing you to read this, the world is literally drowning in content you could be reading, and I have to start making peace with the fact that maybe this just isn't something you like, and that's OK.

This is all self-inflicted. I've been doing this to myself, and for a long time now. I'm not a victim of anything at all other than choices I've made that I want to stop making now because they're making probably my greatest joy in life less Fun. Nothing is going to change except my approach to this mentally. You're OK. I'm OK. We're all OK; we just aren't all going to like the same things. I love you all, but lately I've been caring way too much what you think and how you will respond. So, I'm just going to say what I want to say and you are going to respond how you want to respond. And hopefully everyone will be happier in that scenario. If we continue to share the same space, great. If we end up parting company, no hard feelings.

Thanks.

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128 Responses to “PIVOT TO THE OLD PIVOT”

  1. Mysteries Of Life Says:

    You do you Ed!

    but first, please add a subscribe by email button to this blog. Then you do you!

  2. Leo Artunian Says:

    Just for the record, I don't like cheese fries. And I read this blog precisely to think more clearly about important matters. Not that I don't get a little irritated sometimes . . .

  3. Miller Says:

    A good teammate accepts criticism. It makes us a better team.

    Thanks for the criticism! Keep it up!

  4. Heaventree Says:

    I've been following daily (or however-the-hell-often) since early in your Athens days, Ed. As long as you keep putting it out, I'll keep looking forward to it

  5. Totoro Says:

    Great! Publish anything you want here. I like my biases being challenged. If you can also get paid to publish in Rolling Stone/wherever, so much the better. If you don't link the two then those who can't handle the real you won't be confused.

  6. NC_Nate Says:

    I appreciate having my preconceived notions challenged, and even being outright wrong, if the argument is a well-founded one. My personal mantra has always been that I want to be as right as I can be as often as I can for the best reasons, and being wrong sometimes (many times?) is part of that process.

    So keep at it, is what I'm saying. I have always enjoyed your thoughts and continue to do so.

  7. Nick Says:

    Sounds like you spent the evening looking at that framed high school diploma and playing Minecraft.

  8. SeaTea Says:

    As a songwriter, there are huge parallels. Your inner critic, when awakened, will always try to say it's too derivative, or not derivative enough, or too pandering, or not pandering enough, etc. You start of from some pure place of wanting to express something to a handful of people who might give a shit, and then you start writing to please more people by being more bland and less yourself.

    There's nothing wrong with Florida Georgia Line, but nobody is going to point to a line in "Shine" as the thing that got them through a really rough patch in their life, or the thing that made them want to be a musician, or a poet.

    I've followed you for many, many years because you see things roughly the way I do. You have taught me, over those years, that our mental software is poorly adapted to the world, and that, particularly in groups, humans often are self-destructive sharks in a feeding frenzy.

    Those of us who see the flaws in the logic of "common sense" arguments, those of us who see that humans crave simple explanations to problems that are never simple, etc…. we can only sit by helplessly as the modern version of the Salem Witch Trials plays over and over on our computer screens every single day in almost every single thread.

    I agree that it is exhausting. And depressing. And not fun.

  9. Rory W Says:

    Hear, hear!

  10. canuckistani Says:

    I've been following the blog since before you were at UGA, and your writing has gotten sharper, and you roll with the punches with the best of them. But I can see it is tiring. The facebook crowd is exhausting to read a lot of the time, devolving into idiotic e-tribalism, so I can't imagine dealing with it as the author of the posts, and having to resist the urge to engage with every dumbass that responds to you. There is no need to try and please everyone, or to pretend to be a party hack. What you've done to date has been successful and fulfilling, so keep doing it and damn the torpedoes.

  11. oldenick Says:

    Rock on Ed.

  12. Patty Says:

    Your best work, and most interesting comments sections, come when you do challenge our preconceived notions about the world.

    I've been guilty of reading well beyond pointing out logic discrepancies and taking personal affront, but that's not you, it's me.

    Your blog and Facebook posts have been the proverbial comical sunshine in a lot of cloudy days as of late. If people don't get it, I feel like that's on people.

  13. Catherine Says:

    …and then this girl danced up on Ed.

    And he added more t-shirts to his damn store like a good late-stage capitalist.

  14. Erica Foley Says:

    I really like reading your stuff, and I'm now old enough to appreciate having my own preconceived notions shaken. (And not so old that I've started shouting at The Weather Channel on television. Well, not often.)

    I hope you are able to reconcile your conflicting aims in a way that works for you. As some of the other performers in other media have commented above, this is part and parcel of creating for you versus creating for, well, anyone beyond you. You are not the first person to face this conflict; you won't be the last. Manage it as best you can, in the way that feels right for you. And it sounds like you have a pretty definitive idea of how to go about doing that.

    Please don't forget the occasional dirty joke though.

  15. Scott Nance Says:

    Don't change a thing. And I agree about cheese fries.

  16. seniorscrub Says:

    Ed,
    Your page, your rules……Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

  17. EriktheRed Says:

    "The combined result is that it has been getting less fun. I don't enjoy it any less, but it's less fun. Does that make sense? I hope it does."

    Sure it does. As the saying goes, "The best way to ruin a hobby is to get paid for it."

  18. Ben Says:

    I've been reading you since '08 or '09, which was high school for me. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say your writing did a lot to help my leftward politicization, but even more so, it got me interested in political science as a discipline because of how rigorously you could link the nonsensical / dishonest statements of politicians to a broader agenda or worldview or more often, pathology. That ability to analyze outside the political moment is so rare on these internets. Plus you have a gift for invective that the vox-types couldn't dream of having.

    But I've also seen how badly the academy has treated you (in terms of publication) and so when your blog lost some of it's edge and you tried to reach for a larger audience here, i figured "who am I to complain?" We're all just muddling through, right? But that said, I hope you go back to your more idiosyncratic style. I miss the FJMs, the esoteric references, and campaign of the damned style insanity.

    Whatever you end up with, I'll keep reading you, no matter how many wine moms and sanctimonious dipshits you lose (or gain) in the process.

  19. Cranky Owl Says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSS!

    Cry gin and tacos and let slip the dogs of Ed!

  20. Misterben Says:

    I've been reading this blog since it was actually about gin and tacos, and I've enjoyed every stage of its evolution. Exciting to see you getting published in big-time papers and magazines, too!
    Keep it going and don't worry about rant-y feedback from the late-night Irritateds. There's no pleasing everyone.
    Thanks for making my mornings better for…longer than I can remember!

  21. Aero Says:

    I'm glad you're seeing the bigger picture when it comes to self-care and criticism Ed. I haven't followed you for as long as some of the others here, and I comment even less. But I appreciate what you write, how you write it, and the places that you write from. It's a sharp perspective, and it really isn't for everyone. As others have said: you do you. We're all just along for the ride.

    I will say though, be thankful for the (mostly) well behaved commentators here. I don't know about you, but I actually enjoy the comment section on this blog, they generally make me feel smarter for having read their added opinions. On the other hand, I don't know if you ever peek at the crowd over where you've been getting published lately, but I wouldn't blame you if you take a hard pass. I've never in all my time on the internet seen such a crowd of self-inflated buffoons beating each other lazily with grade school playground responses between inhaler puffs earned from the strain of typing responses that were hackneyed 5 years ago. It's like someone drained the dregs of digital human presence for every last drop of useful output, and then dumped what remained there because they needed something to fill the space.

  22. Juz in Oz Says:

    Mate, writing is work.
    i own a bar. Sometimes it's fun, because of the customers and the access to booze, but the floors still need to be swept and the toilets need to be mopped and the bills have to be paid. It's fun sometimes, but it's work, all the same.
    Sometimes I write for $, and it's nice to think I could just write whatever I want and get paid for it, but the Kerouc days of wanking for a living are over – I get a commission and I fill it, dreary as it sometimes is.
    We all dreamed of being a fireman or a nurse or a cop or a vet or a movie star, because we saw the glamourous fun side of those jobs, without thinking of the paperwork and the shit and the long hours. Writing is like that.
    You're good at it. Really good. Clearly you enjoy it. But you don't always have to.

  23. CHW Says:

    "My parents could tell you stories about me at age four throwing tantrums because something didn't make sense, or school detentions piling up because I had the really unfortunate habit of pressing adults with questions about Why when rules were clearly arbitrary or when the motives were misrepresented…"

    When I was in Kindergarten a friend told me I had six fingers on my hand. I fought for the integrity of my little mind but she just kept insisting it was true, so I broke down crying and made my mom take me home early. Needless to say, this whole "FAKE NEWS!" debacle has been a wee bit traumatic for me.

    Keep up the good fight…

  24. MaidMarien Says:

    I don't always agree with or understand you, but I do understand that what you write here is Your Opinion.
    And, I come here to read Your Opinion – it is intelligently delivered that I might just learn something.

    The comments on FaceBook, and your takedown of them, are gold.

  25. AliceBlue Says:

    I can't add anything to what's already been said here, but this is one reader you're not going to lose.

  26. democommie Says:

    Ed:

    I am liberated! All of this time i have HATED you and thought it was wrong–and finally, I can let my Flag of Attitudinal Idiosyncratic Loyalty FLY!! /s

    I'm pretty sure that I'm one of the whining (think a 30K RPM router with a bent shaft and bad bearings) voices that drives people nuts–I don't care. The people it generally bothers are those who value "decorum" in conversations above other things. OR, they're people who hate when they're told that they're wrong and it's past time that they did some reading on the subjects about which they display clueless certitude.

    I've been writing poetry for 40+ years. In that time I have given literally thousands of copies of individual poems and entire manuscripts to people. Over the period I've been doing that I've had maybe 3-4 "critiques" and almost no other comment from people.

    I've been taking photographs of interesting subjects (at least to me) for about 35 years and have, as with my poetry, given many hundreds of cds and dvds to people with various content. Same old, same old re: comments–although the %age is higher, it's still negligible.

    If it was really important to me that people react in a favorable way to my "ouvre"–or react at all–I'd have quit doing it a long time ago.

    Blogging is hard–unless you just want to air out your hatred of one group or love of cats or something that many other people obviously like–so why do that, or write poetry, prose or music? Because we NEED to. At least I do it because I need to, ymmv.

    I had a nice long chat with a good friend over a few beers on Monday. He is very successful at his business which is training people how to train other people in a variety of different ways. Many of the things he does are, imo, likely done by his clients for the purpose of satisfying various rules and regulations for doing business or to convince the public that they actually give a fuck about anything other than their quarterly profits. He is embarked on a new project to, I think, shift the thinking of a LOT of people in how they perceive the world. It is basically saying, "All of this stuff you're doing is wrong–not bad, just wrong–because you've been looking at problems/goals from a persepective that is unrealistic and virtually guarantees mis-application of tools and misinterpretation of results.

    Sorry to be vague but I can't say more than that at the moment. Suffice to say, the distillation is this:

    "Stop fucking around with models that require isolation, go with listening to the world and understanding that EVERYTHING is important.".

    I've tried to live that way (despite that I am a nasty fuck on the blogs, I'm a relatively decent person in meatworld) while not giving in to the despair that seems to be moving over us like a dark, persisitent cloud generated by the smouldering burnin'stoopit that passes for "thinking" with a lot of folks.

    You, sir, are one of the numerous bright, but local, beams of clarity (most times) breaking through that miasma of indignorance.

    Onward Curmudgeon Soldier!

  27. Hugo Says:

    We're going back to the days of FJM? Cocksucker of the Year Awards? Battlefield: Train? (I consider the latter to be one of the most bitingly hilarious things I've ever read and I re-read it at least a couple of times a year).

    Do it. Do it now. I've read this blog since 2010 and I know this because 2010 was the year we worked out who you really were and fan-stalked you at APSA because it was just so good. Reading this post is like hearing that Bill Hicks isn't really dead, he's just been in hiding but now he's going to start doing stand-up again.

  28. Steve Holt! Says:

    Gin and Tacos is one of the few reasons that I haven't firebombed my Facebook account and pushed its charred remains into the sea.

  29. Chicagojon Says:

    "And I'm going to stop doing that, and go back to what I did for a very long time when nobody aside from a handful, maybe a hundred, people read this. Audience Building is tiring."

    Yeah! As one of the handful, maybe hundred, but certainly first thousand I think this is a wise approach. My guess based on similar 'celebrities' that I follow is that your growth rate won't suffer much and your retention rate will increase

  30. Everett Says:

    Ed,

    I wonder if this sense of yours isn't related to your efforts to engage more on social media. I think it's easy to get sucked into the immediacy of SM contact, and that probably lends itself to caring more about what people think. Maybe. Anyway, I say fuckem all (including me). Write acerbic asshole posts; I'll keep reading and loving them.

  31. Heather Says:

    I'm a newer reader — which I'll admit despite realizing that carries no cachet whatsoever around here — and I truly have very little to no interest in politics. I am, however, a HUGE fan of logic. That's why I came, and that's why I'll stay.

    Do what you gotta do re: the paid writing; I think it's all terrific, and I'll read that too. But this right here? And Facebook? That's where you get to say WHATEVER YOU WANT, uncompromisingly. Never change that. Please.

  32. J. Dryden Says:

    So, to sum up the exchange:

    Reader: "I want you to be an asshole to the people I think are assholes."

    Ed: "Sorry, but I'm a misanthrope–I think everyone's an asshole. Including myself."

    Reader: "But–"

    Ed: "And also you."

    Then, to quote Not-Really-Vin-Scully, "And heeeeere come the pretzels…"

  33. Square Shady Says:

    So, what you're saying is… your secret message has always been Christianity?

  34. Mo Says:

    Have I told you lately that I love you?

  35. Marcia Crump Says:

    Thank you! I have been lurking here for I-don't-know-how-long. Your reveal brought your appeal into focus for me, now I get why I always find your stuff compelling.

    Also, what Cranky Owl said.

  36. sphys Says:

    I mostly don't comment because I generally don't really feel like I'd add anything, but this blog is great, even if I don't always agree. Anyway, like everyone else, I encourage you to do what you like with it, because not only is that why you have it, but the result made me a consistent reader of it.

    (I just hope that "what you like" includes providing some more gin reviews and fixing the ginaissance links so I don't have to manually copy the working part of the link into a new tab. Also, is Extreme Playaz Bumpy Gin still available anywhere? I keep looking, and I keep on not finding it. A tragedy.)

  37. OPunWide Says:

    So that's what it's about! I did think it was (mostly) about politics. There were times I was wondering if you changed political sides, or if we were being pranked. Now it all makes sense.

    You made a wonderful statement on the leading cause of my one sentence replies taking two pages: "And lately I feel like everything I say is trying to anticipate and preclude various inevitable criticisms."

  38. Well ... mostly Says:

    Let it rip Ed. More fun for you, more fun for me.
    Besides, I already know what I think – and I'm not so impressed most days.
    Too old – petrified opinions and all that.
    I do like the links to your published articles. Probably couldn't find those on my own.

  39. Dave Says:

    I was on board in 2008, and while the bitterness and the obvious depression have always resonated with me, it's obvious in retrospect that there's been a fun-drain. Hopefully we can all start laughing at idiots again instead of being pissed off all the time because they're running the show. And when it turns out I'm one of the idiots sometimes and I can get less stupid because I read this blog, cool.

  40. Anthony Says:

    You've got my support, though I have to say again that vareniki are not tacos.

  41. ronzie Says:

    So, I'm just going to say what I want to say and you are going to respond how you want to respond.

    Wow, I'm such a dim bulb that I thought that's what was already happening. Also, although cheese fries are tasty, they're not worth the week of constipation followed by the painful rectum ripping (is there a non-painful rectum ripping?) that results from shitting out the hard stone-like nodules they turn into in my guts. But that leaves more for you!

  42. Katydid Says:

    Not a fan of cheese fries, but I am a fan of yours, Ed. I've been reading just a couple of years, but I like your reality-based worldview.

    Also, I'm only vaguely aware of Insane Clown Posse–this afternoon as I was washing out my soup bowl in the breakroom, the giant tv that's always turned to Fox featured skimpily-dressed blonde spokesmodels with frowny faces having conniptions over them and I thought, "Huh, they're a thing?"

    I wonder if the spokesmodels will ever catch wind of your writing and frowny-face over you?

  43. Ryan H. Says:

    God I can imagine how exhausting to have to lay this all out. As long as your hot takes and obscure history lessons stay hilarious you got my eyeballs. I follow blogs of people who are interesting, though provoking and entertaining. You've been consistent and then some on all counts. Keep it up and keep bruising those fragile fee fees.

  44. Nemoleon Says:

    I have your blog categorized under "academics" in my (late Miocene) feed reader, if that makes you feel better about what people think you're doing. Also, you haven't given anyone an FJM treatment in a long time.

  45. Whitney Says:

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter here. The only thing I don't like about your site, frankly, is the word gin in the title. I fucking hate gin. I hate the smell, I hate the flavor, and the only two times I got drunk on gin were two of the worst nights of my life (one ended in a DUI, and the other ended in me checking myself into the ER the next day because I couldn't stop puking). I have reason to believe I'm slightly allergic to juniper, so gin and I disagree on many fronts.

    But enough about me.

    Don't pander. Write what you want. Criticize anybody that deserves criticism–which is everyone, at some point. Tribalism is stupid, and is really just nationalism in a smaller group.

    I'm excited for you that you're starting to get your work published in Rolling Stone, and while I read all your blog posts, I may not continue to read all your published articles. The writing is just that tiny bit more, I don't know, formal? formulaic?, and more lowest-common-denominator: calling Steve Bannon and Alex Jones names, for instance, is just red meat for the Democrat base. There's already plenty of that in the world, and I think the fact that you're having less fun writing it is showing through.

  46. John M. from Ct. Says:

    Like some others, I'm too recent a recruit to G&T, or perhaps too dim a reader, to have noticed any changes in your presentation.
    I like your writing and want you to continue to do it, so if you see the need for a change of approach or style for your own peace of mind, please go with it. I'll risk the consequences (like I have a choice!).

  47. Paul Says:

    It's interesting that you write this now, because just last week I was discussing how long I've been following along here, and I remembered how I first happened upon you: Ed vs. Logical Fallacies. I fucking LOVED that series and I would love to see more.

  48. Blade Rockwall Says:

    Did not read the other comments yet, maybe someone above already said this better than I will:
    Kudos. It took me a fucking long time to learn that "people-pleasing" was actually "me-pleasing" in various guises: like me, respect me, notice me, validate me… I am certainly not immune, but I do make an effort to say things as they occur to me without running it through my (eerily ever-present) "pandering" filter. I do make a sincere effort to be kind first and to speak the truth as I see it out loud and to correct myself just as loudly when I learn why I am (frequently) wrong. I see you doing this too. Not unironically, I count many of us who follow ginandtacos as members of Team LessWrong. Go Team!

  49. papermache Says:

    Your logic and the resulting logic of the comments regarding bad logic has always been the draw for me. It makes me think and rethink. In the decade + as a regular reader, I think I commented twice hoping it contained at least a grain of relevance. The subject had nothing to do with politics.

    I had to stop reading after your pre-election prediction that the orange baboon would lose hard and quickly fade from our consciousness. I wanted to believe it – but the majority of your commentators disagreed – and they were right. The epitome of bad logic became POTUS and my heart broke. Once my throat healed from wailing, my dentist treated my gnashed teeth and I disposed of my ash covered sackcloth . . . I was back. I needed your logic and the logic of your comment feedback more than ever, to heal, laugh, think and try to make sense of this nightmare. Not easy as G&T took a very political turn. How could it not?

    Your post today was very refreshing and we need refreshment in these dry times. Keep your focus, bring back the fun that was lost and do what you must do. Your followers will roll with it.

  50. Safety Man! Says:

    Best advise I have or ever will have:

    You don't know me or anything about me, and should place no value on the opinions I hold. Unless I tell you not to handle something, then please jesus god listen.

    Less trivially, Ed, as far as I know we've never met, but I know from your writing that you are sometimes a proverbial cat being swung by the tail of your own humors (O brother where art thou). Take a walk. Go fishing. Murder a hobo. Do you.

    The honest answer is that currently there's more cognitive dissonance coming from the Republican side, even before Trump (Jade Helm, anyone?). However, as you once pointed out to me, there is currently a bizarrely not-terrible Williamson article on National Review about tax law, politics differences notwithstanding.

  51. John Says:

    In the nick of time.

  52. anotherbozo Says:

    Ed, if I may (and no one now can say I can't, of course), your self-analysis is simplistic. You're not just about Logic, or reason. There is content here, to wit, your professional field, not to mention wide reading, many of whose specifics are new to me, or aspects of government I've forgotten. So far, I tune in for all of you. Intellectually speaking.

    "You be you" is a good response. As a favorite writer of mine (the late Barry Hannah) put into the mouths of one of his characters, "Be yourself with all your heart." Crotchety, misanthropic, profane, even self-contradictory, it's all good. Make it fun for yourself, because fun is contagious. In your darkest thoughts are often the biggest laughs for us.

    Since starting to read G&T, I've even begun to regard the rats in my basement differently. I still set traps, but feel a bit sorrier when I catch one.

  53. unyon Says:

    Doing what you want to do? Pfft. Fuck you. Dance, monkey.

  54. mothra Says:

    Whoa. I think you probably are going to lose Carrstone over this.

    Seriously, though, this started to feel like a break-up letter toward midpoint and my heart jumped into my throat. Had to scroll down to the end to breathe a sigh of relief.

  55. jcastarz Says:

    I'm a recent reader, Ed. I've come here because of the unvarnished and thoughtful discussions – both in your published articles, and in the comments sections. I know of few places online that challenge readers to examine life from outside the establishment perspectives, and hope you continue your run here for a long time to come. I apologize for any of my comments that were off-topic – but after all, is that not a measure of an author's success? – to engage people in discussions that don't follow a predictable script? Thank you again for your quality writing.

  56. Anubis Bard Says:

    Well, I for one have forgotten how to revise my RSS feed, so I'm not going anywhere.

  57. mothra Says:

    Ronzie: us folks in the Southwest know that the only way to eat cheese fries is with a load of green chile (or maybe some red chile) on them. Solves the constipation issue really nicely.

  58. circularreasoning Says:

    Well, this seems to have struck a chord! Lots of long-time-reader-first-time-poster types and folks like me who have maybe-posted-two-or-three-times-despite-daily-reading-for-over-a-decade.

    I suspect it has something to do with what mothra wrote about sounding "like a break up letter". Fear is a powerful motivator, and we know how to feed the beast so the posts keep coming!

  59. jjack Says:

    Sweet Jesus you had me sweating bullets that this was an "I Quit" post.

  60. RICK WAYNE Says:

    I know, right? I was all "Don't you MAKE me come chain you to your keyboard, man." [Smiles sweetly] "So go on, have fun!"

  61. Scout Says:

    I read this whole post with bated breath thinking it was your I CAN'T DO THIS SHIT ANYMORE farewell opus. I am now breathing again.

  62. AGL Says:

    I always look forward to your posts. And celebrate your success in the wider world of media. This space you've created is also notable for the caliber of the conversation following most entries. Do what you want. It's working.

  63. Lord karnage Says:

    Please bring back Ed vs. Logical Fallacies. It's what brought me here. We'll both be happier. Good luck, rediscoring why you enjoyed doing it in the first place is valuable. Hope you get there.

  64. Virg Says:

    Keep doing what you do. You challenge us and we clearly need that.

  65. Citizen One Says:

    You had me at Gin.

  66. Heywood J. Says:

    Ed, the only thing that has ever bugged me about G&T is how often you say something that I wished I'd said first.

  67. Locke Says:

    slowclap.gif

  68. Linda Says:

    I don't agree with everything you write, but at least I know it's coming from an honest place and I can live with that.

  69. mago Says:

    Your writing, interests and insights have captured an expanding audience. Your generosity, discipline and diligence in keeping it going is greatly appreciated.
    Shift up, shift down, just keep driving and people will keep riding.
    Well, maybe not Carrstone.
    Oh, god, sorry. Gotta change my style.

  70. democommie Says:

    Wow.

    I had no thought that Ed was going anywhere. I thought he was firing us. I thought, "Paywall?" well, fuck that, habla keine dinero. Then I thought, "We're gonna have to be nice to people? Fuck–worse than having to pay; fuck, Fuck, FUUUUUUUUUUCK!".

    Then I see, it's not either of those things and that Ed is just going to say what he thinks about what he wants to think about. I don't do popcorn, but I do have about a dozen Bartlett pears roasting in a spiced syrup at the moment and the sweetness of the ripe fruit, the unctuousness of the melted butter, the freshness of just squeezed lemons and their zest, the brightness of ginger and allspice and the mellow warmth of a little brandy and a soupcon of dry marsala wine will nicely offset the bitingly acerbic NEW (old) Ed.

    "Also, although cheese fries are tasty, they're not worth the week of constipation followed by the painful rectum ripping (is there a non-painful rectum ripping?) that results from shitting out the hard stone-like nodules they turn into in my guts.".

    So, yeah, the chilis are a good idea but you're prolly getting your fries done in a 100% soy/corn/rapeseed or other vegetable oil. I recommend using tallow and lard cut with just a bit of castor oil…*

    * DO NOT do that.

  71. Josh Says:

    Thank you. Huge fan. We don't always agree, but I always have huge respect for where you're coming from. And I'm not just saying that because I've been drinking.

  72. Mike Says:

    I read you because you write well. The more the better.

  73. other bill Says:

    Happy to hear, man. Pivot to the old pivot is a great idea. Keep it yours, always.

  74. j Says:

    Followed up immediately by:

    "And now let's talk about the mexicans"

  75. Blakenator Says:

    Your have been on my daily read list for years. I just hope the next pivot is not to stop writing this blog. BTW, huzzah for your comments threads authors, as well, because they tend to be interesting and lack the mindless stupidity found elsewhere.

  76. E* Says:

    I started reading this blog after you eviscerated "Atlas Shrugged." As I recall, much of your venom was aimed at Ayn Rand's total lack of internal logic. And that's what drew me in. Because, you see, there are some aspects of libertarian thought that speak to me, despite my decidedly liberal bent. What I loathe about Ayn Rand is precisely what you focused on. Bravo.

    Glad to hear you're continuing.

    PS. "Atlas Shrugged" grabbed my attention, but your tribute to your rat hooked me forever.

  77. Emerson Dameron Says:

    "After several hours, Joe finally gave up on logic and reason, and simply told the cabinet that he could talk to plants and that they wanted water."

  78. Old Sarge Says:

    Another long time/first timer here. This is the best blog and comments section online, bar none. Write you, Ed. I'm sure your regular posters will continue to write themselves. Thanks to all for making me think. No better gift exists.

  79. Stonefoxx Says:

    U finally try acid r wut?

  80. Ormond Otvos Says:

    Well said! I, too, annoyed teachers with overly accurate Why Sequences.

    I have one audience member, my extremely sharp wifely person.

  81. wetcasements Says:

    WHERE ARE THE TED CRUZ JOKES ED???

  82. c u n d gulag Says:

    I think I'll be stickin' 'round these here parts.

    I ain't easy to shake-off; least not when I like something.
    I ain't no psycho, neither, so ya got no worries on that front.

    So, you keep on writin' 'n pundittin', young man.
    'N if'n I stop likin' ya'll 'n your scribblin', I'll just quietly leave, 'n no one will ever even notice…

  83. geoff Says:

    FUCK "Everyone"!! GIN AND TACOS 4 LIFE!!

  84. geoff Says:

    Also, fuck "traffic". If you can't let 'er rip HERE, what's the point??

    I actually DO understand your dilemma. Clicks are important in our dumbass era. But surely there's SOMEWHERE you can write what YOU want, the way YOU want to, without worrying about giving offense to spineless centrists OR left-wing crackpots (like myself), and it seems like G&T ought to be that space.

  85. Wee Trixie Says:

    Another long time/first time here. I can't remember when I first found G&T but I've been a daily reader for years. I even read the comments because, for the most part, they are actually civil and insightful unlike the comments on Rolling Stone which I have learned not to bother with because my reaction is always "WTF?".

    Keep on writing, I'll keep on reading.

  86. Matthew C. Says:

    Keep writing. Its been a joy watching your life and your progress.

  87. Tracy Says:

    I'm a relatively new follower (was introduced to your blog by a friend), and an almost-never commenter. I'm also Canadian, and we seem to enjoy snark a bit more than others, as long as it's intelligent snark.
    Your writing is sometimes entertaining, sometimes frustrating, but always intelligent. To me, the harshest criticism (particularly on your facebook posts) says you're doing something right. Trying to please everyone is giving in to the temptation to be nice, and nice isn't always (or often) a good thing, particularly in this turbulent era. Nice is bland.
    I hope you find the fun again, because life is so much better when the fun is a big part of it. Keep pissing me off, Ed, because it is so fun to feel fired up and ready to argue with the world!

  88. Jestbill Says:

    HAHhah!
    So now you're no longer a Democrat?

    No more checking the polls, trying to find a position somehow between incompatible world views that will still pass?
    Not going to take any more criticism of old compromises in order to forge new ones?

    But, but, but you'll lose the next beauty contest and IT'LL ALL BE YOUR FAULT!

    You're about logical arguments, not about politics. I'm about long term results of bad logic: politics. I call people who don't get it "ESL graduates."

  89. JJ Says:

    Worst. Post. Ever.

    This is the only political blog that I regularly read. That's either very high praise, or the limit of my attention span to politics. Either way, keep it up. I have looked and haven't found any real alternatives.

    You are a bit soft on the centrist Democrats though, you fake librul.

  90. Tim H. Says:

    So, stamping on illogic wherever it may be found? No wonder this looks like a mostly political blog. And I'll pass on the cheese fries, but come back to see what you write in the future.

  91. Safety Man! Says:

    @Emerson Dameron

    A thousand times yes.

  92. Safety Man! Says:

    @democommie

    I will trade homebrew beer for brandied pears. Or souls of innocents, whatever.

  93. RosiesDad Says:

    Cheese fries? Blech.

    G&T, not blech.

    I come for good writing (because your writing is generally very good) and content that makes me think. Whether it's about politics or anything else.

    So I think I will stay if that's alright by you.

    Question: Has your recent foray into Twitter influenced how you think about your writing? Because in a very short while, you have become very active on Twitter.

  94. ajobil Says:

    I know what you're talking about when you say people tend to make everything political. I used to consider myself an SJW. I have racism, i'm for free speech, i think $15 minimum wage is a good idea, etc. But i think BLM is no good, i despise people like the Hugh Mungus lady and i don't get the logic of tearing down statues (shades of the Taliban).

  95. ajobil Says:

    That should be HATE racism (which i experienced first hand in China).

  96. swkellogg Says:

    So I guess the next big reveal will be that you ARE Carrstone.

    I'll give myself some props for at least having an intuitive awareness that this blog was about logic and consistency. I probably wouldn't read it if it were strictly a political blog with an acerbic edge (I've got Edroso for that). And while I certainly enjoy a good takedown of RW arguments (more often and more accurately construed as an amalgam of diversionary, dishonest, delusional, and/or just downright bad talking points) I find it just as (if not more) cringe-worthy to hear a shit-smear of an argument voiced by a member of my own howler monkey caucus. So regardless of my political proclivities, I appreciate your efforts to keep the whole discourse thing on an honest footing (Of course, I can't necessarily pat myself on the back in this regard as I have grown increasingly emotionally volatile, intellectually lazy, unfocused and nihilistic over the years — a condition that I believe clinicians refer to as "normal healthy aging").

    FWIW though, I enjoy a lot of the commenters here — even if they don't "get it" in the way you intended. If nothing else they've got the brimming kiddie pool of troll urine that is referred to as a comments section over at RS beat by a mile.

    Yours in Rollins hate,

    SWK

  97. maurinsky Says:

    I will always love reading you on G&T, even when I don't agree with you.

    I might have to unfollow you on Twitter, though.

  98. democommie Says:

    "I will trade homebrew beer for brandied pears. Or souls of innocents, whatever."

    When I work out a way to ship them without having people on the other end receive some pretty funkified "pear sauce", we can talk.

    As for the souls of innocents, they are a garnish–far too rich to be an entree.

  99. Bjm Says:

    I am heartened by this news. This is the only blog I've read consistently for something like ten years now. Since high school. I'm now almost thirty. You've always stimulated my mind. And the sort of content you seem to be intending to produce more of again is why I check this website damn near every day. Another of my favorite blogs, the Non Sequitor, I am aware of because of this blog. So yeah, consider this encouragement.

    Also if you did a podcast about Cold War history I'd listen to it.

  100. Stone Cold Jane Austen Says:

    Giant fan. I shout about Gin and Tacos from the rooftops, when accessible. Please keep doing whatever the hell you want and there will be plenty of us out here. Also glad to see you getting published in fancy places. Reading this website makes me a more critical thinker, and in a world that can be Your Own Personal Echo Chamber, I welcome your approach. Wanted to say thank you.

  101. FDChief Says:

    Well, given that the "conservative" (GOP/Republican) agenda can be pretty well summed up in the phrase "Vigorously stooging for open plutocracy with a side order of theocracy and white supremacy…" it's kiiiinda hard to avoid "bad arguments and (being) the people who make them" when you are arguing FOR that. I mean…outside of plutocrats, theocrats, Nazis and Klansmen who's gonna step up to the bar and order that?

    So in that sense "conservatives" ARE your enemy, because every time you run into them they're popping off with some nonsensical argument about how having your granny die in a ditch is FREEEDOMMMMM!!!!

    The Left certainly has some equally whackadoodle gomers out there, but they don't run the joint the way the Ayn Rand slashfic writers run the GOP.

    So I think you need to deal with the fact that until the current GOP is destroyed, the ashes plowed under, and the soil sowed with salt that you're going to continue taking shit from "conservatives" – and I use the scare quotes because these jokers are radical reactionaries, not "conservative" in any real sense – because it's hard NOT to get all in their shit. It's not that they choose moronic arguments. It's because, given their stated positions and objectives all that HAVE are moronic arguments.

  102. zebbidie Says:

    I thought your swing to mommy-blogging was coming on really well.

  103. ChickenLady Says:

    My husband hates cheese. So yeah… nothing is going to appeal to everyone.

  104. The Next Guy Says:

    Ed, I'm bummed to hear that you've been experiencing a loss of Slack and glad to hear you're gonna do something about it.

    So, real quick-like, lemme say, "Sounds like a good plan. Bring it."

    …'cuz my guess is that You + Fun leads directly to Me + Fun.

    As full of shit as,
    The Next Guy

  105. Dave Dell Says:

    I read every day (and I'm bummed when there's not a new post) and occasionally comment here. I read almost all the comments, not because I have that much free time but because you always raise interesting points and the commenters here are the very best. The comments here are actually worth reading. The comments are cogent, and erudite. It's a pleasure to read your stuff and a pleasure to read the comments of your faithful followers.

  106. geoff Says:

    @StoneColdJaneAusten, I'm in awe of your "screen name", or whatever the hell teh kidz are calling that thing nowadays. Afaic you've won the internets (sic) today.

    PS, my kid (who's not a kid) just asked, "why are you always looking at that blog?" You know it's cool if yr kids hate it, amirite??

  107. Nate Says:

    Hey, Ed. Big fan from way back. I'm enjoying watching you shine at various professional outlets. Keep kicking ass. :)

  108. Major Kong Says:

    Am I allowed to like homebrew beer AND brandied pears? I don't see why it has to be either-or.

  109. vegymper Says:

    This.is.you – and better be you than try to be What.They.Want, inn'it?

  110. Dave Bearse Says:

    I'm a regular long time reader that rarely comments, stopping by a few times a week in the primitive fashion of visiting this page and reading any new posts. G&T is among my top four. I love your style of humor in conveying an idea or in making an argument.

    There is an element in most employment/activity of either doing what is fun and personally satisfying, or making bucks and seeking stroking of the ego. I hope you find the sweet spot between the two. My counsel as an old man is to err on the side of fun and personal satisfaction.

  111. John Stampfl Says:

    I enjoy your writing and check G&T every day.

    Thanks

  112. doug Says:

    cheese fries are not good IMO.
    This place is a must read IMO.
    Thanks for all you do.
    And I enjoy the comments as well.

  113. Safety Man! Says:

    @Major Kong

    Doesn't everyone? The beer just happens to be my highest value barter item, unless Democommie really, really likes blackberry jelly.

    Although, if I ever meet either of you in person, I swear by White Nationalist Jesus as my witness that you will drink for free.

  114. Jack Says:

    OK I have a serious objection and am Mad On The Internet about it: the world is not *literally* drowning in content.

    Other than that I'm behind you.

    (Long-time reader, first-time commenter; glad you're still around!)

  115. Dean Says:

    Wow. Wish I could closely read all the comments, but I can't. I will assume most of them are laudatory, because that's what this post deserves.

    Writing about politics and writing about how arguments work (or not) are not mutually exclusive undertakings. The issue, as you point out, is when we treat politics as sports, which is about as stupid and trivializing an approach as can be to what ought to be a fairly serious business.

  116. Katydid Says:

    Here's some illogic and politics for you, fresh from my job's break room and courtesy of the spokesidiots at Fox and Friends "news"; you know how Donald Trump has been in the news a lot lately for all the immoral/illegal/outrageously stupid things he does? Well, that's the fault of BOTH SIDES, because the "fake media" insist on reporting on him!

  117. xjmueller Says:

    OK, some folks don't like cheese fries.

    Ed, you're the cheese fries (swimming in a large styrofoam cup) with my two dogs (everything-no peppers) and large root beer. I'd miss you if you weren't there.

  118. Katydid Says:

    OT: Demo, how's your dog?

  119. mothra Says:

    Chile. I am telling you people, chile is what transforms those cheese fries. That and not using yellow glop from a can.

  120. democommie Says:

    @ Katydid:

    Buddy is back to his usual hoggerboy self. I made him some biscuits today and he said, "just leave the bucket on the floor and I'll self-regulate.". I said, "Don't shit a shitter, son.".

    @ Major Kong:

    I have no problem with pears and homebrew or red wine, chocolate, pepperoni, marcona almonds, blue cheese or some pecorino romano and some nice salt-cured or Kalamata olives with a crust of garlic and rosemary focaccia–all at the same time.

  121. Katydid Says:

    Okay, Demo, I'm going to your house for all your snacks. Bringing my dog to share Buddy's biscuits.

    P.S. Glad the dog is better!

  122. Squeaky Wheel Says:

    How did I miss such an iconic cultural force as ICP? I missed Phish, Nickleback AND Insane Clown Posse? All in the same lifetime!?!? Is there any point to life?

  123. mrearl Says:

    I came here for the humor, and stayed for the logic. Though I sometimes question the premises, the logic still burns. You be you, Ed, and look at the world only through your own eyes, and the humor will burn again. Illegitimi non carborundum est.

  124. Aurora S Says:

    THANK YOU JACK.

    Everyone's misuse of the word "literally" makes me figuratively insane.

  125. Citizen Scientist Says:

    I feel like I get what you're trying to do here, Ed. I also come for the laughs. Since i don't make it here as much as I would like to, just wanted to say thanks and keep on doing what you're doing. The funny bits are icing on the cake.

  126. HoosierPoli Says:

    Hillary supporters' inability to take any criticism mirrors the candidate's own weaknesses.

  127. democommie Says:

    @HoosierPoli:

    ?

  128. Ivan X Says:

    I too am driven figuratively insane by misuse of "literally."

    But I think the part that bothers me about it being misused here, specifically, is that you're an intelligent, fine writer, and misusing "literally" doesn't befit you or your work — it distracts the reader, in its incongruousness, from your otherwise fluid and precise language.

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