Nine years of sublimation at NAC, and the beatings go on.


The ninth anniversary of NA Confidential passed unnoticed on October 22, primarily because I was too busy with other components of my merry fractured world to pay close enough attention.

Happy belated birthday to us.

I like to say that this blog began as a direct result of massive personal depression in the wake of W’s re-election, except you’ll notice a birth date preceding Elector Day in 2004. In fact, the epiphany didn’t strike overnight. It probably began in earnest a year earlier, when we closed the deal on the purchase of our house at 1117 East Spring Street on Halloween, 2003.

Talk about foreshadowing.

Several previously disparate threads began to come together in 2003 and 2004. In retrospect, a significant factor was my new life. A marriage had ended, and a new relationship started. Because of that, we bought a home located in Midtown. Before and after the move, all those walks and bike rides through the deserted wastes of a criminally neglected downtown raised dozens of questions leading to lines of inquiry veering somewhat from my previous obsessions, most of which were variants of beer and travel. I began to see that NABC’s business was transitioning toward a fuller embrace of brewing, which began to make sense as the ultimate, local, creative act.

As the presidential election year of 2004 advanced toward its likely conclusion — the re-enthronement of arguably the worst American chief executive ever — an absurdity began dawning on me. We live our lives in a specific place, but spend so much of our time debating issues far beyond it. In 2004, at 44, there was next to no chance of my influencing the disastrous Bush reign, and to even devote psychic energy to such issues merely left none to apply to matters nearest to me, when these were the sort of local conditions best addressed through direct action, and capable of being influenced. The odds were 1 in 300 million, or 1 in 37,000. Which would you choose?

Therefore, why not write about it these convergences? After all, everyone’s entitled to my opinion, and naturally this is the precise juncture that a deeply personal proclivity came into play.

Quite early in my life, it was obvious that being able to arrange words on a page was essential to my being. I don’t know why. It just is. Through most of my adult life, I have awakened to a jumble of thoughts centering on today’s topics, thoughts on how this jumble is to be untangled and organized, and what must be written, as soon as possible, in order to expel the current crop of thoughts and make room for others. I suppose it is a compulsion of sorts. Music always plays in my head, and sentences always are forming there. I’m convinced that when these idiosyncracies cease to occur, or when math and numbers finally start to make sense to me, death will be imminent.

What better way to facilitate these needs than electronic media? It requires no start-up money. It’s possible to write locally, and disseminate globally. It builds character, and makes me a better gadfly.

And so it went, from then until now. Coincidentally, this will be the 7,000th post at NAC, including unpublished drafts. We’ll hit 7,000 actual published posts in early December. Thanks to Jeff, Randy and Lloyd for contributing over the past nine years, and to all the moles and agitators and malcontents who help our ideas to gestate. Thanks to my wife for tolerating my writing and cage-rattling compulsions. Thanks to you for reading.

Lastly, thanks to the late, great Howard Zinn for demonstrating to me the fundamental veracity of a people’s history, nd the critical need for it, because while this blog is imperfect, the intent all along has been to provide New Albany’s flip side. It required a learning curve, but I’m damned proud of the results, and I think we’ve helped provide a record while offering more ideas per square pixel than local political power structures and non-local media combined.

I think NAC is ridiculously under-rated, but it doesn’t matter all that much. It’s their loss. That’s life.

Somewhere, it’s beer-thirty.