The blog, our swamp, a whole year of my life and the outlook for 2018.


As of this morning, there have been 12,254 posts at NA Confidential.

I’ve written and posted most of these, though not all (thanks to Jeff, Randy, Lloyd and a few others for their contributions), and while it’s impossible to be exact, for the sake of the calculation I’ll use 30 minutes as the average time required to finish a post, although it’s surely more than this.

This comes out to 367,620 minutes, or 6,127 hours, or 255 entire 24-hours days in my lifetime (57 years) doing nothing except writing for NAC.

If the time allotment is raised to 45 minutes per posting, it would be 382 days, or just more than a year. Taking everything into consideration, the truth probably lies somewhere between 255 and 382 days. At any event, as noted recently at Facebook, it’s too bad this shit doesn’t pay.

During the coming week on Wednesday or Thursday, I’ll have surpassed last year’s blogging productivity. It will be the 11th straight year to record more posts that the year before.

▼ 2017 (1358)
► 2016 (1369)
► 2015 (1249)
► 2014 (1228)
► 2013 (1167)
► 2012 (1114)
► 2011 (921)
► 2010 (839)
► 2009 (789)
► 2008 (583)
► 2007 (495)
► 2006 (492)
► 2005 (573)
► 2004 (77)

Yes, I’ve assigned myself explicit daily, weekly and monthly quotas, which have been nudged up each year in order to focus my attention. Obviously the blog pays me nothing, but I take it very seriously, which is the point of today’s thoughts.

In the previous week’s column, I mentioned that our human planetary order is passing from one era to the next, a fact which can’t always be seen without a certain amount of time passing and perspective accruing from the distance. The same goes for our own individual lives.

It’s very clear to me now when certain periods of my life began and ended, and equally obvious that since ceasing to be involved in NABC (no, they haven’t paid me a red room cent yet), I’m in the middle of another transition, albeit without the necessary perspective to know exactly what it means or where it’s going.

It can suffice to say there are a couple of possibilities for my next phase of professional development in 2018 (read: paid employment), and as such, something’s got to give.

Come January, there’ll be a renegotiation of my attitude toward this evolving body of work otherwise known as NA Confidential. I have no intention of ceasing to blog, and you’ll remain as entitled to my opinion as before, but simply stated, I can’t continue to do the News and Tribune’s “checks and balances” job for it. 

The newspaper’s “management” team seems intent to give Jeff “Dear Leader” Gahan a perpetual free pass; to refuse to ask the necessary questions both of our City Hall and other regional aggregations of business-as-usual (I’m looking at you, 1Si); and to waste its talented collection of youthful reporters on feel-good fluff, the sheer daily weight of which effectively cancels out the newspaper’s periodic showpiece “made for annual awards” efforts pertaining (as an example) to opioid addiction.

In fact, the newspaper’s maddening obliviousness probably does more to impel my cantankerousness than any other single factor, including Gahan’s cult of personality, David Duggins’ entirely undeserved pay packet or the local Democratic Party’s muzzling instincts.

Here’s the thing: it takes a village to resist the idiocy, cowardice and graft. None of us standing alone can put a dent in the hyper-monetized armor of the reigning local vandals.

There’s a swamp in need of clearing, and I’ll continue to play my part … just in an altered state, because the increased time it takes to do this pro bono job the way I’d like for it to be done is about to become an issue. As Billy Preston once presciently observed, “nothing from nothing leaves nothing.” 

This blog will remain a place where ideas and alternatives are discussed, and satire is encouraged — after all, satire is more important than booze when it comes to coping with the saturation-level stupidity all around us — but no streak lasts forever, and mine is no exception. I can promise there’ll be no new record for posts set in the year 2018.

There remains a standing invitation to readers to get involved, contribute their thoughts and rock the research. Those who do will be remunerated at the same basic going rate (zilch), and I’d be thrilled with this blog morphing into a community anthology.

Until then, NAC in 2018 will be much the same, only different — and, for the record, it’s taken me a full hour to write these words, a task meriting the use of an exclamation mark.