A change is coming to the model village, and NA Confidential is winding down.


For several years a division of Google, Blogger hasn’t ever been a particularly relevant (or efficient) communications platform from a writer’s standpoint. Maybe it was okay briefly when it began back in 1999, or whenever it appeared. So was Bill Clinton, for a few minutes at least.

My only allegiance to Blogger all along has been the low cost of writing (zero), which is a good thing for a blog that has yet to earn its first penny in revenues. 

As it stands right now, the latest Blogger update has incapacitated NA Confidential by denying me the use of labels. These are important to keep things straight. Think of an old school file cabinet with infinite file folder capacity but only a finite ability to mark the folders. Soon it’s chaos. Blogger already had a label limit that I never knew about because there was no reason to care for so long as processes worked.

Now they don’t. The “matching suggestions” label finder is beached and inoperative, the assumption being I’ve exceeded my label limit, but there no longer is a pathway inside to look and see, or to make corrections, and trying to arouse interest from a human reminds me of banging my head against Yosemite. NAC is floating out on the water, without any way to repair an engine failure.

Fuck Blogger — to death, in its entirety. 

However, I digress.

Since last November, in response to (a) incessant threats of retaliation from the hypocritical community pillars in this one-thought town, (b) the escalating time requirements of my two jobs, and (c) a very real sense of fatigue and burnout, I’ve been steadily reducing the blog output and refraining (for the most part) from commentary on local issues. 

In essence, I’ve been smothering my baby in fits and starts. Readership has plummeted. All eyes have been averted from local issues, consumed with the social media-inspired culture war at the national level. Meanwhile the arrogance, cupidity and vandalism proceed apace in this barely literate, perennially dirty little river town, and it might as well be 2004 all over again. 

You know, this used to be fun. 

Now it’s like going to work at a job you detest, not because of your own motivations or interest level, but due to hideous working conditions. Blogger is making it twice as hard to do half as much, an example of inane big tech insanity that I have no interest in indulging any longer. 

All that’s left is an official announcement, and while this isn’t exactly it, I can’t tell you how much longer I intend to post regularly here. 

The plan at present is to maintain NA Confidential as best as I can as an archive and reference resource (when the arrests begin, I need to be able to say I told you so), and to build a full-fledged WordPress-powered, stand-alone web site under a different name. I’ll post there regularly, and use it as a place for my writing — travel, beer, whatnot. Negotiations are underway with a local designer

I’ll keep you posted. 

This saddens me, of course. And yet all things must pass, and the sheer, pervasive dumbassery of the year 2020 offers an ideal opportunity to make a clean break with the past. 

The dipshits in Nawbany win again, but don’t they always? 

Look, an outsider like me doesn’t climb into the ring imagining miracles. It’s asking a lot to vanquish the overwhelming forces of decades-ingrained ignorance, venality, greed, corruption and inertia by summoning comic book levels of strength and firepower. 

Rather, you try to take the bout 15 rounds, looking for chances to score points, all the while conducting yourself with guile and aplomb before the cliquish big fish drown you in their insufferably small pond. 

It’s gone 16 years, not 15 rounds, and the final bell is about to sound. 

I’m not yet sure what will become of the ON THE AVENUES column; either it or something similar probably will continue at the new digs. I will keep you informed about the changes to come. 15,000+ posts later, thanks very much for reading.   

(unless I change my mind, naturally)


  1. I'm saddened. But the archive will remain intact elsewhere, and maybe the Gahanistas will leave my friends alone, although I doubt it. Change is good, and my new web site might be up in a matter of days. Thanks, Mark. You're a great friend and I appreciate your editorial advice from day damn one!