Saturday, June 16, 2012

Taking a Break

image: welcome to my nightmare
About a month and a half ago I announced that I was going to reduce the frequency of my posts here at TDS because I was getting burned out. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Since that time, the feelings of burnout have just gotten worse. In the 13 months since I started this blog, I have pretty much said everything that was on my mind when I started it, and nothing substantially new has happened since then. Every day when I peruse my usual news sites, it's like watching the Bill Murray flick, Groundhog Day: a slowly unfolding downward grind with the powers that be playing all the games they can to keep the facade of business as usual propped up as long as possible. Yadda, yadda Greece...yadda, yadda bailouts...yadda, yadda Obama/Romney/Paul/Gingrich/Cain/Bachmann's gonna save us...yadda, yaddda lies damn lies and government statistics,...yadda, yadda The Bernanke...yadda, yadda Vampire Squid...yadda yadda muppets...yadda, yadda austerity...yadda, yadda stimulus...yadda, yadda fuck the hell off already.

How much longer can they keep it up? I don't know the answer to that question, but quite obviously much longer than I can stand to keep writing about it day after grueling goddamn day.

So as you've probably gathered I've decided to take a break from blogging for awhile to see if I can recharge my batteries. I'm not sure right now how long it will be. If something big happens next week, I might even be back then. As always, I appreciate all of the great support my readers have given me these past 13 months. Though my primary motivation in doing the blog was to get a handle on my own thoughts and feelings about our inescapable collective predicament, you are what has really made all of my efforts worthwhile.

Bonus: I've posted this tune before, but this time I'd like to dedicate it to the vast legions of the unaware out there. After all, they piss and moan, but they let the devil in their homes


  1. Perfectly understandable Bill...

  2. I had a blog for a number of years, and then too decided to take a break. It has been a year or two since that decision, and I'm not even contemplating the possibility of returning.

    These days, if I have thoughts to share, I share them with my wife and two children, perhaps a few others, and then on blogs like yours.

    Best of luck as you recharge your batteries, or move on permanently. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will miss it.

    1. Thanks, John. Your comments have always been appreciated.

  3. Well then it is as good a time as any to say thank you so much for all the wonderful writing and work you've done. I hope you recharge and write more, but only if that is what brings you some peace- it's selfish to expect you to if it isn't bringing some happiness. But perhaps it will after a break.

    I have no idea how to come to terms with the cluelessness around us. Sure, there are those "doomers" (I am so sick of that word) who seem to derive some pleasure in the stupidity around them because it buoys up their ego. I'm that way sometimes, but then the grind of it just gets old. You just hope so much for signs that the human race isn't all bad. I know animals in a zoo don't behave in a normal fashion and I'm sure people in cubicles don't, either. I see people everyday that just make me think of pacing tigers.

    It's like having no country, no people. Maybe that's how you feel.
    All I can come up with is to enjoy the last little things. Corny or not, I'm looking forward to movies this summer like a kid. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" looks good, so does "Moonrise Kingdom". Find something gentle that you like. Books, of course-but maybe not doom. Seriously, read "A Confederacy of Dunces" or even "The Mysterious Stranger"- not that it is funny, but it's a good reminder that the existential hurt has been around a lot longer than all of us.

    The only way out is humor and kindness. I'm not saying that there isn't plenty to be angry about, but I don't think in the end, that will save us (and probably nothing will).
    Please enjoy your time off in whatever manner you enjoy. It is summer and look at it like a kid. Go sit in the sun, eat a snow cone and enjoy. And thank you for all of this work and like I said, I hope you come through it and write again.

    1. Kathleen - thanks for the kind words. You hit on one of the keys to this decision, namely that I am officially dropping the term "doomer" from my vocabulary or as a way of thinking about the world. There are hard times coming, for sure, but if you've prepared yourself mentally and made yourself aware of the likely pitfalls, there is no reason to believe that you can't have a decent life for quite awhile yet. There is no way to save the world, or even any individual person who remains stubbornly in denial. I've decided that it is time to just accept that fact and move on.

      And I do want to read "A Confederacy of Dunces" one of these days. :)

  4. Oh, no. I've looked at this blog every day, and found it well-written, thoughtful, and informative (dare I say, even entertaining?), and I've chimed in once in awhile. But I understand—everyone comes to a point that they need to take a breather, even with things that they had (or even still have) a passion for. I have found this with aspects of my own work in art.

    I'll check back from time to time, just in case you post something new. And revisit some of the older ones—or are you taking down the blog altogether?

    Maybe this is my last chance to ask (what is perhaps an obvious question): Why the alias?

    Anyway—good health and good luck!

    1. Quite simple, I've got two years to go until I can take early retirement and I don't want to embarrass my employer. What I write has nothing to do with them, but you can't take a chance these days. Anyway, I chose Bill H because I have no doubt that he would share similar views if he were still alive today. Cheers!

  5. Enjoy your summer, reconsider a once a week post like Kunstler does and maybe the burnout factor can be avoided. You have contributed a very valuable perspective to this insanity and we are all trying to stay sane ;-) Actually what I will miss is your musical posts, always right on and have introduced me to some new bands! ThreeEs - still posting weekly least for now.

    1. Thanks, ThreeEs...I always maks sure to peruse your site every week.

  6. Bill sorry to read that you are taking a break, but I understand perfectly that day after day of reading and writing about such depressing content can burn you out. I've began in recent months to develop an interest in cycle racing, cause I just can't cope with the remorseless tide of bad news. I am still reading the bad news but I now have some diversion to take my mind off it.

    Anyway thanks for all the work you have done in the last 13 months, I really appreciate it and wish you luck in whatever new activity you decide to invest your time in.

  7. Bill, I share your fatigue with the daily litany of power, corruption and lies that oozes from what passes for a fourth estate in our diseased republic. One thing I've never tired of is this amazingly prolific and high-quality blog, which has been a nourishing antidote to all that. Thanks for your efforts and especially your insights. Hope you come back sooner than later, but meantime do take care of yourself.

  8. Well, I'm sorry to hear this Bill.

    I mean, there are so few of us to begin with, and now there is one fewer.

    I'm a bit burnt out too, but writing DOTE doesn't require that much effort anymore. I could crank that stuff out all day and not bat an eye. It's easier for me to write it than it might look to others. If I had to work really hard to do it, I would have quit some time ago. But you're still working a regular job, and I have retired from the world, which makes things easier still for me.

    And of course it's obvious that few in the wider world give a shit about the decline of America and the destruction of our Earthly habitat. That's enough to discourage anyone.

    If these idiot humans don't give a shit, why should we?

    I sympathize, I obviously know what you mean about the yadda, yadda, yadda ... it does get old.


    -- Dave

  9. “There is no way to save the world, or even any individual person who remains stubbornly in denial. I've decided that it is time to just accept that fact and move on.”

    Writing is mostly my way
    Of coming to terms with dismay,
    So the more I accept
    And get mentally prepped,
    It seems that I've got less to say.

  10. dear bill,

    thanks so much for your writing, your time, effort, and diligence. i've followed your blog religiously for about 8 months, and found much insight, humor, and good music to boot.

    i also blogged, yet more of my efforts were posting links to important stories of the day. i quit a few months ago, for i recognized that i wasn't accomplishing a whole lot due to the fact that my readers knew most of this stuff already, and the others want to remain in denial as long as possible, hoping the impossible, that the status quo will return. ah well.

    “There is no way to save the world, or even any individual person who remains stubbornly in denial. I've decided that it is time to just accept that fact and move on.” ... yep. people will believe whatever they want to believe. like everyone else, i also camp here. though like you, bill, and your other readers, i think that we at least are able to open our eyes and think critically; take in information from all channels, apply our own experience, logic, and parse it to see where reality lies. or at least be in the same universe.

    most everyone i know, 'right' and 'left', does not want to hear it. a shame really, given that together we could build a much better society based on real wealth (food security, sound infrastructure, useful and enduring products, clean enviro, authentic culture, real community, meaningful relationships).

    so it goes; we do as we can. i think 'lead by expample' is the best we cant strive for.

    be well my friend. ya done good.


  11. "lead by example"

    I like that a lot. There is joy and peace in that path. May many find it.

  12. heh... i guess y'all got it, but sans typos:

    "i think 'lead by example' is the best we can strive for."

    i agree, john. i find joy and peace in the path, though it is trying to be sure, in economic terms as well as winding up a 'malcontent' and social outcast. anyway, conscience kind of binds us to walk the talk if we're awake.

    peace to all,


  13. Bill,
    Started my own blog to keep up on the ever-collapsing situation. I post just once per day which is quite a bit as it is, sifting through all the news and essays of the day. Like you, I'm doing this to get a handle on the ever-evolving situation. Hope to see you back in the future.

  14. It can be difficult to invest the time to really dig into the details of all the corrupt and evil events happening all around us.

    A person could spend all their free time doing so and still only scratch the surface of any one issue, with limited exposure or understanding of said issue.

    Now multiply this effect across all issues and one ends up with an unremarkable expose' - the result of spreading one's efforts too thinly.

    People also often underestimate what a time sink the whole blogging environment can be. Perhaps this is by design.

    I often ask myself what this whole internet thing has to show for the billions of man-hours invested regarding social justice accomplishments, since the 'net became a household word.

    I asked this same question in the prior days of BBS's before the 'net.

    Looking at my archives and at my own efforts and writings on such BBS's since the dial-up days of watching the bug crawl across the screen of Bell 103, when you could hear every character as you typed it, long before this era of digital mass telecommunication, I've often questioned the return on investment even with all the progress in speed and utility since then.

    If TV is the opiate of the masses what soma does this type of activity subdue ?

    These factors are what caused me to direct my efforts and apply my time almost exclusively to local neighborhood dissemination of issues.

    This can take many forms, from talking/discussion, flyers/newsletters, to in my case - radio.

    I believe media is key to the whole problem - as long as people remain glued to the corporate media little will change.

    But our culture has such a strong emphasis in pure entertainment, an all news channel never attracts much listenership, so I provide mainly music for people here to listen to, concentrating on Jazz, while on another frequency providing Rock, while on a third frequency providing news during the day and music overnight.

    The internet only serves as a feed for current news, for media clips to play, for music to add more variety for the listeners.

    The whole idea being offer them everything the corporate media does not, which is easy considering the quality of said media.

    On the 'net a person has millions of other blogs to compete with to attract readers, or has tens of thousands of other bitcasts to compete with to attract listeners. But on the air you stand out by just being there at all, much less anything out of the ordinary you might play.

    This leads me to believe being on the air is a better investment of my time and effort, and has a future as well, since in our power-down state long after the power hungry 'net has vanished, people will still have radios, some even solar or hand cranked - very low power.

    And it likewise takes very little power to serve your neighborhood, compared to the 50-100,000 Watt 'flame thrower' sticks the corporate media blanket our airwaves with now..

    I see myself continuing to serve the community this way long after AC power becomes unreliable and so no longer supports such power hungry methods - long after the 'net and the flame throwers are gone.

  15. The wait will not take much longer, after talking head Romney is appointed, starting in December the great collapse will begin.

  16. Take care of yourself Bill.

    All the best,

  17. I understand the feeling all too well, Bill. Hopefully we'll see you again, but if not, you will be with us in spirit. One more voice crying in the wilderness...

  18. Thanks for all the great work you've been doing. You'll be missed.
    Take care

  19. Oh man! I hear you...I look forward to your blog but WTF is gonna happen (does any of it matter?)...As Steve Martin in the Simpsons sez (Homer Sanitation Commissioner episode), you're all screwed ...bye!

  20. I've really enjoyed your blog, Bill, but I totally understand your need to step back from it all for a while. Just posting the occasional comment on TOA and HA became too much for me for a while there, so I can only imagine the mental fortitude needed to keep up your endeavors here. For what it's worth, your blog has been quite exceptional and you are leaving a really useful educational tool for those who are willing and ready to learn.

    Best wishes to you!

  21. What the heck is going on here...

    I step away from the net for a few weeks, and Jim Puplava has set up a pay-wall, Erik Townsend is doing the Monday podcast, Chris Martenson has morphed into peak prosperity (will the crash course get renamed the prosperity course? Hmmm... how does prosperity_watcher sound?), and now Bill Hicks has exploded?

    Well, not entirely exploded it seems, since there are some newer posts appearing.

    Bill, at nearly 600,000 visits, you should be proud of your accomplishment, and, I hope that you still will find the time to post every now and then.

    It’s good therapy.