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The blog Moon of Alabama is shutting down

by Gaianne Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 12:51:55 AM EST

After something like a half-decade of incisive analysis and lively discussion unlike other any on the internet, the blog Moon of Alabama (MOA) (see blog roll at the right side of the Eurotribune home page) is shutting down.  Bernhard, who has managed the blog for its entire run, cited as reasons for closing it changes in his professional life, changes leaving him with insufficient time to continue running the blog and short of money for his non-internet life--the cost of the blog NOT being the main issue.  At this moment, the blog is still up, and a farewell-thread continues.  

Moon of Alabama took off as a blog when Bilmon shut down the comments on his blog the Whiskey Bar, and a number of his regular posters came over to a new blog dedicated to providing a space for commenters.  Bernhard's own posts provided rare insight and inspired responding commentary that made Moon of Alabama unique, and which continued after the Whiskey Bar closed down.  

It needs be mentioned that according to Bernhard, the dust-ups in the recent Iran election threads were not drivers of his decision to close down the blog and were in fact irrelevant to it.  (Really, does ANYBODY, inside Iran or out, know what is going on there?  Which is not to say that US designs on the country are not perfectly clear!--Gaianne)  

On the other hand, many commentors have in retrospect noted how clear, correct, timely, and exceptional was Bernard's coverage and analysis of last August's Georgian War, at a time when most of the internet--including Left Blogistan--seemed at best slow and confused.  But the Georgian War coverage, though exemplary, was not the only example of incisive thinking, which has been applied equally to a wide range of world events.  

But that, and the the community that formed around it, is now coming to an end.  New venues are being discussed and sought.  Perhaps, and more probably, the archives may be saved.  The loss that the end of this internet site represents is obvious, but the good and caring work that was done there is not forgotten.  


UPDATE: As of today, Thursday, 2 July MOA is still up, but about noon the comments threads was closed to new comments. --Gaianne

Some folks who have run their own blogs were not surprised:  To run a high quality blog takes a phenomenal amount of ongoing work and sooner or later real life interferes with virtual life.  

The timing may be co-incidental, but it is not surprising:  We are entering a time when personal stress is starting to increase, and for more and more people real life requires pressing attention.  

Perhaps what we have learned in recent discussions of global contexts will help us navigate our local lives.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 01:04:40 AM EST
I am sorry to see Bernhard shut down MoA. My first time ever comment on the Internet was at the then Wiskey Bar and I have been a commenter on MoA at the beginning and later on a regular lurker.

I can very well understand Bernhard's decision, as I am tempted to throw the towel at times too, and I do not have to take care of a whole site.

But his insights will be missed - but who knows, maybe after a while..... oh, well!

by Fran on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 01:44:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
please pace yourself, Fran, it'd be a huge loss, were you to drop out, tho' i'd understand, seeing how much of the site is your contributions.

i you do give up, could you do a diary about it first?


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 04:21:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really started writing on MoA (and was co-editor with Bernhard before opening up ET), would the MoA community be interested to come over here?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 02:49:27 AM EST
I find it a bit disappointing not to even be mentioned, given that I wrote a good part of the fp content for the site in its first 6 months.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 02:59:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not mean to provoke anything.  I have no inside information, I merely assume he is exhausted.  Certainly the goodbye did not contain much in the way of retrospective.  

For my own part, I am lousy at research.  I remembered you were involved at the beginning, but not the details of it.  When I don't know facts, I try to leave them out.

Let me invert that:  Very glad to be reminded of that bit of MOA history!    

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 03:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but Bernhard. Even if I have not been on MoA lately, I played a rather big role in getting it started.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 04:20:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

the farewell by b as gaianne indicates was not a retrospective - i am sure everybody who has posted at moon is aware of its history & your special part in that.  though b appears both & tough yet gentle man - i am sure no slight was intended

this world is mostly dark - whatever way words can bring some form of light is to be cherished.  in this sense, do not look for an insult where there is none

there are so few places of real quality or who represent a real multiplicity - i am sure people are very aware of what others within that community are doing

still steel

by remembereringgiap on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 03:17:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. Long time no see!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 03:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bonjour, colman.  b has been extremely generous with me & offered  a great deal of latitude allowing me to  think things out.  i am convinced the relations , historic & otherwise, rest fraternal

it happens at a moment though when the necessity for that form of information/communication is paramount

contrary to the way dkos generally views the world - i don't see so much light & that light is mostly in latin america & even there that fragile light is at very great risk

like willy loman, very great attention needs to be paid to this world gone wrong

still steel

by remembereringgiap on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 03:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been more a reader and lurker at MOA than regular poster, but your name did come up--also there is a certain overlap between MOA and ET.  

I think it would be very good if you dropped over there and expressed your thoughts.  

In truth, the work that Bernhard did was very central to MOA, but now he just has to put more attention to his own life.  Yet the community he collected there is real.  What to do?  People don't know:  They are currently thinking out loud and trying to sort it out.  (For my own part, I don't know either.)  

In short, yes:  That might be a real possibility.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 03:12:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I have seen the MoA group are intelligent and knowledgable and would be a great credit and resource to any blog if they were to join en masse.

I think it would be brilliant if they can be encouraged to join us here

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 03:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess you need to ask on MoA, not here.

However, it you have not been an active commenter on MoA lately...

A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds; a man of deeds and not of words is like a garden full of turds — Anonymous

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 04:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MOA's energetic contributors would certainly boost ET's spectrum of international subjects and would make me more than happy.

ET shares many similarities with MOA - eg Fran's Salon is similar to the Links sections MOA used, a wide focus on international events and news analysis. The big difference being the "E" in ET.

Bernhard seems to have a lot on its plate, reading Gaianne, so I don't think you should take it too personally for having been overlooked.

I think you should go ahead. If people think ET is not for them, they won't sign up. It's never a loss for ET, and it is a sympathetic move on your part.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 04:53:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, i think the synergy would be excellent.

the way the comments work here is easier to follow.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 10:54:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...posters at Billmon's, but mostly lurked at MOA.

However, I really enjoyed reading the posts and the comments from all the people there, which I did at least once a week.

It was too late for me to leave a comment there (I only found out the news today), but I'd like to thank Bernhard and Jerome for their time and effort and wish B. good luck in his future endeavors.

by Lupin on Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 at 10:35:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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