Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Day The Pony Died - Bye-bye Eschaton Jr High


Atrios and Eschaton are Dead

When criticizing Atrios, I always feel obliged to note that he gave me my first big link, and I appreciate that. I also think he's often funny as hell. That whole pony schtick, for instance, cracks me up.

But Eschaton is not a good blog anymore. In fact, it's a pretty bad one. I breeze by every now and then because he's got his finger on the pulse of the leftosphere. But that's basically the only reason. I think Eschaton may even be worse than Instapundit now. Neither of those blogs contains much by way of analysis, of course. Both are mostly link factories. But the hints and snippets of analysis both have are, well, of rather low quality.
And that was eleven years ago. The pony thing ended when one of his most prominent regulars, "Holden Caulfield" stopped going there and I never thought it was all that funny.  Mildly amusing, maybe, not any funnier than that.  These days Duncan doesn't have his finger on much of anything now except his kickbacks from and his annual begging week.  Most of his most interesting regulars - and at Eschaton it's the comments that are the only thing like substance to it since at least 2006 -  just about all of them stopped going because they came to the same conclusions that this blogger had.  Several of them commented on the blog post back then, all but two of those I recognized stopped going to Eschaton, at least one of them openly fed up with what it had become, as well.  One of the two who are still regulars at Baby Blue is Simps biggest rival for the title of biggest liar there, the other one one of the guys who said Inherit the Wind was historically accurate.

After a promising start with the encouragement of "The Horse" of Media Whores Online, Duncan early petered out and just kept it going to get money from it.  I don't even know if he bothers with the automatic open thread posting, these days.   It's a long way from when he regularly had 1,000+ or close to it comment threads, sometimes several in one day.

He does attract gossip, time wasting, people using it like a 12-year-old posting what they're eating for lunch, to talk about their uninteresting lives and people who lie and dish like the biggest assholes in your grade 7 class.  Which is the only reason I'm posting this, now.  I get seriously libeled there several times just about every week.  If he didn't do that, I'd never bother with it.  If you think I should just ignore it, you try being in my position and see if you still think you should just ignore it.

Interestingly, as I recently had reason to just a couple of weeks back, he was talking about Kevin Drum in relation to Duncan back then, which may be the reason someone called my attention to this almost eleven year old post.

So what happend to Eschaton? I'd say that Atrios used to be less partisan and foolish than Glenn Reynolds, but now I'd say he's worse. What made the difference, if there is, in fact, a difference? Could it be because Atrios included comments and Reynolds didn't? They both play to the crowd, but only Atrios has an adoring chorus hanging on his every word. Dunno. It's just a hypothesis: don't take it too seriously.

Anyway, I won't be commenting on anything at Eschton anymore, as it's just not worth my time to stop by there. Better to spend my time at, say, The Washington Monthly, where Kevin Drum keeps getting better and better, rather than worse and worse. Is Drum smarter than Atrios? Maybe, but I can't tell. Drum is more intellectually honest, and that's more important than being smarter. That's good news, though, for Atrios, actually. It means he could still turn things around if he wanted to. We can't always become smarter, but we can almost always become better. And that's the really important thing.

If Duncan could have become better he obviously didn't choose to.  I wouldn't accuse him of being too partisan, though I agree with just about all of the rest of it.  He's not smarter than Kevin Drum, Kevin Drum works for a real magazine, writing real posts, several times a day.  Mostly the only time he gets it seriously wrong is if he parrots the neo-atheist line, other than that he's mostly spot on. Duncan is an example of wasted potential.

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