The rumblings have been going on for some time, but after periodic threats over the years, Tracy "Il Duce" Eberly is going to pull the plug on Anti-Strib, where you are greeted with the cheerful, stirring motto "We're not complete assholes!"
Tracy and his long list of contributors (17 at last count) are a contentious bunch, but also a very talented group as well, including one of my favorite bloggers and an important early supporter of this feature, the Lady Logician. It's never been a blog for the faint of heart -- the language is often R-rated and the invective has never been in short supply. It's also been a place that has long welcomed dissenting opinions; one of the major players at A-S has been a fellow named Ed Salden, a smart and thoughtful liberal who has produced some of the most interesting work that Tracy has published.
But it's always been Tracy's blog. I don't know Tracy personally, but he's always been a lot of fun to read. In a way he's always reminded me of a crusty metro columnist in a big-city daily, someone like Mike Royko. He's always been interested in a lot more than politics and he's written on a wide variety of topics over the years. He's also given his contributors plenty of space, which has meant that every visit to A-S would provide something surprising.
They've also rarely hesitated to mix it up with some of the other bloggers in town. I contribute to Truth vs. the Machine, which has had some run-ins with Tracy and his crew over the years. Tracy calls things as he sees them and that's led to more than a few skirmishes. I think that's a good thing, though. The fights we have among ourselves, especially in the MOB, can make us all better bloggers.
Tracy's decided to shut it down now, though, because the level of invective in the comments section has become too much. There has long been a nest of lefty commenters at his site and a number of them are pretty nasty folks. It's been long evident that dealing with these trolls has made running A-S more trouble than it's worth. It's a shame.
Blogs come and go all the time. Very few have the impact on the local blogosphere that A-S did. The disparate voices gathered there will have to find new outlets; in one case that has already happened. That's good news. The voices of A-S -- Kermit, the Admiral, Harlan Kraqure, Margaret and all the others -- are voices that we need to hear. I wish them all well and thank Tracy for the insight.