Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fifth Column

It turns out one of the most venerated and reviled blogs in Charleston is about to go the way of the dodo. Hippie Killer over at the Fifth Column is hanging it up after about seven years, I guess.

I got into blogging --more or less-- because of the Fifth Column. I was a stupid freelancer --really, really dumb --and my editor at the time was keen on getting into the blogging game. He asked me if I knew anything about blogs. I lied and told him, sure. I read them all the time.

He didn't believe me, but he was putting together some new blogs for the Gazz and wondered if I was interested. I said sure. He told me there was little money involved, but I went along with it anyway --thinking that it might lead to bigger and better things.

Actually, it didn't. Nobody read my Gazz blog. Partly it failed because I became frustrated with the process, stopped updating content and there was almost no feedback. The paper also never really got behind the blogs and they tanked.

Still, because of the blogs I met some cool people. I met Karin Fuller, who turned out to be a pal. I also established myself in the local blogosphere, got to know some of the local bloggers --the few who remain, I still read --and when my old Gazz blog was gently murdered, I went ahead and struck out on my own.

I learned a lot about blogging from reading the Fifth Column. I think originally that's what my editor thought my blog should be --though not so much political, but a kind of savage let loose on the arts and entertainment scene. He liked the wit of the Fifth Column and he liked the viciousness. He thought I could copy it --sort of.

But I never did. I barely tried.

I've always tried to be honest, which sometimes gets brutal or uncomfortable and sure, I'm a bit of a bastard. I've got the legal bills to prove it --but I'm not really much of a blunt weapon. I'm just a single pair of eyes and ears attached to a moderately self-destructive personality. My interests, while broad, aren't necessarily the interests of a wide public and almost always, my blogging was more about me than Charleston.

Besides, when I did the Gazz blogs, I was often censored and edited down. Hence, the title of this blog. The only censor I have is someone I used to live with and her lawyer.

Anyway, I owe something of a debt to the Fifth Column. I'm sorry to see the blog go and hope whatever he does next is at least as interesting.


eclectic guy said...

I too am amazed that the lethal Firth Column is hanging it up. It sure had some issues though. I grew tired of the constant running down of Charleston as if everyone here is an idiot and we should feel ashamed that we live in such a city. Charleston is not a bad place to live. If you crave bright lights and big city, then C-Town ain't big enough for you. So be it.

The endless political diatribe was very informative at times, but even then, I felt like hippie killer was just puffing up his chest and becoming a parody of himself. To paraphrase, "Your stories are becoming tiresome."

Still, despite my political apathy, it was a great blog at one time and I was envious of its traffic and readership.

That's why I told myself from the outset that my blog would never become a freaking job (though my wife says I am too obsessed), that I could walk away from it and never feel obligated.

In the end, it's therapy- a purging of my stupid and useless obvious observations about my small life. But, I'm happy for it.

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