Tuesday, October 22 will be the 15th anniversary of the NA Confidential blog.
There have been just over 14,353 posts, 4,670,829 page views (including a handful recently from Singapore), 409 posts tagged “street grid,” and flaccid spitballs too numerous to count lobbed back at us, often anonymously, from folks who — in the parlance of our contemporary era — are “butt hurt.”
We’ve outlasted all the Trog Blogs of old. Naturally the main reason for their demise is the ready accessibility of social media; with reduced attention spans there is an accompanying reluctance to read and write. For a contrarian who revels in both, it’s the perfect time to double down on longer-form expressions.
The vast majority of posts at NA Confidential have dealt with the eternally confounding life and times of Nawbany, a confounding little river town with an inferiority complex. The blog’s founding premise in 2004 was, and remains, that local issues deserve more attention and discussion than national affairs, primarily because proximity at the grassroots brings possibilities to be involved and effect changes.
Since 2004 the municipality of New Albany has changed far less than misleading (and expensive) appearances might indicate, but it has proven to be far more entertaining than I’d ever have imagined.
It’s a tad ironic that a blog so few will admit to reading is regularly “answered” in other media and out on the hustings, and I wish I had a beer for every time someone snarled, “If you don’t like it here, leave!”
But you see, I’ve not been doing this for 15 years because I want to leave.
I’ve done it because I want to stay.
Why should I always have to be the one to change?
Neanderthals, puritans, sloths and teetotallers — inhabitants of the Open Air Museum of Ignorance, Superstition and Backwardness — step right up and take your turn. Maybe the time has come for YOU to go back to wherever.
Fifteen (15) years is an eternity, so on the occasion of this column, profuse thanks to Jeff Gillenwater, Randy Smith and the late Lloyd Wimp for their credited contributions over the past nine years, to Mark Cassidy for his support and willingness to cross-examine, and to all the green mice, guest columnists, moles, agitators and malcontents who help these ideas to gestate. Thanks to my wife for tolerating my writing and cage-rattling compulsions, and to Joe, my current employer, for his unparalleled patience.
Thanks especially to you, the reader.
Special thanks to the late, great Howard Zinn for demonstrating the fundamental veracity of a people’s history, and the critical need for it, because while this blog is as imperfect as its originator, the intent all along has been to provide New Albany’s “other” side.
Doing so has required a learning curve, but I’m damned proud of the results, and I think we’ve helped provide a body of work and an alternative record, while offering more ideas per square pixel than New Albany’s local political power structures and non-local media combined.
Disney does fantasy just fine. I prefer the real world.
Has any of it really mattered? It’s a question others must answer. I’m too close to the beating heart to tell. Personally, I think NAC is ridiculously underrated, particularly by local “media” outlets, but of course this doesn’t matter all that much. It’s their loss, and that’s life, because somewhere it’s beer-thirty.
Through it all one question still remains:
New Albany is a state of mind … but whose? We continue to observe the contemporary scene in this slowly awakening old river town, because if it’s true that a pre-digital stopped clock is right twice a day, when will New Albany learn to tell time?