Parting Thoughts on the Hive

I’m truly sorry to see you go, Jim.

Like many others, I always looked forward to reading what you posted because of the way you expressed yourself and ordered your thoughts in a disciplined way that I admired (and envied).

I know that it can get heated in the Hive from time to time (especially with the primaries, God help us) and there is also some sniping that goes on but I’ve always thought that important ideas can come out of that crucible.

I don’t expect everyone to be at their civil best at all times here because we all bring different life experiences to the table. People lash out when they are passionate. People get sarcastic. Sometimes things boil over and it blows up.

What I like about the community here is that apologies are offered, graciously accepted and we move on without grudges for the most part. I think that’s a rare quality in forums of this kind.

The Hive isn’t changing in any dramatic way that I’ve noticed; we’re just moving through the cycle that ebbs and flows here when passions start to run high heading into the primaries and while we still have unresolved issues from the last ones. I’m seeing more and more flags every day because of it.

I’m genuinely sorry to see you leave because this is when we need your levelheadedness and civility most of all.

The door’s always open.


NOOOOOOO! You’re my partner in The Society of the Spectacle! I’ll miss you!! Please don’t go. I’m gonna read your book. Edited to add: I got the last copy of your book on Amazon and will be reading starting May 1st when it gets to my house.



Like everyone, I hold you in high regard, Jim, and will miss you. Here is where your book will go on our shelf. When I was young and impressionable I took Walter Benjamin’s words to heart. He wrote of the joy of unpacking his library, and how his most beloved books were those written by his friends. So we have a special spot for them. I hope you don’t mind the company, these are all by people Selenesdad and I actually know.


Greg Palast?

Been a fan for years,

Please give him my best.:wink:


And I’m a Kate Christensen reader. Enjoyed IN THE DRINK–a good first novel. Her novel THE EPICURE’S LAMENT is quite good, too.


Selenesdad was on high school Quiz Bowl team with both Greg Palast and Eliot Gorn for a couple of years, so at that time they knew each other as well as anyone does in high school. We have gone to see him when he speaks in town, and say “hi” to him afterwards.

Kate Christensen and I went to college together and were friends, although I haven’t kept in touch directly. She went by “Katie” then. One cool thing is that her parents gave her, for a graduation gift, a “summer free from work” so she could focus on her writing. About a year later she won a Mademoiselle magazine fiction contest and got a short story published, and then she was on her way.

I tried to look up the story (the characters are based on our friends from school. in fact this is one of two times I’m aware of that someone has written a roman a clef, or at least a nouvelle a clef, about a social circle I’m in, but I don’t feature in either one) – and came upon this great interview with her about her early life as a writer:


Nice! I actually understated it a bit in that first post – I’m more or less a fan. Her stuff is just good. She’s really good at writing loser male characters. She gets it. There’s a curious freedom in not being accomplished, one can still sit down to tell the tale.

Interesting that she both received and made the most of the summer off. A lot of artists don’t get much encouragement from their families. But the truth is, a lot of artists would squander the summer off. I certainly would have at that age. You might sit down to write that day, but then your friends show up and you end up somewhere else.

I’ve been involved, part-time now for quite a while, in the indy bookstore trade. So a couple of Kate’s books are go-to sells to a certain type of customer. I’ve never heard a complaint.


Selfishly speaking @jabbot I’m hoping that you will be one of the MIchael Corleones of The Hive, to be pulled back in when you’re ready, but I understand the fatigue, and the wish to read (Trollope, much?) and write your own books. Have a good summer.


I am a poster who reads more than posts - and I always read yours and found them informative and helpful. You will be a loss. We need your voice.


I do not post much, but have always gotten a lot out of your comments. Thank you very much for your contributions. And thank you for posting your “goodbye” and not just disappearing! Please come back if you ever feel the need. We will miss you!
Sincerely, Sunny Peneka



I’m really sorry to see you go. You are among the top… gosh… three posters here (no particular order) that I pay the most attention to. You are one of the great minds and hearts here in the Hive - a potent combo - and it will be a lesser place without you here.

I selfishly wish you no success in breaking the Hive addiction and hope that you come back soon.

Either way, I wish you the best, and will be in touch.



@jabbot Jim, frequent reader of the hive, take a break, whatever, but don’t leave for good. Your thoughts are well appreciated in this space.


This misery of an Administration has fucked with me more than I care to admit. The Hive has recently been a source of help in that I have recently discovered their movies thread and I have really enjoyed interacting with members on a very unrelated issue (considering that this is a political site).

If it isn’t too late, might I suggest involving yourself in different threads that address other issues that you are passionate about? Reading, movies, television series, sports, or create something. This group of people are passionate about many things outside of politics, just like you, I imagine. Sometimes you just need a break and losing yourself in other topics can really help.


I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for posting here, sending me personal messages, and/or writing me emails. (Now I have some idea of what Mark Twain wanted his readers to imagine when he had Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Joe Harper attend their own funeral.) Your kind words, often too kind, mean a lot to me, and they’re just more evidence that the Hive has to be one of the very best online communities, especially among those which are focused mostly on politics.

For myself, I’m still working on getting control over my every-15-second impulse to grab one of my devices to check my email, my Instragram notifications, etc. I am if anything more troubled than I was a few weeks ago by what our screens appear to be doing to our individual brains and to our society at large, not least because I can see what they’ve done to me, my wife (who can’t read books anymore), and my children. By way of example, I’m trying to read Lincoln’s 1854 speech in Peoria on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, delivered during one of those famous Lincoln-Douglas debates: 16,630 words of exceedingly subtle rhetoric and argumentation delivered by an autodidact at a state fair, where he spoke without intermission for about three hours to roughly 1,500 modestly educated farmers and their wives, who presumably stood the entire time and then stood for two more hours in the evening to listen keenly to Douglas’s rebuttal. But now here I am, 164 years later, discovering that from the comfort of my couch I have to reread some paragraphs multiple times not because it isn’t outstanding prose on a monumentally important subject, but because my mind these days seems to have a mind of its own, wandering off again and again and again.

Anyway, I do want to say thanks, many thanks, sincere thanks for your well wishes. And to those of you who are undoubtedly thinking, “He can’t even say a simple ‘thank you’ without writing a f*cking essay,” I can only respond with a paraphrase of Winston Churchill’s words, ““Since in the course of our lives we often have to eat our own words, we might as well resolve to make it a feast.” :grinning:



Please give us some pointers if you get some balance back!
These days, if you’re connected, it can feel like you are riding the crest of a huge wave of history, and you’re afraid to let go. It’s difficult to step back.
If you want to know about jobs in my location, send me a DM. It really does help being half a world away :wink:

1 Like