Michael Gerber
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After much discussion over several months, Nancy and I have decided to put Dullblog in the deep freeze, at least temporarily. We may post occasionally, but comments will be off.

We’ll be leaving it up as an archive—for now. Diverting as it has been, Dullblog has never really fit with the rest of my professional life, and my first impulse was to send the other writers their posts, then nuke the site from space. But my wife convinced me that there might be people—perhaps someone housebound, as I was when Devin, Ed, and I began this site in 2008—for whom HD is a form of solace and entertainment. So I’ll pay the bills for a while longer.

HD began as a team blog, but by necessity one person had to take care of it, and that person was me. After several years of that, the site became mine. Being an editor/publisher by nature, I came to think of Hey Dullblog as a publication (not a message board) and I’ve been dissatisfied with it as a publication for years. In a world full of platforms, Dullblog has simply become a very poor way for me to communicate to an audience on a topic I care about. The atmosphere here is now so endlessly and pointlessly contentious that I can’t even make myself post, which says that it’s at the very least time to take a pause, if not call it a day.

I do not pretend to be an expert, but from where I sit Beatle fan culture is changing in alarming ways, undergoing a kind of decay we’ve seen in other arenas. After a decade where HD’s commenting culture was regularly noted as an island of reason and amity, in recent years the people coming here have seemed to be quite different. There was a new focus on personal identity, an obsession with a single idea or vantage from which to view The Beatles, and a facility with the Internet’s awesome trivia-trapping power solely to buttress that view. Even more than that, there was a new sense of grievance, a craving to correct Wrong Thoughts, and a level of identification with famous strangers that’s bad news in anyone over the age of 15.

Nancy and I could have easily used this tribalism to build our own little empire (podcasts! YouTube! hats or something?) but for one important thing: this new culture is really the opposite of the attitude behind Dullblog—a fundamentally wide-ranging and curious look at something seemingly pondered to death, a slyly forensic smiling style with no fixed point of view except appreciation. It’s been exhausting to engage with and, well, we’re exhausted. And speaking personally, I’ve come to believe that by running this site and its endless bickering I may be contributing to people’s ill health. That I cannot do, especially for a mere hobby.

So: coats are in a pile in the bedroom. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t slam the door, our neighbors are light sleepers.