FOE Tits Up

February 10, 2009

All things must end, and Fred on Everything just has. This will be the last regular column, although the site will stay up and I'll add things from time to time as the mood urges.

The reasons for this disappearance are several. One is that writing the thing is a lot of work for no remuneration. I don't say this in complaint. Nobody asked me to write FOE, and I have enjoyed doing it. However, the economy being what it is, any writing I do in future will be for money. Crass commercialism has its uses.

More immediately, I am shortly going to Johns Hopkins for a corneal transplant, this being the belated result of a largely forgotten foray by the US into military adventurism. The result will be several months during which I will not be able to write except by dictation, which is preposterous. Now is a good time to bow out.

My reasons for inditing the sucker were, first, to see whether a web column could work and, second, to get away from the strangling grasp of political correctness. A third reason, common I suppose to most columnists, was the hope that, however minor my voice might be, in combination with thousands of others it might engender pressure for slowing the rush into the high-tech medieval twilight that the culture has undertaken.

This by now is clearly quixotic. The civilizational changes we now see are both irremediable and beyond control. The peasantrification and empty glitter of society, pervasive hostility to careful thought, onrushing authoritarianism, and distaste for cultivation are now endemic. I do not know where these lead, but we are assuredly going to get there. Fuming buys nothing.

I have just turned 63. Judging by familial history I have ten to fifteen years left on the planet. I have no intention of spending them railing against the inevitable. Books need my reading when I again can, sunsets my supervision, Padre Kino my drinking. Nepal, I am persuaded, cannot survive without my doing some serious trekking over it. I cannot let an entire country die for want of my attention. There are crazy friends from distant times and far places with whom I need to eat noodles in various remote back streets and tell lies. Equally crazy daughters require my time. And I require theirs.

I thank my readers over the years, including those who gave me hell. You are a bright and wacky group, no two alike. If a writer can be judged by his audience, I have done well indeed. Starting in perhaps four months, any who wish can check the site, and welcome.

Fred, out.