Wednesday, December 01, 2004

an open letter to my weblog

Dearest JFW:

I love you. I do. You have been an important part of my life these last sixteen months. I would not trade the memories of the time we have spent together for anything. You will always have a special place in my heart.

And, yet, I need a break from this relationship. Some Time Apart. It's about me, not about you. Well, not really: it is, in no small part, about you. You are pretty high maintenance, after all. You do demand a lot of attention. Or, at least, I start to feel guilty if I feel like I'm neglecting you.

Truth is, I just haven't been that into you lately. We always said we would break up if it ever started to feel like a chore. While I do enjoy so much of our time together, I would be lying if I didn't say that lately it has, indeed, started to feel a little like, well, a chore. You deserve better.

I know this must all be very hurtful for you to hear. Usually, in a letter like this, the writer can at least bear some illusion that the recipient will get over it with time and move on. I know that you, however, will not move on. You will just sit here and wait for me. Forever, if necessary, or at least until you are euthanized by whatever algorithms Blogger has for dealing with the abandoned. I feel guility about this, I do, but I have to take care of myself and my own needs right now.

So, a break. At least for December. Maybe forever. We'll see. I know I will miss you. Whatever happens, I will remember you fondly, always.


P.S. I really will be taking a break at least for the whole of December. I have A LOT going on right now, even by usual standards. Whether I will come back to blogging in the start of 2005 will depend on how things go. I do appreciate so much everybody who has checked out my blog and especially-especially-especially anyone who has taken the time to read it regularly.


Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Jeremy! I only wish I had discovered JFW sooner.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the lonely donut man could take over for a while.

Goesh said...

I understand the need for a break. I certainly have enjoyed this Blog and I have considered it a meaningful part of my day. I hope you can continue on next year, but if not, I/we understand. I'm sure it requires considerable effort not only to create and produce, but to 'police' the site as well, though I suspect your Blog has been besieged by fewer crazy folk than most other Blogs.

nina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tina said...

A tragic loss for sociologically inclined blog readers everywhere!

In an attempt to secure a bandaid over the gushing arteries of your fan base, I extend an invitation to you to join us at Pub Sociology, where there is no pressure to post, but where your entirely optional contributions will be most welcome.

nina said...

(Sorry for the blogger error in earlier comment; here it is again:)
You and Tom Brokaw, on the same day! But NBC has given us a replacement -- Brian Williams, who was, btw, incredibly funny yesterday on the Daily Show (watch the rerun today in case you missed it). You just leave a void.
Still, I want to add my sentence of praise and admiration: JFW was the best thing that came down the blog pike in 2003 - 2004. You were amazing to keep it going for as long as you did! I am sure you'll go on to even bigger, even better writing projects. It can't be otherwise

nina said...

Okay okay okay okay, to those who have written to me since I posted my comment here: you are not reading carefully! I said “down the blog pike in 2003 – 2004.” I love blog babies born in 2004 as much, only differently. Phew! I feel like I paid a compliment to one child and neglected the other. Shame on me.

Ann Althouse said...

Jeremy is going to break up with his blog because not enough people have posted comments. But if all of you post a comment here to show that you do love Jeremy's relationship with his blog, maybe they won't break up. ... This isn't enough enough. You didn't comment hard enough. Jeremy's relationship with his blog is dead. [Audience weeps.]

Anonymous said...

I'll miss it. I read it everyday.

Anonymous said...


Your encouragement of my not posting has been of immeasurable value. You are welcome not to post on my blog anytime.

Best wishes not posting on JFW,

Jude said...

You fucking pussy.



islander said...

What? No Blog? But you are my inspiration! On top of that, I was just going to ask you if JFW could host an expose I want to write about frozen pizza. I need accompanying photos, which I cannot put on my own blog.

Anyway, I hope that you're doing OK.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:
Note that on July 18, 2003, in the post titled, "blogged if I do, blogged if I don't," I am quoted as saying that this relationship would never last. Although, to be fair, I thought it would fade away due to boredom, rather than co-dependency.

Even Jesus needed Some Time Apart (see 40 days in the desert); don't feel bad, Jeremy.

Anonymous said...

- sounds like a wake of sorts, so let's make it an Irish wake - don't know if you would prefer some top-shelf bourbon or scotch, or even rum for that matter, but here's lookin' at ya' for the fun we had here. Being somewhat new here, I have to say the Blog title "Wag the Blog" gets my award for the funniest title of a post. Others may want to add a comment or two about their favorites, etc. I have to admit that I also enjoyed the macabre personality of the one that posted the feral children stories too. Hopefully you will get revived and start this up again next year some time - you wouldn't need to post every darn day you know - just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Thou wouldst end thy blog and teareth up my heart
leaving me feeling no better than a stale fart - LDM

Anonymous said...

Well, I can honestly say that your letter brought tears to my eyes. I have been an almost entirely silent reader of this blog, and I’m always terrified to comment. But now, in case this is my last chance, I’ll write something to let you know how much your blog has meant to me. I do two things compulsively when I go online: 1) check my email and 2) read your blog. Perhaps I could be more productive and read the news or search for some new and interesting sites, but I have been captivated, some would say addicted, to your site. My words probably won’t mean much to you, but you are my hero, and I will miss you. I love your blog. I’m endlessly entertained. Your blog deserves more than the few hundred readers who check in on you. I know that I was among the privileged to have found you, and I only wish it didn’t have to end. So if you are moving on to bigger and better things, so be it. But think of me if you ever decide to come back. I’ll be the one who doesn’t move on. The one who waits for you, forever. I don’t really understand the lonely donut man thing, but he could never win my heart the way you have.

Anonymous said...

You are driving people into despair, fits of depression and suicidal ideation. Are you proud of yourself Mr. Freese?? - Helpful In Hew Hampshire

Anonymous said...

Aw. I hadn't realized how much your blog had become a part of my day until now. Thanks for the near-daily contribution over the last year+. Speaking selfishly, I hope you come back in January, rested and re-inspired. Speaking more altruistically, I hope you find what you need and do what's best for yourself. Thanks for all the fish.

Anonymous said...

so take Some Time Apart by all means. your blog can respect that. but don't commit what amounts to an e-autopenectomy - another word for your list of enunciation candy! see - you'll be back. you will.

Polish Immigrant said...

Going to Canada?

Anonymous said...

Why do I feel like Jeremy just broke up with me in addition to his blog?? I suppose it's just as well. I have a prelim to study for and the JFW is one of my favorite time-wasters. Thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

- all this crying and moaning and weeping and gnashing of teeth - take it up with your bartender, buster!

Anonymous said...

One thing is for certain, now that Professor Freese is ending this forum, you smart-alecs won't have me to laugh at anymore. I simply sought to point out the plight of some unfortunates in the world and was met with derision and snickering. I would have never expected this in a Sociology blog. The recent unrest in the Ukraine has brought to light some unfortunate news for the children of the world. Workers in the regional orphanage at Balta in the Odessa province of the Ukraine took to the streets in protest and their office was ransacked in their absence. Authorities found something very alarming, not that you really care. Two small ragged, scruffy children, Igorulsi and Kveta, were found gnawing on a dead rat beside a garbage can in an alley. They each had a photo ID sewn to their coats along with a document stating the nature of their circumstances. Damn right you know what their background was! "....feral children found tethered near a shed 2 kilometers north of Budei...". So, for all you skeptics, all I can say to you is:

Anonymous said...

What a wondrous variety of readers you have on this blog, Jeremy. One compared you to Jesus, another told you to eat shit and die, a third complains about the lack of posts on feral children, and one Homer Simpsonesque commenter likens himself to pastry and stale farts.

Maybe your readers are dumber than I thought.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally crushed. JFW will be missed.

sep said...

yes, you are breaking up with all of us! But, we'll go on and find other snappy blogs to read... don't go worrying your pretty little head about us :)

it's been good, thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...



Tom Volscho said...

It will be the end of an era if it goes.

Maybe Jeremy can become a NY Times OP-ED writer who writes about sociology, social psychology, and comes up with all those neat thought experiments.

Anonymous said...

An open response to Jeremy from JFW

My dearest Jeremy,

I have not stopped crying since your post. I mean, I know that lately you’ve been a little distant, but I thought that if I just waited you would see how good this thing between us is. I know that sometimes I annoy you and you feel like I am holding you back but what about all the good times we’ve had?

We’ve had so many laughs together. We met many wonderful people. Won’t you miss Lonely Dougnut Man, Helpful in New Hamsphire, the advocate for feral children, dorotha, and all the rest? All of these friendships will be so awkward if we’re not together. Whenever I am spending time with LDM, he will probably be feeling guilty – like he isn’t being faithful to you – and end up speaking in prose.

Think of all the posts we’ve shared! We’ve disseminated both entertaining and useful information to hordes of people. It used to be that when you were with me you would forget about all your troubles and just enjoy the feeling of creating something beautiful and special. It can be like that again, I promise!

I need you, Jeremy. If you leave me I will slowly fade. Eventually I shall pass like an autumn leave, brown and decaying, slowly torn to bits by the wind until it will be as if I never was. You said that I feel like a chore but you’ve never given me a chance to change. What about working through our problems? Just tell me how you want me to be and that is how I will be. Please PLEASE give me another chance!

Whatever you say, I’m not giving up. I know you have a lot on your plate right now but I love you and I will wait. I will always be here for you and someday you will realize that we are perfect for each other.

I love you with all my heart,

P.S. If you insist on having a break, would you mind if I see other people? I heard that islander wants to post a tell-all regarding the frozen pizza industry. Don’t worry, though, no matter who you might see me with, deep inside I will always be wishing that we were still together.

Uncle Mikey said...

Bravo my good man. Sure, blogs say they want an attentive author, but when you're really diligent about it they lose respect for you. You have to leave the possibility of you bailing in the air a little, be a little dismissive, treat that little blog like dirt occasionally. It'll love you for it.

Anonymous said...

The Cosmic Egg Timer

Dear John,

I have been searching all day for the reason, the real reason. I mean look at me, how can you leave me? I am so seductive and irresistible with all of my white space just waiting for you to caress the keyboard (the way that only you know how) to gratify me with the phrases you so lovingly massage until they burst onto my pages. Who will upload onto me now? This isn't just about me and the hole you will be leaving in my blogsoul. What about all of the readers? This quote by Twain sums up how I envision many of the JFW readers feel, “Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale”.

Why, why would you do such a thing? I know, I know. You said that you are busy and yes, I do understand that. I guess it was just a matter of time, cosmic time that is before you, Pisces, swam upstream to spawn your ideas somewhere else. I should have seen this coming down Blog Avenue. Had I consulted your horoscope today, at least it might have softened the blow:

"An exciting, fiery energy will push you into doing something -- at least one thing -- that you never thought you'd do. Of course, a dear one will likely be responsible for providing the final straw."

I know you said you had contemplated pulling the plug, but I really never thought you would follow through with it. Yet another "sign":

Pisces Horoscope for week of December 2, 2004

For far too long, Pisces, you have been overly tolerant of sober, solemn approaches. You have allowed business-like people with a lack of emotional riches to define important questions. You have acted as if the absurdly literal mindset that views everything in black and white is strong and authoritative. What better time than now, therefore, to launch a strike in the name of irreverence, hilarity, and wildly poetic justice?

So you had a need to launch a strike. Well, I've thought about the injustice of it all and you are right, I do deserve better. Therefore, I am breaking up with you back. So, fine, go ahead and see if you can find another tabula rasa that will be so ready and willing to embrace your laughter, anxiety, celebrations, musings, meditations, quips and eccentricities. I know I won't stay mad at you although I will miss you. Wherever you go, whatever you do, I do wish the best for you and hope that you can maintain happiness elsewhere, without me and them.

Your WebMistress

Anonymous said...

Can he be bribed to continue on?

Steve_Jobs said...

So take a long weekend. But do come back on Monday!!

Anonymous said...

this sucks so much worse than the times that mark zacharias ceremoniously removed himself from the soc grad list. except that this actually sucks. -en

Anonymous said...

(From Jeremy:)
Because I suspected that my resolve not to blog in December would be tempted, I had a friend change my password for my Blogger account so I can't get into it. I'm writing this from a hotel room in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where my father is expected to have at least quad- and maybe more -tuple bypass surgery tomorrow. The probability of his not surviving the surgery tomorrow is apparently somewhere around five percent, which had me spending much time absently tossing a twenty-sided die earlier in the week.

My parents officially became old people five years ago, while they sat by my sister's side in the hospital and watched her waste away of a brain tumor. Seriously,
you could draw a red line through their respective biographies at that point, before which they were "adults" and after which they had joined the ranks of "the elderly." Now, presuming my father does survive this surgery, I wonder if it is going to mean he has moved from being elderly to him seeming like he has passed truly into the endgame in his life. Like where it feels like there is no point in embarking on anything new but that your sole focus, to whatever extent you continue to conduct yourself purposively at all, is to be tying up loose ends.

All this is of course a digression, but there's nothing quite like sitting in a hotel room by yourself in the middle of a familial health crisis to get one's digressive juices flowing. I really just wanted to write a comment thanking everyone for the very kind comments above. I wasn't expecting so many nice words from people; indeed, I'm bowled over reading through them all. Blogging has been a very enjoyable hobby for me, an opportunity to inject more creativity into my day than I feel I otherwise get, and I'm hoping to come back to it in a more cognitively manageable way after a hiatus. But, again, thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Now that Freese has deserted us we could take up the slack in a number of ways - I for one would like to see Public ridicule of Marxist Soc. Grad students - hey, it's just a thought..........

Anonymous said...

The muse of romance and passion has indeed left me. Without this blog, I cannot long for the love of Nina and Dorotha, nor can I even hope for a crumb of their affections, let alone the whole sugarplum from either of them, or from any lovely lass for that matter. Woe is me indeed. This leaves me with nothing but the mudane muse of everyday life, devoid of passion and lust. If I am Cupid, Freese has broken my arrow by ending this blog. This was predicted I believe by a previous respondent. Yet, as hard as I try, I cannot loathe him. He is, after all, a fine fellow. So in tune with the tribulation he is going through with his Father's health problems, and the prospect of his father falling into the elderlky category of life, I set forth this poem:


Parkside sitting
old-timers lonely
blue bench blues
rehashing their ancient news
of days and lives and wives gone by
wondering why
old men never seem to die - LDM

Anonymous said...

elderly, not elderlky - this is exactly what happens when love is thwarted by heartless people - LDM

Anonymous said...


Let us know how things go with your dad... I hope everything is okay.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Without my erotic verse, Nina and Dorotha will come under the sway of handsome fellows who have style, lots of cash and flash. I am left alone, despondent, and muttering, of all things, a fucking cat poem. Call me Sylvester Plath if you will - I am beyond caring:


What is it about old alley cats
that hearkens the soul and draws
us pondering towards life's darker side?
Mysterious prowlings
meanders and larks
always a hint and hue of savage survival
gnawed ears and a gimp leg
amazing dexterity despite the scars
how many turf wars fought?
how many dogs stared down?
where's a friend?
the terror of vicious teenage drivers
out for a quick late night splat
cold winters
favorite haunts succumbing to urban development
go on now kitty
too old to trust a pat
from lonely widows
too proud to beg
quick to ferret out the best
from garbage cans
claws sharpened on tree trunks
urinating on brown leaves
we lap our own earned milk
admiring the departure of
freedom from our backyards - LDM

Anonymous said...

not too bad of a poem there lonely donut man but i question your taste in women -

Anonymous said...

Healing thoughts are flowing your father's way, Jeremy. Please take care and share some hugs with your mum.

Anonymous said...

LDM has paltry verse - he is lucky Freese doesn't slap a 20 year ban on him.

Anonymous said...


They were flying kites
I cursed the wind
I guess they thought I'd sinned
for slandering such heights
sought by their paper kites
when they were on the other end

stick your variable in that one, buster!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro - A Serb man was so depressed by his family's dire financial situation that he cut off his penis with an axe........

just a news item from MSN

Anonymous said...

It hasn't been said recently, so just to reiterate:


Anonymous said...

why hate me,
i do not hate thee,
let's keep JFW a space,
where hate hath no place.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Maketh ye not my name to be of ill repute
for Lo! I can'st thy rherotic nimbly refute
acteth ye not like some sodden wicked wench
or Dunce with cone seated on back-row bench - LDM

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

With my verse thou wouldst merrily preen
like body parts adorning Edward Gein
verily shall I reporteth thee to thy Dean
for being loutish uncouth and mean thy tuition he most assuredly shall glean leaving thee to languish uneducated poor and lean
thy pallor to show hues and tones of green
thine eyes to droop thy mane to lack its sheen
whilst tongues waggeth behind thy back unseen
Hence young lad be ye not so keen
the Lonely Donut Man to peen - LDM

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Counting the days until the return of JFW....

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of Christmas Eve, I offer the following verses, courtesy of Weird Al:

Down in the workshop all the elves were making toys
For the good Gentile girls and the good Gentile boys,
When the boss busted in, nearly scared 'em half to death,
Had a rifle in his hand and cheap whisky on his breath.
From his beard to his boots, he was covered with ammo,
Like a big, fat, drunk, disgruntled Yuletide Rambo.
And he smiled as he said, with a twinkle in his eye,
"Merry Christmas to all! Now you're all gonna die!"

The night Santa went crazy,
The night Saint Nick went insane,
Realized he'd been getting a raw deal,
Something finally must have snapped in his brain.

Well, the workshop is gone now.
He decided to bomb it.
Everywhere you'll find pieces of Cupid and Comet.
And he tied up his helpers, and he held the elves hostage,
And he ground up poor Rudolph into reindeer sausage.
He got Dasher and Dancer with an old German Luger,
And he slashed up Prancer just like Freddy Krueger.
And he picked up a flamethrower and he barbecued Blitzen,
And he took a big bite and said, "It tastes just like chicken!"

The night Santa went crazy,
The night Kris Kringle went nuts,
Now you can't hardly walk around the North Pole,
Without stepping in reindeer guts.

There's the National Guard and the FBI.
There's the van from the eyewitness news,
And helicopters circlin' 'round in the sky.
And the bullets are flyin', the body count's risin', and everyone's dyin' to know,
"Oh, Santa, why?"
My, my, my, my, my, my.
You used to be such a jolly guy...

Yes, Virginia, now Santa's doing time,
In a federal prison for his infamous crime.
Hey, little friend, now, don't you cry no more tears!
He'll be out with good behavior in 700 more years.
But now Vixen's in therapy,
And Donner's still nervous,
And the elves all got jobs working for the Postal Service,
And they say Mrs. Claus, she's on the phone every night,
With a lawyer negotiating the movie rights.
They're talkin' 'bout...

The night Santa went crazy,
The night Saint Nicholas flipped,
Broke his back for some milk and cookies,
Sounds to me like he was tired of gettin' gypped.
The night Santa went crazy,
The night Saint Nick went insane,
Realized he'd been gettin' a raw deal,
Something finally must've snapped in his brain.
Tell ya, something finally must've snapped in his brain.
Tell ya, something finally must have snapped...
In his brain.

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