In his collection of aphorisms The Trouble with Being Born — a text from which the present author has quoted with embarrassing frequency in the most recent episodes of FanGraphs Audio featuring Dayn Perry — Romanian philosopher/misanthrope Emil Cioran ejaculates the following, apropos little besides the troublesome burden of existence:
My vision of the future is so exact that if I had children, I should strangle them here and now.
With horror, is one reasonable way of reacting to Cioran’s declaration — horror that a man might exterminate his own issue based merely on a foreboding sense of the future. Considerable delight, however, is the more appropriate sensation — delight at the ecstatic dimensions of Cioran’s rampant pessimism (while also recognizing that people really, definitely shouldn’t kill babies).
What the current post represents is the final one ever to appear at NotGraphs. For those who’ve enjoyed the site — and there are more of those sorts than I would have expected — its end might be cause for horror or something like horror. As is the case with Cioran’s sentiment, however, the more appropriate reaction is delight.
Mike Bates and Robert Baumann and David Temple and Navin Vaswani have all enumerated the site’s virtues more ably than I could. I thank their dumb, absurd faces for that. Now what we have, with the death of the site, is the liberating pleasure that attends the end of a thing. Not the end of a child, mind you — because that would represent an offense very punishable by law — but of a thing that wasn’t terrible and somehow remained not terrible until the end.
Thank you, everyone, for making the constantly poor decision to visit this site. Consider making more of those (i.e. poor decisions) by means of visiting Banknotes Industries.
And thanks for all the fish.
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Thanks to Carson and all the other wonderful minds I met here.
Thanks to the readers — the best group a writer could ask for.
I’m writing this on my iPad and also tearing up a little bit.
I will never forget my time here or all the opportunities it has allowed me. I’ve come a long way in two years, and none of it would have happened if not for this site.
You are all important to me, and I will miss you dearly.
If this 2-2 game stays tied, uh, forever, then this blog never has to die. So let’s keep it going.
In the meantime, I just read (okay, skimmed) a weird article about looking for America’s best restroom, and it got me wondering which stadiums have the best and worst of ’em. So, in true NotGraphs spirit, if you’d like to spend any of the final couple hours of this baseball season thinking about bathrooms, go for it.
In more seriousness, gosh, I’ll really miss writing here, and will miss the chance to better get to know my fellow contributors through their posts, and commenters through their comments. Thanks, Carson. It’s been fun.
It’s hard for me to explain what NotGraphs is, what it aspired to be, what it was, and what it meant to me. What I know is this: NotGraphs was different. It was unique. And that’s what I loved about it.
While every baseball website out there writes about the same stuff, for the most part in the same way, NotGraphs marched to the beat of its own drum. What you found on NotGraphs day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year was always something you didn’t find anywhere else.
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I am incredibly sad. Sad that NotGraphs is going away, sad that I have not contributed to it in several months, and especially sad that, in not contributing to it, I am unable to claim credit for its ultimate downfall (unless my absence somehow caused said downfall. Yeah, we’ll go with that).
This has been, in many ways, the hardest year of my life. Because of that, I stopped feeling funny several months ago. Stopped feeling whimsical. Stopped feeling like I had anything to share and that I wanted to be in the mindset where I could generate things I wanted to share. I essentially became Sad Steve Bedrosian.
Aw, he’s still so sad. Buck up, Steve. Stop sniveling and be more like Wally Moon:
Now that’s an eyebrow you could set your watch by.
Through it all, NotGraphs always made me laugh. The work that has been done here by others before and during my absence has been sublime and stupid and sublimely stupid. It has been, with the exception of that done by Carson, some of my most favorite writing I have chanced to read. I want to thank everyone here for that and to tell them that I will miss seeing them besmirch the good name of FanGraphs, even as they continue to besmirch the OK name of Banknotes Industries. And I want to thank everyone who has ever read one of my posts and not immediately sworn off the Internet forever.
I really hope to see all of you again over on BanknotesIndustries.com. You are, all of you, the very best. Except for Carson. Who is the absolute worst.
Finally, I leave you as a found you, staring at a picture of Don Zimmer next to a picture of my newborn daughter. He is dead now, but she is three and is going to be Wonder Woman on Friday. Better that than vice versa.
I was ready. I had received last sacraments, and the important thing about last sacraments is that, vis-à-vis the other sacraments, they’re last. Sacrament-wise, it doesn’t get more poignant than that. I had also eaten my last meal. Do you want to know what it was? Sure you do. Now that we’ve been granted a bit more time, you want all the details of what turned out to be my penultimate meal, because, yeah, given last night’s stay of execution, I did have a small bowl of cereal this morning.
Anyway, since all reasonable predictions had indicated an earlier NotGraphs expiration, my “last meal,” as scheduled, had been what I call NotGraphs Lasagna, i.e., a base of meaty insight topped with layers of blistering wit and simmering genius, all crowned with lasagna noodles and ricotta cheese … and, OK, perhaps a sprinkling of “I’m not unpopular, just misunderstood.” I had made my peace.
But then the Royals had to go and score seven runs in the second inning of last night’s game, prompting not only a rousing chorus of “Yay, baseball!” but also an 11th-hour call from the Internet governor and a quick return to my cell, i.e., my desk, in which custody, reintroduced, I was forced to plot my actual valediction.
What does one write, one thinks, when one has already written THE END?
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Come back, Sammy Sosa;
All is forgiven.
The grass has grown past the cork.
It’s 545, Kelvin;
never too hot for Wrigley,
never too cold for homers,
never too old for friends.