From its inception, Times and Seasons has been an ego vehicle for a relatively small handful of self-absorbed people who enjoy talking about themselves and how clever they are. While the group is relatively diverse on political and social issues, they are all united in how impressed they are with themselves.

It has always been thus.

The first four members of Times and Seasons were Nate, Adam, Matt and Kaimi (who are all very analytical, reasonable, intelligent, and thought-provoking, and each puts a high value on the norms of civil dialogue...just ask them...except Matt, since he doesn't really participate anymore). Because of that heightened sense of self-importance, they think they can discuss issues intelligently and at length, despite substantive disagreements, without the conversation degenerating into garbage. But, the reality is most of what they post is garbage, and they frequently don't know what they are talking about, unless it is on pet matters of legal esoterica that nobody else cares about. Point that out to them, and you will be attacked.

Throughout its development, Kaimi loved the fact that Times and Seasons was an ideologically diverse group. That diversity, in his eyes, was one of the primary reasons they founded the blog (the other primary reasons, which trumped that one proferred, are the ego-driven desire for public adulation and the inability to actually publish in paper journals). The permament T&S roster reflects this as they surround themselves with groomed sycophants who rarely, if ever, question and always praise and defend the core members.

And do note how well the T&S guest list reflects on them. Where else can one find a guest list that ranges from Susan Staker to Joseph Stanford, with stops in between for Dan Peterson, Fred Gedicks, Jeff Lindsay, Damon Linker, Richard Bushman, and Greg Prince, along with dozens of others? I mean, come on, doesn't that just boost their credibility? What scholarship, what brilliance they keep company with. Not to mention they get to go to Millers-Eccles and represent the Bloggernacle. That must prove something! Birds of a feather, right? Or is it just they were first out of the gate and inertia keeps them afloat?

At its best, Times and Seasons offers a chance to have friendly, intelligent discussions across ideological divides (as long as you don't show them to be wrong and you constantly praise them for being so smart and skilled at writing). One can watch them preen, and, really, what is better than that? Times and Seasons offers dialogue — real dialogue about itself and how good it is. Because, if it were half as good as they said it was, they wouldn't have to talk about it, it would be patently obvious. Not something they need to convince you of.

It is vital that each of the group members and conversation participants prize dialogue. A commitment to maintaining the atmosphere of dialogue must trump partisanship. Which is easy, when the real purpose of the blog is currying adulation for the participants, and not genuine dialogue.


Anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 8:25 AM

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Ouch.

Anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 8:55 AM

Ugh, Julie's comment in that thread is particularly grating. It is so obvious whom she is referring to, and she is the last one who takes criticism well and the first one to lash out at people who do not agree with her.

Anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 9:47 AM

Isn't saying that bloggers are egomanics just redundant?

Anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 10:30 AM

uncannily accurate.

anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 11:34 AM

Nate says the cocktail party hosts have the right to kick out drunks and gate crashers. So what happens when the hosts themselves behave like drunks?

And Jim F.'s admonitions to civility would carry a lot more weight with me if he ever showed up to do some admonishing when his co-bloggers were driving the steamroller over people.

Steve EM said... @ July 11, 2006 at 3:03 PM

Can I resubmit my comment if I forego the references to their sexual orientation?

Snarkimus Prime said... @ July 11, 2006 at 4:03 PM

Yes, Steve, you can.

anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 4:17 PM

Not so much diversity now that Melissa and KHH have left.

Snarkimus Prime said... @ July 11, 2006 at 6:37 PM

Yeah, the wrong two just left. Not that they have really been contributing all that much lately anyway.

Anonymous said... @ July 11, 2006 at 6:49 PM

What is with you and the Millers-eccles thing? Maybe it would have been the best thing ever if Kurt were invited?

Kurt said... @ July 12, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Sorry, I'm not pretentious enough to be invited to Millers-Eccles. Maybe if I spent all my free time ignoring my wife and kids writing every nascent thought to some big-time group blog full of analytical intellectuals, then I could qualify.

Steve EM said... @ July 12, 2006 at 7:39 AM

Millers-Eccles? Sounds like the name of a comet.

Anonymous said... @ July 12, 2006 at 7:48 AM

One has to wonder, based on the permabores who haven't said nice things on the goodbye thread, whether KHH and Melissa left because not everyone at T&S values diversity of ideology...

Snarkimus Prime said... @ July 12, 2006 at 8:56 AM

Yes, given JimF's comment #10 on that thread, it is pretty obvious they were involved in some of the behind-the-scenes contention. And Adam's comment #14 in that thread makes it clear he isn't exactly upset to see them go.

It is a safe bet they are leaving as a result of the conflict that brought about Adam's stupid likening of himself to Abinadi there on T&S last week (especially since KHH openly questioned him in the comments on his ridiculous post).

Anonymous said... @ July 12, 2006 at 9:50 AM

I would LOVE! to see the behind the scenes manuevering that led up to this.

Snarkimus Prime said... @ July 12, 2006 at 10:40 AM

We would love to have the dirt on it. If anyone has it, send it to us and we promise to maintain your anonymity.

Based on what is discernable from the publis fracas, its obvious KHH and AG were fighting. From that, it is safe to deduce there were "sides" taken based upon politics. So, it was probably AG and JMS versus KHH and MP, with others standing out (one can hardly imagine Wilfried being involved). It is also likely RAF and JF were oon KHH & MP's side. Kaimi was probably trying to play the mediator nice-guy to smooth everything over.

What was it all over? Nobody here knows, but its a safe bet it was over one of Adam's pet topics that he always rants about (e.g., abortion, homosexuality, etc.), and from there it obviously turned into a "Adam you are such a contentious and insane obnoxious jerk that it doesn't matter if you are correct you are a total jerk" argument, which resulted in Adam seeing himself as a modern day Abinadi to the Bloggernacle, keeping T&S pure for the masses.

Clearly, Adam thinks he has won this battle, with KHH and MP leaving. And, so, T&S will turn into the Rush Limbaugh (AG) and Ann Coulter (JMS) show, with occasional comedic relief from Kaimi and Nate. And, so, T&S goes from badder to worse.

Anonymous said... @ July 12, 2006 at 10:42 AM

best. snark. ever.

And also too true

Steve EM said... @ July 12, 2006 at 11:03 AM

So I guess I'm damned to be perpetually banned at T&S then. Such a Christian bunch, n’est-ce pas?

You should snark BCC on similar grounds. I’m presently banned there for comparing some GAs to W, as being asleep at the switch. They self promote as tolerant free thinkers, but are actually among the most narrow minded orthodox in the Nacle. What a farce.

Snarkimus Prime said... @ July 12, 2006 at 11:08 AM

Steve, if we all could only be as open-minded and free-thinking as you.

Anonymous said... @ July 12, 2006 at 11:23 AM

Where the hell is Greg Call?

Anonymous said... @ July 12, 2006 at 1:12 PM

I didn't think there could be a more dismissive way of saying good-bye than Adam's. Then I saw Julie's comment. "Thank you, ladies." Wow, I like catty, but why didn't she just say "Don't let the door hit you".

Kristine said... @ July 12, 2006 at 6:57 PM

Y'all are very creative. The truth is, I was asked to leave after word got out that I had let people put (gasp) American cheese--that's right, Kraft Singles--on their burgers at the bloggersnacker at my house. Ideological diversity is ok, but nobody sins against the cheese and survives at T&S!

Snarkimus Prime said... @ July 12, 2006 at 8:00 PM


I would almost believe that if Adam weren't the kind of guy who slurps Kraft Easy Cheese straight out of the can when he thinks nobody is looking, and then sticks in back in the fridge without wiping his slobber off the nozzle.

Anonymous said... @ July 13, 2006 at 12:01 PM

"All of the group members are and have been, in some way or other, faithful members"

in some way or other, in deed...

Kristine said... @ July 13, 2006 at 12:36 PM

What's that supposed to mean?

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