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In my first "substantial" diary for DailyKos, the first of my diaries ever to be frontpaged, I wrote of a serious problem that had the potential to shake the world of left-leaning blogs.  I speak, of course, of the critical snark shortages in the months before the election, shortages which would only get worse as the election grew closer.

Science Friday: Liberal Blogs in Crisis
Fri Jun 18th, 2004

Liberal bloggers are facing a snark shortage that may have serious implications in the coming months, experts say.  Blog readers are being warned to expect rationing and long lines at their favorite liberal blogs -- and that some blogs may not make it through the current crisis.

Strategic Snark Reserves "Dangerously Low";
Increased Consumption Blamed

Experts report that the United States Strategic Snark Reserves have been severely depleted, and absent new discoveries of snark may run dry within three years.

"Liberal bloggers have been using snark at an exponentially expanding rate, but it's not a renewable resource" said Lawrence Peters, head researcher at the American Blog Studies Group, a liberal think tank.  "Once it's gone, it's gone."

Already the shortage has had an impact.  Liberal bloggers like Billmon and Josh Marshall have taken extended vacations in recent months to recover; others, like the Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum, have dramatically curtailed daily snark output.  Other bloggers have suffered more severely.

"I just couldn't take it anymore," blogger Hesiod probably would have said, had this reporter bothered to contact him or any of the other people mentioned in this story.  "It started out bad, even before the Bush Presidency began, and it just kept getting worse."

Hesiod's own blog, Counterspin, was shuttered recently when he experienced Total Snark Failure, known as TSF.  "It was awful.  I just woke up one day and... it wasn't there.  Just nothing."

Blogger Billmon knows what Hesiod is facing.  Billmon had an episode of TSF earlier this year.  "Luckily, it was only temporary.  But it hurt like hell to be shut down."

The long-term prospects for bloggers such as Hesiod are unclear.  Snark-related research has been severely curtailed by the Bush administration, and new snark supplies are nearly non-existant.  In the meantime, all Hesiod can do is hope.

"I mean, maybe new sources will be found.  Until then, I guess my blog has to stay closed."

You can read the rest here.  Looking back, the whole report seems eerily prescient.  As true today as the day it was written, as the saying goes.

Unfortunately, we hoped that, come November, we would have at least a minor reprieve; obviously, that hasn't happened.  To make matters worse, the Administration policy of saying and doing intentionally stupid things, just to deplete the sanity and snark reserves of liberal bloggers, continues unabated:

WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans resigned Tuesday, the first members of President Bush's Cabinet to leave following his re-election.


"The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved," Ashcroft wrote in a five-page handwritten letter to Bush.

Ooof.  I admit, that one knocked the wind out of me.  Can we really do this, for another four years?

Humor, and most specifically snark, is the only thing, some days, that makes politics bearable, and is one of the best things about our online community.  We lost some great voices, in the crisis; they will be missed.  At the same time, new voices stepped forward with snark untapped, and as such we, so far, have survived.

Let this thread act as tribute to the fallen, and a beacon of hope and defiance amongst those of us who remain.  Together, we are strong.

And keep your snark dry.  We'll need it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:06 PM PST.

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