Friday, April 1, 2016

The end



     Well, we all saw this day coming, didn't we? 
     At least in recent months.
     Last summer, true, when the blog was clicking along at up to 5,000 hits a day, with some months nearing 100,000 hits, I told myself it would just go up and up, on and on, forever.
     But then, well, it seems people got tired of reading this every goddamn day. To be honest, I got tired of writing it. And while it was amusing to write for thousands of readers, a growing swarm, with praiseful write-ups in Robert Feder's column and the Beachwood Reporter, not to mention the good $10,000 a month or more I was pulling in on blog advertisements, it is something else entirely to write for a couple hundred people a day, with the only income a couple bucks from those pesky pop-up erectile dysfunction ads.
     Frankly, it's just pathetic.  So I'm done.
     Not that it hasn't been a good run. I was proud when Ubilabs named this blog one of "100 Things to Watch in 2011." And excited to have commentators who ranged from John Kass's cousin to Carol Mosley-Braun. Not to mention to create a written legacy of first rate, or at least very good second rate, literary journalism that will glow online like a beautiful radioactive flower until the end of time, or until Google shuts down its servers, whichever comes first. 
    I want to go out on top. Or near the top. Or at least when the top is still a memory, sort of.
    This is goodbye, but not farewell.  You can still read me five days a week in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Me (far right) playing with Eric Zorn's Good Time
  Bluegrass Ramblers.
   In closing, I want to thank you all, you readers, or what readers remain anyway, for sticking with me through the thick and the thin. Thank you for the comments, and for the baked goods. To be honest, I'm looking forward to putting the time that was devoted to writing this blog to more productive pursuits. As you may know, I've taken up the four-string folk mountain harmonium—it's like a banjo—and have been rehearsing with Eric Zorn's Good Time Bluegrass Ramblers, exploring the rich heritage of 1930s Appalachian music. We'll be performing 
regularly at the Thursday clog dance recitals at the Old Town School of Folk Music—you can check out the schedule here.
     Such farewells should be short. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I hope to see all of you at our Old Town gigs. Bring your dancing clogs! 

    Best,


    Neil Steinberg

35 comments:

  1. Clever, but I hope and pray that this will be the end of the April Fool's "humor" - but it won't be.

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    1. Darn you, Androcass, for spoiling the fun before I could post my comment:

      "Neil, I've been meaning to tell you that EGD has just become so boring. IMO, with all due respect, it's time you should think about packing this blog up and putting it out to pasture. It's been fun, and don't worry, I'll still check out your column occasionally (what paper do you write for again)?

      SandyK

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  2. What's the Suicide Hotline number again?

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  3. Hey Steinberg you need to quit clowning around.

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  4. What.??!!!..[panic!!!!!] oh yeah. April 1. How many times am I gonna have to do that today?

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    1. Apologies to those readers sincerely taken in. To be honest, I was going to skip April 1 -- I thought it impossible to top last year's Puppetry Month. But the thought of hanging it up does flutter in the back of my brain, and I thought it would make a fun, harmless enough prank.

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    2. ...and a very telling column in the Friday paper as well.

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    3. Ok no joke. Please don't hang it up. You are seriously one of the daily pleasures in my life. I would miss EGDD so much.

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  5. Oh man, you got me. The folk music bit had me scratching my head....then my buddy at work who also reads your blog told me what day it is. Well done. Some years I'm a fan of April 1st, some years I am not :)

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  6. Oh,dear, did no one tell you? You failed the audition for the Ramblers. Not enough brio in your buck and wing, old man. Time for Plan C.

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    1. I think you should react to this disappointment in true Appalachian fashion: Hatfield and McCoy style. Call the boys home from school, there ain't gonna be no more educatin' until your honor is restored and break out your muzzle loaders. What this city needs is a good internecine columnist battle.

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  7. I'm glad it was a joke. I was going to write appreciative comments and thanks. But now I'll wait.

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  8. Guess I'll have to cancel the flowers!

    john

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  9. Hook, line and sinker...
    Maybe you can sell me some real estate next.

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  10. I was making plans to sell my poster for an exorbitant price. Now I am stuck with it for a little longer!

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  11. You neglected to mention the accolades from Bob Green, writing from retirement. And your decision to replace Mr. Lewandowski as Donald Trump's campaign manager and chief body man.

    Tom Evans

    Tom Evans

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  12. I suppose this means that we won't have Steinberg to kick around Every.God.Damn.Day any more ~

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  13. For an April Fools joke to work and be in the spirit of fun, there has to be an element of “wink, wink”; not just to really try to fool everyone and then get them pissed-off when they find out they’ve been had. There should be a hint of something amiss, yet not obvious at all at the same time. This just seems to be somewhat self-aggrandizing.

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    1. There are lots of hints, Paul. They just flew by you. Do you really think I was pulling down $10,000 a month in ads? Do you really think I was bragging that John Kass's cousin left a comment?

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    2. The folk music bit didn't seem amiss to you? I thought it was rather funny. BTW, harmoniums are more like dulcimers.

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    3. Actually, Neil, now that you mention it I guess I was rather obtuse. (I'll blame it on the muscle relaxers that I've been taking for my back.) I actually thought, "Wow - those banner ads net him $10,000 monthly?". And I assumed you and our former Ambassador C.M.B. had made-up. I TAKE IT ALL BACK! :-)

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    4. No harm. I put that figure in knowing that, the way people work, it would probably enter folk knowledge. As for Carol, I was walking through the dining room at the Union League Club and happened to gaze in her direction. I wish I could bottle the look she gave me -- I could use it to kill ants.

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    5. Why wouldn't she like you? You both seem to have similar political beliefs.

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    6. Neil, I thought your clues were obvious yet clever and hilarious!

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  14. Damn it, does that mean no bluegrass?!?!?!?!?

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  15. Love the blog, every goddamn bit of it.

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  16. Forgot for a moment it was April 1. Lucky I read the comments. Mine would gave been:"Noooooooo!!!!!" Color me relieved.

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  17. "Thank you for the comments, and for the baked goods."

    My stale cupcakes made it through Steinberg security? Ha, good AF post!

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  18. You had me until learning the Harmonium and taking up Appalacian music. I was very pleased to have you in the Sun Times five days a week, and totally wowed you were bringing down an extra ten thou for the blog, though.

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  19. Thank you for your work.

    Fellow Cleveland native, NU grad, reader of your books, and spoke with you on train.

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Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.