The One Where We Say Goodbye

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Well, here we are. Four years, 300+ posts, and shockingly few personal changes later we’ve arrived at the end of the line. It’s not that there’s nothing more to say — in the realm of personal blogging there is always more to say — but that, for two 25-year-old guys with non-childish aspirations…it’s time to put away childish things. (Writing about real-life Hamburglars could not fit this any more perfectly.) Near the end of The Return of the King, Gandalf tells Pippin of a “far, green country” that lay beyond death. In no so many ways that’s where DJ Steve and I are headed — outside our digital comfort zone toward a world that’s terrifying and beautiful and unavoidable and here it is and OH SHIT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NEXT.

It sounds ridiculous and I can barely type this without wanting to asphyxiate myself, but Lifting Fog offered me a sense of purpose at times these last four years where I had nothing else going on. This blog was definitely a creative outlet — a place to be funny, hopefully entertaining, engaging. But it also became a sort of safety blanket, for better or worse, that I could have never expected. When I felt bummed? I posted here. When I needed some fleeting, insincere validation? I posted here (then frantically kept refreshing our site stats). In some f*cked up way…writing posts about Ukrainian gypsies and Ski-Wee instruction has been the most meaningful thing I’ve done since college.

(…You really don’t need to laugh that much.)

But there’s no way I would have written even half the bullshit I’d eventually commit to this thing without the help of the (one time) more prolific — and always more tuned-in — DJ STEVE. He’s been silent for a year and a half now, but contributed 2+ years of great posts and a much-needed “not emo-young-adult-novel” voice to the site that I wish I could emulate. He’s back with some final words:

The thought of Lifting Fog becoming a blog of note in the Western Hemisphere of the Internet (actually there are no regions of the Internet, unless you include the Red Light District…which is by and large all-encompassing) was something that both Henning and I truly aspired to in its heyday. When writing in an outlet that has a very small amount of circulation (read as: any newspaper today… just kidding, you really WILL turn the corner of making profit again, just keep reminding us that your voice is more important than ours because you are New England liberal arts-educated) it’s tough to weigh the difference between spinning your own wheels for your own self-satisfaction and actually creating content that other people are interested in reading. I like to think that a large part of that difficult balance is being aware that the former is often required to inform the latter. As in, if you don’t have the courage, chutzpah, whatever to say it in the first place…then it will never reach anyone, period. We both battled with this contradiction and I think we usually won.

For all of today’s “voices” and the endless avenues of creativity afforded our generation (and those to come) by the Internet, the hottest commodity is honesty. The best achieve or at least aspire to it. And if absent? Makes the cultured reader, viewer, listener, audience immediately dislike. There is such a lack of fucking honesty in all things digital and “original” today that it’s hard to remember a time when honesty was the rule and not the exception. I think we always told the truth here at Lifting Fog, and it’s probably the thing I’m most proud of when I watch the sun set.

I had this idea, as I think Steve did too, in our early, headier (WHAT UP, GOESSLING) days, that we could sculpt Lifting Fog into something big. This didn’t happen. (I mean, like, we didn’t WANT it to happen. So whatever.) And very rarely did we actually justify our existence as a blog in the sense that we reported regularly, or with any level of authority or wisdom. We accomplished NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS. Lifting Fog instead became a place to talk about young dude stuff, to get things off our chest, and maybe to excise some demons along the way. How do you think Steve stopped huffing glue?

Of course it never quite became a full-on diary, either, and I think that’s a good thing. Who fucking cares? At our best, I truly believe we were able to marry “navel-gazing pop cultural analysis” with “growing up” in a way that was both specific to our experiences but not so personal as to be impenetrable, some uncomfortable home movie. Of course you may think COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE (Lord knows Steve’s Buddha machine stuff practically compromised the whole endeavor a few times), but it’s my opinion that we toed the line pretty well.

The time is fast approaching, to really, really shut this terrible book, but we couldn’t do so without first saying goodbye to a few of the subjects and stories that, in so many ways, gave us a reason to keep writing.

So goodbye, Michael Cera!

Goodbye, Fast Food Brawlers!

Goodbye, Obscure Scandinavian Bands!

Goodbye, Watchmen!

Goodbye, Recession Economy! Wait, you’re still h-

Lifting Fog really is coming to an end, but only in the sense that there will be no more writing here. Steve and I remain both a) alive and b) unhealthily invested in other vibrant online outposts! Follow DJ Steve on Twitter, or at his music site, Skyharbor Sounds. Listen to his shit! Follow his burgeoning career! Me you can find at @HenningFog as well as @BadLoglines, a satirical movie project that I think maintains Lifting Fog’s standards of ignorance and throwaway insensitivity.

Visibility will never be perfect, it’s true, but the Fog will always keep Lifting. If you want that to be a crack about boners? DJ Steve and I can’t give you our bigger blessing.

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6 Responses to “The One Where We Say Goodbye”

  1. Gom Says:

    Thank you gentlemen for a lovely ending to an interesting and enlightening blog. I read it whenever I was able and even sometimes when I didn’t want to! I wish you all the luck in the world, but then you know that. And whatever happens, I hope the fog is always lifting for you both.

    • Henning Says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Gom. “I read it sometimes when I didn’t want to” sums up so much about the site — maybe our best possible epitaph. Onward!

  2. jesimpson Says:

    Like Gom — and for some of the same reasons, and some reasons of my own — I could pretty much always count on Lifting Fog to lift my mood. Even when one or the other of you was pissed off about something, and that’s why you were writing at the time, it always made me happy to see what plain-old-damn-fine writers you were (or, I guess, are).

    (No idea what you plan to do with the domain name, but you might want to hang onto it for a little while. “Just in case,” you know. And you might also want to save the whole blessed thing in the form of something like one of these books. (Even though you’ll have to do without the video clips.) At the least, you can bequeath them to your grandchildren, inscribed along the lines of See this? You think you INVENTED well-spoken smart-assery in our family? HA! Now, get off my lawn!)

    I’ll be watching out for both of whatever the two of you do next, and after that, and after that… You probably worry more about the odds of your succeeding than any honest outside observer will.

    Thanks for the ride!

    • Henning Says:

      It means a lot to hear that our posts raised spirits or made you laugh, because even at our most sanctimonious (here) or un-self-aware, that was always the goal — to entertain. Thanks, JES, for the great send-off and support.

      (The book idea’s one we might definitely one day look into! To think of Fog/Page grandchildren being read “Old Weezer vs. New Weezer” before bedtime…it warms my heart.)

  3. GunkySlug Says:

    sniff, sniff…the tears are barely being managed….Oh hell, who am I kidding?! It’s been three weeks since you “signed off” and I didn’t even know it!
    Yes – “The Fog” will be missed, but given your collective and individual creative talents the entertainment, bemusement, genuine interest won’t be lost. We’ll look for the wry smiles, tongues-in-cheek, and spectacular social criticism at all of the linkages to come. Personally, I am hoping for an “Old Blink 182 vs. New Blink 182″, redux in about 10 years.
    Onward, outward, and upward! May the Fog forever be lifted!
    Adieux

    • Henning Says:

      It’s funny — sitting down to map this thing out four years ago*, I decided I’d make a word web (thanks high school English teachers!) and one of the big entries was “bemusement.” I returned to that word before every blog post, always aiming for confusion and bewilderment. Steve and I nailed both those things.

      Thanks for reading, GunkySlug! Appreciate the nice send-off.

      *as much as you can map out writing that has absolutely no direction

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