Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rod Dreher: The Mystery Continues

It was four weeks ago yesterday that Rod Dreher's blog at the Templeton Foundation's new Big Questions Online site was suspended, suddenly and with only the most cryptic of explanations. Suspended, and many of Rod's posts on the blog suddenly missing. Anything that was even moderately controversial, suddenly missing.

Four weeks, and it's still murky as pea soup just what has happened to Rod. I think few of Rod's readers ever imagined his sudden blogging "hiatus" would continue this long. Has Rod been called in on the carpet by his superiors at Templeton? Has he been fired? Or just given a stern time-out to cool off?

At this point, it's a complete mystery, and one that grows more ominous as the silence grows ever more protracted. I've unearthed one blog post, from about a week ago, that quotes an email from Rod in tangential connection with his "sabbatical from blogging," with a subsequent, seemingly wistful comment from Rod himself:
I love blogging, and built up a pretty large blog following over the years by constantly scanning for interesting information, and putting it on my daily bulletin board to facilitate discussion. I love this stuff! I've not had a blog hiatus in four years, until now...
Apart from that, about all you'll find online are the accumulating speculation and expressions of concern from Rod's readers here and here at Alexandria.

Yeah, I intend to keep on bringing this up until we learn what's going on.


HMS said...

My good Bluegrass,

You have been so very kind in funneling page views occasioned by the existence of the good Rod Dreher and thus of his adoring fans that I would be remiss if I did not return the favor.

Our Commenter Elizabeth, one such fan herself and apparently rare recipient of private communication with the good Dreher alleges in a recent comment on our blog that she has been bequeathed the knowledge personally that his Second Coming is quite nigh.

Given the great sucking sound this happy event is likely to produce in alternate page views all around, you are more than welcomed to join us as an Author yourself should you be so inclined. I trust you can easily find your way to our door.

bluegrass up said...

Well, I'm certainly happy to learn that Rod will be returning to blogging soon. It's been nearly two months now since he was suddenly and cryptically suspended, and his readers have been left in suspense, cold turkey, and wondering what the hell has happened. It will be good to get back to my daily dose of Dreher.

As for your kind invitation to join the merry crowd as an Author at Alexandria, I'm afraid I must respectfully decline. There was a stretch of years when I was a regular and frequent commenter, under my real name, on a couple of high-profile and high-traffic blogs. There was also a stretch of years when I had my own blog, under my real name, a blog which actually had a few dozen regular readers. It was a hoot, and I really enjoyed it, but the time came for that gig to end.

I find in these latter days that blogging with no readers to speak of suits me just fine; and indeed I suspect that until the Dreher flap broke, my current blog had just about zero readers, apart from the occasional wanderer arriving here by way of Google. Like I say, suits me fine; at present I prefer to remain pretty much readerless.

I have, however, bookmarked Alexandria as one of the blogs I regularly visit and read. Several of the Authors there are already known quantities to me, as I've long been cognizant of them as commenters at Rod Dreher's various blogs. So you may count me among your regular readers, probably just as a lurker. Like I say, I find a low profile suits me these days-- the lower the profile, the better. Thanks once again, though, for the invitation!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Rod said on Facebook that he's definitely done blogging. At least while he works for Templeton. Just said that was it was iccomensurate with his real job. Someone updated over at Alexandria. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

"Just said that was it was iccomensurate with his real job."

Is not Rod's "real job" being a journalist? Do not journalists maintain blogs that get updated at least every few days.

Something more is going on here. His Big Questions blog was unceremoniously shut down with a poorly formatted explanation that obviously does not give the real reason for what is happening.

I followed his blog every now and then and found him a little too erratic and emotional. However, he has been active in the blogosphere since its existence. He was a regular at the blogs of Mark Shea, Amy Wellborn, and Father Johanson 10 years ago and well before he started his own blog around 4 years ago. In his book he said he loves frequenting blogs.

However, let us not forget how be boosted his move to Big Questions from his Beliefnet Blog and then one month later his Big Questions blog got shut down. Even if he was giving up writing or going to have a planned hiatus would he not explain this to his readers? This does not make sense. If the rumour is true that he gave up blogging and he is still working for Templeton in some way than he is a very low class person. That he was fired from Templeton looks far more likely.

Either he got fired from Templeton or he is having some kind of personal crisis. If it is the latter then he has my sympathy.

Pauli said...

Some stuff here and here.

Pauli said...

More stuff here.