Tuesday, July 8, 2014

No One Owes You Anything

This has been on my mind since Heavy Tweed Jacket deleted his blog earlier this year, apparently for good. 

For some bizarre reason, he previously deleted it numerous times whenever he decided to stop writing new posts, restoring the archived posts when he finally decided -- usually months later -- to begin writing new ones again. 

He would also sometimes delete individual archived posts during times when his blog was active. 

And he would occasionally write new individual posts, then shortly delete them for no apparent reason (like his typically excellent post on raincoats, I believe around April 2013).

What the hell is this guy's problem?! 

No one is obligated to continue a blog for any reason -- they've lost interest, gotten too busy, feel they have nothing left to write about, whatever.

But why not leave the blog up for his readers, so that the old posts are still available to be re-read? That takes literally no extra work or time. In fact, it takes extra work and time to take everything down.

And, from his perspective, why would he go to the trouble to write probably the finest historical blog about trad menswear ever, including scanning catalogs and not only taking pictures of his own clothes, but sometimes even taking measurements of them (like comparing the measurements of old-stock Brooks Brothers oxfords to current ones), only to delete it all? 

It's like he's screwing with us, just because he can. (He even went to the trouble of deleting the blog's robots.txt file, so that the archives can't be found on the Internet Way Back Machine.)

Well, the fact is, he's not obligated to leave the archives up either, regardless of how angry and bewildered that it may make me or anyone else.

He's not obligated to do anything, and neither is anyone else, regardless of whether you or I like it or think they "should."

At times like this, I re-read probably the single best and most useful article I've ever seen, "A Gift for My Daughter" by Harry Browne. 

This is an easy lesson to forget, regardless of how familiar you are with it; my reaction to Heavy Tweed Jacket proves it. But, in my experience, if you dwell on it long enough, this mentality will eventually permeate your subconscious, and stop emotional reactions to other people's actions from occurring -- most of the time. 

(If you're interested in a more in-depth version, please see my review of the course Harry gave around the time he wrote this piece. Even better, when you're done, buy the course.) 

And please keep this lesson in mind if my blog ever disappears, in the unlikely event that you'd care. 

No one owes you anything, because you have no way to make him pay it.


Douglas said...

Thanks for your comments and that Harry Browne link. You (and he) are so right. A few weeks back I was lamenting that some of my favorite blogs had either disappeared ( Boxing the Compass, HTJ) or gone dormant (Max, Toad, Tintin )and quickly realized. Who the heck am I to expect a thing from these fellows? They owe me nothing. And that knowledge is liberating isn't it?

Roger v.d. Velde said...

I got tired of HTJ disappearing and reappearing. I havn't tried it for over two years Maybe he doesn't owe anything, but unless he is writing for an empty, reverberating room he must realise there are people who are reading.

I suspect deleting one's blog and feigning enigmatic eccentricity makes people believe it is more valuable than it is, in the great scheme of things.