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July 13, 2009


I had hoped this was April fool's on the Hilzorian calender. My research came up negative.

Good luck with everything.

Better to have blogged and lost than never to have blogged at all.

Thanks for everything hilzoy, you will truly be missed.

I have to add my voice here--I HATE that you're leaving, and I really hope that you come back. You are one of the sanest voices out there, and I am always enlightened by your take on an issue. I hope you have a good vacation, but I also selfishly hope that you can't stay away!

Chiming in one more time....

TLT -- I firmly believe there's a passage in LOTR for every occasion, but it's a little over the top that you've helped stretch my intellect so much over the past year and a half and now you're going for the heart, too.

If you're ever in the Boston area and would like to sit down for some conversation with the locals, drop me a line at janiemat at myfairpoint dot net and we'll see what we can cook up. (This of course goes for anyone else who's around, as I've said when we've gotten together before.)

I say this here and now because novakant isn't the only one for whom Hilzoy's announcement is likely to trigger a change in the daily agenda. I am in a constant battle with myself to spend less time at the computer, and the online community here makes it especially hard, because it gives me a rationale -- the one Wilbur cited above. On the other hand, Hilzoy's decision is a sharp turning point in the "and now for something completely different" department.

FWIW, there's another passage from LOTR that has been running through my mind since last night --

Thirdly and finally, he said, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT. He spoke this last word so loudly and suddenly that everyone sat up who still could. I regret to announce that--though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you--this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

Hilzoy -- have a great trip. Enjoy whatever you do instead of creating these wonderful posts and facilitating this amazing community.......hope to see you around.

You've been the one person I always read. Good luck and I hope you do come back for the odd post now and again.

"Being civil doesn't mean you're lukewarm, and being committed to your principles doesn't mean you have to be hateful."

Well said. IMO, that line should replace the current tag line in the mast head. No, it should be taught in all high school civics courses.

I'll miss your sane voice. Live long and prosper.

Please do yourself a favor and go see the mountain gorillas in Virungian National Park - it's absolutely amazing!!!

"And did you know that the name 'Watusi' comes from the Tutsi? I didn't."

That's "Watutsi" and it generalizes; "Wa" in Swahili refers to a group. My personal favorite is the group noun for the wealthy: "Wabenzi."

That said, I'll miss you. It won't be easy to find your combination of sanity and eloquence. But I know it must have been a strain; that's why I've never considered blogging myself.

Have a nice trip.

But you're the only one I trust on the entire internet!

Without hilzoy, it'll seem like the only adult in the room has left.

The internet needs ethicists!


Hilzoy, you have always been one of my quiet heroes on the internet, not least because you are slow to anger and meticulous in reasoning.

I'm hardly a regular here, but I have to weigh in with a thank you. Your blogging has always been smart and readable; I've learned a lot from you. Selfishly, I've been proud to have you as an outspoken female voice, too.

Oh, the irony. Yesterday after reading Surprise the World, I was tempted to drop a fan comment, something I never do. What I was going to write, but didn't, was that I have realized over the past several months that while there are many blogs I enjoy reading, I always enjoy ObWi and I find Hilzoy in particular to be invariably lucid, intelligent, fair-minded and (above all) correct! Honestly, I was on the brink of writing that just yesterday . . . that I finally found a blogger who thinks just like I do, but expresses herself about five-hundred times better than I ever could.

And so you up and pack up shop? Say it ain't so . . . say it ain't so . . . .

I know it's just a perception bias, but it always feels as though everything I really love either goes out of business, gets dropped by the manufacturer, doesn't get renewed for another season, isn't available on video or DVD . . . stops blogging . . .

Ah, well. Hopefully you'll be back and, if not, I've really enjoyed reading you. You are the best blogger out here, is what I'm saying.

Hilzoy, you were and are the best. I will greatly miss your incisive commentary.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

By fish, I mean great posts....and....well, anyway, thanks, and best of luck in all of your endeavours.

You will be missed in part because your voice is an important part of the mix of this blog. There are different voices and without yours, it will be skewered.

I also second the sentiment that the madness is not over. Preventive detention is madness. Saying someone should apologize for saying "bj" while explaining why a special prosecutor is necessary is madness. One can go on. Reduction of a problem is not its end.

Cripes, I can't believe how upset I am about this.

Please reconsider. Your decency is too much to withhold.

I'll add my voice to the ones that hope that you'll continue writing, in some form, whether by book or guest article. I came to Obsidian Wings from Andrew Sullivan's website originally. While I only visit this website a few times a week, I found that your articles were particularly enjoyable and insightful. You've helped increase the signal to the noise online.

I hope that you have an exciting and relaxing time on your trip, and that you return refreshed and ready for anything you want when you return to your home. Thank you.

I feel like begging hilzoy to stay, that she has an obligation to her readers to keep on blogging, and that she owes it to us (and "the blogosphere") to maintain her invaluable presence.

But I won't, because it would be unfair, and disrespectful of hilzoy's own agency, motivations, and intentions: she has the utmost right to blog or not blog, as she chooses, and should do whatever it is that is most in line with her own heart and mind.

And I realize this, and wish her well in whatever she does, and respect her decision - because that's what hilzoy would have done. (sob)

Have a great trip, hilzoy, and enjoy your non-blogging peace. I just hope that you'll come out of retirement if the Bloggers Ethics Panel ever gets off the ground.

oh noes!

don't leave, hilzoy, your perspective is needed. you have a clarity and ethical precision that just doesn't exist elsewhere in the commentariat: you can cut through layers of obfuscation to simplify what needs to be simplified, and even more rarely found, you can see through consensus to complicate what should be complicated.

the madness is over, but the game goes on; we can have confidence in those at the top, and we can trust that now our disagreements will be approached with reason, with good faith and with reference to reality. but we will still disagree. and there needs to be voices to articulate both our agreement and our disagreement. and hilzoy, there aren't enough of them, and the ones there are often don't think clearly enough.

you're in a unique position to do what you do, and you do it better than anyone else - and when you can do something better than everyone else, you should keep doing it.

by the way, in rwanda - avoid the jack fruit, eat plenty of avocadoes and look out for the obama shops...

Hilzoy, I am deeply grateful for the wisdom and insight you have so freely and graciously dispensed here over the last few years, and deeply saddened, not to say distraught, that you are stopping. I hope your vacation is wonderful, and that afterword you will consider blessing us with your thoughts from time to time here, even if irregularly, and that you will continue to write for a non-academic audience in whatever medium suits. Odd that my first real disagreement with you is with the notion that the craziness is over--I don't think that's remotely true. I hope that you will continue in one way or another publicly to combat it with your sane, humane, articulate and civil commentary.

Yow. What others have said regarding thanks for your contributions to the blogosphere, hopes that you'll feel moved to post something occasionally even after your retirement, and puzzlement at your belief that the craziness is over (I fear we've seen only the beginning).

When the Bare-Faced Go-Away Bird alights on your shoulder it is an omen that it is time to leave.

As you go about your future endeavors (incarnations, more like) with your characteristic
total commitment and sense of adventure
(waitress in a biker bar, kibbutznick, women's shelter angel,tree surgeon,rodeo announcer, fill in the rest), you'll sit in conversation with your new compatriots and begin a sentence like this to illustrate some piercing observation about life: "When I was a blogger ......"

Thank you. You're an amazing person.

Not just ethical, but kind.

As to the craziness you refer to ---- the craziness will return, newly adapted with double snapping jaws and acid for blood, and Ripley will reappear, muscled up, grim but refreshed, striding down the gangway, ready to save the universe.

We'll miss you! I hope you'll come back when the country goes through it's periodic insane spells, as i'm sure there're more to come! Good luck in all you do.

You'll be greatly missed,

Sigh. Inevitable, but terribly sad.

hilzoy (no, I won't capitalize it, that would be insulting), you are simply one of the top few bloggervoices out there. Here. Around.

We have plenty of voices who can articulate rage, and several who can articulate pragmatism -- but we're short on people who can articulate empathy. That's where you've always fit on the continuum. And why you will be so sorely missed, both here and at WashMo.

But I can't fault someone for reaching a point in an avocation where it no longer fills the same need. You need to walk away sometimes to regain perspective.

Maybe you'll join MediaWhoresOnline Horse in his pasture for a while. Maybe you'll come back in a year, or in 2008 when the country goes mad again. I'll hope, but if this is truly goodbye, I certainly understand.

Job Well Done. And thanks. So very much.

But as Martin Mull once sang, let's not say au revoir, let's just say hors d'oeuvres.

Wow, it's a shame to see you go. Your post on spousal abuse ("Why They Stay") really opened my eyes, and made me hug my girlfriend, sister, and mother just a little bit tighter.

Hopefully if the world loses its mind again, you'll ride back in on your white horse to save us.

God bless, and good luck in everything you do.

Clearly I meant 2012, not 2008.

My eyes were misty, so very misty, while I was typing. Sniff.

No, the nation is no longer inflamed by furious madness, just blunted by savage numbness.

I will miss your words. "Violence is not a way of getting where you want to go, only more quickly" remains in my quotefile. Good luck with your future.

Please don't go! At least not forever. We still need you.

OY! We're losing one of the very best. For aforementioned selfish reasons, I hope it's just temporary, Hilzoy. Even more, I hope you enjoy life from here on out, whatever you do. BTW, the above commenters are right that the US has not returned to sanity. I guess we'll have to muddle through with less of your voice...damn.


When I send your deeply sensible and articulate takes on matters to those with whom I disagree, I usually use, "the never shrill Hilzoy," or sometimes "Hilzoy, the voice of reason."

Frankly, I'm actually frightened about losing your voice.

But you must do what it is you must do. Best wishes, and sincere thanks for all the great thinking and your marvelous ability to get it down coherently.

I will miss you unreasonably so.


No eloquent good-byes from me. As with all the others, you have become an important part of my windows on the world.

Amidst all the words you wrote in this post, I will hang on to those where you say you will be back, though maybe only in the comments.

Somehow I think that you have impacted far more people than you may recognize, and for that we should all be very grateful. And I doubt if you are anywhere near done doing that, although the manner may undergo change.

And I also believe that you are one of the few, that upon reading all these comments about yourself, will not have an overly inflated ego.

Once, when I was first starting to comment on ObWi, I called Gary a national treasure. Your are THE national treasure.

Have a great life, you deserve it.

Hilzoy!! NOOOOOOO!!! You are HANDS DOWN, my favorite political blogger. Smart. Articulate. Compassionate. Sensible. I will miss you so much and agree with Sullivan that I hope the itch is too much to bear. Have a lovely time in Rwanda though. You will be deeply missed.

Scott in Alabama

I'll add my voice to the chorus of those who will miss reading you on a regular basis. Godspeed.

With all due respect to Eric and Publius (who brought me here from legalfiction), this won't be really ObWi without hilzoy.

Hartmut, trust me, Publius and I made that exact point with more than a touch of panic in our voices.


This is terrible news -- the departure of a wonderfully sane, clear-eyed, sympathetic and incisive voice, easily the most worthwhile blog-persona I know. I hope that you enjoy your travels, and that when you return, you find that you just cannot resist opining (and sharing your opinions).

The birds you're hoping to see are spectacular, but you'll need some good luck to find them. My son, an avid birder and photographer, spent a week last year looking for it and came up empty. (He did see a lone White-bellied Go-Away bird, C. leucogaster, but although more striking, they are also more common.)

Anyway, thanks for your insights over the past years. I'll miss them.

Hilzoy, you've been an inspiration and a joy to read. You have a particular talent that will be appreciated in whatever future venture you go. Let me suggest that you will be back, in some form. Writers - and good bloggers, I think - do not have a choice but to write, it's like breathing. We don't get to stop, it's too hard to function without it.

See you sometime in the future.

You're one of my favorites. Are you sure you aren't underestimating the impact you've had on the people who've been touched by your writing? I think you are. Not only have you touched me, but everyone I've touched when influenced by your writing or after being forwarded a 'hilzoy' link. You will be missed.

I have learned a huge amount from you. Your posts are wise, thoughtful, penetrating, honest, and deeply decent. They convey not only substance but also a model of how to think about issues and other people and how to conduct honest and spirited but respectful debate. A heartfelt thank you for all you have done. Have a great time doing whatever you do next. I hope you will come back to post from time to time.

Thank you hilzoy.

Delurking to say how much I have appreciated and valued your posts. You will be greatly missed.

My observations about Rwanda are a bit out of date (based on a summer spent there 8 years ago) but it is a beautiful, fascinating and troubled country. Please don't hang up your blogging hat until you have a chance to share your impressions.

Of course you are probably already planning to visit the gorillas and the genocide memorials, but if not I cannot recommend them highly enough.

I will miss reading your work very much. I think you bring something really special and unique to blogging.

I've never been one of your regular commenters, Hilzoy, but I've always immensely admired your work. Enjoy your vacation in Rwanda, and thanks for the sanity!

Eep. *hides under desk*

No sooner had I written this than I lost internet access. Luckily, it's back.

Thanks, everyone. It means a lot. I always thought I got more than I gave, from the community here. Why any blogger doesn't enable comments is a deep and abiding mystery to me: they miss out on so much.

You can't go! All the plants are gonna die!

Now that I've suppressed the urge to jump out my office window, a million thanks, Hilzoy. I wish I could bear-hug you through the internet, but technology has its limits. I don't have a strong belief in sending out vibes, but you will always have whatever good vibes I can emit. Now I'm going to suppress the urge to plead with you not to go. I know you'll still be in comments, but still... Again, thank you, Hilzoy, and all the best to you always.

Wayne (aka HSH)

Such a shock...! I should come out of lurking to say:

I first found ObWi about a year and a half ago, and your insightful posts on the presidential race got me hooked.

Best wishes. Here's to hoping that after a poignant silence, you will return!

I know I'm pretty late in saying this, but --

Well, it's been said, over and over again. And I agree with them.

I wish you weren't leaving; I always looked forward to reading your insightful posts; and I will miss you.

I always thought I got more than I gave, from the community here.

I'm really not sure how that could possibly be true, except perhaps in the kind of topography that blue-boxes the TARDIS. What you gave was without measure and beyond praise. The community here won't be the same without you.

Please stop hiding under the desk: I think I see some more ObWingers coming in with more praise, thanks, and goodbyes, and they need the floor space to stack it now your desk is piled high to overflowing. It's yours, all of it, well-deserved, and ... I find I still agree with every single commenter on this thread, which has got to be a record for me.

Take care. Have a fine time in Rwanda.

You're a pretty unique person, Hilzoy, and trying to civilize the blogosphere probably isn't the most productive use of your gifts. But make no mistake: you leave a gaping hole, as there simply isn't anyone blogging who does what you do.

nuu! :(

Enjoy the time off, and honestly, I do hope you come back and drop the occasional post from time to time.

Go enjoy real life :)

I'll miss you too--the long earnest explanations about what you think, which seems to be the result of a philosopher's training without the nasty argumentativeness that sometimes accompanies it.

As for the country's sanity, my reaction to that part was similar to Patrick Nielsen Hayden's--what, are you nuts? But I completely sympathize with the desire to quit blogging (not that I've ever started).

And I'll also miss novakant's comments.

You will be missed, Hilary

Best of Luck in all your future endeavours.

I am only a bit younger than you, and I very much identify with your observation: "I had heard about times like this in the past -- the McCarthy era, for instance -- though I had never expected to live through one."

You kept your head when all about us seemed to be losing theirs and, in blogging through it, provided an antidote to cynicism and despair.

Thank you.

I was going to do some kind of snarky contrarian "good riddance" thing, but I find I can't. Instead, this:

'I shall miss you, Jeeves.'
'Thank you, sir.'
'Who was that chap who was always beefing about gazelles?'
'The poet Moore, sir. He complained that he had never nursed a dear gazelle, to glad him with its soft black eye, but when it came to know him well and love him, it was sure to die.'
'It's the same with me. I am a gazelle short. You don't mind me alluding to you as a gazelle, Jeeves?'
'Not at all, sir.'

We are all a gazelle short.

Dammit, Hilzoy, say it ain't so!

You are one of the best bloggers and you need to keep writing in some forum or the other. Maybe the WaPost or the NYT may be interested, or the Atlantic. Hell, if they can hire Megan McArdle, they can DEFINITELY afford you.
Anyway, hope to read you again and have a great life. Say hi to the bare-faced go away bird for me.

I knew, but I'm still firmly in the denial stage.

[petulant whining]

We'll miss you.

Selfish reaction: Well damn. That sucks! Waaa!!

Okay, okay. Have a wonderful vacation. (Rwanda? How cool is that?) And of course your time and effort are not public commodities, and you should do what's best for you. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.


Darn it Hilzoy! Just found you! Will read the archives. Best in new ventures.

Amen to all that is said above.

I too will deeply miss the enormous intelligence, care, and insight of your posts. And I too have an emotional reaction similar to what one feels when a very close friend moves away.

I'm grateful for what I've learned from you. Even if you don't blog, I hope you will find another outlet for writing for the general public. Your contribution is too valuable to lose.

Enjoy your trip, best wishes, and please let the BAOWDG (Boston Area Obsidian Wings Dinner Group) know if you are around and, assuming I can safely speak for others, we will organize a gathering.

I hope that, like Billmon, you'll come back and write the occasional piece. Thanks for a lot of well written and reasoned pieces over the years.

Thanks for all the great posts, Hilzoy. I followed a link from Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish a while back, and have never left. Good luck; we'll miss you.

Say it ain't so!

Thanks for all your amazing work, Hilzoy, and I hope (once you're back from a relaxing vacation) you reconsider.

Yes, it's probably true in some ways that the country isn't as insane as it was during the first Bush term. But I'd argue that it some ways it's worse now. Back during the first Bush term, it felt like the country was in the midst of a terrible, but passing bout of insanity, temporary insanity if you will. Some of that has passed. But some of it is in danger of gelling into a more or less permanent feature of America: think especially of executive power and secrecy issues. That we need to fight. And that's why we need your passionate, reasoned voice to come back.

Oh heck. As a first time delurker here, I have to say I'm sorry to see you go. I have always enjoyed your writing. If I ever write half as well as you, I would die happy. But enjoy your vacation.

Like they all said. I know we haven't heard the last of you, but still-- damn, and thanks.

Hilzoy ... for President?

Before you retire for good, you should have a class on How To Be A Good Thinking Blogger. If we can't have you -- can we have a cadre of Hilzoy-trained ProBloggers??


Hilzoy, it was my privilege to read you excellent posts for all these years. First, billmon, now hilzoy... :(

publius, don't you get any ideas!

Wow. Hilzoy, you've been one of my anchors for the past few years. I feel as though the tectonic plates are shifting beneath my feet.

Thank you very much for your bloggin. Have a great vacation and good luck with your future efforts, whatever they may be. We've been really lucky to have your wisdom to turn to.

Just out of curiosity, I'd thought I'd google to see how far the news of Hilzoy's departure from blogging had gone. When I typed "hilzoy," one of the search-term auto-completions that came up was "hilzoy going Galt." It was there because of her previous post on going Galt, but I thought that was an amusing/ironic way of describing her ceasing her blogging.

Congratulations on a job very well done, hilzoy. As this thread shows, you will be remembered for a long time as one of those rare bloggers who knew how to do it right, and made it look easy. All the best in your future endeavors (and travels).

Aw, man. Drat drat drat darnit drat.

Enjoy Rwanda, and come back and write stuff for us anytime. Please. I'm going to miss you.

I cant say I understand your rationale for leaving, but if you feel it's time for you to go, then so be it. Please remember that you are welcome to return at any time, perhaps even for occassional articles rather than daily blogging.

I’ve only read the first twenty or so comments, so I’m not going to say “what everyone above me said,” just in case some malcontent has crashed the party. However, I have already read more eloquent expressions of gratitude and well-wishing than I could compose myself. I won’t try to improve on them.

I will add that although I could count the times I have posted comments to this site on one hand, I have been a frequent reader of yours for the past two to three years. I was actually surprised to read in the post above that you were not one of the founders of this site as I have come to associate it primarily with you and all of the other bloggers secondarily. They’re all fine individuals, but yours was the "voice" I first came to know and read.

In closing, I’ll repeat what many others have said: You’ll be missed.

My wife and I are so sad that you're not going to be blogging any more. You're one of our favorites to read each day. You've made a real contribution to our lives by helping us think through issues and by alerting us to issues we didn't know about before.

Thanks for everything (and we do hope that we'll be able to read you somewhere sometime again)

Wow, this is unwelcome news. I don't comment often, but I've read almost every word, posts and comments, written on this blog for the past 4-5 years. As many others have said, you're a unique voice in the blogosphere, and will leave a gaping hole when/if you leave. I can't think of another blogger who combines your mix of analytical rigor, compassion, and plain reasonableness. I beg you to consider just taking a vacation or posting less frequently. For one thing, I'm not sure ObWi can survive very long without you. No disrespect to Eric and Publius, but it's your decency, as mckinneytexas said above, which has kept this from becoming just another liberal blog.

Will you at least still be reading and commenting? I worry that the commentariat will slowly disperse to other blogs without you around, and that would be a tragedy. This is a great blog, both in the quality of it's front-pagers (even the slackers like Seb and Von) and the commenters. I don't want anything to change that.

If that doesn't work, consider this. If you leave, those of us who live in the Baltimore area will be forced to come and pester you during office hours to satisfy our hilzoy-jones. Addiction is a terrible thing, even if it's an addiction to calm, level-headed political analysis. Do you really want people dropping by and asking your opinion about the news of the day? Wouldn't it be easier to just keep blogging? Do I sound desperate at all?


I started reading ObiWi just prior to when you started blogging here, Hilzoy, and since you started blogging, have read daily. I have seldom ever commented (with the exception of poetry threads and a bit of weirdness about rice cookers), but I will echo those who have said you are the best blogger, and the sanest political commenter, on the internet. I will sorely miss your point of view, and do indeed, feel as though a good friend is moving away.

As long as I'm borrowing sentiments expressed by others, I'm also going to echo John Thullen in saying you are an amazing person.

Belated, but sincere thanks for sharing your gifts with us all; I wish you all the best.


This is a great tragedy for online discourse. I would not hesitate to call you one of the finest voices in progressive politics. But I cannot fault your reasons.

Thank you for everything--and do stick around.

Promise us that when (not if) the country goes insane again, you'll blog again!

So very sorry to hear this. :-( Have a wonderful trip though, and just check in from time to time? And when the world goes nuts again in 2016, please consider coming back and bailing us out!!

Hilzoy, although I haven't commented here too much, you've been my absolutely favorite blogger anywhere. Understand the reasons, but sorry to see you go. (Remember that Michael Jordan came out of retirement to win three NBA championships.)

For the last five years, when there was someone wrong on the internet, I could rest assured that Hilzoy would be a clear voice of reason to calm/trouble the waters as need be. Your absense will be more than a lacuna. I remain with kid bitzer full of hope that the end is not the end.

Here's hoping that Rwanda is a rewarding interlude and that the lawyers and economists and pundits do not drown out all reason on the intertubes

Not until I read hartmut's most recent post did I realize: This was hilzoy attempting to write a parody of Sarah Palin's quitting-equals-not-quitting speech.

Unfortunately, one of the few verbal things hilzoy *can't* do is string words together in a completely incoherent and rambling manner.

Nice try, toots, but leave that stuff to the professionals (e.g., Samantha Bee).

So very sorry to hear this, but... well, what everyone else said. Thank you for these years.


I don't post here much, but I've been a near-daily visitor to ObWi since you started blogging here. I can't quite wrap my head around ObWi without you.

I'm going to hope that you come back, but if you don't: thank you for all the posts and comments, and for prodding everyone around you to think a little more critically.

Among the many reasons I'm a lummox is that I managed to reply to your "farewell" post without saying thanks.

I'm with Thullen, in addition to your intelligence, generosity, and unwavering fairness, you are the kindest of bloggers.

Thanks, and thanks again. Be well, safe travels, and have fun!

As others have said, you've been one of the very best bloggers out there. After five years I can understand why you'd want a break -- but even if you're done with blogging, I hope that you'll continue to occasionally write and publish on the sorts of issues you've covered here.

So often after reading one of hilzoy's posts I have thought, "what can I add? Nothing."

hilzoy, take care, be well, safe travels, and I hope the spirit will move you to come back and write for us again.

I'm generally a lurker rather than a commenter, but I had to write to thank you for the marvelous work you've done over the past years. You've been my favorite writer in the blogosphere for some time. The way you take an issue apart and go back to first principles is a technique I find very compelling.

I find your description of why you started to write particularly interesting, since I would call the sanity of your writing one of its strongest qualities.

Naturally, I hope that once you've had a break you find yourself drawn back into blogging, but whether you do or not you've clearly had an affect for the good on the state of discourse in this country today. Thank you again for your efforts.

You know, last night, I got out a bottle of Crud Cutter and cleaned the grout between the tiles on the bathroom floor. I never, ever do things like that, so I should have known that there was a deep disturbance in the force.

hilzoy, I take it completely for granted that you've thought out all aspects of retiring, and weighed the advantages against the disadvantages and reached your decision as a result of some well-organized thought process and not, for example, simply gotten good and drunk and decided to have a little joke with us.

That last part was not intended to be taken seriously in any way.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to join my song of regretful parting with that of the many others. OW will be lessened (no disrespect intended toward any of the regulars). You've changed my thinking, such as it is, in a great many areas, and I'm grateful for the light touch that you've taken with me (and others!) when I was absolutely and angrily certain you must be wrong. You have a gift for this. I'd bet that this gift also makes you a very good teacher.

Whatever path you've chosen for your life from this point, I wish you health and happiness. Please stop in from time to time and let us know what you're up to. And, as others have suggested, most of us would applaud if you cobbled together a post every now and then just for the hell of it.

I'm very sorry to hear that you've decided to stop blogging, and I hope that after you've had some time off and more time for yourself (and for travel to fascinating places like Rwanda) you'll still hang around and write the occasional post on subjects that particularly interest you and that aren't being covered well elsewhere.

OMG - what awful news to have to read on a fine sunny Tuesday in July!

An Internet without Hilzoy? It cannot help but be a darker, bleaker and joyless place henceforth!

Well this stinks.

Thank you for all the work you have put into this blog and I hope you enjoy your time away from it as much as I enjoyed the blog itself.

I'm not a frequent commenter but, I'm so sad. I see it not only as a loss of a great liberal voice, but the loss of a feminist voice, something I feel we can ill afford.

But, if it isn't fun or personally rewarding any more, you can't go on, of course.

The blogosphere will be poorer without you.


I came to ObWi as a result of reading your substitute posts for Andrew Sullivan a long while back. I've come to respect the quality and intelligence of both the posters and the loyal following of commenters. I'll still be reading here first with the hope that you will still grace the comments with your powerful observation and opinion.

You will be missed. I'll still be watching and wondering when you'll get the bug to return to the blog.

Good luck in what/where ever your new path leads you.

Are we allowed to boo? Because I really want to boo, but I don't want to be unseemly.

Leaving with a thread of record growth. Stylish! ;-)
Aren't blogslaves only allowed to leave their blog on any 30th February without permission of their comment masters?

I would really miss you, too, novakant. Your observations often challenge me, and make me think, and I regard you as a highly valuable voice here. Please also reconsider any thoughts of "quitting" versus simply cutting back.

That's very kind of you, Gary, but I'm afraid that, due to my addictive personality, I'll have to go cold turkey, sad but true.

I'll certainly miss you too and am glad that our mutual ability to drive each other up the wall hasn't left a sour aftertaste - as Omar says in The Wire: "It's all in the game, yo, all in the game ...".

I've made some changes in my life over the past year and will focus more on film, my passion and profession (I'm an editor and grader), and my friends in the flesh world.

The best of luck to you, hilzoy, Donald and everybody else.

A little late, but equally shocked and dismayed. You are my favorite blogger for all the reasons previously elaborated above. To me, you are the model against which all other bloggers are judged. Good luck! (and I also cling to the hope to occasionally read a Hilzoy post somewhere, sometime in the future...)

Digressing: so, oddly enough, I found myself commenting here on Roger Ebert's blog, and linking to Andy Olmsted's final letter, and Roger ended up responding "Ebert: I agree with everything you write."

(Of course he does!) ;-)

I also, incidentally, wrote about some other recent exchanges with Roger here. He actually responds to a fair percentage of comments, if they're wise and insightful enough. :-)

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention that maybe a few people from Roger's blog might wind up coming over to read Andy's letter. I hope.

"FWIW, there's another passage from LOTR that has been running through my mind since last night"

I'm sorry, but Hilzoy simply isn't allowed to make such an announcement without:
a) being eleventy-one years old; and:
b) having a magic ring.

And she's not even getting to pass on to the blessed land of Valinor.

And we don't even have anyone around to play Aragorn!

No, no, this simply won't do at all. It just won't do.

I think it's much more like Gandalf falling in Moria, and crying "fly, you fools," but then showing up better than ever later, all in white.

That's how the story's going to go if I have any say in editing it!

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