I’ve been following this blog for many many years. It went dormant for a time, not officially, but the activity was far less than what I’ve noticed recently. Among the founders, Zach and Razib play different roles as hosts (i’ve always thought of Omar as a host as well!), and many of us access Razib’s content directly on his personal site or GNXP. Zach has been amiable and generous in his effort to engage participants in the comments over all these years. If he makes a controversial statement or feels he made an uncharitable judgement, he has the self awareness and good nature to correct course. Unlike some of us who are anonymous, he shares a bit of his personal life here, which makes it higher stakes in terms of personal reputation. Its one thing if someone calls girmit a moron,its another if someone calls my actual known self a moron. So decorum in addressing the “real” people is important. I’m not talking about the specific controversy that precipitated Zach’s departure, but just a general policy. Its not easy to sustain a platform like this, and it would really be a shame for this platform to lose his stewardship.
At times I suggest we acknowledge the host-guest relationship here. There will always be random hit and run commenters, but for those of us who participate more frequently, lets consider the fact that we didn’t create this forum. If we can reach an understanding on that, I think it could make a compelling case for his return.
I took a few days out and did some reflection. The Pakistani in me thrives on drama,the Persian in me repulsed by it. I guess that dichotomy is what Walt Whitman meant about contradicting oneself & having multitudes. I also realise I may come across as a flip flopper but then so be it, in these past few days I have crossed several years..
I hadn’t read the blog in the meantime not because I was upset but because I wanted to introspect.
I am just catching up (I had however checked out Kabir’s excellent review of a Suitable Boy). Girmit’s excellent comment above, on my goodbye post, summed up my feeling & situation though in this iteration Razib & Omar (or Omar & Razib) are primus inter pares, which is fine by me since they were able to reboot BP and I couldn’t.
Furthermore Razib & Omar are much more substantial writers than I am (so is Slapstick, after all he is the only true Pandit among us) whereas I veer towards the polemical, observational and sometimes outlandish.
However I cannot accept my comments being arbitrarily deleted; that is a red line if there ever was one (my opinions are not garbage, my time has some value). The other is abuse or disrespect (which we hadn’t got to but would probably have gotten there).
I’m not paid to write at BP, I do it because it’s fun (and a good stress buster) but also because I’m sentimentally invested in this blog. I do think (hope) that BP has the ability to influence desi discourse in the “Devil Wears Prada” model where our rather niche topics eventually percolates into more popular mediums but then again that may just be an idle fancy of mine.
As Girmit alludes above I’m quite transparent (overly so) about who I am and my life and my choices. The fact that I’m friendly with most of the authors (& friends with Kabir) goes at the heart of what I’m about so a little allowance has to be made that my online persona pretty much maps onto my real life person. This incessant need of mine to be liked (when I first joined social media for several years I would like everything in my newsfeed to avoid hurting people’s feelings until I realised what an idjot I was being) also means I’m not very good at handling dislike (I shirk from confrontation unless I absolutely have to; my best offence is usually defence).
Zachary Latif isn’t a handle, he’s a real little boy with feelings and ideas and dreams; who above all loves his wife and puppy. sometimes he gets it right, at other times he’s simply trying to figure stuff out.. so forgive him when he does get it wrong because he does actually mean well…
Where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there is always time.