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What Mark Elrod Said: Week 3

According to The Dark Knight, the night is always darkest before the dawn—and God, let it be true that the dawn is coming, because I do not think the Lame-O Weblog Eppur Si Muove Mark Elrod’s undisclosed location can survive another week of this carnage.

Surely you have not forgotten—surely no one could forget what happened last week. What could have been more surprising? Who could have thought that such a thing would be said by such a man? If you are at all like me, dear readers, if your sleep is broken by unsettled dreams, if you are now wracked by questions because of what happened, then you know why I cannot tell the story again. As you know, it is all there, but we do ourselves no favors by dredging up those awful details again.

For many, the immediate reaction was shock and, according to GKB who keeps the blog’s gears turning, aversion. “Membership dropped by 42% in less than twenty-four hours,” GKB said in an e-mail. “People who you’d never think would walk out deleted their accounts without warning.” Some members wrote long, heartfelt comments on the blog to explain their decisions, then they too left. I am certain that Elrod heard from a few personally, but what they said he has not shared. No doubt a few were as vicious as Scott Freeman, who adopted Matthew 5:28–29 as his own. It was clear that the bourgeoisME needed a rallying cry, else it would implode like George Bush’s political capital. Fortunately, as disgust grew and frustrations increased, a few commenters rallied. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it,” one well-known commenter said significantly. Most impressive of all was JRB, who explained that he was “torn asunder.” On the one hand, he wanted desperately to remain rue to his “shingled vocation”; on the other hand, he wanted to show mercy to a friend. Eventually, he said, he found solace in the words of the Lord: “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone!”

For his part, Elrod appeared to brush the controversy aside. He posted his features like clockwork, as if nothing happened: “Open Mike Wednesday,” the “Searcy Police Log,” “Caption This Friday,” “Vox Bloguli,” “Another Sign of the Impending Apocalypse.” At the same time, he posted his usual incredulity at Republican mendacity, wrote reasonably about flashpan controversies, and interpreted the significance of long journalistic essays about Barack Obama—all as usual. His silence was both comforting and unnerving: on the one hand, time heals all wounds, but did Elrod not realize the significance of what had happened?Was he ignoring the club he created? Still, who am I to say that a return to a normal routine was not the best thing to do? At the same time, however, how can I judge whether it is a mistake? Elrod says nothing publically privately. Not even GKB has heard how Elrod is coping, or if he is coping at all. Until he breaks his silence, we can only hope that Elrod is not in denial, that he has not in fact substituted routine—or worse—for healing.

It has been a week of uncertainty, readers. It is as if those of us who remain in Elrod’s VIP room are Frodo and Sam, unsure whether Gandalf’s quest is for real but aware that, if we take hold of the ring, we invite a darkness upon ourselves that we never before knew of. Let us hope that Elrod finds a way to show us the right path. Until next week!

 

Comments

I’m still outraged. His head should be on a platter.

Both of them.

You had every right to be disappointed, Scott—I was too, though I still don’t know entirely what to think about it all. I respect those who cancelled their memberships: each of them took a principled stand. However, I believe enough in solidarity that I couldn’t cancel my membership.

I think you guys are blowing it out of proportion a bit. Sure, my jaw dropped to the floor when I read it, but mostly I think it was one of those things that looks awful in print, but that would just get a laugh if said out at a bar with friends at 1am or something.

Must you always be so flip?! There’s a zillion things that one would laugh about after midnight and over drinks that would be irresponsible and downright ghastly by light of day and sober. Like midgets. Elrod may have made his blog private, but context matters. It was awful, and it should never have happened.

I had to retreat from the internets for a few days to compose myself.

I wonder what Jesus wrote in the dirt. . . Freeman could use a little.

I never saw a post from week 2—Apparently I missed something—what’s the big controversy?

After all that happened, it seems almost disrespectful to bring it up again.

I think it would be best to ask ME. He might be more forthcoming now.