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Friday, April 23, 2021

Greetings From A Disaffected Former Blogger

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Mike Matthews
Mike Matthews
Mike Matthews is a fifth-grade teacher from Wilmington, Del. You can “friend” him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/downwithabsolutes

When I signed off from blogging in Summer 2009, I was pretty sure that was it. Shut it down and go back to the joys of private living where I would no longer be able to engage and call out decadent politicians from the comfort of my pajamas and keyboard. Where I would no longer be called out for my frequent lapses into rhetorical frivolity.

So where have I been, many of you may be asking? Let’s play catch up. I made my final post to my blog Down with Absolutes in early July 2009. Some of you may remember at that point I’d taken on quite a challenge – I was in the process of what would be a successful 160-pound weight loss. Through sheer force of will, I reached my goal in exactly one year and by February 2010, I was nearly half the man I used to be. On that front, I’ve maintained my weight-loss goal and now fluctuate between a healthy 180 and 190 pounds, though my Italian mother still tells me I need to eat more!

On the professional front, I’ve successfully held down a job teaching fifth grade in the Red Clay School District. I’ll be wrapping up my second year in a few short weeks and judging by my recent trips to our local DIY yogurt joint (and the trips to my scale), I can’t wait until summer arrives!

To this day, I still communicate with many of those who read my blog on a daily basis for so long. As well, I’m still in touch with several of the bloggers who helped form such a tight-knit Delaware blogosphere back around the middle of the last decade, when blogging really reached its apex. Many still ask me, “Why’d you get out?”

It is, perhaps, the most asked question. Well, why did I? Simply put, blogging sucked. To some extent, I think blogging is sucking even worse these days. When I started blogging in April 2004, I was an idealistic college student of the über-liberal persuasion who hated anything Republican, George W. Bush, and Halliburton. My blogging reflected those feelings for my first 18 months of blogging.

However, things turned for me when I realized I should actually DO something with my journalism degree. I started attending meetings, political rallies, fundraisers, and other events where I could release the obnoxious fool I knew was inside me. And so I went. In my five years of blogging, I confronted many individuals whose deeds I felt were screwing up the little-d democratic process. Those who would seek to use their political power to shut out the needs of the most vulnerable.

This got me some notice among the political elite in the state. Before you knew it, I was being “tracked” at certain events so that I couldn’t get access to some of the hottest political egos in our state. One of my greatest and proudest moments was at Return Day in Georgetown in 2006 when then-US Sen. Joe Biden ran away from me when I attempted to ask him a question.

Biden and the Democrats had just re-taken the Senate from the GOP and Sen. Biden would again assume the position of Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. I wanted to ask him some questions about the Iraq War and what we could expect from the newly crowned Democratic Senate Majority. One of his staffers, though, noticed me and informed Sen. Biden to back away from me like some bad meat! And that was that. It certainly provided for an interesting blog recap!

As offensive, filthy, or ribald as the comments got on Down with Absolutes, I’d like to think I provided a service in some kinky way. In my years exposing myself to the painful pleasures of politics, I learned much about the system, but even more about myself. In a way, I saw myself as an interpreter for those of my readers who may feel disengaged from the political process. I felt I was bringing them into the fold more easily by attending these events and analyzing , synthesizing, and presenting them in a way that made them more digestible for a general population. Politics is dirty and if I could shine a light on the process just a bit, then I felt like I was providing a service.

But I had to get out. The blog was taking a toll on me financially, professionally, and personally. I also felt that I had maxed out on the potential for what a blog could be. I had said my piece and it was time to move on to The Next Big Thing. I haven’t yet found that Next Big Thing, but I am glad to be here among some really great folks at TownSquare Delaware. I still have lots to say, so stick around and be part of the conversation!

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Earth Day group says no to offshore wind

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The business has moved into a new building bought in December 2019 and expected to open four months later. The pandemic didn't allow that.

DelTech’s Wilkins wins 100th game as softball head coach

    Delaware Technical Community College softball season's  14-2  recording includes Head Coach Guy Wilkins his 100th career victory, which came on April 10. “When you have...
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