Andrew Sullivan, the political blogger who quit blogging over a year ago, has finally reappeared: According to this press release, he’ll be joining New York magazine as a “contributing editor covering politics and the larger culture.” Die-hard Sullivan fans may remember his epic relocation to, serial complaints about, and eventual departure from New York City—the glittering metropolis whose various industries and cultures serve as New York’s main editorial focus. We’re assuming the trauma of having the wrong couch delivered to his Chelsea apartment has subsided at least a little if Sullivan is knowingly associating with the city again.
That’s not all, though. Twenty minutes after the press release went up, Sullivan sent a long email to former subscribers of his blog’s last and final iteration, a self-hosted, paywall-metered site called The Dish. Here is the first paragraph:
It’s now been over a year since we ended the Dish, and I’d be lying if I told you there hadn’t been a few moments this year when I have had one hell of a blogging itch. So many story arcs that the Dish covered have subsequently progressed and evolved—Obama’s long game as the liberal Reagan, the degeneracy of American conservatism, the Palin farce which paved the way for the Trump excrescence, the breakthrough with Iran, and the return of torture and grim advance of sponsored content.
(Is the “grim advance of sponsored content” part of “the larger culture” Sullivan will be addressing? We’ll be keeping tabs.)
The second paragraph:
So am I going back to blogging? Nuh-huh. The year off was revelatory. It’s only when you stop being pathologically attached to each ripple in the web-stream that you see most clearly how ephemeral so much of it is, how emotionally and nervously draining it can be, and how our discourse can be fatally distorted as well as deeply informed by the onslaught of the social web. I hope to write about what I learned in detox—it culminated in ten days of silent meditation last fall—soon.
(Hmm. Can a writer alienated from the Internet in general and social media in particular adequately address a campaign season whose central battlefield has shifted to the Internet, and especially social media? Time will tell!)
And here is the last paragraph of the same email, which is six paragraphs long:
And no, this is not an April Fools. With Donald Trump as the GOP front-runner, it seems to me a civic duty to get engaged with this election. I’m sure you’re doing your bit; now it’s time for me to do mine.
Whew. And welcome back.