Monday, May 28, 2007

This Has All Been Wonderful

Saturday marked the third anniversary of Slack LaLane's unfortunate inception, and on this Memorial Day, we pause not to remember those who deserve and who've earned our respect, but instead to celebrate three long years of casual racism, misguided misogyny and equal parts self-aggrandizement and self-deprecation. It's been a remarkable run.

Thirty-seven months ago I received a phone call from my longtime associate Don Fiedler, who wanted to emulate our friend Mulgrew's burgeoning success by starting one of them blogs. As is custom with our good ideas, nothing materialized immediately -- we were impeded by the simple task of finding an online moniker for the site.

In May of 2004 I sat in my apartment listening to some hilarious stage banter from a bootleg of the popular rock band Phish's 5/28/89 show, and our eventual blog's name jumped right from the Maxell XLII to the free blogger template. Donnie dropped by for an evening of Yank'ums baseball, and we filled out some basic information. The rest, as they say, is histor...ical lameness.

About 1,100 days have elapsed since that fateful evening, and since then we've published 1,540 posts, some of them short blurbs, some epic narratives, some news and some opinion, some about sports, some about politics, but most about complete and utter nonsense. We've tried to be your sherpas in the quest to tackle boredom, your Internet wrangler, your web shepherd, the mercury in your online thermometer. And even though Fox News curiously credited us as a legit news source on its heavily watched 7 pm newscast, I feel as though we've done our level best to earn a reputation as a fierce playground of irreverence.

But as I've begun to realize, there's only so many times you can write a post with the phrase "a total Schiavo" in place of "no-brainer" (27, actually). Did I really substitute "craisins" for "crazy" in 53 separate posts? And how many times can we make fun of the handicapped, the blacks and the Jews before it loses all meaning altogether?

So if this blog started by borrowing its name from the words of a certain Vermont foursome, maybe it should borrow from their graceful exit as well: "This Sunday, I got together with Don to talk openly about the strong feelings I've been having that Slack LaLane has run its course and that we should end it now while it's still on a high note. Once we started talking, it quickly became apparent that Don's feelings, while not all the same as mine, were similar in many ways -- most importantly, that we both love and respect Slack and the Slack audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don't want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act. "

I've often said that bloggers and blog readers employ the perfect combination of exhibitionism and voyeurism. I've loved sharing our world with everyone, but sometimes, for one reason or another, it's best to shut the drapes. The writing's been on the screen for quite some time now. Between my real job and the music blog I so often plug here, Slack's sadly become an afterthought in our world of mighty procrastination. And instead of letting the quality steadily decline, the time to close the curtains has officially come.

We started out as yucksters making some weird jokes, but eventually we fell in love with the community that sprouted in the comments section. And online relationships begot real friendships, and I've truly met some great people through this endeavor. I'm not sure I'll miss posting daily, but I'll certainly miss reading the perspective so many of you brought to the blog in between meetings and classes and social events. Many of the names have changed from the early days, but everyone who posted a comment made it possible for us to last this long. Three years, 650,000 visitors and 1.1 million hits later, we're flatly out of gas and ready for bed.

For those of you that can stomach music talk, I'll still be posting regularly over on my Hidden Track outpost, and I'll probably be starting another niche site by the end of the summer. And if you're really jonesin' for some Slack attitude, you can e-mail us at slacklalane@yahoo.com and we'll send you a shot of our boobies and the top offbeat story of the day.

And since I can't find a clever way to sign off forever, I'll just link to a song I wrote many years ago for occasions of this magnitude:



Class is dismissed. Yous're all on your own now. Thanks for playing.

65 Comments:

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous One of the 650,000 said...

Totally bummed. Best of luck.

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second, who is that Jessie Spano look alike, and where is Jessie? Is this from the episode where Jessie was in rehab for her caffeine pill addiction?

 
At 6:12 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks. Just like every other post I am left feeling hollow, and morally bankrupt. Guess it is back to work then.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger scottyb said...

RIP Slack

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger DannyNoonan said...

Take care Ace. I've just become 5 minutes more productive each day. That is the bright side of this dark day. Look me up if you ever find yourself here in fatty-land.

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Lozo said...

man, you're the first blog that's died out that i truly liked. i'm kinda saddened by this. what am i supposed to do now when i roll out of bed at 11:30? masturbate? then what do i do at noon? masturbate again? i'm not a kid anymore. i can get myself up twice in a half-hour anymore.

best of luck and all that shit. maybe i'll catch you at one of those blogger gatherings one of these days.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger NewmRadio said...

Sad indeed, although I had a notion that you were losing that lovin' feelin' and that you had fell in love with another. And that other is Hidden Track...and everyone should know that they can still waste plenty of time over at that hi-fi music blog of superior quality. RIP Slack...but unlike Phish, I'm into what you're doing post-breakup and I'll be over at Hidden Track all the time, which is more than I can say for a solo Big-Red show. Craisins.

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Bummer...I've always enjoyed your writing and will continue to check it out on HT. I too feel cheated and morally bankrupt, but what are you gonna do?

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger J$ said...

i'm sure there's some witty comment waiting to be made about how this is your Coventry post or whatever. at least you didn't break down crying in the middle (...or did you?!) and type the last paragraph with your hands on the wrong keys.

thanks for the entertaining reads- J$

ps- if some guy named skeeto ever wants to write for HT, resist!!!!

 
At 12:01 AM, Blogger A.Guss said...

well thanks for wasting my time for the past year...

 
At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Handsome Guy said...

Does this mean Homeless Strategies is dying as well? Fuck.

 
At 5:24 AM, Blogger kailpogi said...

what a sad, sad day for me ace. your writings inspired me to do this blogging shit and now, WHAM, gone. what now?

i'll be checking your hidden track blog.

you will be missed.

 
At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I’m just sitting here getting ready for work, doing my morning internet thing and I get the saddest news! I can understand that the writers have lost the love but, where the fuck am I going to find my soccer news?

***sigh***

I’m just trying to make light of my sadness. I have enjoyed Slack so much. I can’t count the times I have been watching an embedded video and had to turn it off when my daughter came into the room, or the time I have wasted watching European soccer goal clips. I am going to miss that! How am I going to waste my time now? I love hidden track but, it is tasteful and serious. I will now have to search for jokes about drunk chicks and physical appendages.

I wish the founders and contributors well. I plan on kicking Ace in the shins the next time I see him.

I raise my lighter to you!!

-Mrs. TJ

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Sisto said...

Ace my lad, I would say you'll be missed, but as one of Hidden Track's 5 readers, I know where to find you. I'll be around, lurking in the shadows, maybe in a trenchcoat with nothing on under it, over at HT. You also know where to find me if you're ever down in the city of brotherly love and want to meet up for a show. Like maybe the epic sounding Allmans/ratdog/keller show at the Tweeter in August.

Peace. Live in it or rest in it,
-Sisto

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Chuck said...

Sorry to see Slack go, Ace...but thanks for the all time I got to waste...now I'll just have to make HT my first site of the day...

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Thanks to everyone who weighed in thus far...I really appreciate the sentiment and the kind words. I hate to leave everyone in the lurch like this, but sometimes it's best to walk away happy than to let something just die a sad death. Who knows, maybe I'll start a Slack LaLane corner over on HT...

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One man gathers while another man spills.... love to Ace and best wishes buddy! Fluff

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Jude said...

Hawkeye to B.J.: "I'll never shake you".

Ditto. Best of luck.

Slack is dead--Long Live Slack!

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Phiul said...

God bless you Dr. Slack. You will be missed.

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger ethan said...

just like arrested development, you're going out on top. and just like AD, the consistency of slack has always amazed me. kudos bar to you, my friend, kudos bar to you.

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Awesome prank, Farva. said...

Ouch, didn't see that coming. Thanks for the misty water colored memories. See ya at the next Wollicott's Traveling Rabbit's Foot Minstrels concert.

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger bean said...

you will be sorely missed. i hold out hope that you'll be pulling a jordan and coming back as slack45 in a couple of years.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Trixie said...

Welcome to the other side, kid.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good luck man, this site has been on my daily rotation for quite sometime.

i used the phrase "a total schiavo" at thanksgiving dinner last year and totally horrified my inlaws. it was awesome.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Boxcar Fritz said...

Shutting it down before your lies are exposed, eh? Fine then, I'll say it: Ace is actually a Chinese woman named Xiu Lee who lives in Macon, Georgia, running a small laundromat.

She really (or should I say rearry) got you, didn't she?

Anyway, Ace, I've never been one for the written word, so I'll just cut and paste a speech (quasi-paraphrased), which I think sums it up best:

Slack La Lane was a good blog, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors... and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and... up to... Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Slack. Slack, who loved bowling. And so, Slack LaLane, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well.

Good night, sweet prince.

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Some Dude said...

Craisins.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Claven said...

DEWD?

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Chilly Jackwater said...

Train roll on, on down the line
Won't you please take me far away?
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door.
Means I'm leaving my woman behind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
My woman's gone with the wind.

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous okaycantor said...

"Why!!!!! Ah Damn! Damn!" (in my best martin lawrence voice)

I guess the time had to come, but this is a sad, sad day. Where else can I correct your hip hop banter and think mockingly about all you hippies? A fond farewell, Slack. On to your musical playground it is....

i will pour some of my forty ounce on the ground in your honor tonight. Congrats on an incredible run, kid.

He heart slack...

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Michael David said...

This reminds me of Adlai Stevenson's quote from that time when Richard Nixon kicked him in the balls (I may have some of the details wrong): I'm too old to cry, but it hurts too much to laugh.

I'll miss you, Ace, and I wish you well in your future endeavors.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Well this is pretty sad.

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous ayatollah applesauce said...

The ayatollah has just started posting on this infidel site. You have ruined the ayatollah's morning routine. For this great insult, allah will surely strike you

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger HanzerBiscuit said...

Screw you hippie. Whats the matter all your free time consumed watching Zoo on a continuous loop?

Sorry to see this site ending. Just make sure you keep up the random racial slurs over at the HT.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger rob ronanea said...

thanks for the fun readings and time wastings. we'll miss you!

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

What a lazy SOB! But seriously, good work these years...Timmy makes good.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

i hope u arent pulling a clemens and milking your farewell tour. but if thats not the case, i know i havent posted a comment in quite some time, but have still been a loyal reader, thanks for the memories ace, and a big shout out to ALL CAPS ANON for turning me on to this here rag, what a cutey he still is.

here's one last kudos bar... for me to poop on.

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Matty Mac said...

We laughed. We cried. We hugged. We raped (although it was consensual, sort of). We pillaged. We made fun of the retarded, insane, minority, elderly, retarded elderly, and the rest of their ilk. We did it all.

You were the wind beneath my wings. My rock. You completed me. But now you are gone.

I ain't gonna quit you. I can't. But I will be strong. I will move on. I, I will survive.

The "Slack Lalane" tab in my browser will forever stay as my memory to you. As fritz said, good night sweet prince. You are now gone, but never forgotten.

Seriously, I'll miss checking Slack every day for updates and off-center comments. It was a great time. Well done.

One final kudos bar to you. Off to HT.....

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Sox1918 said...

Guess its time for me to buy dirty clothes, start taking the pot again and figure out what the kids are listening to these days over at HT.

also probably time to change my name to yanks2000

love you Ace.

 
At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Dorsey said...

Phenomenal run, my friend. Can't believe I'm actually going to have to talk to you to know what's going on in your life. Thanks for the great stories, the random thoughts, the insightful commentaries and most of all, for giving me the nickname Dorsey.

All the best,

Your friend from high school

 
At 1:54 AM, Anonymous mitch said...

Aside from the absence of a slightly overweight black man swaying side-to-side pretending to dance and rap, your leaving is just like, it's just like a mini mall.

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous eric the beehivehairdresser said...

I'll be missing you guys...Thanks for the fun time being wasted at work.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger brickmyers said...

Ace said:
"Thanks to everyone who weighed in thus far...I really appreciate the sentiment and the kind words. I hate to leave everyone in the lurch like this, but sometimes it's best to walk away happy than to let something just die a sad death. Who knows, maybe I'll start a Slack LaLane corner over on HT... "

Who are you? John freakin Elway? You wrote mildly (and often times not mildly) offensive ramblings that come from the mind of city dwelling, jam band and soccer lovin' dufus. I ain't gonna cry for you (or for Argentina). Well maybe...

But seriously, peanut butter Kudos bars were always a staple in my sack lunches as a kid, and you reminded me of how enjoyable they really are. So the last kudos-bar is for you Ace, enjoy...

You really should look into sponsorship with those guys. I hear that General Mills has some deep pockets.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger The Bourbon Samurai said...

And so it goes. Thanks for being awesome.

 
At 12:53 AM, Blogger spinachdip said...

I just want to say, I started this blog quitting shit, twice over.

I'll miss the Liverpoolness of it all. Keep on trucking.

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous kate said...

"nostalgia act"

i love it.

should you have a disasterous debacle in northern vermont to celebrate the passing of your blog?

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Bye Y'all. It was fun.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Dan said...

In a word: craisins. This is the only blog I've ever came while reading. Those are real memories.

 
At 12:35 PM, Anonymous elana said...

Nice job, Ace.

 
At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Rashid Muhammad said...

Good show Ace, but I've been doing this Internets thing for twelve years now and I've seen too many of these melodramatic goodbyes and not a single one of these people could stay away for too long. Here's hoping that you keep the trend alive.

If not, I wish you the best in all that you do. It was a hell of a run.

 
At 11:24 PM, Blogger Michael said...

You are the Barry Sanders of bloggers.

 
At 12:10 AM, Anonymous [name redacted] said...

You had the rare ability to tell a story about what someone else did better than them.

Besides that blog that shows celebrity nipple slips, slack is the only bog I ever read.

Thanks and good luck.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous mr. underhill said...

I leave New York for a few weeks and come back to find this?!?!

I am seriously crushed. My daily routine is f*cked. What am I going to read during lunch? How else am I going to get my insignificant news, youtube clips, hysterically enlightened points of view and the reassuring knowledge that someone else has seen My Girl over 40 times and can quote it as well as Fletch? I will not sleep. I will no longer poop regularly.

Ace, you are the man. Well done, dude. Well done.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Midwesterner in NYC said...

Godspeed Slack.....

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger DannyNoonan said...

Do you realize you're still getting over 500 hits per day? Isn't that just like having all your fans staying in the concert hall clapping, yelling and flicking their bics even ater the house lights come on? C'mon man, no encore?

Ace! Ace! Ace! Ace! Ace!

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

Later man.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Noonan Brothers, shut the lights when you're done.

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Boski93 said...

Thanks for everything you magficent bastards.

 
At 2:30 AM, Blogger Boxcar Fritz said...

Ace, you forgot to write something the past few weeks! We're waiting...

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Lozo said...

maybe i can bait you into a post.

roger clemens -- fat.

derek jeter -- gay and overrated.

alex rodriguez -- gay.

phish -- overrated.

minorities -- cool people.

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renaissance Jamaica Grande All Inclusive Resort

 
At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

f u guys

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Matty Mac said...

I like this blog....why hasn't it been updated in a while?

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger Lozo said...

thought you should know that video doesn't work anymore. you might want to fix that.

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys can cut the shit and just come back now

 
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