The Life and Death of the Great American Miltonian

The Miltonian is dead, long live the Miltonian. This isn’t the first time we’ve said that. Probably won’t be the last.

This blog has been around a long time. I made the first post in October, 2006, in Philadelphia. There were numerous contributers at first. Different columns, formats, voices, perspectives. Years later, it’s just me. Hey. I’m still here. But where are you?

Nearly six years later, the world and the internet are very different places. And we’re all very different people. So why should the Miltonian be the same?

The tale of the Miltonian from then to now is a tale of Energy. In 2002, my friend Ian and I would run around the streets of Philadelphia asking random girls, “Where do you get your energy?” It was an honest question. We were obsessed with energy. Where did you find it? How does one generate it? When when one runs out, how does one refill?

The Daily Miltonian 2006-2012 is a graph, happening in real time, of fading energy and diminishing returns. The blog — we haughtily called it a “magazine” then — exploded into life as a vortex of energies, collaborations, images and impressions of a city and a time and a life and style: a lifestyle, we also called it. At the current time of writing, a yet-another rainycool morning in Portland, OR, the words resist my fingertips, as if the keyboard was jammed up. There’s nothing to say, nothing to report. Report from where, and of what, and to whom? I have no idea. I’m as blank as this screen.

So in the spirit of the Miltonian of Yore, I will attempt to list the Possible Reasons My Energy for the Miltonian Has Dissipated:

– I moved out of Philadelphia, birthplace of the Miltonian and location of every other writer for the Miltonian.

– Original co-founder Alex Z. stopped contributing.

– Original co-founder Alex Z. stopped being my friend.

– Martha, Loren, Brady, Gibbs, Crooks: all stopped contributing.

– They lived in Philadelphia (except Gibbs). Why would they contribute to a blog that was now about Portland?

– The Miltonian was about Philadelphia. It then tried to be about Portland. But it was never really about Portland.

– Philadelphia really seemed to like the Miltonian. Portland never caught on.

– Or did it but it just never told us?

– Without Portland catching on, it was hard to make it a blog about Portland.

– Also and this really warrants its own separate post/discussion, but when you move physically in the 21st century you don’t move digitally. Your page, and profile, and words, are still where they were 3000 miles ago: they’re on the screen. So you change your community — of real actual people — but you remain in your old community, digitally. You moved, but you’re there. You say “It’s raining today,” and someone 3000 miles away responds “No it’s not.”

– Black mold.

– I.e. maybe hidden black mold in my apartment is draining my energy by eating my brain.

– The Internet, in general. There’s more internet in 2012 then in 2006. The internet eats energy.

– Viz. Facebook

– Re: Mold see also rain, lots and lots of fucking rain.

– Rain feeds plants but eats energy.

– Plants give energy but also give allergies.

– Allergies eat energy.

– Really Bad Breakups.

– Age, ouch.

– Video games.

– City Energy. Do different cities give different energies? Everyone seems to be doing more stuff here but they all talk slower. So do they have more energy? Or just more free time.

– Time = energy?

– Loneliness.

– Harsh criticism taken to heart.

– A gluten allergy? Does wheat take energy?

– Then why would they call bread the “The Staff of Life?”

– Online message boards, see also harsh criticism.

– Heartbreak.

– Mortality.

– Facebook, again.

When you write in a forum like this you imagine an ideal reader and that’s who you write for. I often imagine my ideal reader having closely read this site for the past almost six years watching the energy and enthusiasm slowly draining from its pages and wondering, “What’s going on here? Why is this atrophy happening?” Or perhaps she noticed something I didn’t: saw the writing on the wall, the leak from the energy socket, and knew it all along, and more importantly, knew why. Is it something on the above list? Is it something else? I’d love to know.


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