scholars and rogues

Closing Time

Scholars & Rogues

In April 16, 2007 Scholars & Rogues flung open the doors with high hopes and a basic premise: get smart people together, give them a forum, and get out of the way.

We did, and we take tremendous pride in the work we produced. Nearly 11,000 posts on, we’ve covered everything from politics to arts and lit to climate to journalism and media to music and popular culture to … well, whatever was on somebody’s mind.

But now the time has come. On April 16 – just over two weeks from now – S&R will cease operations. 

There are any number of reasons. Declining readership. Frustration with pouring so much effort into work that’s not likely to find much of an audience. These are at the head of the list.

We also think the cultural moment has simply passed. Once an independent team blog was a thing, but not so much, anymore. (At one point we were ranked among the top 900 Web sites on the planet, at a time when there were over 80 million.)

And there’s another thing. We’re almost uniformly in despair over the state of the world. If you need this explained to you, it’s possible you’re part of the problem. I think we’d all give our very souls to make a difference, but we’re tired of giving our souls for no reason at all. And over time … we may not have made the mark on the world we’d hoped, but it has certainly left its mark on us.

Over the next couple of weeks some of us will offer parting thoughts. We’ll let you know where we can individually be found. 

And before we turn off the lights, Dr. Jim will honor our final masthead scrogue.

We’re deeply grateful for those who have traveled this road with us and we’re humbled that you thought what we had to say was worth considering. Thank you, more than you’ll ever know.

Sam Smith



Sam Smith, Publisher

11 replies »

  1. I knew there hadn’t been much posted lately. I’m sad about this, as I first started coming here as a way to get our of my bubble. As you probably know, I tend to lean conservative, but I always appreciated reading intelligent, compassionate views from progressives. But I fully understand.

  2. Despair is one of the things I feel from time to time, to be sure, but to me this is both lighter and darker than mere despair. I’m more often given to a cold, leaden, implacable rage these days – the kind of rage that could obsessively, methodically tear down every refinery bolt by bolt if I were given to such things.

    Then again, maybe rage isn’t quite the right word, given rage is, by definition, violent and out of control. Maybe a better word is wrath, with it’s implications of retribution, vengeance, and divine displeasure.

    And yet at the same time as hell is breaking loose, I have moments of joy and even optimism for the future here. I think the country and the world are going to come through the other side of the COVID19 horror and realize that they can’t keep on being libertarian and fake conservative assholes. Or at least that they can’t keep on listening to libertarians and fake conservatives when it come to running the country. I worry that I and/or the people I care about will catch the damn virus and not live to see it, but I truly believe that the future has a chance to be much, much better than it is now or has been for the last 40+ years.

  3. This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I can’t remember when I was asked to join–2008 or 2009, something like that–but it was great. And it was a privilege to be associated with the group of people here–as Fred Willard said, I would rather be associated with this group of people than the finest people on earth. Sad to say, the world has changed, and not necessarily for the better, and my battles need to be more focused these days. Brian is right–rage and wrath seem to be the appropriate moods for this world at this point. This will always be an important part of my life, though. Thanks for having me!