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Friends, partisans and old pals of every stripe, I beg your forgiveness for my extended absence, and for the lack of any substantial explanation thereof. At this point, it probably won't come as much of a shock to you that, after seven years and five months of bringing you the Dirt as I've seen it on a daily basis, the party's over.

In many ways, and for many reasons, this is one of the most difficult editorials I've ever had to write. Maybe that's why it's taken me the better part of three months to do so. One of the complicating factors is that the Dirt hasn't exactly been cancelled yet, so I can't even whip up a proper farewell. This pseudo-demise has left the Dirt, and me, in a peculiar kind of suspended animation. Editorial limbo, if you will.

Here are the hard, cold facts. Because of an ongoing decline in ad revenue and a steady decrease in readership over the years, my employers have decided that my time and talents (such as they are) would be better spent on other projects. Once again, the bottom line turns out to be the bottom line.

The reasons for the Dirt's decline are legion. The arrival of easy-to-use blogging technology a few years ago -- and the subsequent explosion in high quality blogs -- has essentially rendered the Dirt obsolete. Then there's the matter of the increased use of so-called "spam-blockers" that do a real good job of preventing us from delivering announcements to our double-opted-in subscribers, while simultaneously allowing upwards of 90% of actual, unwanted spam to slip through.

Of course, there's also the fact that the Dirt hasn't been much fun of late. When I first took over writing duties on this newsletter, my beat included the slutty shenanigans of third-rate starlets and the gory crimes committed by whatever freak-of-the-week caught my attention. Eventually, a massive terrorist attack, a monstrously conceived war and a string of stolen elections knocked the funny right out of me, like a boot to the stomach. I followed my heart, and lost a lot of readers in the process. Such is life.

Over the years, I have often felt unworthy of my readership, and I am frankly mystified at the generosity, the intelligence and the loyalty many of you have shown. Most of you are far too astute to have put up with my pet obsessions, my grasping meditations and my often obscenely purple prose for as long as you have. And yet, you did. You indulged my years-long transformation from Jester to Cassandra and tolerated my interminable loggorhea. To you, the hard core, the few thousands who have stuck with me and contributed to the Dirt from the beginning, I am eternally grateful.

I am also grateful to the following individuals: Pig McBaker, my predecessor on the Daily Dirt, who took an intermittently-published e-rag and applied some writerly discipline to it, thus multiplying the subscription base tenfold. My former assistant Lori, who put up with a lot of crap for a couple years before being downsized. My l'il buddy Jover, who provided three of the Dirt's five design overhauls before moving on to greener pastures. Mel Rosedale, a true visionary in adult entertainment, for rescuing me from computer peripherals wholesale. There are others to whom I am grateful, but they probably wouldn't want to be mentioned in this space, so they shall remain nameless. They know who they are.

So… is this goodbye? No, it isn't. I will continue to update the Daily Dirt on a weekly basis from this point on -- perhaps on an accelerated schedule to start with, to make up for all those missed weeks -- for as long as I can. I will also send out e-mail notices every time we update, for the scant few who are capable of receiving them. In the meantime, here are a few sites for y'all to bookmark so you have something worth visiting on a daily basis...


11. DAILYROTTEN.COM - Your one-stop shop for all your bizarre news needs.

10. BRADBLOG.COM - Brad Friedman is Quincy to America's defunct election system, and his pug-ugly website serves as its ongoing autopsy. He's all over this inexplicably ignored tragedy, like white on Condi Rice.

9. BARTCOP.COM - Yer old pal Jerky first became addicted to Bartcop's website well over a decade ago, when it was called "Rush Limba - Lying Nazi Whore". Today, Bart is still serving up daily helpings of rage-fueled satire and commentary on that familiar orange website of his. An old pal, indeed!

8. ANTIWAR.COM - The best anti-war news, viewpoints and activities from a Libertarian and traditional conservative point of view. Online home of must-read columnist Justin Raimondo.

7. PRISONPLANET.COM - One of the most comprehensive and frequently updated parapolitical news blogs out there. Just set your bullshit meters to "high" and you should be safe.

6. BUZZFLASH.COM - A great roundup of unabashedly liberal-biased news items, commentary, analysis and editorials.

5. MEDIAMATTERS.ORG - Quite possibly the Right's most hated site, because it's one of the most devastating. And yet, all Media Matters does is provide verbatim, in-context quotes and videos documenting the rising tide of conservative lies, bias and bile in the mainstream media.

4. CROOKSANDLIARS.COM - Similar to Media Matters, only less formal and politically correct. Media Matters presents the facts and leaves it at that. CrooksAndLiars presents the facts, then follows it up with a smack upside the head. Unlike Media Matters, they don't concentrate exclusively on the negative. Daily Show clips and Olbermann commentaries are regular staples, for instance.

3. TRUTHOUT.ORG - Be sure to sign up for their regular e-mail updates, and set up a special folder in your e-mail client reserved just for their multiple daily news update mailings.

2. ALTERNET.COM - Excellent, comprehensive coverage and analysis of current events from an intelligent and progressive perspective.

1. RAWSTORY.COM - Alternet's rambunctious little brother. It's kind of like The Drudge Report, only without the closeted homosexual, borderline retarded, egomaniacal namesake.
Send all Jokes, Letters and other stuff to Jerky: jerkyleboeuf@gmail.com