Friday, September 12, 2008

Adios, amigos.

This charming electronic postcard comes to you from an undisclosed location somewhere in Mexico where, distant from the chemical-leeched wastelands of the Maquiladora region, sequestered from the soupy, smog-laden skies of Mexico City, and catacombed from the cacophony of Cancun, AHB III breathes the dry, salubrious air of the mountains, all the better to becalm his asthmatic wheeze. No longer will yr mustachioed maven of meritocratic malfeasance have blue Mondays, since every day and every night here will be a most pleasurable Saturday. My departure is both joyful for I will be at last unchained from the tyranny of quotidian posting, but wistful, for I am loathe to disappoint those who so ardently hoped that I would remain the Andrew Montour of the history profession, forever crossing the frontier between Metropole and Periphery and interpreting the one to the other; or the Elizabeth Van Lew of the early twenty-first century, cleverly disguised to carry messages between historiographic battlefields; or the latter-day Wallace Thurman, constantly shifting identities and affiliations while presenting his culture to another.

To my fans and foes alike, I hoist a fine crystal glass containing the delightful elixir of the blue agave and offer a heartfelt toast that you may live in interesting times. May you live long and prosper whether you inhabit Flyover America or are one of the good old boys or girls of the elite, whether you dwell in Podunk or in Princeton.

No doubt, I will enlighten my many dinner companions here with fine tales of the foibles of the American academy. Perhaps, good blogfellows, blogstresses, lurkers, lovers, tattlers and tipplers, the underplaced and, yes, the overplaced, I shall return again in another guise. Should the Fates or the Goddess Clio have something interesting in store for me, our paths may cross again. Or they may not.

Some parting words, which yr faithful correspondent hath taken the liberty of scribbling here for you, since the one-dimensional nature of this medium does not permit you to read the inscription on the obverse of the above postcard.

"Good-bye. If you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think it a pretty good way to depart this life, lest my assassin is bedecked in the colors of orange and black. It beats old age, disease or falling down the cellar stairs. To be a Gringo in Mexico - ah, that is euthanasia!"

As always yr humble servant,


Anonymous said...

Ambrose, we hardly knew ye.

Jeremy Young said...

AHB, I was just getting ready to write a post urging you to take this very course of action -- when I saw that you had already done so. I think you've made the right choice for your own professional security, if the wrong one for the cause of free speech. For reasons I no longer need to get into, I felt you were putting yourself at severe risk of exposure -- and as someone who has had three blogger friends outed over the past five years, one with severe damage to his career, that's not something I wanted to see happen to you.

Regardless, I wish you the best in all your future endeavors, and I do hope that at some point we can experience your distinctive voice and perspective online in a manner that's safer for you.

Anonymous said...

AHB, You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming you're tenured, so whats the big deal?

Anonymous said...

I want to learn more about all those silly clowns at ivy league universities.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to see you retire your blog so early, but like I said in an earlier post I feared you would end up in Siberia instead of sunny Mexico. Your blog creatively expressed what many of us discuss privately about the academy. Clearly, free speech isn't free and pray tell, what does it say about academic freedom that you had to head to Mexico? The academy really does need to be exposed for its snobbery, double-standards, and impropriety.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm a little confused... Looking over the past posts, there's really nothing very salacious here. Your treatment of Wilentz is far gentler than most of the non-anonymous history bloggers I read! But now you're pulling the plug, only a week after accosting us all on Facebook and tempting us with the promise of mindless entertainment. I'm sure you have your reasons, but it would've been nice if you could go out with a really spectacular piece of gossip. Give your poor, depraved fans something to remember you by!

Anonymous said...

We hardly knew ye, but we hardly learned anything interesting from ye either.

Thanks for trying.

Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts:

First, something tells me AHB isn't actually in Mexico. Perhaps I'm a bit dense, but I took that to be metaphorical. Is the author of this blog really off to Mexico?

Second, I echo the other comments that point out there isn't much here that is all that scandalous. One could easily post an academic gossip blog with far more scathing information.

Finally, the irony here of free speech and academic freedom not really existing is tremendous. Ours is a petty and small-minded discipline at time. I applaud you for challenging those aspects, even if for just a small period of time.

Anonymous said...

I know of no gentleman who has put his quill to better use in recent years than you. The antiquarians and clerks in our great schools have trembled for the first time because they fear your insight and wit. Now,good Sir, is not the time to retreat into the shadows after so short a time but to hold firm, to defy those who would silence you and to sustain your good work. In hope of your renewed epistolary attention,
your friend and servant,

Anonymous said...

Vamanos muchachos!

Good Sir,
Pray break your silence and reassure us that you are in good health and ready to pick up your pen once more. No news is bad news here in these islands at the centre of the universe. Have no fear, there is no Bow Street runner or Baker Street irregular capable of discovering your identity. We await your return in your former habiliments,
your friend to serve you,