Inventor of the essay and non-stop Frenchman Michel de Montaigne argues within his ample works that a necessary condition for experiencing real pleasure is the certain knowledge that one must eventually die. Without acknowledging the end of a thing, one is necessarily haunted by the inevitability of that end. But by recognizing death as fact, the reality of the present moment can be enjoyed without reservation.
Nor is this summary of Montaigne’s work merely an attempt by the present author to exhibit for everyone his Wide Reading. Rather, it serves as some context for the the following announcement — namely that, approximately three months from now, all contributors to NotGraphs.com will cease contributing to same and that the site will remain frozen in its then-current state until the end of time.
There are multiple reasons why this happening. The main one, though — and certainly the one which reflects best on the present author — is that high-powered business executive David Appelman originally offered NotGraphs to me as an experiment. It’s my opinion now that, after four years of perpetual whimsy, that the experiment has been conducted as thoroughly as it ever could be under my (occasionally useful, frequently incompetent) direction. As a result, I think it makes sense to allow room for other projects to take shape at the site.
As for when NotGraphs will shuffle off these electronic pages, Appelman has agreed to a slightly unusual (and, I think, maybe compelling) exit strategy — namely, that the site’s contributors might continue publishing without interruption until the last out of the last game of this year’s World Series. This adds a sort of pleasant suspense, I’d submit, to what might otherwise be just a sad, dumb death like most all other deaths.
More updates along these lines will likely appear in the near or less-near future. In the meantime, however, the reader should expect these pages to contain a celebration simultaneously of the Pastime and leisure.
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