Time to Move On: My Great Expectations

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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32 Responses

  1. Tod Kelly says:

    Man, I posted this with a most heavy heart.

    Thanks for everything, Mark. I already miss you.Report

  2. Michael Drew says:

    It’s great thing that you helped create, Mark. I regret I was never able to get to a gathering to meet you in person. Good luck with the new endeavor, and in the next phase(s) of your life more generally.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Ah, dude. I’ll just say to you what my comics guy said to me: “Nobody ever stops collecting comics. They just stop getting stuff for a while.”

    I look forward to you still showing up from time to time.

    I hope that coming out and saying that this is what you’re doing allows some of your fields to lie fallow enough that you will find yourself with a thought that just won’t go away, no matter what you do, and the only thing that you can do is write a paragraph or five about it. But that’s my hope for me.

    My hope for you is that you feel like a burden has been lifted and your path is easier because of officially putting this down.Report

  4. Burt Likko says:

    It’s a sad note for me. I always considered @mark-thompson to be a close blogbrother, both from our early days as among the then-few lawyers on the site as well as a number of harmonies between our modes of thought. But it’s been when he and I have disagreed — cordially, intelligently, respectfully, and with a careful eye towards teasing out the nuance upon which our disagreement rested — that I’ve found Mark’s engagement the most profitable. I’ve been proud to share a masthead with him.

    Enjoy the best of luck with your future endeavors, my friend, and I am quite confident you shall be remarkably successful in them.Report

  5. North says:

    I am prostrate with grief. Please stay around at least; read the comments or throw in your own two cents. I understand very clearly the challenge of writing actual posts; I can wind off a lengthy comment in my sleep but I can’t write a front page post to save my life; so I don’t blame you. But your voice would be really appreciated among the commentariate.Report

  6. Stillwater says:


    I’ve always considered your posts and (especially!) comments in discussion, to be express the very best of not only what the internet, but public discourse generally, can be: charitable to your interlocutor, carefully considered, well-reasoned, and well justified. I’ve not always agreed with you, but reading your thoughts has certainly made me understand more deeply and clearly other ways of thinking about policy, politics and culture, but perhaps more importantly helped me to understand, clarify, and improve-upon my own thinking about important issues by having those views tested in the best way possible: the presentation of evidence and argument. So thank you for that.

    Good luck in the future.Report

  7. Chip Daniels says:

    I must say that it is the writers of this site, exemplified by Mark, who have affected me the most in my political thinking.

    For anyone who remembers my posts from my first visits, I think differently now, speak differently as a result of our interactions.

    I wish you well in your journeys. The effects of your writing will be lasting and beneficial.Report

  8. aarondavid says:

    I fully expect you to return and grace us with your presence. In the meantime, enjoy and go thoughtfully.

    Thank you for everything.Report

  9. You’ll be missed. I’m hoping (very selfishly) that you’ll still find things you’ll want to write about from time to time.Report

  10. greginak says:

    Sorry to hear you are bowing out. Good luck with what ever changes you are making. Your contributions have been missed in your fallow period. I’ll second what others have said but your thoughtful and well argued posts have helped me learn and understand many things. We’ll be a little bit poorer for your absence.

    It’s amazing what you have helped to create and how it has lasted and grown. Take several pats on the back out of petty cash.

    Some Gaslight Anthem is always appreciated.Report

  11. Snarky McSnarksnark says:

    Say it ain’t so.

    There are a handful of writers–not just on this site, but on internetworld in general–whose writings I will not deny myself. James Fallows is one. Oliver Sacks is another. You, Mr. Thompson, are in that heady company.

    I have found everything you’ve written (or, at least, everything from you that I’ve read), interesting, nuanced, non-dogmatic and insightful. Scoff if you must, but that combination of qualities is exceedingly rare.

    So I’m really just here to tell you that you’re wrong! You have not run out of things to say. You’ve simply grown tired of writing (which I periodically experience myself). So take a break. Go to Aruba. Attend Burning Man. But come back.

    Regardless of what you decide, you have been one of the things that has kept me coming to this site. Thanks for that.Report

  12. Miss Mary says:

    Goodbye, Mark. It was beautiful meeting you and your wife in Chicago. It was a privilege to read your posts. Be well.Report

  13. CK MacLeod says:

    Mark: If, as you promise, you from time to time return to comment, and the results are of the usual shamingly high quality, then you’ll be the equivalent of a top post-er here anyway, and maybe we’ll foil your fiendish plans by “rescuing” them, making you an “author” despite yourself.

    I can’t be the only one curious about what the all-consuming change in your life specifically and concretely is. I hope someday you fill us in… in whatever format.

    (and thanks for the shoutout)Report

  14. Christopher Carr says:


    I fully expect that this will not be the last thing we’ll read from you. I understand that sometimes it’s important to take time to live one’s life so that there can be things to write about. Your work here has always served as a model for good journalism and good editorial.Report

  15. LeeEsq says:

    Good bye Mark. I hope all goes well in the next phase of your life.Report

  16. Will H. says:

    Be at peace.Report

  17. Good luck. I’ll miss reading your posts and comments, but am hopeful to see you around some more.Report

  18. Glyph says:

    Bummer (for us). Good luck, good sir, and don’t be a stranger. As a Gaslight Anthem fan, you may find this of interest:


  19. Oscar Gordon says:

    Fair winds & following seas, mon ami. Don’t be a stranger.Report

  20. Chris says:

    Sad to see you go. Hope you’ll find your way back often.Report

  21. KatherineMW says:

    You’re the one who first got me interested in this site. I’m sorry to see you go. Hope you stick around and comment when you have the time.Report

  22. DensityDuck says:


    (not the proper video, but it’s the proper line.)Report

  23. Roland Dodds says:

    “and perhaps eight years since Roland Dodds was one of my first blogroll exchanges at that old site”

    What exchange was this? I have no recollection of it, but then again, it was 8 years ago.

    I always enjoyed your pieces, and I am sure I will see you pop up in the comments section from time to time.Report

  24. Michelle says:

    Best wishes Mark. I hope that, when you do find something to say again, you’ll be back. Because you’ll certainly be missed.Report

  25. Dennis Sanders says:

    Godspeed, Mark.Report

  26. Dave says:

    Come over to my house and we can have a retirement party. You’re close enough. 😉Report

  27. Mike Dwyer says:

    This is one of those things that I saw coming down the line and yet it doesn’t make it one bit easier to hear. It’s so weird to have these friends out in the digital world that you have never met, or only spent one evening with (trying to understand how anyone could like that yucky brown stuff) and yet you feel a stronger connection to them than many people you see daily. Mark, you are a brother in the best sense of the word and every time I see your kudos on one of my posts, it feels like an A+ from my favorite professor. I don’t think I can adequately convey just how much you have been part of my political evolution in the last 6 years and for that I thank you.

    I know we’ll still hear from you from time to time but the site will be a little darker for your departure. Be well my friend and if you ever make it back to my hometown, I’ll have a country ham sandwich waiting for you.Report

  28. J.L. Wall says:


    Two things keep coming to mind. The first is simply the echo of what everyone else has already said here.

    The second: seven years! When did that happen?

    All best, man. Maybe you’ll be better at breaking up with the internet than I’ve been from time to time. But (like everyone else has said) it’ll only be to our benefit if you aren’t.Report

  29. Roger Ferguson says:

    Heartfelt thanks and wishes for good luck from a lurker. Go Bills!Report

  30. Maribou says:

    May the road rise to meet you, and may you not be a stranger.

    I’ve really enjoyed your contributions here.Report

  31. Jason Kuznicki says:

    I don’t have a lot to add, except that predictions that one will not be writing have a funny way of failing to come true.

    I’m hoping that’s the case here, too.Report

  32. Kazzy says:

    Sorry to hear but happy that you have new things to pursue. I hope they prove rewarding and fulfilling. Now that I’m back in NYC, don’t hesitate to reach out if you find yourself in the city and in need of a drinking companion.Report