Ten years ago this month, a handful of guys got together and founded a site that they called The League of Ordinary Gentlemen.
I wasn’t there, but I’m sure it was magnificent. Sir Mark of Jersey lays out some of the details here.
I personally didn’t start reading until later that year. I was doing my own thing at Hit Coffee where I had a “no politics” rule. I was reading and rarely commenting on other political sites at the time. One of the few was The American Scene, which had a commenter named Freddie, who linked back to The League. Then, someone in Hit Coffee’s corner of the blogosphere, Burt Likko, also joined the staff. The site just kept popping up on my radar.
There is no site but this one that would have gotten me back into political blogging. The writing was good but the commenting section was even better. It was a place where things weren’t just debated, but discussed. I had no intention of being a contributor until I did. I had no intention of being an editor until I was asked to be one. There is nowhere that would have happened but here.
The site has evolved a great deal over the years. It started off as an ideologically balanced forum for discussion. Its politics have evolved and, contrary to the fears of predictions of many, never quite settled in a specific place. In 2014 it had the biggest change, with both a site redesign and a changed name from League of Ordinary Gentlemen to Ordinary Times. Then last year, we finally changed our URL to match the new name. We have a raft of new contributors, and hope to be bringing in some new readers and commenters to match. (You can help us out by liking us on Facebook and sharing our content.)
To celebrate the anniversary, Mike Dwyer and I came up with the idea to invite a bunch of elder statesmen to make their return or make a point of contributing this month. Founders, people who were pivotal to the site, and maybe a person or two of notorious note. With any luck, you will see some old familiar names again. Rather than soliciting a bunch of posts like this, these will be posts of the sort they wrote when they were here, or were contributing more regularly. In some ways, I think that – and hopefully a good discussion beneath them – is the ultimate tribute The League of Ordinary Gentlemen and Ordinary Times.