One of the more difficult aspects of blogging for me has been the maintenance of Online relationships. I’ve never had much patience in dealing with problematic scenarios and my tendency has always been to find a way to distance myself from certain individuals as quickly as possible. This usually involves ceasing any and all contact both on the blog and via email. We have the potential to get so emotionally worked up and words on a screen seem like an inadequate way of addressing it so why bother. In all honesty, in five years I haven’t gotten much better at it.
Long time readers are no strangers to occasional spats that I’ve had with fellow blogger, Michael Aubrecht. At times it went way beyond what was appropriate and a few times it became very personal. These are not interactions that I am not proud of, but I would like to think that I learned important lessons as a result. I haven’t thought about it in quite some time, but today Michael left the following comment on Brooks Simpson’s recent post about me.
It’s no secret that Kevin and I have had our share of differences over the years, and at times, they have been of a personal and vitriol nature. Both of us are guilty in this regard and I myself have fanned the flames on more than one occasion. Frankly, there are still many issues that we do not agree upon, although I believe that there are many others that we do. Regardless of our past, I vehemently agree that Kevin’s blog has made a big impact on the CW blogosphere while bringing many important issues to light, such as the Black Confederate myth. I myself have posted on this subject with the same frustration that Kevin has. In my declining health, I find myself needing less conflict in both my professional and personal life, especially conflict that serves no greater purpose. Perhaps even Kevin Levin and I can come to terms and express a mutual respect for one another. That would show everyone on all sides of the argument that the blogosphere is not only a place where historical opinions and truths can be shared with the masses, but also a domain where stubborn historians can find a way to work toward a common goal. That goal of course is the proper preservation and presentation of our Nation’s precious history. As we begin to acknowledge the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial, we must celebrate the reunification of our country. If our forefathers could find a way to come together after four years of horrific fighting, why the hell can’t we find a way to get along too…eh Kevin?
I think Michael is right. It’s time to move on and put the past behind us. More importantly, I want to wish Michael a speedy recovery. I’ve known for a few weeks that Michael’s health was in decline. This is an opportunity to break through the silliness to what matters.
Get well soon, Michael.