This is unheard of in the world of blogging my friends, and it is a precedent that is causing many in the field to shake their heads in despair. Can this mean that yet another once pristine bastion of free speech and unfettered dialog has now fallen prey to the accursed "pay to play" syndrome that so typifies the more corporate medias? Will the blogs of the San Gabriel Valley become just another venue for hack work?
Of course, there is always the possibility that Todd has been consuming a certain celebrated national product of Morocco over there in the sandy fez and hookah belt. Only to later return to his lonely tent and laptop to post the kinds of madly hallucinatory things that such consumption can lead to. But I'm not sure that is really the case here.
No, I have come to believe this runs far deeper. It would appear that Faux Centinel, painfully aware that his talents fall far short of the person he is attempting to impersonate, is trying to make up for his lack of native ability by paying the old hands over there cash money to keep posting and not leave in disgust. Read this passage and tell me that I'm not on to something here.
"I talked to a couple of people who were interested in the blog's revival and were also willing to chip in some shekels so that I could renew hosting ... Everyone willing to hand over money said the thing they loved about the blog the most was the comments."
OK, so Faux Centinel not only managed to round up some suspect outside financing, he also put himself in the unfortunate position of having to guarantee a return to the level of commenting found there in the past. And God only knows what the consequences will be to him should he fail to deliver on big money's expectations. But you see, without the original Centinel there to drive the conversation into the heights it once soared, there will be little incentive for anyone to post. So out of desperation FC of the FC Blog is handing out bribes that consist of other peoples' money. Quite possibly dirty money.
"To encourage this I'm offering a bounty: you write the best summary of your city, and I'll give you money. Best summary of the whole FC area dating back to January, gets $100. Best summary of an individual city (Categories: Pasadena, Claremont, Pomona, Arcadia/Monrovia, Sierra Madre, and Everything Else) gets $30. So, there's potentially hundreds of dollars at stake here, as well as some cloak and dagger action when I try to find some way to deliver the cash without revealing that I'm Todd Ruiz."
Is your soul worth a mere $30? No, and neither is mine. Faux Centinel, you are not Todd Ruiz. As Virginia Hoge pointed out on her Pasadena New Progressive blog, Todd Ruiz would never stoop so low as to hand out bribes in exchange for posts. He might have lacked for some of the more basic forms of integrity, but at least he maintained that one scrap of pride.
I've been keeping something that I call the Dead Blogs List. It is a compendium of all those many blogs that flourished not that long ago, but have disappeared within the last year or so. I will be posting it soon along with commentary. And until the real Centinel returns from his self-imposed desert exile in North Africa, The Foothill Cities blog will stay on that list.