Heave a sigh

How long do you leave a blog before you stop reading it, or take it out of your RSS feed? I currently follow 29 blogs; some (e.g.) I’m willing to leave for weeks or months between posts, because when they do post I know it’ll be worth reading. (A new post from Luke would be appreciated, though.)

But I’m saying goodbye to Splintered Sunrise. The blog hasn’t been updated since September the 2nd, and it seems unlikely that it will be now. As you who read this may well already know, something a bit odd happened to Splinty’s blog a few months before it shut down. Like most of his regular commenters, I saw Splinty firstly as a socialist blogger and secondly as a good source on what was going on in Ireland; his occasional polemics against the National Secular Society were just some of the padding that came with the package, of no more significance than his appalling taste in music or his occasional lapses into Cyrillic. Besides, I am myself the son of a preacher man (well, a lay reader man), and I didn’t have much of a problem with the occasional argument to the effect of “these militant secularists don’t understand how religious people think”. Some time around mid-year, this type of argument started to dominate Splinty’s blog; at the same time, there was a shift in the claims being made. We began to read posts that could be summed up as “these unbelievers don’t understand how Catholics think”, which had me squirming a little – and then “these so-called liberals don’t understand how true Catholics think”, which had me looking for the exit. And then, suddenly, silence fell. My immediate assumption was that Splinty had realised that he was espousing two radically different bodies of ideas – or, at least, that he was talking to two radically different audiences – and had retired, in a certain amount of bemusement, to work out how to reconcile them. This theory got a bit of a knock from the discovery that Splinty had resurfaced on the one-line Web, where he continues to post like the proverbial bandit – and never gets the opportunity to set out his views at length, or gets challenged to justify them in detail. So I guess that’s a happy ending of sorts.

I’m also going to stop checking on Rob Knox’s intermittent but frequently brilliant blog Law and Disorder (even the URL is an education). Rob’s last post on that blog reads, in part: “So, anyway, I have made a New Year’s resolution to try and post much more frequently, we’ll see if this actually comes about”. It’s dated 18th January 2010. I look forward to reading the book on international law that he will indubitably end up writing.

On the other hand, I am going to start reading Between the Hammer and the Anvil (which I currently catch up on every couple of weeks, very much the way I read XKCD) and Bad Conscience (which I read when it’s linked from Stumbling and Mumbling, i.e. quite often).

Finally, does anyone know what’s happened to Liam Mac Uaid’s blog? It’s currently coming up as “deleted”, which is surprising and a bit alarming. I’m hoping it will resurface in another form before too long (sectarian joke about relaunching with new name and slightly larger membership goes here).



  1. Posted 19 December 2010 at 00:57 | Permalink | Reply


    I’ve been posting a bit less often recently (er, like, only 3-4 times a week) because of PhD committments…so hopefully I will still manage this and not become another deadweight loss in your RSS feed…

  2. Posted 19 December 2010 at 14:32 | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the kind words and I’m obviously aware that I have been very, very remiss on the whole blog posting front. It seems wise not to make any rash promises of starting up again (I have made like 3 or 4 on the blog it has to be said). But possibly – just possibly – watch the various internet spaces for my re-emergence (I’ll drop you an email if it does).

    It looks like I will be writing a book (with China Mieville) on international law in the not so distant future – much of which will be creatively cannabilised from the blog no doubt; but more on that soon.

    It’s great to see you blogging with some regularity again. I do frequently feel guilty about mine, but I’m suffocating under the weight of various commitments.

    I heard Liam had to delete the thing for nebulous legal reasons.

    • Phil
      Posted 21 December 2010 at 10:28 | Permalink | Reply


      Writing with China? Sounds good. Just don’t go all indeterminate on us! I think there could be some really interesting work to be done positing law (even international law, which is a kind of limit case) as at least a potential site of resistance, as distorted as that resistance might be by the underlying assumptions of liberal personhood… or something. Kind of pushing the progressive content of the form of law as far as possible before breaking it. Someone ought to write something. (Not me, I’ve got marking to do.)

  3. Posted 21 December 2010 at 11:04 | Permalink | Reply


    Jesus. See this is the mess my brain has turned into, I’m too used to writing to another Edwards and everything is working on automoatic.

    I do still think that the indeterminacy thesis is an important part of the argument – and is probably one that supports what you’re saying. I’m currently pursuing a line of thought fairly similar to yours (although with a slightly more pessimistic inflection). My argument would be we clearly *have to* use law and it clearly can be on our side, but I’m ultimately unconvinced that we can use it to problematise its own form.

  4. Posted 22 December 2010 at 17:01 | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the link to Harry Hutton: I’d assumed he’d wandered off into the Columbian night. (He uses the words “of course” in a way that makes me howl with laughter and retch in twisted envy…)

    Anyway, I think that Splintered has been working on a project of some kind. Whether it’ll be a treatise on socialism, Pope Benedict or Girlschool is, sadly, beyond me.

  5. Posted 23 December 2010 at 17:55 | Permalink | Reply

    Beyond redemption, more like.

  6. skidmarx
    Posted 4 January 2011 at 11:14 | Permalink | Reply

    Liam Mac Uaid’s blog has been deleted, the same pressures that have forced him to do so have discouraged him from going public about why. He may be back in slightly different form.

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