It pains me deeply to announce that, after nearly a year with Freethought Blogs, Jason Thibeault (a.k.a. The Lousy Canuck) will be leaving the site for greener pastures at the beginning of next week. Over the course of a long and protracted discussion in the back channel, Jason has expressed his feeling that his voice has been ‘crowded out’ by the addition of myself and Natalie Reed. Despite our repeated assurances that Jason’s voice was a vital and welcome contribution to the conversation here at FTB, he feels that we’re saturated the market for Canadian content, and that he’d rather put his efforts into speaking to a new audience.
Obviously we will miss Jason, but we also respect his decision to leave and pursue his own work.
Go get his take on his departure here. More below the fold.
Okay, so I’m actually kind of pissed. Jason has pretty much turned into a giant prima donna and said some pretty unkind things about me and my intentions when I joined up. I’m not going to get into specifics, but let it suffice to say that Jason has been, and continues to be, under the impression that Natalie and I had hatched a scheme to force him out. While we tried to explain that she and I only met coincidentally just before she joined up at FTB, he doesn’t seem to want to take me at my word on that. Which is frustrating, because it’s the truth. I was talking about Canadian politics well before I joined up here, but I guess from Jason’s perspective that’s encroaching on ‘his’ territory. An argument, by the way, that is total bullshit – lots of different voices on the same issue are a good thing.
To give you an idea of the kinds of conversations I’ve been trying to wrangle, here’s Jason’s response to an e-mail where I articulated, more or less, what I tried to relay the same ideas I write above:
“(some irrelevant details) I know you don’t think you did this on purpose but the fact is that from pretty much the time you arrived here you’ve sort of ‘staked a claim’ on Canadian politics and news and because you’re less busy than I am you get all the good stuff first which means I don’t get to talk about anything worthwhile and it’s frustrating because I’ve been doing this longer than you have but you and Natalie scoop me every time. And then all I have left is ponies and bacon! I guess you want me to think its just a coincidence that you pushed hard for her to get in and then both of you live in the same city so you can coordinate things and I’m kind of left hanging out in the lurch with whatever’s left over.”
“Do you even get why it’s called Lousy Canuck? The whole point is that I talk about CANADIAN STUFF not the kind of stuff that you and Natalie got famous for and I’m not saying that you don’t deserve your success or whatever but when people come to my site they want to know about MY TOPIC not a rehashing of whatever you and Natalie did. You have a lot of options of stuff to talk about that I can’t but you keep snapping up the stuff that you knew was what I cared about faster than Rainbow Dash, and the only reason I can think for you doing that is trying to push me out. I’m not stupid.”
When I pointed out that he’s the only person who thinks he’s being pushed out:
“Of course they’re not going to take my side on this because they don’t want to make you mad because they need your writing but then you can push me out and they won’t say anything and then you get more of the money from traffic. If you want putting me out if the site then you should have decency enough to at least say so and not make other have to carry water for you.” [I’m not entirely sure what this last part means].
When asked if he minded if I quoted his e-mails to explain my side of the story:
“Fuck it I don’t care if you want to twist my words go ahead I honestly don’t care I’m going to do my own thing so I don’t give a rat’s ass what kind of story you spin against me. It doesn’t matter what I say anyway because obviously you’re simply going to take the angriest things and make yourself out to be the good guy in this when you know that you’re not that. If bridges get burned then I guess I have no control over where you point your flamethrower.”
Anyway, while I wish Jason well in his departure, I doubt he and I will work together in the future.