12 November 2010



Once again, it's the tiME of the year to celebrate that most glorious of days, MY BIRTHDAY!! And it is also My 1,000th post as The Jenius. And it's MY BIRTHDAY!! But unlike the past few years, this one has a different twist:

This is My last post.

Back in December 2007, I wrote a post that was to be the curtain of The Jenius, but soMEwhere in the writing/posting, soMEthing clicked and I decided to continue. A month later, unrelated to that, My father died and I kept going, once again taking the whole process in stride.

But not anymore. A few months ago I realized that I wasn't as "into" The Jenius as I'd always been. Instead of a release--or catharsis--it had becoME soMEthing of a burden. That wasn't the point. After pondering for a day or two, I decided I'd make it My true curtain call on MY BIRTHDAY (which you may have noticed I've MEntioned a few tiMEs) and My (semi-coincidental) 1,000th post.

I had a few moMEnts of doubt about the decision, earlier this week, but that was more from thinking of what I'd miss rather than focusing on what I'd do. It's been said that in one's endeavors, you notice first when things are slipping, then your critics (your closest observers/supporters) and then the general public. Sure enough, a month or so after My decision, I wrote a post titled "Charity Really Does Begin At Home," about how We are, per capita, the largest supporters taking care of children through World Vision.

As I pointed out a few days later, that post was important, because it focused on Our charity regarding World Vision, but failed to indict the appalling lack of charity We have amongst Ourselves. The title, which I uncharacteristically wrote first, set up My premise; and yet, the post failed to deliver it in Jenius fashion. I chose that inaction.

A dear friend called Me the next day from Europe to tell Me he was worried about The Jenius. In his words, I had not been critical in the way The Jenius is. I told him he was right, that I preferred to leave it as it was posted rather than "take the shot." He told Me The Jenius always took the shot. I agreed, but that I had taken hundreds of shots over the years, had hit the intended target hundreds of tiMEs and that each tiME I did, I bled too, for these are, for better or for worse, also My people.

And that I was getting tired of taking shots.

He felt compelled to write a "Defense of The Jenius", saying he was concerned "about the character." I thank him for that, for he was and is 100% right. Parts of his essay are in the Comments of this farewell post.

The oft-repeated definition of insanity is to do the same things and expect a different result. The Jenius has plenty more to say, but the current format is no longer enough. Whether The Jenius returns here or in some other cyberspot or MEatspace is up for grabs.

To those who read My words over the years, your support has been amazingly profound. To the double-handful of people I MEt because of The Jenius, My life is much richer because of you. And to My critics, nice try. Maybe next time.

And a special Jenius Salute to Global Voices Online, especially Ms. Janine MEndes-Franco, for not only choosing so many of My posts for that wonderful forum, but also for being such a good sport in letting Me modify her naME to satisfy My preening BIRTHDAY celebration.

To My Special One, thanks for cringing and still supporting Me. And to My Son, never forget I love you.

TiME to go. For a while.

The Jenius Has Spoken. Thank You.


Anonymous said...

The Jenius (as I got know him) is a sharp-eyed critic capable of identifying and deconstructing an incredibly wide-range of problems in Puerto Rico & the U.S (of part of A?) going all way up from economic development, education, and politics to social behaviors and moral compasses. It’s a call to arms against the very core of our national issues using facts as a weapon and despicable adjectives as a delivery means, occasionally softened by the deep insights of a man that loves (kids, girlfriend, family) suffers (flood, dad’s death) lives and laughs like everybody else.

Sometimes I ask myself if the Jenius' anger is set towards stupidity itself or against the frustrating outcomes of it (believe me; that would make hell of a big difference) but one thing is certain: He’s about facts and “out of the blue” (but damn solid) data that he happens to use as a license to verbally abuse anyone in his arena. Kind of an intellectual bully, but hey! That’s “the Jenius”: we learned to understand him, to read between his lines, to laugh over his “dead on it” sarcasm and to be amazed with his (not always pleasant) insight of actual events and certain future projections. After all, that’s what makes the Jenius “Puerto Rico’s Best Blog”: because it is never about an ideology, a “maybe”, an “I would like” nor an idealistic “faith”, but about the ugly truth (sometimes unaware of it) that we are living in.

You've been WILLFULLY putting up your ideas, creativity and emotions in this blog for about a decade now (fucking awesome!) but as a reader, an “I rather think” expression in a Jenius post was like seeing a pink colored Batman costume...

Saying (as you did over the phone) “I feel inclined” and “I'd rather believe” to pull away from the two theories (in the post) is self-blinding us from the painful fact that in our own homeland, we have enough homeless people in need that seldom does SOMEONE move a finger to feed or create solutions for them...

Yes, I can understand (and even felt through your voice) that you "are tired" of constantly firing down range. And I agree: there is no need of being a trigger happy machine (well, more like a sniper, I would say) but there is no need to 'pasarnos la mano' either. Sharp critics are desperately needed...

But that’s just my criticism as a "Jenius reader". The one that really triggers the red flag behind this email is an observation as a friend, because I have learned that the “I'd rather think” expression is (by far) a reflection of one of the most dangerous mindsets I have seen… ever. Whatever the reason or context, "I'd rather think" always offers a harmful outcome.

Returning to the Jenius, someday (a lot of years far from today) I am sure a Puerto Rican history professor (or from some other field) will review the content of Jenius posts as a portrait of WHERE we were at the beginnings of the century and students will wonder how someone knew and saw all this coming (to the point of writing so certainly about it) and nobody did nothing. They might never know how much he helped committed doctors, passionate teachers or about the righteous man example he gives to his son and nephews but the question will remain intact “Why did he do all this?”.

I just happened to return from my guard shift, read your latest post (after "Charity"), read between the lines and thought: "The Jenius is back". You might 'lose it' with this politician (and I have the feeling that you might) but if it happens, when that moment comes, feel no guilt in savaging his guts with the 'released hounds' on the Jenius post. Non-biased critics are always needed and damn helpful.

Hugs from Kosovo.

Sincerely, Alfredo Rafael

Fran and Steve said...

Jenius, now that we are 2 months away from moving to the island, you abandon your magnificent blog... I'm really going to miss your sharp wit and often right-on criticism of the PR I have a love-hate relationship with. Thank you for bringing me up to date on the state of the island. You and your friend Alfredo are brilliant examples of the intellectual capabilities of we (us?) Puerto Ricans. (Thank you for your service, Alfredo.) I like the term "intellectual bully". Of course, I abhor bullies, but I'll have to admit that the jerks you have slapped around completely deserved it. Gil, I hope you never stop publishing your insights, somewhere, somehow. -- Fran

James said...


I give the retirement a week, Mr, Favre. :-)

But seriously, you can't not write, Gil. Just let us know where you're doing it so we can follow you there.

GCSchmidt said...

Fran, Steve and James: Thank you. I can assure you The Jenius will be back, but not for a while. And I'll make sure y'all know where.

antigonum cajan said...

A 1,000 well written posts is not coconut skin.

Congratulations in your birthday.

From Santurce, invaded territory of Puerto Rico, USA, will probably become a commonwealth of
Dominican Republic.