All good things must come to an end.

In 2005, I started blogging about Ohio politics and the law while still in law school.  At the time, it was fashionable to write under a pseudonym.  I chose the name “Modern Esquire” as I thought the marriage of “Modern” reflected the new communication technology of blogging and later, social media to “Esquire,” the law, which is generally regarded as somewhat anachronistic and resistant to change (and, let’s face it, it’s pretentious as hell), was a great reflection of what I was doing as a blogger.  What I thought was a symbol of balance in my life, I later learned would be a symbol of duality.

In law school, I had no clients in which my political writings might create potential ethical conflicts.  Even after I passed the bar, I generally worked in law firms small enough (and for two years I worked for myself) that I knew my writings created no ethical conflict with the clients I (or my employer) represented.  Modern overpowered the Esquire.  Being Modern has been awesome, and it’s helped me be able to handle a recession that practically bankrupted me.  I’ve been able to build relationships across the State I would not have otherwise.  It’s been an incredible experience.

I generally have avoided talking about myself personally on this site.   Many who have learned who I was asked me how I could balance the demands of a legal practice and the demands of blogging.  The reality is I couldn’t.  The demands of blogging required me to stay up sometimes until 4 a.m. to draft posts that I’d schedule to post throughout the day.  It was a labor of love, but it was unsustainable.  I’m amazed that I’ve managed as long as I did.

But now the Esquire part has started to overpass Modern.  After nearly seven years of practicing and scraping by, I’ve started a new job that fortunately pays well, is intellectually challenging, and is simply too time consuming for me to Modern anymore.  It deserves and requires my full attention.  Furthermore, I can no longer write a post and not risk a conflict of interest because I simply cannot know all of the potential conflicts anymore.  It’s a risk I cannot ethically accept.  So, Modern has to go.

Over the years, I have been moved by the activism and support across Ohio.  From the Democratic takeover in 2006 to Obama’s election in 2008 (and the Democratic takeover of the Ohio House) and to Issue 2 last year, I have been proud to be a voice in the crowd.  Even in defeat in 2010, you were there with us.  And I have been humbled by your support, your praise, and yes, your criticism.

This is an incredibly difficult and personally painful decision for me to make, but it’s one I cannot ignore and clearly must make.  I’ve spent seven years in being a part of building an environment for strong progressive activism in social media here in Ohio.  But I know it was being done without me, and I know it will continue to grow without me.  This site has an incredible group of writers and an even more impressive base of support that I know will continue to grow.  I’ll be watching and pulling for this site to continue to build on its success.

I’ll still be involved in Democratic politics, but as myself, not Modern.

Thanks for your support.

  • Thanks for your work over the years and now with Plunderbund. I have been inspired. As a former Clinton County (Damn)Democrat we share common interests. I have relocated to Vermont and trying to get my blog going and promoted. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh man, I think I am going to cry.  Will miss your writing, but yet I am very happy for you that things are going  well.  Your blogging will be remembered and admired for years to come.

  • Bethe Goldenfield

    All the best to Modern Esquire, aka Brian H., and thanks for his activism and leadership.
    Wishing him all the success he deserves in his new adventure(s)

  • Anonymous

    I was wondering if the SOTS would break you…

    Seriously, you will be missed.  Good luck to you.

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t stomach covering two more. Busted.

  • Thanks for sharing all your great insights and good luck with the new job 🙂

  • Modern,

    You will definitely be missed. I’ve definitely enjoyed your posts and legal expertise. I wish someone will be filling the void you will be leaving behind!

  • Anastasjoy

    This is disappointing but understandable news. I actually wondered how you were able to juggle these two things for this long. Unfortunately,  I think with the mainstream media failing us more every day, blogs are increasingly important, and I wish we had more voices online, not fewer. But it is so hard to keep up the pace, as I well know. And sometimes the job just has to come first.

  • guest

    About a year and a half ago I was a registered Republican who disagreed with them on social issues. Then the Koch Bros/T Party R’s came along and declared me an enemy of the state because of my benefits and union membership. I started coming to PB with an open mind and realized I was never really an R after all! 

    Part of the reason I was able to see through the fog- your well thought out articles relying on facts and most importantly, an Ohio perspective.

    Thank you sir.

  • Decker

    Thank you for all your time and effort at Plunderbund.  It has been a source of joy to me and helped make Ohio a better place.

  • Anonymous

    Activism is wonderful if you can afford it – but too often, the bills get in the way of our idealism.  Good luck in your new endeavor, and thanks for the good works of the past 7 years – you really have helped a lot of people – isn’t that what life is all about?

  • We all have to navigate via our own compass. As someone who could piss off right, left, and all points in-between, you’ve always had my respect. Best of luck to you in the future.

  • becki

     You have said it very well.  This is how I had felt, and this past year I have done a whole lot of reassessing my political beliefs. 

    Modern – SB5 is what brought me here, and you have me hooked!  Best to you as you begin this new chapter.  You’re blogs will surely be missed!!! 

  • Annekarima

    Well, Modern, hope you chime in once in a while.  And for goodness sake don’t – don’t !! go over to the dark side !!!  Best wishes for you.

  • Wow… Thanks.. I’m at the first time on your blog! And I like it! Thanks for sharing info. Keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Good luck, Mods.  I hope to hear your voice in the future when you have the time.

  • Jerid


  • I had to sleep on this one.  Contemplated writing a post, but this is the right place for this.  To say we’ll miss Modern here is a severe understatement.  When he came on board he literally helped to change our direction.  Many late night conversations around the direction of the site later, we had succeeded in taking Plunderbund to new and higher places.   We incorporated.  We made a conscious effort to improve content.  We started marketing ourselves.  We began to leverage our success and reputation by earning ad revenue. 

    None of this would have been possible without Hester. 

    Along the way I feel like I gained a trusted friend.  We’ve shared personal stories and leaned on each other when needed.  Luckily, that won’t be something that goes away.

    For me, this situation is a textbook definition of mixed emotions.  I have long admired Brian’s work at his site, at BSB, and here at Plunderbund.  It’s a big loss to lose his voice here.  At the same time, I am extremely happy for him and for his family.  This is without a doubt the right thing for him to do and as a friend I wholeheartedly support the decision.

    One thing we discussed late at night as he was coming on is how to get out of the cycle of losing great voices by getting financial support for the work.  We’re getting closer, but the progress is slow and the support isn’t enough yet.  We’ll keep plugging. 

    So long Modern Esquire.  It was a helluva run, my friend!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Modern. Congrats on your increase in work. In solidarity!

  • wetsu

    Similar to “guest” I saw how the R’s had essentially abandoned all but the well-heeled while villainizing many who had previously identified with them, myself included.  Like becky, I have been moved to reassess my political beliefs.  Thanks in large part to Modern there is a common sense voice here in flyover territory.  The move to change government back to the people is daunting and will take a long time, I’m afraid.  Yet, it has to start with us.  Godspeed, Modern.

  • 🙁 Godspeed. 

  • You will be missed, ME. Best of luck in your new endeavor! 

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