Breaking radio silence, but first…a word from our sponsor

Well, by sponsor, I mean me, your humble author.

As any of my previous readers may have noticed, I haven’t written anything here in quite some time. There’s some good reasons for that.

I grew weary of my own writing style.

I grew weary of my own attitude.

I grew weary of my subject matter, mainly outrage. As any sane person may have realized by now, anyone looking for outrage on the Internet doesn’t need to look very far. Who needed me to add to the chaos and uproar?

I grew weary of writing into a black hole.

That said, I’ve rediscovered something I think is worth writing about. Worse, I’ve taken that as something of a personal challenge and a matter of honor to do so. But first, after this silence, I feel I owe the new and used faithful reader both something by way of disclaimer.

I stand by the fact of my earlier writing. This doesn’t mean that my views haven’t evolved, or at least morphed. It just means that I stand by the fact I wrote some things. Some of those things may be gravely offensive to some readers. Should anyone feel so inclined to go back to those earlier musings and rants and find cause for offense, by all means let me know. Where I feel an apology is necessary, I’ll apologize. Where I feel clarification as to my intent may be useful, I’ll offer that. What I won’t do is go back and delete, revise, or otherwise edit those previous posts, as I see no point in it. It’s not like I have anything to hide, or cause to hide anything. I’m a relative nobody, after all. Besides, being the semi-savvy Internet user that I am, I’m aware of  The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. If I really needed to worry about someone digging into my past writing I should have thought of that back then before committing my earnest attempts to the Internet for permanent public, private, commercial, and government consumption. Ah, well.

Since my most recent spate of writing, things have changed. I don’t know that I would call it a change of heart, necessarily, but a change in my way of apprehending the world around me and the people in it. I’m still an unrepentant cynic, but I’ve learned to more narrowly target my cynicism to a select cadre of opinion makers and manipulators. As to their audiences? I’ve chosen to be much more accepting, and as much as possible, understanding. I’ve got my warts. You’ve got yours. This isn’t a competition to see who has the least, most, worst, best, hairiest, ugliest, most strategically placed. They’re warts. They suck.

In the past, I confess I took an unseemly delight in pretending I was wartless while pointing to the ugliest one on you I could find and doing my level best to make you feel just awful about it. Sure, that’s a schtick in the blogosphere. We’ve already got other blogs for that on all parts of the political spectrum. Hell, we’ve got comment threads everywhere for that. Who needs me chiming in to make it worse? I’m no longer interested in pointing at you, precious reader, and laughing at your wart condition.

Other disclaimers, lest I leave anything to guesswork:

I’m a political independent who has grown unremittingly skeptical of the ability of a two-party system to accomplish actual good for America. Scoff if you will. That’s your right.

Religiously, I am unaffiliated. My walk of faith bears closest resemblance to aspects of Deism, Gnosticism, and Unitarianism while yet being such a poor fit with those as to not be able to claim them for my own. As to the actual specifics of my faith, that’s between me and my Maker. While walking this walk, I’ve learned to become far more tolerant of all faiths and no faith at all, because I can see how and why people in various contexts and settings can come to believe what they choose to believe. I can also understand how an atheist, faced with empirical evidence and cause for doubt can choose to believe nothing.

Philosophically, I’m uncommitted, largely thanks to the epistemological problem of uncertainty. We can’t even adequately define knowledge, much less ascertain with assurance what it is to have this thing we can’t actually define. Like Socrates, I know nothing. I surmise to the best of my limited ability and go with what I think the best probability is based on what I think is the best available evidence.

Stylistically, I probably suck. There’s got to be a reason I haven’t been picked up by some major publication and offered bags of money and my own private island by now. So we’ll blame style, because that’s easy. That and I occasionally write for the sheer joy of just feeling the words flow. That can make me needlessly verbose. Oh, and since I don’t have any particular creed that dictates that I don’t say horrible things now and then, I say fuck a lot when I think it’s appropriate. I also drop N-bombs and other horrible, racist pejoratives like Kike, Beaner, Towelhead, and a slew more when the need arises.

Wait, what? When the need arises? Yes. When I don’t think sugar-coating one of the most pernicious faults in human character dating back to time immemorial does justice to the subject matter, I will say out loud (well, in writing, but if you were here in the room, out loud) what most others are afraid to say because I occasionally think it is imperative we demonstrate just how fucking horrible, awful, ugly, evil, vile, and very, very bad racism and most othering -isms actually are, and it’s well nigh impossible to adequately evoke pure enough disgust with a bunch of asterisks.

There’s also my intent to consider. My intent, however naive, maybe even useless, possibly even arrogant, is to be of service. If I point out something awful, my intent is to lance it for the boil it is, not because I enjoy lancing, but because I mean to relieve the awful pressure, and pain, and swelling, and let the rot run out so that it can have a chance to heal. If I point out something beautiful, it’s because I mean to elicit what I think are the very best qualities in people. If I do both, it’s because I’m trying to help one recognize the presence of both and choose, especially when the boils hamper one’s innate awesomeness.

Lastly, as a moderately well-read person of at least (I hope) adequate intelligence, I will often try to appeal to my target audience in the framework of their own religion and politics, but I won’t make any promises about style. A pithy person still isn’t likely to get a short response. That’s just not how I roll.

There. I think I’ve covered all the bases. If not, maybe I’ll be called out. We’ll address it then.

Thank you for tuning in. Now, back to our show.

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5 thoughts on “Breaking radio silence, but first…a word from our sponsor

  1. Reflection is good, and calming. For myself the hardest part about being a human and I believe this extends to writing, is liking oneself and forgiving oneself. Once that’s accomplished it’s much easier to walk about in the world at large with no chip, no grudge, and simply observe and report on our fellows.

    Add a little humor and hopefully some understanding of the basis of their views and that can make a report worth reading.

    Like

    1. I think taking the time off has done me a world of good. I was lacking perspective, at the very least. Liking myself has never been a problem, as far as I know. My bigger problem has been, perhaps, liking myself too well. Arrogance is unbecoming, and I’ve been trying like hell to leave that shadow behind me where it belongs. Self-forgiveness for my minor sins is easy enough. A quick mea culpa, and off I go with at least a hint of penitence to keep me from resorting to the offense again too easily or quickly. Chips and grudges are harder for me. While I’ve generally gotten better about accepting my fellow human, there’s some select few not entirely among us (looking, rather, down on us from their lofty bully pulpits) for whom I harbor huge grudges for the abuses of influence.

      I’ll do what I can on the humor front. At least you have some sense of what kind I’m likely to employ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank: I’m in the lifeboat with you. I, too, have faded from the blogging universe for all the reasons you provide. I’m standing on the wrong side of the line between hope and hopelessness, and I haven’t found a way back. What you’ve written here suggests to me that seeking hope is a fool’s errand. What I envisioned as a child of the ’60s is what I see a half century later.

    I think my only recourse is to find the guts to shoot at the king — and not care if I miss.

    Thanks, Frank.

    Like

    1. I don’t know if it’s possible to nudge you back onto the hope side of the line, but I hope I can. As I recently told a friend, I don’t do faith, but hope I’ve got in spades. It’s pretty much all I’ve got left in the battle against nihilism. I hope what we say and do matters, that we have a ripple effect that accords with our best wishes. I hope that suffering isn’t in vain. I hope that there’s ultimately meaning to all of our struggles above and beyond mere experience of our circumstances. I hope that if there’s some continuity of consciousness beyond death that it is something of which we can make sense. I hope that those circumstances, if they exist, strike us as fair. I hope that if the quality of such an afterlife is contingent on our behavior and character here, that it makes the most of our best and the least of our worst. I hope that if there actually is a deity with agency and any regard for us mere mortals, that it’s a deity worthy of worship. I hope for a lot of things, just without enough certainty to wager on any of them.

      Like

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