One Year Down
I've finally taken the plunge. Don't know how long I'll stay with this, but given my winning personality and fairly accurate perceptions, the ride alone should be worth it.
And with these stirring words, Red State Son first saw life one year ago. The skies opened, wisdom rained, and knowledge trees, fact bushes and argument flowers grew and blossomed in the freshly-nourished soil, and people shed their clothes and danced and sang with crazy free abandon, and then . . . and then . . .
Actually, it took months of pleading and cajoling from others before I started this damn thing, and every few weeks I'd think, "Geez, this blogging gig is ponderous! It reminds me of all the solitary hours spent after school having to write essays to keep from failing, or all that time as a kid writing 'I will not jump on my desk during study time and proclaim to be an alien insectoid martial arts master sent to subjugate you worthless humans' 100 times on the chalkboard before I was sent to the office and was paddled by the principal who hyperventilated and twitched with each hard THWWAAPPP."
But on I went, repeating myself and reinforcing previously made points while the degraded imperial circus remained open 24/7, oblivious to my ranting. I've cracked up a few times and have been on the verge of completely losing my mind more than I care to admit. I've tangled with people whose views I could give two shits about, spent time dissecting the dumbest online animals, but it all filled precious space. And that's what blogging's about, yes? Filling precious space. Filling it with whatever crosses your mind at any given moment, or failing that, linking to someone else's expressed thoughts or pasting photos of Bush looking ridiculous or posting recipes for cheese & meat & pasta dishes or showing randy emoticons humping or throwing anything you can pull outta your ass just so long as precious blog space is filled on a regular basis.
Now, some bloggers believe that they are part of an emerging democratic media, that being able to say what you want sans editors or facts or even basic common sense broadens the political landscape and sets the stage for the next phase of free human expression, whatever that might be. I agree with this somewhat. Honestly, I do. There's still enough faith left in me to see where this might lead to something good. But even those with the best intentions remain chained to pre-existing political parties, dogma, "contrarianism," and other forms of dead weight, and this places serious limits on the political blogging world, at least in the US. We may have the technological means to smash the dominant discourse and make ample room for heretical, dissident opinions & debate, but to date, we've stayed well within accepted frameworks, using the language of a dying era. I suspect that we're like those who wrote for TV in the 1950s, and that the real change won't come for another twenty years or so. Of course, by then we may have wiped each other out, but every aging realist believes that he or she is part of the last generation, yet another dying conceit that needs smashing.
I've spent the last few days surfing thru my posts over the past year, and I can say with genuine modesty that there's more good than bad, and a handful of really fine posts. I was surprised by this -- I scrolled back expecting to hate stated opinions and concepts I've forgotten or passed by. And yeah, there are some clunkers and tossed off crap, but again, I was trying to F-I-L-L-S-P-A-C-E. Early on I attempted to comment on every current event as it happened, and soon discovered that it was madness. Would you trust someone who has an opinion about everything? Like the know-it-all drunk freely opining in a darkened bar at midday, bloggers who post constantly soon batter your psyche, never giving you a chance to reflect upon or digest any given topic. And while this medium thrives on instant analysis and up-to-the-minute moralizing, I'm becoming more of a less-is-better blogger. Pick a subject, flesh it out, explore everything you can of it, then let it sit and ripen for a few days so readers may come back to it if they wish. Allow space between posts so your voice doesn't melt into the surrounding white noise. In the frenzied online crush, standing still after speaking your mind might better convey your message and meaning.
So, does this mean that I'm gonna keep blogging? Yes, for now anyway. Plus, I'm still toying with a new site but haven't quite decided whether or not to commit to it. And there's my new book (talk about your dying art forms!), to which I'm devoting more time and nervous energy. And there's my ever-changing moods which affect this solemn enterprise. But so long as you out there read me, link me, quote me, and write to me, I'll stay the ragged course.
Welcome to my second season.