I have so much I want to say in my fancy new blog that I Literally Can’t Even begin. Which is to say, I haven’t begun to mess with or learn how to use this platform (WordPress) yet; I’ll hopefully better understand it this year, and get more involved with comments and other people’s blogs.
Nor have I decided how to proceed; I’d imagined a separate post for each topic, but there’s so much overlap when I brainstorm, it feels more like a book than a series of posts.
I know I need to just start. I’ve considered doing a post a week, or some regular interval, but if you read my first blog or my last article for Frankly Green Bay you can imagine my reluctance to impose new deadlines, weekly or otherwise, though they probably made me write more regularly than I would’ve on my own.
It’s a bit “grass is always greener,” but beyond no deadlines I’ll list a few other reasons I look forward to writing independently:
–Looser editing, in terms of formatting. Check my previous post for examples: caps lock for emphasis, odd listing, no word count limit.
–No need for topic approval. Not that I ever ran into issues with this with FGB, but I also set my parameters to local entertainment and chose to stay within them. The only time I suggested something – though I hardly pushed hard for it – that wasn’t approved was an objective report from Donald Trump’s third campaign rally in Green Bay. I completely understood the decision. The idea. though, of reporting on a large public event I otherwise wouldn’t have attended recalled perhaps my personal favorite piece, my review of a Martina McBride Christmas concert. Regardless, I can now write about whatever I want, deep, shallow, brief, long, weird, or square.
–Alternative to Facebook. I’ve redirected the majority of my posting to other avenues as it is: Packer posts on the Live from Stadium Drive page, random, brief observations on Twitter. But there’s something too passive-aggressive about inserting potentially different political opinions alongside those of friends; I want to express myself, but FB just doesn’t seem like a great place to discuss politics, with how personally people can take things. (I’ll expound on that in a later blog.) Also, other than the aforementioned looser editing/formatting I can enjoy, I’ll try and keep these pieces fairly properly written, a style that comes off snobby in the casual context of FB.
–Guilt-free indulgence! With FGB I mostly interviewed, reviewed and reported. The couple of times that I indulged in direct, first-person address, I felt sheepish for using my position as a podium. Now, I don’t have to – again, though, with the grass and the greenness. Another perhaps greater indulgence is the therapy of writing out thoughts.
Excited as I am, incredibly(!), I’ve managed to temper my expectations for what I’m capable of accomplishing with a blog. It’d be easier to run down what I Don’t want to do here:
–I don’t want to virtue signal. I’m permanently weary and sick of campaigning, sell-jobs and advertising, and you probably are, too. I might devote a future post entirely to the nuisance of virtue signaling. But I am not writing here to try and convince anyone of my moral superiority, superior taste, etc. I am a confused, conflicted person who has to work pretty hard to maintain a positive outlook.
–I don’t want to swear. Not on here, anyway. We’ll see how it goes, but for now I’m imposing it as a small test to express myself and argue sans profanity.
–I don’t want to go unchallenged. Like I said, I haven’t messed with this site enough yet to know how to respond to comments, but I want to figure it out and at the very least keep commenting open. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll post all of these entries elsewhere online, but if I do, I hope I get measured responses there, too. I want challenges to my ideas that will help me articulate my principles. I want suggestions and help. I want to learn, and that means being wrong about things. Eggs, omlettes. I want discourse.
–I don’t care if people lurk. Or stalk, creep, or hate-read. Go ‘head! This is a public blog. I’ve kind of hoped that adding the extra step of clicking out of facebok or twitter will weed out some of the lazier lurkers, let alone the long-form turn-off for the “tl;dr” crowd. But, shoot, I read plenty of stuff online without commenting.
–I don’t want to kick dead horses. Obvious, agreeable fluff will largely be ignored here; you can find that anywhere. I’ll try to expound on what’s not considered, not widely known, or perhaps not widely popular.
–I don’t want to simply incriminate myself. I’m naively hopeful I can do more than that here. But I realize, anything I put here can and will be used against me. I learned a while ago that something I post online can affect real life; my venting once cost Muddy Udders a cool spot at a music festival (no, not the old Symco Shakedown; I bit my tongue pretty well on that). I wouldn’t put this blog, or anything out there if I didn’t anticipate judgment, but what’s more important is how people respond. I sure hope a person would ask me to elaborate, rather than jump to some assumption and write me off. We’ll see!
On that last one, I’ve half-joked that this blog is my worst idea yet. I hope that doesn’t bear out, but who knows. Smearing is rampant. Accusations and allegations are repeated until they’re accepted as truth, evidence (or lack thereof) be damned. I’m going to try and write objectively, independently and trutfully here, and if I achieve that goal then I’ll inherently piss people off, right, George Orwell? That is not the goal! I hope I can be thoughtfully critical without being insulted, or called a troll or a bigot, etc. I’ll carefully respond to – and learn from! – real arguments, but not ad hominem attacks.
Finally, here’s a list of as many of my values, principles, and things that I appreciate that I’ll hopefully be able to expound upon, or can at least give you an idea of where I’ll be writing from. Some items are abstract, some are specific, some more meaningful than others. I don’t think any of it’s contradictory – if you think it is, please let me know! But in no order here’s where my head’s at:
- Critical Thinking
- Bias Awareness
- Political Dissent
- Judgment of Character
- Equality of Opportunity
- Diversity of Opinion
- Independence of Thought
- Freedom of Speech, Expression and Religion
- Long-Form Art and Journalism
- Classical Liberalism (I think)
- Healthy Competition
- Productive Debate
- Nonviolence/Peace/Non-Initiation of Force
If you’ve read all this, maybe you’ll read some more! I’ve written really safely so far, but hopefully my next post will get people thinking/discussing/teaching me things: a review of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Thanks for reading,