After a hiatus of nearly two weeks, since my leaving on my mini-vacation, I’ve refrained from daily posting and so have had the chance to think about what I’m doing here. When I started the blog I expected it to be invisible and thus I could write whatever I wanted. But even with no promotion blogs seem to attract some amount of attention, so like many others I started looking at stats and thinking about my posts in terms of what others would think. So I gradually drifted from my original intent. Now with this break I can possibly do a reboot.
With the possibility that what I write actually gets seen that becomes somewhat restrictive. I’m less willing to post “pure” opinion and feel I have to do a lot of fact-checking, but also generally pull my punches. Plus I’ve become more self-conscious of posting personal stuff even though as I did more reading of other blogs I see many bloggers do far more of that than I ever did.
But also, as the election gets nearer, politics is so dreary and disappointing, so the drift I’d had toward more political opinion is not as attractive as it once seemed. I can’t wait for the election to be over: either we’ll be saved by Obama’s re-election or the world will end with idiot Repug ticket and extremist program taking over to destroy what is left of the world. And that’s too depressing to think about. Commenting on politics, when it’s just the same-old, same-old and nothing is really at stake (i.e. no election pending) is just recreation with nothing at stake and thus easy to do – just find outrageous stuff and write about it. But when it matters it’s harder.
My mini-vacation was disappointing (and thus not the usual refresh), primarily due to weather, but also the actual activities not matching my hopes. This makes the third time this year I’ve tried to “get away” to my refuge in the mountains only to encounter snow and bad weather that makes being outside and exposed less pleasant. So I returned in a down mood and took a week or so to get back to “routine” (now including back at Starbucks on my exile day).
So having temporarily broken the addiction of daily blogging with much of my free time spent being online I’m now contemplating how I want this to go in the future. With the self-conscious feeling that someone might actually read any of this it became less fun and certainly more inhibiting. It’s not like I have some huge audience with their expectations, but even any audience creates some restraint. So I had this feeling – do we own our blogs, to do with as we wish, or at some point are we owned by the blog (and small readership) and thus have to say what we’re expected to or not say what might not be well received?
I suspect most people prefer readers to provide a sense that what they say resonates with someone else, but, for myself, I’m not sure. It feels too confining to me. Yet I don’t want to quit or just some new blog and try to keep it obscure, so I’ll be searching for a new approach.
One thing I really wanted to do in the blog was take material from others and then dissect it with my own analysis and ideas. My pause not only got me out of being online but also shifted my reading, from online and immediate, back to the slower pace of my Kindle. So in addition to having not felt like writing I’ve also gotten back into being interested in reading. So I think I’ll go back to that, especially when this stupid election is over. And I want to get back to commenting on social media (especially now having had some actual experience) but with more insight than I’d drifted into.
So I re-declare my independence! I’m going to cut back on comments about immediate politics and religion stupidity and focus on more in depth analysis. For instance, I’m now back into Jonathan Alter’s The Promise and one thing that strikes me (hopefully more comments on this later) is how stupid the transition from one administration to another is (and thus I hope we avoid it next January). Every president comes in as a amateur, who doesn’t really know how to do the job. Obama came in at a time of crisis and had to hit the decks running, yet he didn’t have a staff (the stories of the hassles now with confirmation of appointees is appalling) or even infrastructure (hard to believe but none of the IT support was working the day Obama moved in or even for weeks). The urgency of the pending depression the Repugs had created required immediate action yet one man can’t do it himself and needs a smoothly working administration yet, at minimum every 8 years, a new president has to start from scratch. Obama clearly had some learning pains, especially how toxic the dysfunctional hyper-partisan politics had become. We hear about Iraq, unable for months to even form a government, much less do anything; we called it a ‘failed state’, but frankly the U.S. during most of 2009 wasn’t any better. Multiple crisis and the government is asleep, especially with the decision of the Repugs to become the Party of No and just opportunistic look at increasing their own personal power. How can we possibly survive when politics is just a game to the participants and not the serious business of governing?
So, at least with some data available now, about the only little bit of financial reform that might be happening, we find the banks are more over-extended with derivatives than they were at the time of their last stupid bubble and crash (the banks are exposed for potential losses greater than then net worth of the entire world, even the Fed can’t bail them out the next time they crash). So all that stupid gridlock that prevented fixing the banks just means there is another and far bigger crash on our horizon. And the greedy bankers are being even more stupid than they were during Bush years since they got the free pass with toothless Dodd-Frank instead of being thrown into jail like they deserved.
So hopefully I can do a reboot of this blog so I can own it again.