It’s been a while.
Short version: wife Wendy took an abrupt fall (the result of an unrecognized Lisfranc injury), and, between acting as a home health aide and dodging storms then making repairs, I spent 3 months with no time to write. Even with much healing and the end to a series of atmospheric rivers, time was tight. Now Wendy is highly mobile again, and it’s a glorious spring. Time to get active.
But hold on a minute.
The interruption gave me yet another opportunity to try and decide what I want to be when I grow up. I’m nearing the end of a series I call Emotional Truth / Political Lies written in order to think things through. (More of that below.) I used Medium as a platform because it makes writing look good and held out the promise of helping find readers/kibitzers.
Here’s the problem.
First, it has become clear to me that folks that get read a lot on Medium, write a lot on Medium. Like every week. Some daily! I’m not capable of that. I’m using writing to think; that’s a slow process. I can get something out every month or two if I’m pushing it. So no big rush of new readers.
Second, the wtf demon that’s had me since 2016 is releasing its grip.
I’m finishing up the analysis phase of the Truth/Lies series. There will be a summary of thoughts so far, and I do need to write something about the political capture of the Southern Baptist Church. But I’m nearing a natural transition point.
So here’s what I’m going to do.
A piece on Medium by Cory Doctorow pointed to a way to solve my ‘slow but unsteady’ approach to writing:
“…interesting stuff that crosses my path gets turned into a blog post
where it rubs up against other interesting stuff and crystallizes into
longer, more considered pieces”
I’m going to try that. Pieces here will be short, tentative, and likely awkward. Things will appear on Medium as they mature or in the unlikely event that I end up writing something quick and fun (could happen, right?).
If you want to see the long stuff, you could Subscribe on Medium.
The latest piece and the first in 6 months is Drake’s Equation and You. If you think you’ve Subscribed but didn’t see it, then either it went to spam, or you Followed me rather than Subscribed.
(If you want to see all work by a writer on Medium remember: Follow bad; Subscribe good. Their system is confusing.)
I’ll add a teaser to the current work in progress below. See it here as sections get roughed out.
Thanks for reading,
We Need a Smaller Them
Emotional Truth, Political Lies — Our Plot So Far
There is no doubt that something has gone terribly wrong with the world. A very small percentage of its population do control the fates of almost everyone else, and they are doing it in an increasingly disastrous fashion.
–Graeber and Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything (2021)
The neoliberal project was focused on designing institutions — not to liberate markets but to encase them, to inoculate capitalism against the threat of democracy.
-Quinn Slobodian, Globalists (2018)
I have elsewhere presented the case that, to survive, we need a bigger Us. This presents the corollary: we need a smaller, more focused Them.
On November 6th, 2016, I was jolted out of my assumptions about our political landscape. Now hijacked, my attention has been focused on the contradictions of our weird political culture ever since. I’ve been reading and thinking, hoping to internalize the contradictions and write my way out. I’m part way there. This is my interim report.
Something odd is going on. Folks on the lower end of the economic spectrum have been consistently acting against their own interests — or so it seems to me. Clearly, they don’t see it that way.
In my six-year journey to try and understand the dynamics of US politics, I have come to believe that it’s, in fact, “identity politics” at the core — but not in the way the term is commonly used.
…to be continued…