If you’re reading this, it means I have successfully navigated Wordpress and have managed to launch a blog. Yes, I am aware that it is 2019 and not 2004. Yes, I realize that launching a blog at this time is a bit like buying a VHS player. Mostly harmless, but why bother?
For starters, whenever I take a break from my obsessive lurking on
social media and actually bother to write something, it actually reads a
lot like a blog post. That’s because as much as I enjoy endless streams of
memes and Hot Takes of ten words or less, I ALSO enjoy losing myself in various
deep dives across the web. Inevitably, when I go to post, I often attempt to
create something similar.
As the dominant forms of social media have become less and less practical for this particular style of writing, I’ve finally decided to just say “fuck it” and create my own platform. This way I don’t have to subject you to ads or algorithms that slowly erode your ability to think critically as the only content they permit you to see is either exactly in line with your worldview or so comically opposed to it that you feel compelled to engage even if you don’t want to.
Also, none of your friends from high school will message you and try to sell you stuff. Not on this page anyway.
So what will I do here? Assuming I don’t get distracted and forget this blog exists, I intend to write about culture and politics.
To be clear, I’m no trained journalist and it’s not my intent to present myself as such. However, if NYT Columnist Bret Stephens can sow doubt about the human causes of climate change and still be taken seriously, I can probably remind you all that The Mueller Report does NOT AT ALL exonerate Trump and actually makes him look really bad. That seems fair.
Basically, it’s my hope to provide just a little extra nuance and complexity to your intwerweb wanderings. Also opera jokes, and maybe some cute pictures of animals. An old internet tradition, sure, but a very good one.
One thing I am not providing right now, however, is a comments section. I might turn them on in the future depending on how much or how little traction this blog gets, but for now they’re off. Here are my reasons for that policy.
For starters, comments sections are reeeeeeeeeeally hit and miss when it comes to meaningful discourse. Certainly, I have witnessed fascinating instances where proponents of completely different views argued, learned about each other, and came to some interesting conclusions.
I’ve also witnessed death threats, doxing, childishness, poor reasoning, seemingly endless bad faith arguments, and insults so mediocre that my vision blurred while reading them due to excessive eye rolling on my part. I wish I was joking about that last part, but I’m not.
Additionally, I don’t recall my mind ever having been changed by a comment, unless it was especially lengthy. When I’ve encountered information on the internet that made me question my own views, it was usually in the form of a full length article or blog post. Oh sure, I sometimes gaze upon comment tire fires for fun, but very rarely do I find anything there that actually challenges me. And thus, I’m skeptical that inviting critique from total strangers is really going to help my writing all that much.
Furthermore, if someone wants to praise me OR drag me, they’re still welcome to do so on just about any platform they choose. Just mention it on FB/Twitter/Reddit/whatever the fuck and BOOM- instant comments section!
One can easily link to this blog from just about anywhere, or reference the title to avoid giving me the clicks. I’m certainly not silencing anyone by not having comments posted here.
I’m just forcing would-be commentators to actually think about what they want to say instead of word-vomiting into the closest reply box. I actually take a lot of time with my writing, and there’s no reason why anyone who reacts to it can’t do the same.
The psychology of comments sections (or lack thereof) is actually a very interesting topic that I could go on about. And I might at some future date! But I’ve already dedicated too much of this post to something this site doesn’t presently have, so I’ll go ahead and circle back to what it does have.
At the start of this piece, I compared starting a blog in 2019 to purchasing a VHS player. That’s because both of these things feel somewhat dated and almost pointless. But just as a VHS player can allow you to watch the original Star Wars trilogy in one of the formats closest to the theatrical release, a blog can provide an experience that scrolling through social media can’t.
Because I don’t really want your “likes,” or your outrage. Yes, I have a donate button for anyone who gets a kick out of my stuff and has the means to give, but that’s really not the point of this space.
What I want is to share my writing and ideas with you, and on my
own terms. If you don’t like them, you’re welcome to type another destination
into that magical box in your browser and go somewhere else.
Go read some poetry, or find some new music, or read up on current events, or play a game. Because whether you continue to read this or not, I want you to think- To think about what you’re doing right now, and why.
No, not every interweb excursion needs to be a Shakespeare-reading marathon or a calculus lesson. The human mind needs rest and play as well. But as we all deal with the fallout of the 2016 Presidential election of the United States, it seems as good a time as any to evaluate how we’re using the internet.
And I’ve decided to do what I did all those years ago, on my first computer that weighed about as much as a small automobile and didn’t even have internet yet- write. Put my ideas, dumb jokes, and sincere observations onto a page. And if they’re any good, polish them and share them here.
(Only this time, I think I’ll skip the Lost fan fiction. You don’t need to see that. Nobody needs to see that)
And if you’re still reading this, then you have the internet too. What will you do with it today?