Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Five Years of Opinions

This month marks the beginning of my sixth year writing this blog. Five years is a long time. I've written an awful lot about a lot of things. Although I can't say that I've learned something, I can say that I'm in the process of learning something about myself...and that is that not every idea that pops into my head deserves an audience. Not every argument that is born in the fever swamps of my imagination needs to be aired, not every thought that bubbles up in the tar pits of my mind comes to me fully formed, not every opinion holds up to the glare of public scrutiny. Self-censorship is a learned skill which requires lots of practice.

My wife probably wishes that I was better at it. Sometimes I write about things that cause her no small degree of discomfort. She will say, "Are you sure you should say that about that when you know that so and so reads your blog?" To which, I usually reply either, "Actually, I never thought about it," or more often..."So?? If so and so doesn't like it, they can start their own blog."

But I am getting better at this whole self-censorship thing. Just yesterday I saw something on the internet that some self-loathing white liberal academic had written trying to assuage her industrial strength guilt, maligning white people for having the gall to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Maybe two, three years ago I would have taken the bait. But this time I just let it go. The much hyped national conversation on race doesn't need my take on the matter. 

Of course, sometimes I can't resist. I hear nonsense coming out of the mouth of some politician, and before I know what hit me I've just published a thousand word takedown chocked full of sarcasm and vitriol. Or, even worse, some alleged Christian pastor somewhere tries to raise money from the widows in his church so he can purchase a private jet, and within minutes my iPad is smoking hot. Interestingly enough, the blogs that are born out of white hot anger are by far the most satisfying to write. It's insanely fun to obliterate an idiot.

Of course, over the past five years I have benefited greatly from two unpaid editors, the sainted Denise Roy and my long suffering wife. Between the two of them, I get lots of texts and emails that go something like this:

"Ok,'s either/or, neither/nor!!" 
" Pretty sure you meant to say you're instead of your"
" You wrote, take your shorts. Did you mean to say, take your shots?"

Five years has flown by. Here's hoping that five years from now President Trump hasn't outlawed blogging.

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