Monday, April 26, 2010

Archival Revival: Shadow of a Redoubt

(This post originally appeared on 9/9/09--KJ)

This blog has been pretty political of late. The past two weeks, anyway. For about a month and a half prior to that, however, it was pretty apolitical. Oh, I had a few "Recommended Reading" links to political web sites, but mostly it was dirty jokes, rock and roll, coincidences, and the voices you hear waiting for the light to turn green. Go back farther than that, though, and things start getting political all over again. You may be wondering if I plan it that way. Nope. This blog is whatever's on my mind at any given time. Sometimes I'm musing about kings, other times, cabbages.

It might be better if this blog was apolitical all of the time. Why alienate half the potential audience? I'm sorry but I just can't do it. What you're reading is my take on the human condition, and I can't ignore the presidents, chancellors, prime ministers, premiers, monarchs, potentates, dictators, mullahs, and county sheriffs that preside over said condition. It would be like writing about Las Vegas without the gambling, Cleveland without the ethnic groups, Jerusalem without the religions, Rome without the naked statues, Brooklyn without the "dese" and "dose", California without the wildfires, and Indochina without the Nike factories.

So I'm writing about politics. But what's my ultimate goal? To change hearts and minds? That's what people assume you're trying to do when you get political. Really, when you give any kind of an opinion, no matter how innocuous. Tell somebody that you think Mary Ann was hotter than Ginger, a "fact" that can't be proven one way or the other, and you're nevertheless likely to face resistance. "Mary Ann?! If she's so hot how come she's not the movie star?! Answer me that, huh? Huh?!" (Ah, but she once was. Ever see the one where the coconut falls on Mary Ann's head and she thinks she's Ginger? Sex-x-xy!)

I'll admit it would be nice to change somebody's mind. If by reading one of my posts Sarah Palin could be transformed into a moose-petting, Mother Jones-reading, public option supporting, hippie chick progressive, I might consider even moving to Wasilla. But I really don't think my powers of persuasion are all that powerful.

It's not that I think minds and hearts can never be changed. If you have some sort of multi-billion dollar media blitz, either like that which led to the war in Iraq, or which convinced millions of Americans to watch the season premier of Jon and Kate plus 8 , when just a week earlier they hadn't even heard of Jon or Kate or the 8, then, yeah, people can be swayed. I just don't think I can sway those people. At least not completely. Best I can hope for is to plant a doubt in their minds. A shadow of a doubt.

OK, so if I'm not going to change any body's mind, what other possible reason do I have to give my two cents? Easy. To keep my own mind from being changed.

This blog is where I resist the multi-billion dollar media blitz, the trillion dollar PR push, the quadrillion dollar ad campaign (unless they want to use the AdSense box to the left, in which case I get a cut.)

This blog is my chance to show my resolve, to speak my mind, to be true to myself, and to be firm in my beliefs.

It's also where I can be stubborn, unyielding, obstinate, hardheaded, bullheaded, pigheaded, and just plain mulish. What's that you say? Those are negative personality traits? Why, of course they are! That's why I don't want anybody else with those same traits telling me what to think!

This blog is where I stand up to the status quo, the party line, the conventional wisdom, the received wisdom, the accepted wisdom, the societal norm, the social strictures, the cultural mores, and the p's and q's (which I don't mind at all.) On this blog I refuse to toe any line except the one I myself draw in the sand.

This blog is my outpost, my stronghold, my fortress.

I just hope it's not my Alamo.


  1. to thine own self be true-and you are. who can argue with that? no, wait, i'm sure somebody can. or has. or will!

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  3. I don't mind if you get political as long as I agree with you which I think I do judging by your Sarah Palin comment. Don't move to Wasilla though. You wouldn't like it. I try to close my eyes when I drive through it.

    That woman affected my job directly, She had us rip out the flower beds at the state buildings and said we couldn't have flower baskets anymore. That's when I decided to take an early retirement. I suppose I should thank her!


  4. @standing--to thine own self be true? On a computer, anyway. In the workplace or in social situations I sometimes go into survivalist mode and keep my opinions to myself. Maybe that's why I'm so eager to give them out online.

    @Numunisoty--Sarah Palin is no flower child.

  5. in those places (work/social) survivalist may not be a bad idea, at least until you get the lay of the land. out here in the ether, not so much need to hide.
    except... i tend to do just the opposite!

  6. A nod,
    a bow,
    and a tip of the lid
    to the person
    who coulda
    and shoulda
    and did.
    ~Robert Brault,

    Just keep speaking your mind, being true to yourself, and firm in your beliefs. Don't let anyone stop you!


  7. I get lost in political discussions. That part of my brain is stuck in a critical stage of development - The Eisenhower era.

    Thanks so much for your contribution to my Birthday Party. I LOVE SAM COOKE!

  8. @Gabriela--I probably coulda and shoulda a long time ago but didn't. Well, as that unknown philosopher once said, better late tnan never.

    @Kass--The Eisenhower era, you say? Judging by your picture, you must have been an infant. At any rate, some people lately have questioned whether that interstate system Ike came up with was such a good idea after all. So, in a way, Eisenhower is still relevent.

    Glad you enjoyed your birthday party.