Now that I’m blogging, I need to publish more often. This poses more than a few challenges.
First, I have a certain writing style. I’m picky about my word choices – for example, I would never let “poses more than a few challenges” make it through the ordinary filter. “Ordinary filter,” that’s out too. Cliché, corporate-speak, meaningless metaphor. Out, out, out. All this takes time.
Second, I’m prone to digressions. For example, let’s go back to “poses more than a few challenges.” You can pose your collectible action figures. You can pose an art manikin. You can pose a [tk]. But you can’t pose a challenge. A challenge wants to punch you in the mouth or the eye or the ear or the gut. You don’t get to arrange the challenger’s limbs into a predetermined attack pose. A challenge is fluid. A challenge is unpredictable. That’s why it’s a challenge. Maybe you can pose a challenge if you’re the one doing the challenging, but then you’re a poser.
Third, I’m prone to making off-color jokes. For example, in the last paragraph I was going to add “sex doll” to the list to adhere to the rule of three in writing, but then thought better of it, and then thought wait a minute, why am I censoring myself. OK, as a compromise, how about saying “life-size humanoid thermoplastic elaster companion” instead? Except that’s not as funny. Unless it is?
Fourth, after all these struggles with word choice, digressions, and appropriateness, when it’s time to get the main point, I’ll usually need another cup of coffee or a nap or some fresh air or some exercise. But today, I’ll press on. I’ll even refrain from an extended diatribe about “press on.” Or “off-color.” For now.
Fifth, I have a tendency to become hyper-aware after publishing a post. I’ll view the post on the site. Find something wrong with it. Fix it. Do that a few more times. Post on one platform after the other. Check to see who’s liking it and commenting. Re-read the post, thinking about the people who liked and commented and trying to imagine their perspectives, because it’s pleasant to think about others enjoying your gifts. Then I’ll look at the stats: How many people viewed the post? What percentage liked/commented? This is not the best use of my time, as I don’t need to know at this point. I’m perfectly fine with people who just read or skim and move on. I’ll work on this.
But then there’s something else that bubbles out of my consciousness.
What about the people who may read my work and gnash their teeth and then come back to hate-read, hate-share, or worse?
What concerns me is the Paranoid Style in American Politics.
“In the end, the real mystery, for one who reads the primary works of paranoid scholarship, is not how the United States has been brought to its present dangerous position but how it has managed to survive at all.”– Richard Hofstadter (Harper’s, Nov. 1964)
I am writing about my aspirations to become part of the elite, my pursuit of a rich intellectual life, and my respect for the institutions that sustain us.
I realize that not everyone shares my values. I am aware that many hold antithetical values. Anti-ethical values. Anti-elite, anti-intellectual, anti-institutional, anti-anti-anti.
This poses more than a few challenges.