A year-end review of this blog and a question about its future and the realization of our people’s movement for a world worth living in.
With the tradition of New Year Resolutions quickly approaching, I wonder about my part in our moving forward as a movement for a world that ensures lives worth living for all people. Over a year ago, I set myself the task to produce one piece per day for this blog of mine. It is very time consuming, and I don’t have the automatically large audience of media insiders (nor of teens who get millions of followers when tweeting selfies). In fact, I often feel like a preacher in the desert.
There were two reasons I moved from posting occasionally to a one-post-per-day objective (adjusted later to give me free Sundays via my Video Weekend posts). One reason was to prove to myself and the world that I could be that productive. Possibly this might land me paid gigs if there was any money available for anti-establishment visionaries like myself (Gee, where did I put my divining rod and treasure map?). The other reason was to fill the hole that results from nobody else joining me to post here, something I had envisioned so as not to run a personal blog so much as a discussion site for many minds. By filling the hole, I might keep this site more lively, helping it to grow.
So far, I have achieved the first goal (except for the associated hope of maybe finding a paid gig, something I suspect to be very rare when one doesn’t support the establishment). I did indeed keep up the daily production for over a year and have reason to believe I could keep going for quite some time, except for the enormous uncompensated time and effort it takes away from seeking a livable income. At least, one great person has chosen to become a patron via Patreon, so far. I greatly appreciate this, but it is only a beginning, a small one, in the attempt of crowd-sourced financing via donations. Getting to a worthwhile level of donations from small donors probably takes years, maybe even decades for someone who doesn’t make trending videos.
My blog started out as a means for venting and sharing things that might be of interest to others. After all, I enjoy writing and tend to come across things that others may also find interesting. So why not share? Another original consideration was to maybe revive and popularize my little cartoon series. Hence the name of this blog, a name which doesn’t work so well for it since it became a political blog for creating a better world.
However, I find making the drawings a bit of a drag, too much of a time sink really – preferring to write instead. And so I never did go the cartoonist route.
Instead, out of nowhere, appeared a presidential candidate who busted my long-accustomed notion that the American People were a sheeple never ever going to do anything about the rape of our democracy and the strangulation of our livelihoods: Bernie Sanders
All of a sudden, hope was reborn. Not the vague hope raised by Obama in 2008 when he claimed he wasn’t taking corporate money (but did!). Rather it was a substantial hope based on Bernie actually rocking the establishment’s boat in his speeches and a whopping counted 13 million people (and who knows how many uncounted millions more) rallying around his candidacy. A heretofore unknown candidate filled giant stadiums all over the country to the point of thousands spilling into the streets!
All of a sudden, I was no longer alone. The word “we” which I had long come to regard as a mockery in a society steeped in selfishness, consumerism, cultivated division, and disregard for the social contract and the real issues of life, rose from the dead. It suddenly seemed that in my outgoing years I, and others, might still be able to stick it to the system that had ruined our lives to the point of being able to say: I was murdered by the system the day I was born, only dragging myself through a sick parody of life as a kind of walking dead since day one; something that – unlike most people – I realized very early in life.
Which is why this is the modern music video which touches me the most:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Kiwi – Mad World Version – Original”)
Life without hope is no life.
And then came a man and a human tidal wave to resurrect hope. Here is s glimpse:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “We Can Be – Bernie Sanders Best Ad (throttled on social media)”)
So, with my life irreparably ruined, at least I could now do something – (or at least try) – to fight the corruption and idiocy pervading our system and thereby give younger people a chance at life. No help for me. But at least a chance to part from this world with a smile, knowing it wasn’t hopeless anymore, and that I had been able to play a small part in the cure.
For decades, jumping through the many hoops in my life, working in academia, private companies, government contractors, schools, and “independently” – in a whole slew of fields – and dealing time and again with lay-offs, company closings, going back to school, fresh starts, unemployment, and – yes – poverty, and having been little more than a migrant worker for the last decade as a member of the precariat, I had accumulated very broad and deep insights into our system, both the mechanics and psychology of it; and I figured that now might be a time to share them. People might finally be ready for them.
Too bad for the tiny audience. ..
If only it would grow faster. ..
So, maybe, a blog isn’t a good vehicle for this.
Clashing at times with people who could or would not see reason but preferred to either brutally twist reality out of motives only known to themselves or unthinkingly regurgitate propaganda that has been poured into our heads all our lives, I came to realize that one vital task people like me might need to perform was to develop a new way of discussing our issues, one that removes the mental blocks that have been built up against this.
I realized, the way to do this (at least for a writer like me) was through a book. And so I started writing one this summer. However, my daily blogging (and a protracted family tragedy, as well) has robbed me so much of time that the manuscript has advanced too slowly for my liking. And alternaively handing its message out piecemeal via blog posts isn’t something I think would work well.
In addition, I will probably be forced into a pointless bread-and-butter job way too soon, which will rob me of even more time.
So, perhaps the time has come to lower my output on this blog (and wherever I am guest-blogging), to make more time for my manuscript, and – perhaps – focus here more on quality and less on quantity, writing fewer pieces but with a little more time spent on polishing them, and with me sticking mostly to the less commonly discussed issues you are less likely to find elsewhere.
The latest news, for example, even in the proper framing eschewed by the mass media, you can usually obtain from more popular sources like Jimmy Dore, Lee Camp, and others who have an audience that completely dwarfs mine. Sure, I select and prescreen what I consider their best outputs. But perhaps my selection is so personal it may not really match your interests all that well. Also, you can yourself sign up for email notifications of the heads-ups I get from activist organizations, and perhaps you already did. So there is little real need for me to pass things like signature drives on to my comparatively small audience, then. Isn’t that so? After all, my voice expressed here every day is surely not as captivating as several worthy voices taking their turns, as I had originally hoped we might be able to do here when I allowed commenting without a need to register as I set up this blog and kept open the invitation for others to contribute articles.
Perhaps I am even turning readers off by writing too often, possibly repeating too much what you already get elsewhere?
The point is, I am no socialite. I don’t have connections to bring in other writers or be effective in spreading my articles around elsewhere. What would really help getting my frequent articles out of the desert would be some kind of anti-establishment agent or syndicate able to spread them around — or at least a kind of online newspaper of the People’s Movement. If any such venues exist, I haven’t found them, and me making suggestions in this direction with anti-establishment organizations has, so far at least, not resulted in one either. Such institutions would help to get more voices out there and lift the level of our public discourse, wouldn’t they? Sadly, the activism that’s out there seems to overlook that corner stone in building a people’s revolution. We have so much emphasis on getting good candidates elected and bad officials shamed and so little emphasis on refining our comprehension, ideas, and vision.
One other possibility to make my articles leave the desert could be for avid readers of this blog to share links far and wide. But considering the derth of comments, I doubt that there are many regular and avid readers. I have to waste way too much time sharing links on social media myself to alert people to my posts and bring them here.
So, perhaps I should shift more effort to my manuscript and let go of my self-imposed daily quota here. After all, a book would be less of a competition for other outlets, so that other outlets might even report on it, and – as I already mentioned – I think that the main thrust of what I am trying to communicate needs to be presented in a compact fashion to really hit home, rather than scattered over many posts. Still, before I decide on my own, I’d like to put the question out there. After all, I am a firm believer in joint action, a.k.a. democracy, the idea being that more minds always see more facets and angles than one.
So, what do any of you think who have been reading my articles and chanced upon this one?
Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets or companionable fellow blogs, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Or help my book get out there when it’s finished. Thanks. Only together can we change this world. 🙂