Category Archives: Personal

Outside Looking In

So, New Year’s Eve. Like with all holidays, there are expectations. I hardly ever meet expectations.

Image darkened building of streetlight with cheery lights glowing in the apartment window

Outside looking in

Like most evenings when I want to go out, there’s a part of me that really hates the idea. And so I procrastinated til the last minute. I had to finish crocheting these legwarmers, you see! They were essential for my outfit!

At about 20 of midnight, I finally got in my truck and cruised over to this tiny little bar. It’s pretty bougie and lefty so I figured I’d see a couple people I know there. Nope. Oh well. I ordered a dirty martini, since the idea of getting one was the main reason I left the house in the first place, grabbed a teeny plastic glass of cheap champagne, and settled in at the bar.

It was perfectly enjoyable. I suppose it says something about me that I’m equally comfortable–or uncomfortable, really–interacting with a bunch of strangers as I am with a bunch of friends on New Year’s Eve.

There was one cute short stocky Asian guy that I was flirting with, but he got a little too drunk.

I bummed a cigarette and made friends with the white woman who gave it to me, once she finished escorting her cute friend back to his apartment.

And that was it. My New Year’s Eve. I feel a little defensive that I didn’t hang out with friends. Most of the people I would hang out with were in NYC anyway, an expensive 3-hour journey from Binghamton. I suppose it is nice to toast your past experiences and imagine what the next year may bring together. But I can do that anytime. Point is, I enjoyed myself. I was on the outside looking in, as I am anyway when hanging out with groups of people I call friends. I’m growing more and more comfortable with this, but I get twinges of insecurity about it anyway. I believe the cultural narrative that someone who has no friends but goes out anyway to party with strangers is, like, desperate or something? Anyway, it’s not good.

I don’t do resolutions. They contradict my philosophy of laziness. I might blog more in 2014, or I might not. I’m not saying one way or another. I hate it when people put expectations on me, so I’m hardly about to invite you to do it.

Happy New Year, fellow weirdos!

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Filed under blogging, Hometown, Personal, Photography, Upstate NY

A Shiny Happy Moment

A few months ago, my truck broke down. I was kind of in the middle of a street, albeit a side street in a little housing development, and I was trying to push it off a little further to the side of the road. I was in front of a couple of the apartments. Well, this sweet young couple came out and offered to help me move the truck. I gratefully accepted. Then, they invited me inside so I could have someplace warm and dry to wait for the tow truck. Then, they offered me dinner while I was waiting. The man was a native to the region, more or less, and his wife was an immigrant from Sri Lanka. Her mother also lived with them. They were so kind and helpful. They served me a generic lentil and rice dish, and also kale chips, which were surprisingly tasty (and by “tasty,” I mean “salty”–I love salty stuff). Finally the tow truck came and I bid them goodbye, but first I got their number and promised to get in touch since they were such cool people.

Well, today I was driving by their house and I remembered their kindness and my intention to contact them. I had been thinking about them in the past couple of days, thinking about how hard it is to find friends in new places (it’s been about a year since I moved to the Southern Tier region) and that I should really get in touch with them. So I stopped and knocked on the door, more or less on a whim. They were home! And the giant photographs of their wedding in Sri Lanka were missing from the walls and there were boxes everywhere. They remembered me instantly and invited me in, warning off the hyperactive terrier that was a new addition to the family.

Turns out they’re moving – if I had stopped by the same time next week, I would have found an empty apartment, or someone else moving in.

But the fact that I stopped in sort of cemented our connection, and it turned out that I know a bunch of people in the area they’re moving to–including my sweetheart, whom I visit fairly often. So I promised to ring them soon with phone numbers and names of people I know, and to drop by for dinner the next time I head south to visit.

I have more substantive posts brewing in my brain, but I just wanted to share that little story in the meantime. People can be wonderful. And when you find wonderful people, don’t let them go! Follow up on those connections! I wish I had dropped by earlier so that I could have cooked them dinner in return for the time they nourished me in my moment of distress. But hey, I didn’t miss them entirely, and now I know even MORE people in Maryland!

So. It left me feeling a little “shiny happy” today. I hope you got the warm fuzzies too.

P.S. Is it just me, or do Michael Stipe and Quentin Tarentino look a lot alike? Especially in their earlier incarnations. Weird.

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Filed under Cool stuff, MUSIC!, Personal, Warm fuzzies

Lies Told By Anti-Feminists

If I had known that this particular malicious lie would hang on for well over a year, I would have gotten screen shots.

A bit of background – as a great deal of you already know, I’m a regular commenter at FreeThoughtBlogs (FTB). And FTB has a dedicated website for FTB haters, they call it the Slymepit. I call the people who post there slimers. Most of their hatred of FTB is grounded in their hatred of the concept of having to do something about social justice, rather than mouthing empty platitudes and feeling smug and superior because “we” don’t throw acid in “our” women’s faces, not like those brown barbarians in far-off lands. They’ve constructed a narrative that sexism is basically over in the Western industrialized world; therefore, since they assume that sexism is done, women in the USA or Britain or wherever who complain about sexism are lying hysterical bitches who are trying to smear some innocent man’s good name. Or something. And, since I’m a vocal feminist, and an active commenter at FTB, I sometimes attract the attention of the slimers. Here is the story of my notoriety among the anti-feminists, and why I’m totally capitalizing on the lies they tell about me to persuade you to donate a small amount to my travel fund for the American Atheists’ conference.

Once upon a time, during, or, actually, just after Thunderfoot’s brief misadventures as a blogger at FreeThoughtBlogs.com, I went over to Thunderfoot’s own website to speak my mind. Okay, so far so good. Thing is, while I was there, some anonymous poster threatened to “track you down and rape you.” All right, that sucks. I pointed it out, and emailed Thunderfoot at the email address listed on his site. No response. And pretty much immediately, some of the other commenters there began to claim that it was actually me. Like, I logged out as SallyStrange and then logged in as anonymous to post a rape threat against myself.

Right. As if dudes who hate feminists are ever shy about issuing rape threats on the internet. A couple of years ago, I helped organize my local SlutWalk, and accidentally let my real name get publicly associated with the SlutWalk Facebook page. For this, I got about a dozen Facebook messages from complete strangers, mostly degrading and sexualized comments, several of which were explicit rape threats. So getting a rape threat from an anti-feminist on Thunderfoot’s site wasn’t overly shocking. What was shocking was the utter lack of response from Thunderfoot on the subject. It’s ironic, since as I recall, part of his objection to anti-harassment policies at conferences stemmed from his claim that actual harassment (“legitimate” harassment?) is against the law, and thus any instances of harassment could be dealt with by law enforcement–no need for conference organizers to step in. Yet, when a blatantly illegal threat was made on his own site, he took zero action to counteract it. Not only that, but he’s the only one who has the information to determine whether it’s me or the slimers who are lying. As far as I know, he’s offered nothing one way or the other.

All I know is that it wasn’t me who posted that illegal threat on Thunderfoot’s website. But the lie that I had faked a rape threat against myself quickly gained traction among the Slimers. But that was a year ago, or maybe longer, and the rumor won’t die! Just yesterday, on a post by Ben Radford of the Center For Inquiry, a slimer showed up with the following comment:

Comment #17 by the Devil’s TowelBoy (link goes to my discussion about it on Pharyngula):

Same old faces as always. So who’s going to be first to post a threat to themselves and then demonise Ben for encouraging this “rape culture”? Sally, if it’s you, at least use another browser and wait half an hour between the posts.

So, the narrative goes, there is no rape culture, and it’s only lying bitches like me who talk about it, and naturally we have to make things up and lie about being harassed, getting rape threats, etc., because there is no rape culture. It’s only logical!

So now you see the kind of bullshit that women in the atheist/skeptic movement have to put up with.

Ben Radford’s self-centered and incoherent rant about how feminists are using numbers wrong and doing activism wrong is here, if you want to read the whole thing. Too bad he didn’t just stick to criticizing Eve Ensler’s use of statistics, then perhaps he wouldn’t have come off as either an anti-feminist or a person who’s so gullible that he thinks that anti-feminists don’t lie through their teeth whenever it suits them (as opposed to using outdated rape statistics, or lumping “homicide, intimate partner abuse, psychological abuse, dating violence, same-sex violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, date rape, acquaintance rape, marital rape, stranger rape and economic abuse” into “raped and beaten” or “raped, beaten, or otherwise abused,” which is pretty much the only salient criticism he offers). Then there was that old chestnut, “Why are you dancing in the streets when you could be working in a battered women’s shelter?” No matter what form of activism we choose to bring our concerns to a wider audience, it will be criticized. Slutwalk was too confrontational; One Billion Rising is too pandering. SlutWalk alienated men with its in-your-face rejection of victim-blaming; One Billion Rising doesn’t do enough to point the finger at patriarchal values and toxic masculinity and what men can be doing to combat those problems. We can literally never win.

The thing is, from my experience of actually being out on the streets for a protest, a LOT of the people you meet there are already doing all kinds of activism behind the scenes, whether it’s organizing ESL classes or cooking for Occupy or tree-sitting (that should date me, and you too, if you know what the heck I’m talking about) or volunteering for a rape crisis hotline, they are the people on the streets. There’s a large contingent of people who only have time for the occasional protest too, and that’s fine–everybody has different time demands and finite amounts of energy. I listened to the critiques of SlutWalk, and the critiques of One Billion Rising, and some of them were spot on. The thing is, the critiques from people who actually supported women’s equality never framed their criticism as, “Well you ought to be doing this other thing instead of this fake activism.” Or “slacktivism,” as Radford cutely calls it. Getting people to come out into the streets IS activism, and it’s really fucking hard to do–I know because I’ve tried to do it, and failed, and also tried and succeeded. Getting people out into the streets is not slacktivism. “Slacktivism” applies much better to what Ben Radford was doing with that dumbass piece of his. Sitting at home, offering inaccurate critiques of activists and telling them that raising awareness isn’t real activism but activities that don’t involve getting media attention are–that’s slacktivism.

The Center For Inquiry need to get their house in order. First, they need to figure out if feminism and women’s equality are issues worth getting right–in which case they need to stop Ben Radford from writing on the subject any further. As I have said elsewhere, when it comes to scientific topics, there’s a healthy respect for expertise and the time it takes to become knowledgeable about a complex subject in the atheist/skeptic movement. But when it comes to topics having to do with sociology and the scientific study of human behavior and biases, suddenly the field is wide open and any schmuck with an opinion can spout off and expect to have his opinion treated seriously. Radford’s most telling moment was when he inveighed against feminists who think that all men are rapists. The genesis of this quote is in a 1977 novel by Marilyn French. The line is voiced by a fictional character. The fact that Radford repeats this false trope uncritically shows that he’s not bothering to do his due diligence as a public communicator and a representative of an organization that is supposed to promote critical thinking.

The only way this is going to change is if more women get involved in the movement. And for whatever fucked-up reason, I’m willing to do that. Despite the fuckheads and misogynists in the community, I’m still passionate about the benefits that skepticism, empiricism, and secular ethics can bring to the world. I’ve been developing my skills as a public communicator and community organizer and I think I have a lot to offer. Misogynists like the Devil’s Towel Boy act like they want to exclude me and people like me entirely from the movement. For a while I gave into the sense of intimidation and fatalism this inspired in me, but not anymore. And this is why you should donate a few bucks to the travel fund to get me to the American Atheist Convention in Austin, TX! Plus, it will really piss off the haters. If I raise more than necessary, I’ll donate the excess to more travel grants for people going to Women in Secularism–or maybe I’ll buy myself a new pair of shoes. 😉

Thanks for all the support I’ve already gotten. This community has some seriously awesome people in it. Which is why I’m still here.

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Filed under Anti-bigotry, Atheism, blogging, commenting, Feminism, internet culture, Personal, rants

Watch Out Or We’ll Send You To Binghamton!

Binghamton 021

Binghamton. It’s a weird, lonely place.

I started watching the TV show “Alphas” recently. It’s a Skiffy series, another X-Men ripoff like “Heroes.” I’m a sucker for anything remotely sci-fi. I enjoy the escapism of getting into alternate worlds. Which is why I appreciate convincing, realistic world-building. In the series, our heroes operate out of their office in NYC most of the time. But of course there are other people with superpowers, who aren’t interested in using them for good, and what happens to them? They get sent to Binghamton. So, most episodes contain a derogatory reference to the city I’m living in now. “You better shape up or we’re going to send you do Binghamton!” There was even a moment in one episode where one of the non-superpowered government agents complains that he was led to believe that accepting this assignment would lead to a cushy job and a nice house in the suburbs of DC, but nooo. He’s still stuck in upstate New York.

Well, it’s appropriate. Some quick googling reveals that the show’s pilot was filmed in Toronto, New York’s most popular understudy, so I would be surprised if a film crew actually made it out to Binghamton. Not only that, but I mentioned it to a few people who have been living here longer than I have and they hadn’t heard of it, and a film crew for a TV show in a tiny city like this one would definitely be remembered. But they really ought to. As the photo above reveals, Binghamton is a spooky place. Full of abandoned buildings, overgrown railroads, defunct factories, and empty warehouses with smashed-in and boarded-up windows (though, give credit where it’s due, the City’s housing and planning staff have actually been making a dent in the neighborhood blight around here).

From a Seriable interview that predates the second season, producer Zak Penn explains how he and Ira Steven Behr arrived at the decision.

“Both Ira and I grew up in New York, and we didn’t want the location of this facility to be somewhere that seemed obvious or nefarious, We wanted to avoid the traditional tropes of the underground lair or being housed on a prison barge in New York Harbor.
I don’t know if it’s clear in the mythology of the show, but there’s a whole research and scientific aspect to the facility up there, so Binghamton was partly chosen because it’s connected to the university. I can’t tell you it was years of research for why it was Binghamton and not SUNY Purchase or somewhere else.”

Ah, so, it’s Binghamton University’s fault! Actually, BU is one of the better SUNY schools, or so I hear, so many that’s why it’s not SUNY Purchase.

I appreciate the producers’ cleverness in substituting “remote, economically depressed upstate city no one has heard of” for the more typical secret government facility in the tunnels under Manhattan. Having people threaten each other with being sent to Binghamton–having characters try desperately to escape Binghamton–it rings all too true to me. At least I can be sure that if/when I do get out of here, no superpowered government agents will be tracking me down.

Mr. Penn promised to “destroy all of Binghamton” in the following season, which just concluded, without the total destruction of Binghamton, but a girl can always hope.

Hey, I kid, I kid. I don’t actually want to see Binghamton destroyed. Transformed? Yes, definitely. And do I want to stay here forever? Not hardly, but it’s not really Binghamton’s fault–I’m a traveler at heart. But the fact that the only major pop culture reference to the city I’m living in is a top-secret prison for freaks and weirdos does capture a small piece of what it’s like to grow up in New York’s rust belt, in the rural boondocks just a couple hours away from the Greatest City in the World.

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Filed under Art, geography, Hometown, Personal, TV

What’s your name, little girl? (I wouldn’t tell anyone who called me “little girl.”)

There’s power in names. There’s power in labels, in groupings, in language.

That’s why we fight so fiercely about the terms we use to refer to ourselves and each other.

Right now I’m struggling with my own name. I dig the Sally Strange moniker. Its scansion is the same as my real name, which is pretty unusual. I used to go by Valkyrie607. Put those two facts together, do a google search on both my online handles, and you could figure out who I am fairly easily, I reckon. And I don’t particularly mind people knowing, but I prefer to keep a digital divide, mostly for purposes of googling. My work involves outreach and communication. Political and religious opinions–upstate New York is plenty religious. Home of Mormonism’s most impossible happenings, and we got our own Catholic saint last year, a Native woman named Kateri Tekakwitha. Religion is an important thing here, like many places–more so than it was in Vermont. Vermont is very atheist-friendly–Vermont is actually the least religious state in the union. More than a third of Vermonters have no faith. It’s nice.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I was talking about my name. Like I said, I prefer to have that separation between my real name and my online persona of Sally Strange. I hear people talking about how it’s anonymity that’s ruining the caliber of discourse on the internet, but I don’t think that’s it. It is really names that make the difference? Part of the reason I’m not using my real name right now is that I wish to avoid harassment, of myself, and of my friends and family. This is such a common occurrence, and it’s obvious that writing about feminist stuff, as I am wont to do, triggers a larger risk of harassment materializing than writing about less controversial subject. Then also, there’s the fact that my current work contract is temporary, and in 11 months’ time I’ll be looking for work again. Coming off like a political agitator/opinionated blogger with a (however tiny) media platform–ehh, maybe not such a great idea when applying for professional office type jobs.

I’d like to use my real name someday. I can envision a life path in which I could do that without risk to potential employment in five years or so. If that’s something that’s sewn up, then I feel like I can handle the rest of it. I can deal with comments and spam email and whatnot. I know when to invoke law enforcement and when not to.

All of this, because I’m starting up my blog again and contemplating going to a convention. Amazing.

This is why Jerry Coyne is wrong: whether it’s cowardice or not, taking negative social repercussions of holding an unpopular view into account is rational. Pseudonymity allows us to hear voices that would get shut out of the conversation by a “real name rule.” Mine, for example, for a few years anyway. You would only get to hear from older Sally, not present day Sally. And you wouldn’t get to hear from Natalie Reed. And there are thousands more like us out there, disproportionately black and brown, and disproportionately female, disproportionately genderqueer and mentally ill and disabled. Because those are all the same factors that confound our ability to access education, to get good jobs, and so on.

And then there’s the fact that it’s just not accurate to say that using real names increases civility. Think about a bar or a club. You own the facility. People come there to drink and party and get frisky with each other. You don’t want fights and you don’t want harassment. What do you do?

a.) Make everybody get a name tag when they pay the cover charge and show their ID. Use the ID to verify their real name. Better yet, make them write their phone number on the name tags too. This will ensure that everyone is accountable and so nobody will be rude or start a fight.

b.) Employ bouncers to keep an eye on the crowd and occasionally eject those who can’t or won’t follow the rules of civility.

I don’t think that real names would be any more effective in a club than it is online. Certainly being on Facebook or Twitter under their real names has not deterred thousands of people from tweeting blatantly offensive bigoted nonsense of all stripes. The “Not Racist But” blog documents this phenomenon with regards to race.

I hope that pseudonymity continues as long as there is a need for it. Right now I need it, more’s the pity. Building a more economically secure, environmentally just world will increase the number of people able to take the risks and responsibility of revealing their real names online. Oops! Hey, wait a minute–it’s almost like everything we do has political influences and consequences. Everyone’s a partisan somehow. Claiming the alleged (not documented) benefit of increased civility is a worthwhile trade-off for decreased participation by people who are likely to already be marginalized in some way is a political statement, and it’s one that seems at odds with the rest of Jerry Coyne’s beliefs to me. I hope he and those who agree with him have really given serious thoughts to what perspectives they might be missing out on. Son of Baldwin, for example. And countless others. Rather than requiring everyone to use real names, and accusing those who don’t of cowardice, let’s work together to create a world where sharing one’s real name online inspires less fear.

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Filed under Anti-bigotry, Anti-racism, Atheism, Feminism, Personal, Religion

Transcendent Love

On the school bus. Autumn. Upstate New York. I was nervous about the swim meet I was going to. It was only the second time I competed as a diver. I gazed out the window. The images of red-gold, orange leaves imprinted on my mind. At 60 mph, the maples, oaks, and spruce slid slowly by my vision as if I were on one of the drugs I hadn’t yet tried. I felt as if I’d transcended time. I wondered if this was what was meant by the stories I’d read of bodhisattvas attaining enlightenment. No attachments. Just the moment. Pure beauty.

***

The Himalayas. The coordinator of our semester in India had decided that riding on a bus on these narrow one-lane roads was too terrifyingly dangerous, and so had hired a convoy of six white taxis to transport our group of 20 students plus 2 teachers. We were heading up into the mountains, to visit Yamunotri, the source of the holy river Yamuna. The day before, I had received a letter from my boyfriend at the time. The first person I had ever had penetrative sex with. I thought I was in love with him. In his letter, he had told me that he had fallen for another woman, a fellow student at Oberlin College. I was, of course, heartbroken, but I also felt strangely relieved and liberated. The taxis wound their way up and down steep mountain slopes. My friend Michael pulled himself entirely out of his taxi window and hoisted himself up onto the roof, sitting crosslegged in the luggage rack. He spread his arms wide, smiling a beatifically and singing a song I could not make out from where I watched him, two cars ahead. I was surrounded by verdant jungle. Wisps of cloud spilled over the tips of the mountain above, and impossibly green rivers rushed through the valleys below. I felt embraced by the world, as if all of this was there for me. Not just that it all was there for me–the greenery, the cold streams and rivers, the haunting mist, the clean white taxis, the gravel roads, my playful fellow students–but also that it was me. There was no separation. Love was not something that could depart from my life or be taken away. The universe loved me. I was the universe. I was life, moving through life: I was myself. How could I not be loved, boundlessly, endlessly? I felt joyous and free. There was no need to worry because I was one with life and it would provide me with everything I would ever need.

***

  I sat cross-legged in the small building whose walls were straw bales covered with earthen plaster. The window before me overlooked the Breitenbush river, ice-cold, fed by the melting glaciers of the Cascadian mountains. I was high on something, weed definitely and probably mushrooms too, or maybe datura. I’d been alternating between meditating and playing my clarinet. I’d spent the entire day doing yoga. As I sat, lotus-style, the constant stream of music in my head (it’s always playing, even now as I write this) took visible form in my mind’s eye and reared up in front of me, a fiery snake curling out of the ground beneath me. Kundalini energy embodied took shape in my mind and manifested in my awareness. The snake touched its mouth to mine and I wrapped my hands around it as I would my clarinet. I played the snake like a musical instrument. The mystic serpent and I united and we became the music I am always hearing in my head. Then the snake reared back, curled round and under, and entered me like a phallus. My body rocked with successive orgasms. I was ecstatic. The release I felt was blissful, pure, and utterly transcendent. I had become the lover of all of creation, and creation was loving me back with an intensely sexual sense of joy and pleasure.

***

What does all of this mean? Ultimately, nothing. My synapses firing in unusual and interesting patterns. My individual experience, to which I can assign a meaning or not. Back in the day, I might have taken these experiences to be indicative of “something larger than myself,” as the language goes. I was raised with a vague agnostic mix of Christianity, paganism, and Zen Buddhism. Occasional flashes of strict, judgmental Christianity during my teenage years served only to drive me away from organized religion. I am glad I had a pagan/goddess-worshiping phase, mostly for the psychological benefits of being a woman and devoting a lot of time to thinking about the feminine divine in this patriarchal society. But ultimately, after attending university and learning about statistics, the scientific method, and common logical fallacies, I decided that such experiences were indicative of nothing more than the pretty awesome and amazing things my brain can apparently do when given the right stimuli. At one point in time, I took these experiences to mean that the universe is conscious and intelligent and watching out for me. At another time, I took experiences like these to mean that the Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as the pagan ones, both old and new, were symbolic embodiments of real life energy which, again, was conscious, and flowing through me and all living things. At another point in time, I considered that perhaps the Buddhists were correct and I was experiencing momentary glimpses of moksha, liberation, and that perhaps all this reality I saw before me really was merely illusion.

Eventually, though, I decided that these ideas were all too vague and fluid to have much usefulness, and I stopped using them. Going back to school as a student of the sciences gave me the tools to realize why I had let them go: no evidence. No meaningful hypothesis. No useful predictions.

I’m writing this to hopefully give one more data point in the constellation of information about atheists’ lives that is developing now. I still have these moments even though I’m not just atheist but also anti-theist. Little moments of pure in-the-moment joy and relaxation; experiences of transcendent love for all humanity, all living beings, even all inanimate objects; these are the legacy of our evolutionary heritage and as such belong to all living beings, regardless of what supernatural or social framework they press into service to provide some philosophical structure for the experience.

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Filed under Personal, Religion

Writing a Blog is Kind of Intimidating!

I was overwhelmed for a week with the multiplicity of subjects I could write about. I’ve been learning more about Bayes’ Theorem lately, should I write about that, using the occasion to test my understanding of the subject? Or, perhaps I could write something about how feminism needs to embrace the struggle for transgender equality, for the same reasons feminism needs to embrace anti-racism and LGBT rights: feminism that’s not intersectional is totally useless. I could have written something up about Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., the African-American Marine Corps veteran who was shot dead in his home, in his underpants, by racist and out-of-control cops in White Plains, NY, for the terrible crime of accidentally setting off his Life Alert pendant and then not wanting to let the cops into his apartment. White Plains is only a few hours away from where I’m living now. I’m also reading a fascinating book called Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer, which delves into the science of cognition in an effort to explain why some religious ideas are nearly universal and yet vary so much in the details of their expression.

For right now, I’m writing a post about how freaking hard it is to write something every day, or even every other day. It’s so much easier to just be the peanut gallery for someone else’s stuff. That way, if I have a hard time articulating my thoughts, I can just not say anything. Committing to writing something every day, as my friend Audley Z. Darkheart has done, would be a major departure from my current mode of existence, which is unstructured, open-ended, and undisciplined. Which is why I’m making the commitment. Part of the reason I decided to start writing was to encourage myself to practice the discipline of writing, of doing it every day whether I feel like it or not, even if it’s just a short thing to complain about this or that thing I saw on the news.

So here it is. Check this space tomorrow. I’ve decided to write about how humans relate to the natural world and how this ties into the denial of anthropogenic global warming (AGW for short). Boo-yeah!

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Filed under Personal, The art of writing