Musings of a Self Styled Wordsmith

Posted on September 30, 2012


I resisted doing this for a long time because there is something almost… insepid about internet blogs. I rocked a Livejournal back in 2004, before it was hip to follow, like and subscribe to the plethora of “information” that now permeates the internet experience. And I use the word “information” lightly; I always liked to think the word implies that it is in some way useful or interesting. What we have now, here in the once wild (and now overpopulated) cyber frontier, is the modern day equivalent of the snake oil salesman polluting the collective with “information” that neither whets the appetite or slakes the thirst. Quackery, my friends, is no longer the art of dubious medical practitioners (or waterfowl); it’s the prevelant nonsense spewing forth from the masses because we gave a pulpit and a stadium virtually full of people to every asshole with a webcam and a keyboard.

Far be it from me to say they can’t, of course. I am a firm believer in free speech, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it” (or your right to not really say anything at all) and all of that. But it does leave a taste in one’s mouth and nobody sensible wants to try to get into a contest to outscream a fool. (“Lalalalalala, I’m not listening!”) But remember the days when you could search for something on Google (or whatever search engine suits your flavor) and actually find something worthwhile? It’s getting harder, isn’t it? I suppose in our race, especially in the last decade, to gather a pool of information we could access at any time, we probably went too far in the “mass accessibility” direction and perhaps not enough in the “credible sources” avenue.

Ah well, what’s done is done, credible sources DO exist and life goes on, as it were. I don’t wish to misrepresent myself, after all. I’m not interested in fighting the establishments (well, not on any kind of coordinated level; I am more of a “make it up as I go” kind of guy) nor psychoanaylizing the masses, mass media, social media, etc. I merely wanted to establish that it can almost seem distasteful to add one’s voice to the already ambient din of voices we’re inundated with already.

But there is something inherently substanial about the power of Voice, in the right application. When tolerance is emphasized and respect is not, you end up with a lot of sound bites out of context, a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces might fit but we can’t distinguish what the big picture is, the result of “hearing” but not “understanding”. Voice becomes a consumable, chewed up and spit out and forgotten.

I mentioned before that I had a Livejournal; writing has, in fact, been a part of my journey for a while, but it has been a long time since I put my hands to pen and paper, so to speak, because I lost my sense of voice. We forget…. okay, “I” forget, I won’t presume to speak for you again… that learning is a function of repetition and, usually, making mistakes, sometimes the same mistake more than once. I felt as if I were making the same leg of my journey over and over, and I stopped exercising my voice because I started to doubt my ability to grow and overcome.

But failure is not a byproduct of making mistakes; it is the inability to move on from them, and hope, in my experience, hinges on the belief that we can change and, consequently, make a positive effect on our environment. Of course (and again, I’m not presuming to speak for anyone else), that’s what gets my motor revving. So, instead of putting this out there with the intent of competing with the crowd as a consumable, this blog will be for my own benefit, to put a framework back on this journey forwards by exercising my Voice again, sounding in on things that move me, from lighter topics to more meaningful subjects. So maybe one part C.S. Lewis, one part Paulo Coelho with a dash (or two) of Joss Whedon? Sounds about right.


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