Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Don't Call It A Comeback
That’s right. I wanted to use one of the most cliched, trite, stale references I could think of in the title to explain that yes, I do plan on coming back. With more trite, stale references? Not if I can help it. Although even I’ve admitted that what I did was bordering on boring. And that’s kind of why I was away for a while.At least, that’s what it boils down to. Initially, I had thought it was because I got the impression that people could care less about what I do here, despite the fact that I’ve done it for so long. I had mistakenly thought I had some sort of “name” out in the intrawebz and maybe thought that would get me over so long as I kept providing decent content. As time went on, I saw pieces I was writing for people to try and help them out and some of the other stuff I was writing that was important to me was all going largely unnoticed.It got me to thinking - what the hell am I doing this for? To paraphrase Vince Russo (yeah, that’s right) on July 9, 2000, I have a wife and six kids at home and I didn’t need this crap. Not when I have my actual working career to focus on and with no reaction to what I was doing at all. The final straw came when I threw out on social media that I was thinking about walking away. Not so someone could beg me to stay around or to try and feed my own ego, but because I honestly felt I had nothing left in the tank and wanted to see if someone else thought different. To maybe gauge opinions.The trouble is, there were none to gauge. No reaction whatsoever. No one said one way or the other that I should stay or go away. That utter lack of reaction pretty much became the answer to, “what am I doing this for?” If the answer was truly “nothing,” then it was time I stopped doing it. So I did.And I’m not gonna lie, it’s been peaceful. I’ve enjoyed not having to chase scoops or be the first to post a damn thing. I’ve said it before, there are people out there (like Randy at Geek World Order and Z at Hipster Please) that are able to put in the time and dedication to that sort of thing and who are, quite frankly, a hell of a lot better at it than I am. It’s been nice just watching things unfold and witnessing the cycle of internet meltdowns from some fanbases without having to get involved. I was perfectly content with that.But then, I missed the game. And I started to wonder what I actually had left in the proverbial tank. I recently heard an episode of the Extreme Odd Couple podcast with Rob Dimension and Steve Corino (WARNING: If you are easily offended, you’re better off not following that link). In particular, Episiode 27, where they discuss being older and past your prime in your profession and seeing if there’s anything left to offer. It inspired me somewhat when I was kind of thinking about possibly returning, anyway. It wasn’t the final straw, but it was certainly a push, especially when it help me realize my own boredom.Ironically enough, I’ve spent just about the entirety of my writing career championing the idea of freedom of expression (no matter how hated the idea) and that people shouldn’t follow the other sheep and think for themselves, especially in a culture that ANYTHING could be taken as “offensive” and could result in someone being painted with the brush of being insensitive at best to evil at worst if they stepped out of line. It was already bad when I was in my teens, but now? We may as well be living in 1984 with how sanitized everything has become because of that fear.And it was because of that fear that me, the guy who championed the idea of freedom of expression (no matter how hated the idea) and that people shouldn’t follow the other sheep and think for themselves? Remember that bit? (I hope so, it was only last paragraph.) That was me. I fell right into that trap and my writing style suffered because of it. I became sterile and boring just like millions of others who have a “Blog”. Hell, no wonder no one gave a damn if I walked away! I was boring as watching paint dry. I was sanitized just like everyone else because I was scared to unload about how I truly felt. In order to do this right, I have to overcome that. I have to just let it fly, raw and uncut, without caring about about repercussions or having a automatic sanitization filter.Now, this doesn’t mean I’m gonna just unload racial slurs, homphobic epithets, or other blatantly offensive language. For one, I don’t believe in any of that, and secondly, I don’t have to. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, my record shows I have enough of a grasp of the English language to make my point, however popular or un-, without resorting to cheap tactics and hateful speech. My wife can attest to my ability to verbally dress someone down and utterly destroy someone without uttering a single foul word. But, this isn’t going to be about hate or griping or moaning. If I have some of that to do, though, I absolutely will. Despite the fact that I may be looking for the public attention to recognize what I do on occasion, this is my site. My corner of cyberspace. And I have no qualms about treating it as such. Nor do I have any qualms about putting my opinion out for public consumption, for good or ill.One thing I won’t do is be a news hound. I did my time in the trenches, thank you. Done with that. Another thing I won’t do - and this is the most important - is slip back into that complacency nor be scared to publicly express what I feel anymore. I’ll apologize now if something I say or feel may rub you the wrong way, but that’s the danger of freedom of expression. Our Constitution guaranteed us, in the verbal and printed sense, a loaded gun. Don’t get all butt-hurt if it goes off once in a while. Nothing personal and it might not even be deliberate, but I’m warning you now it may happen.One thing I will do is apologize for being that scared, sterile, boring guy that polluted the airwaves with nothing of note to say. That will no longer happen. What will happen is that I will post whenever it strikes me. No regular schedule, no format, no weekly anything. Links to my other stuff (yeah, that’s gonna happe--woops, too late) will be posted here because I like the idea that my site is inverted from most of the others out there (as Marc with a C suggested during my first appearance on The Real Congregation), but other than that, I'm now playing this game my way.So, take any of the following statements as they happen to be applicable to you. Thank you. I’m sorry. You were warned. Deal with it. I’m back. And that’s a shoot.