Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seriously Solipsistic

Let's navel gaze, shall we? You might notice the addition at the top right of this blog. No, not the stupid little poll. Above that. Yes, there. IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT ME! It's official.

Events of the past week have led to numerous discussions regarding my identity relative to that of the guy who works at Real Change. Can I still be me, or have I collapsed irretrievably into he? Is blogging as myself even possible? Fortunately for blog readers everywhere, the answer is yes.

The alternative is truly sad to contemplate.

Here's a pathetic example of a guy trying to blog while hemmed in by institutional identity. This is someone who, in real life, is funny and has decent politics, interesting opinions, and all of the quirks and flaws that go along with being human. But you wouldn't know it because he's blogging on the United Way website. If there is a hell in this world, this must be it. I say, "Free Vince!" I want tortured ambivalence. I want that wild, devil may care, Matulionis sense of humor to spill freely forth. Unleash him! Freeee-dom!

Here's someone else, blogging in full on institutional garb. Sandy, at least, has an interesting job. He gets to have opinions on everything. But he's soooo serious. He's like an ecumenical Tin Man the day after a rain storm. A YouTube video on herding cats is about as wild as he gets. I'll bet if you get a few cosmopolitans into this guy he's a laugh riot, but we'll never know. Sandy can't drink and blog. At least he's easy to talk to. His phone number is listed right up top.

Bill Block, being of the lawyerly persuasion, has the good sense to avoid blogging altogether. He is a very smart man.

When I first started this thing last February, it was as a discipline. I wanted to reclaim my identity as a writer from the nonprofit administrator drone I had become. The commitment was to write everyday. This got me thinking about things in new ways. And the more I thought, the more I understood. And the more I understood, the angrier I became. I developed a thinking problem.

This spilled over into everything.

I decided that the world doesn't really need any more safe opinions. We need to ask questions, I think, that are as dangerous as the times in which we live. As the answers become apparent, we need to have the courage to follow where they lead.

And that's what this is about.

I have a job. The guy who works there has a personae that is professional and appropriate, sort of. He balances what he has to say against various institutional interests and imperatives and operates with a certain amount of polish. Over at Real Change, there's a super-ego in charge. Here at Apesma's Lament, it's all about the id.

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