It's been ten years..... or, alternately, 14 months.
I left because I was bored of LJ... and, perhaps, bored of the myself I let myself become.
And you know what? I blame the collective *you* in a way, and not perhaps in a fair way, but thereyago. It's not personal, but it is what it is.
Let me explain... I created this journal because I wanted to explore blogging as a way of being really, really personal... of challenging myself to dare to be more me, so to speak. (You
In any case...within a few months of helping out, I was propelled into a "position", because I obviously gave a rat's ass and obviously was *very* helpful... and I *know* my actions made a real difference for millions of people, even if LJ.com essentially deleted and rewrote their own history, scrubbing their numerous betrayals. My actions even saved lives... several, actually.
But I digress... and that's *really* not the point. I gave a lot... but one of the things I never thought I would have to give up was my ability to say whatever I wanted, without having to be judged severely as a result. Instead, I had to deal with how I was seen by people -- including former staff members at LJ -- who were basically biased and, yes, even bigoted.
Let me make this abundantly clear... anyone back then who, for a moment, so much as considered marginalizing me as a token bisexual, a token kinkster, a token whatever... suggesting somehow that it defined who I was, daring to use it as a weapon against me... well, they were fuckfaced, deceitful, and ultimately betrayed themselves. Was I also the token tactful, mature guy? The token experienced guy? The token married guy whose relationship had already lasted over a decade?! Hardly. I got attacked by some for appointing a HIV+ volunteer above others to do a job... because they had the time to do hours of largely unrewarding work for free and showed an interest in learning how to do the job right. Likewise, I got attacked for appointing a Christian to do a job, for the same goddamn reasons!
And yes, really, lest you forget, I really am capable of being tremendously sensitive and tactful. But the thing is, I created my LJ to dig down deep, to be brave, and to be myself... but what I learned instead -- because of that "collective you", in all its cruelty -- was that I had to be careful what I said. Because somehow, even though I was obviously intelligent, creative, clever and obviously cared a *LOT* to do what I did, largely without any compensation whatsoever, well...
As the song says...
"I've already spent too much time doing things I didn't want to... so if I want to sit here and write and drink wine, you can bet your black ass that I'm going to."If somewhere along the line I added you as a friend, well... it's probably because I love you all, in some way... in fact, many of you I have fantasized lurid thoughts about on lonely nights, I am sure.) But I came here to write about myself, and to be more myself. You probably did too, once... at least before you got burned and friends-locked your journal or your posts, like a scared fucking pussy.
That's why I must tell the collective you to fuck off. Please, really, if any of this offends you -- and more lurid and sordid offenses surely will be forthcoming, I promise -- please do nicely fuck off.... go with my friendship and appreciation of shared times, but please go... because I'm writing here and I don't have the time or inclination anymore to care about not hurting your feelings. If there's a single person in the world whose feelings I'm going to spare, it's likely to be Kirsten... but really, the magic there is that she already knows me pretty damn well. (But really, Kirsten. I love you very much... and I always try to watch out for you... while being true to myself.... even if it's not always easy to do. That, incidentally, is why you might want to fuck off now, or simply take me off your friend's list... because some things may be TMI. They may concern you. They may piss off your friends. They may make you feel ________. Sure, my life is actually pretty non-risque right now, after the move... but times change, and I'm not writing for you or your comfort... I'm not the kind to name names, but I may become quite detailed in the generalities... so I don't mind if you defriend me. Besides, we're more than friends anyway.)
I'm no longer here to write about President ______'s betrayals, or Katrina or LiveJournal or Iraq or Afghanistan, or the war du jour, or the fucking corporatist Republican whores... or even that catty, dictator-loving George Galloway. Fuck them. That's why I left. Not because LiveJournal.com were lying whores who betrayed everything they claimed to stand for... that just as easily applies to pretty much any dotcom that once claimed to stand for anything. I left because -- even if I occasionally wrote about some pretty important things, broke stories, got linked to, etc. -- I didn't feel that I could write about myself... and each time I wrote about something else, it just made it all the more certain that I wouldn't be free to write for the reasons I came here to write in the first place.
I always felt that the whole point of LiveJournal -- it's most important aspect -- was that it was public by default. Revealing by default. Honest and open and detailed and revealing... by default... thereby showing that we're pretty much all freaks in some way. And you know what... that openness and honesty changed lives. When I first started LJ, I suspect there were perhaps a hundred or two individuals on the entire internet who led really, truly open lives when it came to being polyamorous... or furries... or sexual fanfic fans... or a whole slew of other things that society still tends to frown upon. Now there are many, many thousands.
You might not like it... it might turn your stomach... but that societal pressure that led them to once be so far underground as to be invisible... well, that's the same kind of pressure that existed in LJ's Russian community, for those who wanted to express their opposition to a corrupt government. Nowadays, of course, ЖЖ *is* news in Russia. It's a fucking battleground of ideas, with real casualties and real consequences for those who dare to dissent. Likewise, in Iran with Twitter and the emerging internet in general.
We Westerners? We have the freedom to pursue our twisted little minds to their obvious conclusions... and by doing so, to help spread individualism and dissent worldwide.... for the mechanism that powers that freedom, ironically enough, is the same one that powers dissent elsewhere, on the bloody cutting edge of change in this world. So... what does it mean to other countries, when we start thinking it's an okay thing to self-censor?!
Fuck that. I don't have the patience or inclination for such things anymore. I have writing to do. I'm going to write what I feel -- all of it -- because it's what I need. Hopefully, it will become what I crave. Sometimes, it will be hard work. But I hope it will be worth it... and I feel that it shall, if it only inspires one other person to have some balls and do the same goddamn thing... or perhaps realizing that if you want writing which matters, you have to be there to support dissent, even if it means putting your own judgments aside.
Do you want to be part of the collective you, the quietly oppressive you...? Or do you want to be yourself.... as yourself as you can possibly dare yourself to be? Think about it carefully, because there are real-life consequences no matter which decision you make. If you censor yourself, you help to shame and censor others through your silence.... and if you don't, you have to pay the price and bear the collective cruelty that will most assuredly be exacted by those around you.
All I ask is that once your make the decision, you remember why you chose the way you did... and you try to stick with it. Because that is how, despite it all, society as a whole changes for the better... one "fuck you" at a time.