Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

The beginning is the end is the beginning.

So, what next?!

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 can should play the song at that link as accompaniment. Really. Take a f'ing second and play it, bitch!)

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 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 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.
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It's good to know you're still well, Mark.
"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."

Thats exactly right .. the issue is about freedom and where it leads. Its also about social identity. If we could all open up to our own polyamorous sexually polymorphous identities, perhaps the world would be a better place, but the traditional apparatus in place is too oppressive and internalized for most people to make that leap. It threatens relationships, it threatens our jobs, it threatens our carefully built walls and domestic traps we inhabit. You can rail against the masses for their resistance/inability to transcend, but perhaps you should also be more empathetic to the majority, who are hamsters trapped in their own psychic mazes. We are human beings and human beings are confused. The mind is a swamp. I love that quote from DH Lawrence:

"This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed."

Where does blogging fit in to this? Well I think you strongly believe in blogging as a force for social change, a kind of front line in the development of ideas. It certainly has fantastic potential, but its fragile, like democracy. If not enough people care, if they dont participate, if they remain uneducated and lost, then blogging (and democracy) wither away. The garden must be tended. Blogging is like a mirror, like art in this way, and it reflects what we give it, if we can find an audience for our thoughts and reflections. Sometimes it seems to me like shouting in a dark crowded room, mostly inhabited by teenagers BTW, about ones private concerns, which of course are universal. Blogging is a powerful medium, so don't despair.
That is an excellent quote and a good point, but...

"You can rail against the masses for their resistance/inability to transcend, but perhaps you should also be more empathetic to the majority, who are hamsters trapped in their own psychic mazes."

My concern is ultimately with human beings. Giving hamsters -- and lemmings -- understanding and comfort is not a kindness. The true kindness is to offer them an opportunity to be truly human.


8 years ago


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Plus, I once thought there was nothing in the world worth hiding my true self from anyone for even a moment. And then I found something that was worth that sacrifice to me. Neither of those two ideological positions is better or worse or more or less evolved; they're just different.
I don't think the whole world does, either. And I'm not sure that I judge others all that harshly... that said, we both know your potential is very high. And we both know what a fucked up, neurotic wreck the nature of the beast can make you, especially when your legs are cut out from underneath you, and you're not allowed to shine.

So is that a complement I just gave you, or an insult?! Ultimately, it is what it is.

And it's not even a matter of what I feel, or what my own -- somewhat harsh -- internal standards are for living, is it?

I mean, from your perspective, you really should give a flying f*ck about my opinion. What is more important is whether you feel that you can move forward as yourself with your current standards, or whether you're letting yourself down based on your own understanding of what is right.

I don't think making yourself vulnerable, in one way or another, has to be the result of you being open on LJ, because there are alternatives, such as anonymity, etc. But I can see why it could never easily be that way with marieoroumania, for obvious reasons. It's a very hard situation, really. Doubly so when it has anything at all to do with one's profession, especially when that's journalism.

You and I both know that journalists can be, in one sense, incredibly vain, ego-driven, and flawed individuals. On the other hand, they're much maligned. If most people had the opportunity to see reality through the prism of a journalist for a little while, then things would be much different than they are today.

For instance, there is what journalists tell the public... and there is what they talk to each other about... what is really going on behind the scenes.

For all the constant talk for years amongst journalists about what they got wrong with Iraq, for example... the countless debates, lectures, and seminars, both professional and internal, about professionalism and ethics... I am not at all convinced that it wouldn't happen again.

Hell, it's happening now, in its own way. The amount of people who believe that the president is a muslim has gone up about 50%, according to the latest polls, while those who believe he is a Christian has now gone down to below 50%. There's also the whole non-issue of the NYC mosque, the racist laws of Arizona, the laws against gypsies and Muslims in France, the Republicans denouncing issues involving gay marriage, etc...

It is becoming abundantly clear, lest anyone need reminding, that in difficult times, those who do not want to face actual systemic change have a vested interest in promoting hatred, racism, and violence. And yet, reporters do not report on such things or reliably, dependably and repeatedly call people out on this matter, because reporting on reality is invariably slanted.

Wanting to strip equal rights by law, ban mosques, or kick everyone back across the border is an acceptable, mainstream opinion. OTOH, wanting to stick it to those who defrauded the American public? That's socialism.

The simple fact is, for all the talk, nothing has changed. Silent assent to lies is killing this country, because lies are ultimately what is being used to justify policy and politics.

So, when it comes to your personal life, I would say that there are options out there, even if your own situation is somewhat uniquely difficult. More openness, in appropriate ways and spaces, could be part of a process that could help you to find and get in touch with your own voice. (Sure, some who know you better than I do would say that has never been a problem, but I digress...)

And when it comes to journalism, I would say... if not you, then who? Murrow is still dead, and we'd still need an army of journalists to take his place.

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8 years ago


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8 years ago

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8 years ago

When I started my lj, I was working at a dying dotcom and had nothing to do. I like to think writing here the past ten years has really pushed me to be more open and honest with myself about just who and what I am.

Thank you, for the work you did back in the day. I can't imagine my life without the people and things Livejournal brought into it.
Glad to read an entry from you again, whatever you have to say. It's interesting and it's worth reading because it's you. So thanks.
Ah yes, LJ slave labor! At least it got me a few people who have been on my friends list for over 10 years now, some beyond LJ.

Welcome back. I've always figured a person's LJ should be what they want it to be, if your friends don't like it they can click to defriend just as easily as they clicked to friend you.
I've been doing the personal journal thing for a long long while. When I was younger, before the internet, I carried a journal in which I wrote everything I thought, and I left it out in the open and encouraged anyone interested to read it, just don't be alarmed if you find that I call you a jerk at some point in there, after all, it's MY journal. I put this to the ultimate test, when my mother read 12 of my journal notebooks dating from that post high school exploration period, on a cross-country car trip with me.

Livejournal was such a great extension of this, but now that I am much older I find that I am censoring my journal. Not because I am afraid of my audience, but because in this tough market, I am afraid of losing my job, or having something public that might make an employer feel less than stellar about me. I am getting to the point that I may lose out on interviews simply because of my age, and I have hostages to fortune that depend upon me (my house! my cat needs cat food!)
I don't think it's fair to say that you have hostages to fortune, exactly.

Really, why write things off to random fortune, when it seems pretty likely that others have plans for them, their future, and you other than yourself.
1) Long time no post, glad to see you're alive.

2) The overall tone of this entry to me screams "written while drunk" or otherwise chemically altered.
Nope. That's me being as unfiltered as possible. No drugs needed.

Drugs make me drugged, whereas reality tends to make me more intense, brooding, and/or disturbingly different than most.

...oftentimes, I wish there were a good drug to deal with such things.