Over the last five and a half years, political blogging has proven to be the only constant in my life. Most of the time I don't feel as if the rewards have been worth it. When you care about injustice and unnecessary tragedy inflicted on others as much as I do, it can take a tremendous toll on you. The one thing that's never been explicated at any appreciable length is the psychological and emotional collateral damage that regular political and social blogging inevitably produces.
And despite my occasional snarkiness, there have been times when I've literally cried when looking at pictures or videos of American, Iraqi or Afghani children crying over the caskets of their fathers or other loved ones. I've wept with outrage over the prospect of a friend of mine getting their home repossessed and others dying.
I've taken the side of personal friends and invited the wrath of right wing psychopaths like Hal Turner, who threatened my family and me a little over a year ago. Yet, while it can't be said blogging can't enrich one's life, at how exponentially more efficacious (if not powerful) a single person with a beat-up laptop and an internet connection can be, I see how rewarding blogging can be. And, if nothing else, it offers a personal value through catharsis and learning about our nation's history, the parliamentary process, constitutional law, etc.
And blogging is how I stay engaged and try to effect change by helping people get elected, by imploring others to give where the help is needed, signing petitions and getting others to do so, etc. And, while I have no illusions as to my efficacy as a blogger, I've noted that, over the years, many, many of the injustices of which I'd written had later been reversed. This tells me that I'm usually if not always on the side of the angels.
But this is just part of my life and this is all you see. Just as we tend to imagine our favorite ballplayers always wearing batting helmets and their team's uniform, we tend to judge and imagine those intrepid bloggers by what they read in these narrow columns of glowing phosphors and pixels. Who cares about me taking my cat to the vet or making dinner 6 nights a week or scrubbing out my kitchen sink or tub? Who cares about my finances?
Well, rightfully, no one should. That's usually a personal problem. True, we altruistic liberals and progressives are the antithesis of the despicable Randian philosophy of Objectivism, which essentially is the fine art of saying, "Fuck everyone but me and my own." We tend to pitch in and help those in need. During times when I'm a little more flush than usual, I've given to Truthout, Buzzflash, the Democratic Party, the occasional blog and charities when disaster strikes a poor nation like Haiti.
But this is not one of those flush times for us. In fact, we're going to have a hell of a time paying the rent this Saturday. So far, against all odds, even though it's sometimes taken some tricky financial micromanagement and a little James Bond timing, we've always paid the rent on time without bouncing a check but this month our backs are against the wall.
I know there are many who are worse off than me. I know. I've donated to their Paypal accounts when they were in danger of having to sell their homes to pay for health care or to entire families who already have lost their homes. But is it really selfish for us to insist on not becoming one of those left on the wayside?
On average, Pottersville gets about 500-600 hits a day. If just one of each of my visitors chipped in half a buck, about a third of a price of a cup of coffee, that would result in $250-300 a day. I'm not expecting, nor asking for, nor deserve nearly that much. But I and my own need a little help getting by this month just to pay the rent that got jacked up last summer when my fiancee moved in. Our car died about 9 weeks later and despite being unemployed for a year as of yesterday, there's nothing tangible on the horizon. We'll have to spend what little we get from the IRS later this spring just to pay some pressing debts.
I haven't had to make a public appeal for donations since last summer when my girlfriend hit the road in Florida to make the 1355 mile trip that eventually killed her car. We both need glasses, health insurance and, at 53 and 51 respectively, she and I are getting awfully sick and tired of having to walk three miles round trip just to do our laundry and whatever grocery shopping we can handle because we can't afford a cab.
So whatever you can do will be enormous appreciated by not just me but the both of us. Blogging actually takes up only a small portion of my life. My days are eaten up hoofing it within my very limited striking range job hunting, banking, paying bills, housework, trying to type up from scratch a 450 page novel (I lost the CD's it was on), writing and selling other novels to literary agents and a million other details that make up a human life. But when I have to worry all the time about money, it will understandably have a chilling effect on my desire to write about the things I'd ordinarily write about and that only diminishes the only real relevance and value that I have to most of you.
Not a whole hell of a lot has gone right this past year but I do have some of the most generous and faithful readers a home-made scribe like me can hope for not to mention a great gal here at home. So anything you can do would be appreciated more than even I have the talent to convey.