At least in the early years, it was fun. Blogging was a new literary medium I'd worked hard to master and I have to say I'd climbed more of that intimidating learning curve than most. As with most any blogger, I'd gone viral a few times then people had moved on (save for a few hardy souls). But blogging's come and gone. Many of us had died or quit, the mainstream media after thumbing their noses at us for stealing their thunder finally got their feet wet. Now peoples' dogs and cats have blogs. It was relevant during the Bush administration but then after Obama got elected in 2008, we thought we could kick back our feet and relax because it's not as if he'd keep us in Iraq for three more years, escalate Afghanistan, fill his administration with Wall Street banksters and other criminals or kill brown innocent people with death machines like drones.
And I have to say perhaps the biggest reason for the drop off in my readership these past five years is because after working so hard to get him elected, many so-called liberals didn't relish the sight of one of their own trashing a man they worked their asses off to get elected. For roughly 10 years now, I've been the Cassandra of the internet: Despite being right more often than wrong, I'm doomed to be ignored. When I put up links to this place on Twitter you can practically hear the fucking crickets.
But it's been 10 years today and while the world has changed, I and this blog have not (save for that hideously overused Paypal button). I've had plenty of mud slung at me both here, in emails and on Twitter from right wing nut jobs such as the late Andrew Breitbart, Charles Johnson of LGF, Hal Turner and Jerome Corsi to limousine liberals whose names I refuse to mention,. Give me enough time and I will alienate you somewhere along the way. I've been banned from more blogs than most people have read and have been unfollowed on Twitter literally hundreds of times.
But I never once said these past 10 years that I'm here to expand your comfort zone or to champion your choices for President or Congress or that I'll robotically help you vote in spineless Democrats infinitum ad nauseum. I've been publicly pilloried for voting third party despite it being my right to do so (And, yeah, I remember Ralph Nader and his 97,421 votes in Florida in 2000, which itself was refused to be seen as a referendum on the peoples' dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party. But that was then and this is now) and in spite of my disgust with the Democrats who seem to be in thrall of the schoolyard bullies of the Republican Party.
So I do not owe anyone a damned thing except to tell the truth as I see it and on those all too many times when I'd stepped on my dick, I was the first one to admit it. I almost never retract or delete anything when I make an error because I choose to leave it up as a reminder of my own fallibility. But unlike Sullivan, I don't choose to damn with faint praise the party with which I'm more closely affiliated. When I damn someone, I do so with loud, profane damnation, complete with stinking fire and brimstone. As Patton once said, "I give it to them loud and dirty. That way they'll remember it."
Blogging and my emerging radical liberalism fueled by it probably contributed to costing me my home and family of 15+ years in 2009 and perhaps even my job. By my reckoning, I've spilled into the greedy sands of time between two and a half million to three million words, taking me away from the novels I could've written, published and marketed. And for better than the first four years since putting up my first shingle, I gave it away and did so for free despite the great personal cost to myself. And I did all this for you, whoever you are, not because I'm a big mouth who loves to hear the sound of his own virtual voice but because I'm nothing short of passionate about the truth as I see it. And my job as a writer is to impart truth either through factual political blogging or in my fiction.
Like Sullivan said in his farewell address to the troops of The Atlantic, "I'm a writer before a blogger." Out of the millions of words that Sully's spilled himself over the past 15 years, those were the ones that resonate the most with me. Amen, brother. We bloggers think what we do is so important and, on occasions far and few between, it is. But we too often lose sight of the fact, one I keep hearing myself say, that out of all literary mediums/genres, blogging is by far the most topical, with the shortest shelf life and done so in the most perishable of mediums.
And, yeah, I should be working on my current opus right now (I wrote this yesterday, in fact, and postdated it for today) but 10th anniversaries don't come along every day and it is sort of a nicely-rounded milestone. But along with commemorating my 10 years as a political/social blogger, I'm also trying to impart to you the personal, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual cost of doing something that turns out to be one of the very few capstans and constants of one's life over a decade.
Both parties have broken my heart. Digging through the sewage of right wing "thought", for want of a better word,, researching, double and triple sourcing actual news hardly if ever covered anywhere else, rubbing through attrition all the consonants off countless keyboards, putting fingernail gouges into some of them (you may have thought I was kidding when I said that but I was not) and forcing myself to keep this place or the first two fresh even when I had nothing after a hard day of work.
I did this for you because I respect your intelligence and your right to know the truth. I never promised it would be pretty or even palatable. The truth is what it is and I leave it to you all to make of it what you will.
Having said that, I cannot predict where I will be by the end of the year let alone in 10 more years. Maybe I'll finally make it to the New York Times bestseller list or maybe I'll die penniless in the gutter. But while I've dedicated myself to my readers both constant and casual alike with almost the same devotion as my dream of being a published novelist, I think you all know by now which one I'll chose if push comes to shove. Andrew Sullivan made the right choice and so will I if and when the time comes.
Until then, we'll need your help at least one more time, especially as my biggest and most substantial benefactor will be retiring this April. Just before the storm, I lost my brakes and had to pay $253 and change to get the car safely back on the road, which set us way back. Just are taxes are looked upon by progressives as dues you pay for being alive, consider these appeals for help the price you pay for knowing me, either in the real world or virtually. I may have alienated you over the years from time to time, which is why many of my old readers are not reading these words. But maliciousness was never once my reason.
Because without truth and an abiding passion to disseminate it, all a writer has is a bag full of jumbled words.