Apostrophe

Apostrophe: a digression in the form of an address to someone not present.

I used to get all worked up over the smallest “gay” issue.  It seemed like every day saw another anti-gay tirade from one corner or another, and I would make it my own personal agenda to refute the bigoted cacophony and rally the troops onward . . .

Slowly I began reading more varied opinions and delving deeper into the issues that attracted my interests, from the political to the religious, often involving gay issues, sometimes not.  Each day exposed me to new blogs, new friends, new enemies–and a few who are a bit of both–and I tried to be sure and learn something every day, try to find new ways in which my deepest passions could be filtered through my words and into the minds and hearts of what I considered “the ignorant masses.” 

I’ve decided that I can’t do that anymore.  Or at least that I shouldn’t. 

While every blogger eventually–and sometimes cyclically–suffers from a general malaise, seen in periodic lulls throughout the blogosphere, it has taken some extensive self-reflection to realize that not only is it trés égoiste for me to think I know so much better than everyone else, it’s also not my responsibility to correct the problems of society. 

You see, I believe that we all have an ideal world in the back of our minds–one where everything is perfect and everyone sees things the same way that we do.  Blogs are preternaturally dangerous in their ability to allow us to convey those thoughts–some of which should really remain private–and expose our ideals to the harsh world of other people’s opinions. 

Sometimes we end up rabidly attacking our would-be internet friends over the smallest things.  If we’re lucky, we realize what we’re doing and step back for some introspection.  If we’re not, we end up getting snarkier every day, until one day we’re Wonkette or something.  *shudder*  

For instance, I could comment about how completely idiotic the latest “gay headline” from Australia is.  In America we can “reserve the right to refuse service” if someone’s conduct is out of line–if they’re abusive, don’t wear a shirt–whatever.  Blatently discriminating against all heteros?  That’s just begging for a backlash.  But are my comments really changing any opinions?  Aren’t they echoed multiple times elsewhere?  I’m sure they are. 

Besides, most of the things I wanted to change are going to happen anyway–at least I think they are.  Eventually.  Gay marriage, barring Judgement Day, is an eventuality.  The world will continue to surprise, amaze, and disappoint me every day in a million ways.  But my passion for this blog, at least, has fallen by the wayside.  I’ll still post here from time to time, but I have other things to do that I enjoy much more lately.  I have another website I’m working on that describes my ideal society, and I can’t decide whether to use it as a setting for a book, release the website to the public, or just keep it to myself until I think I have it just right.  Some day. 

Norm and I–with help, of course–not to mention 4 dumptrucks full of sand–built a riding ring in our backyard this past weekend.  With a house to take care of, we find ourselves doing more and more together, and I sense us growing closer as time goes on.  And that’s where I should be putting my energy.  Not wasting it by condemning people for their beliefs even as I bitch when they do that to me. 

We’re building a tomorrow together, my love and I.  You should see it.  It’s beautiful.  Right near the woods behind our house. . .

The woods are dreary, dark and deep

But I have promises to keep. 

And miles to go before I sleep

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8 thoughts on “Apostrophe

  1. Similar. I’ve found that arguing is not only draining, but that many bloggers (myself included) eventually reach a point where they’re repeating themselves. The most widely read bloggers are simply the ones who manage to find the most creative ways of saying the same things over and over and over.

    So I’ve been struggling a bit about blogging, finding it harder to muster the enthusiasm to comment on this or that story that involves an issue I’ve already thrown 20,000 or so words into the mix about.

    The past few months, I’ve made a ton of changes, and with that comes the idea that getting into a pissing match over a politician’s finely-parsed statement isn’t the most satisfying way to spend one’s time. Post about what some knucklehead editor at a gay publication says, or get some work done on the house? Worry about a bombastic battle between Rosie and Elisabeth, or spend time with my guy?

    No contest.

    I think, at issue, is how someone self-identifies as a blogger. When you self-identify as a gay blogger, you’ll tend to talk about almost exclusively gay issues, and that is actually an incredibly limited sphere. There are only so many gay stories in the media on any given day. Not only that, but they’re all generally alike. Marriage allowed here, not allowed there. What can you say that you haven’t when you posted about the twenty previous stories?

    I’ve been trying to kind of reshape how I blog (when I’m blogging at all) to encompass more of my life and interests. So yes, there’s the gay stuff, but there are also other things to talk about.

    Maybe you could try that, too? I think a mistake I made is going into blogging thinking I had Something To Say, a point, an argument. But really, blogging is like friendship. You have various conversations with people, but the point is less in what the conversation is about than the idea you’re just muddling through life, keeping company, and sharing and learning those things that you think are worth sharing and learning.

    People rarely learn by instant revelation, but by experience and familiarity. Your attitudes and beliefs will come from any kind of writing you do. Writing about Norm or work or the riding ring is a way of sharing, and also teaching, and also arguing.

    After all, the best, most effective argument for gay marriage has always been the existence of people in loving relationships, committing their lives to one another. Sometimes simply writing about that life is a more powerful statement than delineating marriage like a legal case.

    Try it for awhile =)

  2. *KJ reads between the lines* “If you and your husband are ever in Vermont, please, please stay with us!”

    Okay, if you insist!

  3. Robbie has a great point. Too often, it seems, bloggers have been castigated for doing too much navel-gazing, writing about their lives when there are HUGE, LIFE-THREATENING CAUSES ON WHICH WE SHOULD ALL FOCUS 24/7, DAMMIT!

    If there is one thing magical and good about the Internets, it’s that it provides us the opportunity to learn about people and things from a first-hand perspective that would have been utterly impossible only a decade ago. And yet it’s the easiest possible medium on which to utterly abuse and destroy those opportunities with virtually no consequence under the guise of dealing with those HUGE, LIFE-THREATENING CAUSES ON WHICH WE SHOULD ALL FOCUS 24/7, DAMMIT!

    That kind of ties to this.

    While every blogger eventually–and sometimes cyclically–suffers from a general malaise, seen in periodic lulls throughout the blogosphere, it has taken some extensive self-reflection to realize that not only is it trés égoiste for me to think I know so much better than everyone else, it’s also not my responsibility to correct the problems of society.

    Agree, but disagree.

    You may not know better than everyone else on everything, but you know better than anyone else on your own life, experiences, and perspectives.

    And you’re right, it’s not your responsibility to correct the problems of society….but, in my opinion, it IS your responsibility to share your knowledge, experience, and opinions with society to give it the information it needs to decide whether to correct itself or not.

    At your own pace, speed, and level of comfort, of course. 🙂

  4. Nice introspection, Jamie. I am embarking on a relationship adventure as well! I don’t think blogging, in and of itself, is any more self-obsessed, navel-gazing, rude, repetitive or knee-jerk than any other form of human interaction, we just get to be a bit more brazen about what we say to one another from behind the barriers of our keyboards. As an occassional blogger myself, I can appreciate the medium for the small forum it provides me for my thoughts and writings, but I don’t feel the tug of an umbilical cord when I am off living my real life. Those bloggers that have a legitimate and compelling daily worldview and choose to explore that path will remain, everyone else will reach a point, like you and Robbie seem to be reaching, of moderating your blogging to a level that allows for something more meaningful to happen as well.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, all.
    I just know that with us working very different schedules we really appreciate the time we have together (alone) more than ever. We also planted our garden this weekend, and that should be fun for us as well. Can’t be in the bedroom all the time, lol.
    We made a conscious decision about 8 years ago–that’d be after 6 years of high drama, mind you–to start over without bringing up past slights that we were finding so easy to sling at each other. And you know what? Since the minute we stopped listening to other people tell us what we should do and started listening to each other, we’ve had an immeasurably better relationship.
    I’ve always loved him. I can honestly say I’ve been “in love” with Norm since the day I first saw him. And I know it took him a while longer to fall “in love” with me. It took him a looooong time to open up about certain subjects that came easily to me, because we had very different upbringings. But I know that even when we occasionally argue now and then, as any couple will, that he loves me NOW as completetly as I do him. What I thought I had when we first met, I’ve gained through experience.
    Norm bought me my first ring. Gave me my first real kiss. And when I think about him, almost fourteen years into our relationship, my insides still go queasy. We say “I love you” to each other at least once every day. Hokey? Maybe.
    But I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  6. Pingback: Forgotten Beatitudes » Blog Archive » Whither blog?

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