push-starting a dying VW microbus out of the parking lot, having been refused a cheap motel room for being dirty hippies

[The Abject continues to deliver on its longstanding 1 to 4 proportion of “why I am not blogging” blog posts… Proudly barely blogging since 2001!]

Even by my standards, a five month post gap is unseemly. Partly driven by forces familiar to many of you… Over the past year, I’ve become increasingly unsure of myself. Unsure of my ability to grasp what is going on. Unsure of my ability to act. Unsure what I should even be trying. Unsure politically, professionally, personally.

I’m not alone in being horrified and disturbed at where we find ourselves. Most of what I might have to say is fueled by an unrelenting sense of anger. I am not opposed to expressions of rage. Indeed, I tend to enjoy indulging them very much. But right now I don’t see the benefit of me feeding more of that energy into the worldwide online hate machine. Not when I am so uncertain about so many things.

I’ve thought of writing about a fairly narrow range of my professional activities instead. I’ve been involved with some interesting work lately. But given this historical moment, it feels oblivious and just plain wrong to proceed as if everything is going to be OK. Not so long ago, I found myself in a meeting where we were mapping out a six year plan for our learning technology applications. Six years. Six years! Given where our present trajectory is taking us, it’s laughable to go about our business believing that any expectation could be solid enough to plan against like that. But my livelihood depends on it, so phony coward me persists in perpetuating the absurdity. I’m even directing others through it like there is some sort of map. Like this is a not-insane way to live.

That said, right now there is little outside my work I can imagine sharing. So it’s either that or no blogging at all. I miss blogging, hate feeling tied up about it. So I hope this acknowledgement will serve as some sort of inoculation against what may seem to be some shallow foolishness in the coming weeks.

12 thoughts on “push-starting a dying VW microbus out of the parking lot, having been refused a cheap motel room for being dirty hippies

  1. Hi Brian
    I feel this very much, and wrote a similar “forgive me if what I’m blogging seems trivial post”. The other stuff is too big (and better people than me are writing about it) but there is nothing apart from the other stuff.
    It’s difficult to write “hey I found a cool new gif tool” when actual nazis are marching in the street. But I think there might be something in between and it’s only by scratching our way that we find it. Also just from a personal perspective writing helps.
    But yeah I know the fiction of the 6 year plan – Coping with a The Road type apocalypse doesn’t seem to feature in strategic plans.

    1. You’ve been a model in terms of both acknowledging and pushing through this stuff. But new GIF tools… hard to give up that goodness. I’ll probably be talking about them around the barrel-fire cooking my rat-meat in a decade.

  2. This title. Gold you filthy hippie.

    I can so relate to this, having just undergone a prolonged period of silence myself for similar reasons. It feels like the aftermath of an earthquake where you find yourself standing in the rubble “wtf just happened?” Everytime I went to write something it felt…trivial somehow. I’m still not back on my feet, but just writing that first post has helped me push the van out again.

    1. The small steps we’ve taken together to try some different model have been so encouraging. Glad to stand with ya hippie!

  3. Yet as heavy as the other stuff is, and damn heavy it is, there has to be living apart/under it. For if we don’t it’s all heaviness. So keep scratching.

    We all have varying motivations for why we scratch, but I worry when that is weighed by our expectations or perceptions of how it is seen, read, received. The writing ought to, first and foremost, do something for the writer, be it raging or thinking or just playing, then the audience. When we flip that, we become “those kind” of bloggers (you can insert from your own list).

    You are both important friends and colleagues, and we will never get too much time we spend together, so I’m eager and appreciative for all dribs and dribbles, even if it is the semi-annual blogging about why I’m not blogging. Yet tossing guilt is not very effective.

    Gotta go try a new gif tool 😉

  4. This post really hit home to me (I don’t even know if I can call myself a blogger at the rate I blog). I have some interesting job changes coming my way that I think I finally want to blog about, but then there is the reality of the political climate of the US and I fear being accused of ignoring what really matters. If you are going to write about your “fairly narrow range of my professional activities” maybe I will too and we can be “foolish” together.

    1. Hey… sometimes hearing about people I like working through interesting challenges is one of the best tonics going. Let’s get foolish.

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