Friday, November 11, 2016

Hello, I Must Be Going

My decision to step away from contemporary political commentary is personal, so my way of mourning and saying goodbye to the US presidency--and perhaps, along the way, examining how if not why I felt about it as I did--is also personal.

In the past couple of years, I've said goodbye to a couple of areas of activity that involved writing of some sort.  Though they were jobs that given better alternatives I wouldn't have chosen, I put a lot of myself into them.  So my way of freeing myself from them was to go back over the work, retrospectively, with maybe some attempts to summarize if not evaluate.  And when I did that obsessively enough, I was done with it.  And I can move into the David Letterman phase, of wondering why I did it in the first place, and who was that person.

In terms of this blog, it's mostly about allocating remaining time and energies, as well as about competence and audience.  I feel less competent to understand this time and place merely by trying to keep up with the most available information sources.  Clearly this election showed that this approach is insufficient at best.  For one thing I was serious that only Carl Jung could understand what happened.  I'll be looking again particularly at the volume of his collected works called Civilization in Transition, in which he writes a lot about the 30s and 40s, the Nazis and Europe.

Generally though I need to observe and write not as some featureless cultural/political commentator but as I am at this age, with those limitations and those experiences of years that I feel called to examine more closely.  So that's what I plan to do, on an entirely new site starting in the new year.  That's actually been on my mind for at least the past year or two.

In terms of audience, there are at best a handful of people I know of who read this blog regularly, and I know most of their names. I'm grateful for their allegiance and compliments.  I hope they follow me to a new venue, and I hope others join them there.  There's the question of social media participation to help spread the word, but I haven't answered that for myself yet.  Facebook still seems more like an unsightly disease than an opportunity, but maybe I should revisit that.

My way of saying goodbye to the enterprise I've been engaged in here at Dreaming Up Daily, and before that at what's now called American Dash (where I started in 2002 ) will be to say goodbye to President Obama and the American presidency. Why I'm doing it that way will become apparent when I start it.

I won't deny that being sickened by politics now has played a role in turning away from it, as has decreasing faith in conventional efforts of any kind to forestall the coming darkness.  I wish those who do fight the good fight well, but I'm not one of them, and it seems pointless to report on them here, or on the humiliations and degradation to come.  I have no role except waning witness, and  I've witnessed to enough.  It's time to deepen some meaning, to explore the past and future in different ways.

For some years I maintained a number of blogs, experimenting with reaching audiences specific to particular areas.  I've essentially abandoned most of them.  Social media and phone aps have absorbed the old blog audience (so "nobody blogs anymore.")

And that's part of the general competence question.  I don't participate in the social media smartphone Uber (what a well chosen name!) culture, so there's too much now that I don't understand through direct experience.  And I have no desire to get that experience.  (I do note however that both David Remnick in his previously quoted essay and President Obama in a recent interview expressed great concern for social media influence on the information people get and believe, which Remnick cites as a factor in this election.)

It's also been awhile since I've more generally been considered a competent observer, outside the fantasy world of a self-published blog.  Partly that's due to the contraction of publishing outlets but a lot of it has been prejudices about age.  One of the prejudices being that if somebody isn't well-known and/or in a powerful position by the age of 50, they are no longer worth listening to.  On the other hand, at 70 I accept that there is some basis for this now. With limited new experience, perspective becomes more and more important, and it gets to be time to be out front about that.

What I did here during the campaign however was apply a little judgment to extracting what seemed the most interesting and most important news or comments originated by others on the web, as both a daily report and a kind of diary.  That turned out to be an almost transcendental mockery of itself, and certainly calls into question the entire effort.  But for those who wish to go back over it, it will still be here, along with everything else that lives down on the server farm, accessible to--but mostly ignored by--the entire Internet-enabled world.

Some of the concerns of these blogs I started have also faded, but others--like comments on books--can simply be incorporated in one new site.  I'll probably keep adding to the archive of my past work and links on line at kowincidence, because there is past work I am proud of, and I have a fan base (considerably smaller than it used to be, though) at Soul of Star Trek.

I also have in mind refining the original mission of Dreaming Up Daily, which was oriented towards the future.  That may result in another new site eventually.  But that's too much information--or speculation--already.

So I'll stay through the rest of the calendar year.  But I am telling you---I must be... going.

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