I am in a bit of a blogging malaise right now.

Which is why I’ve been posting things in spurts with several days between activity. It’s not that there aren’t things to write about happening in the world, it’s largely that I’ve not had the energy to rant about them because I feel like I’ve ranted about them all before. So days pass as I search for something I feel like I can write something different about or I find something that makes a quick and easy post.

This is especially true of politics. Between the Republicans not giving a shit about anyone other than themselves and their rich buddies, the Tea Party trying to force a dogmatic political ideology even at the expense of the country they claim to love, or the Democrats acting like a bunch of spineless pussies who give away half their bargaining chips before they even try to negotiate with the Republicans, I’ve become totally disenchanted with the whole process. Obama, in particular, has been very disillusioning to the extent that I am seriously considering — for the first time since I’ve been able to do so — not voting in the next election.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been blogging for too long and I’m just getting cynical about so many things. I started blogging because I had something to say and a need to say it and I wanted to contribute my voice to the national discussion on a number of topics in the, perhaps naive, belief that speaking up made a difference. I used to write to my representatives a lot more than I do lately as well for much the same reasons. But these days it seems the inmates are running the asylum and no amount of discussion will make a difference because they’re not listening, have no intention of listening, and you can completely forget about compromise. On top of that, the people who are ostensibly on our side either don’t have the political willpower to fight for our principles or just really aren’t on our side. Again, I’m talking about Obama who kinda portrayed himself as a progressive, but has in many ways been to the right of Reagan in many of the policies he’s pursued. Yes, he’s still probably a hundred-fold better than what a McCain/Palin administration would’ve been, but that’s little comfort when so many things he promised he’d fight for are the very things he caved on without so much as throwing a pillow at the opposition. Pointing this out again and again just seems so futile anymore.

That same is also true of the topic of religion. Even the amusement I used to get from rambling on about the latest bit of pareidolia has lost its luster. Credulous people are credulous and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of them these days. It often feels like I’m repeating myself on too many of the topics in this category.

It doesn’t help that there are so many other bloggers out there dedicated to specific topics who are covering all of the stuff I used to rant about so much more thoroughly and better than I ever did. More often than not these days I find myself writing about a topic more to point out an angle or thought that wasn’t touched on by everyone else who wrote about it, but that’s an increasingly rare thing.

So my output has slowed and every now and then I wonder if I shouldn’t just hang up my hat and call it a good run. Nearly ten years is an incredibly long time to dedicate to one activity. Then I come across something that sparks my creative juices and I put out a few entries and I feel like I’m contributing once again and I think to myself, maybe I’ve got a little more I can do. And then four or five days pass without my writing so much as a sentence and I’m right back into that rut. I feel bad when I go more than a day or two without posting something because so many folks seem to drop by daily to see what small bit of insanity I’ve decided to share with them.

So that’s the state I find myself in right now. Less output because I’m trying to be somewhat novel in what I’m writing about. Even trying to get another bit of fiction finished so I can post that as a nice change of pace. Trying to be more than just that nutbag who’s always bitching about Republicans and True Believers™ on his blog. Trying to figure out how I can share more of myself in a way that’s interesting.


12 thoughts on “I am in a bit of a blogging malaise right now.

  1. I’m in a bit of a slump right now myself. My assumption is that I’ll blog more when I’ve resolved some health issues that are dogging me right now.

    But your larger point is right – it is all to easy to think that your voice might not really matter. I’ve always been too easily frustrated and driven to silence. But is that the best response?

    The entry A Christian Asks; “I’m the bad guy?” was especially frustrating. Just this morning I listened to an NPR report where a Baptist theologian said that he was willing to ignore scientific facts and evidence to save his theology.

    Clearly that guy – like my old friend from college – will never be reached. But there are a lot of people in the room when we engage the other side. It seems likely there’s some value in not letting the other side be the only voice in the room.

    I would be sad to see SEB go but it wouldn’t shock me if you got itchy and started back up in some form later. Maybe taking a fiction break would be a good idea. Could be there’s something to be said in fiction that can’t be said in a frontal approach. Been thinking about any short stories?

  2. Sometimes Les is more, especially when you’re feeling like a broken record that’s skipped off the tracks.

    Sometimes, you have to get the crap words out of your system so you can fill your head (and our RSS feeds) with something new.

    Good luck! Just don’t change your domain name to smartgoodoppositeofbastard.com. 🙂

  3. decrepitoldfool wrote:

    Been thinking about any short stories?

    I’ve got one that’s been kicking around in my head for at least the past five years, but every time I start in on it it just doesn’t flow properly. I like the idea and I think it would make a good short, but I think I may be trying too hard to have it say something meaningful rather than just tell an interesting story.

    That and I’d like to top the last short I did which got such a good response.

  4. I say keep up your rants – I love them and check in all the time to read what’s on your mind. Republicans and True-Believers annoy the shit out of me and I for one appreciate your take on things, and for saying what I don’t have the ability to say on a blog that’s read by a ton of people.

  5. I don’t blog, I just argue with some boneheads, but I understand how you can feel bummed out. It seems like it just gets worse every day. I was expressing unhappiness with Obama fairly early on, it’s hard for me to understand those who are still defending him. Yes, he walked into a bad situation but he doesn’t even look like he tries and appears to have contempt for what should be his base. It’s a bad feeling, I can’t offer you hope, only sympathy. I have voted third party in the past, may do it in 2012, probably depending on just how scary the Republican choice is. Hugs.

  6. Yes, you should work on your fiction but please keep a finger on the pulse because the boil may burst and pour out pus very soon. People like me are feeling the same frustration of no one listening and resentment of being told to fear this or that so we need someone like you and DoF to reaffirm that we are not alone in this issue.

  7. I know I do not post often, but I really appreciate the content that gets posted. It keeps me coming back. Seeing this video made me think of you and SEB. Hope it brings a smile.

  8. I’d hate to see you go. Your blog is the first thing I look at each day and I appreciate it when I can see something that sparks my interest and is stated in plain language.

  9. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing more SEB fiction. You’re a good writer, Les, and I’m always down for something new. A blog seems to me the perfect venue for reviving the short story form, now that paper short fiction mags are all but dead.

    I think that creative writing is both harder and more rewarding than commentary…for some reason, I guard my creative projects (usually songs) until I think they are as good as they can get, and will never present them to anyone except collaborators until then, but I’ll spout even my most unconventional political/religious/philosophical opinions to anyone who cares to listen or debate. Not that I don’t feel responsible for my opinions, but they don’t have to be “artful”, just clearly reasoned and stated.

    The way you describe your feelings about blogging is how I feel about internet interaction and activism in general right now. I don’t have my own blog but I try to be an insightful, or at least entertaining commenter…but sometimes it just feels so pointless. On the atheist/skeptic blogs, I only manage to be original about once a week at best, more like once a month. Most of the time I’m in deep agreement with the general thrust of the other comments, with maybe a few fine points of disagreement. I only bother to comment a few times a week, as it’s all been said before I get there. Sometimes I comment just to show support, which is nice, but not very satisfying for me. On more general websites, like news sites or fark, I get sick of the trolls and idiots, and there is no point in trying to educate anyone or explain anything…religious folks, flag worshippers, racists, warmongers, and other conservative uber-patriots never want to learn anything, and will never change their minds about anything. All they do is sit around typing SOCIALISM!!!!! HUSSEIN OBAMA!!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!! at anyone who will read their crap. Fark particularly I have mixed feelings about. It can be an extemely funny site sometimes, but the trolls and the actual conservatives (hard to tell them apart, naturally)constantly complain about how the site is overrun by liberals and “PC” gone wild…seriously, with all of the immaturity, sexism, and racism spouted on Fark, dozens (or more) commenters are constantly complaining about how politically correct and liberal it is…they won’t be satisfied until there is a website showing bumfights to the death in a Roman arena, or live bombings of muslim countries and torture porn on streaming video.

    Sorry to rant, but I really feel your pain. The worst part is….election year coming….the hurp and the derp are only going to grow, and who gives a damn about any of it? Sometimes it seems like the noise machine has won the war on truth, and the few people who care enough to be right about anything will never be heard over all the prayers, commercials, lobbyists and professional shit-talkers.

    If I have any advice at all, it would be to write about whatever still interests you, and don’t feel guilty about it. You don’t owe anybody anything. You have a pretty wide scope of interests, and you aren’t bound to things that have worked before.

    Along with your posts on video games, you could do more reviews…there are plenty of movies, documantaries, books, tv shows, albums, etc, new and old, that could probably use a fair review written by a reasonable guy…actually, I really liked your mini-review of that dollar store canned beef stew (and btw, their chicken noodle soup is NASTY.) It’s funny…in six years or so of reading, I think I have a pretty good idea of what movies & video games you might like, but I have no idea what kind of music you like or what authors you enjoy.

    Or, instead of media, culture, culture war, and politics, you could focus more on science, technology, gadgets, etc for a while…nothing gives me hope in humanity and fires up my brain like seeing what the best minds are up to, even when the know-nothings are on the rampage.

    Also, something I’ve been trying to do lately both online and off, is getting more mentally and physically involved in learning new things or having more learning experiences outside of work and day-to-day life and fucking politics. I’ve been cooking more, bicycling more, going to the beach more often, reading about science more, and to some degree planning to write a bit about those interests and others. Is there a new activity, hobby, or learning experience that you’ve been wanting to get into? No matter what it is, your thoughts and learning experiences relating to it might find a home on SEB as well. New foods, new classes, new hobbies, new studies, anything. Pet care, woodworking, technology, model rocketing, historical perspectives on sexual fetishes, finding new biblical passages or obscure holy relics to mock, stand-up comedy, feats of engineering, bowling, gourmet BBQ, huffing industrial solvents and reporting the effects, modern puppetry and mime, beard styles of the past, the history of venereal disease…anything at all as long as it interests and stimulates you. I know you could find a way to write interestingly about anything, as long as it is something YOU find interesting.

    Even though I don’t yet blog myself, in this post you have captured exactly how I’ve felt for months about the entire internet, politics, media, america, and human interaction in general. A reasonable, thoughtful, intelligent person can only take so much exposure to corruption and hate, bloody-minded idiocy, and useless, apathetic indifference before it all starts to feel like a mental handicap and a real physical weight dragging down everything one tries to do. I’ve been wanting to start my own blog, but I can’t even get motivated enough to write a first entry. I’m in a rut deep enough to hang up posters right now, and if I started a blog today I might as well write a first and last entry and call it good, then go walk right off the end of the Pismo Beach pier wearing nothing but a propeller beanie.

    Anyway-after several years, this is still one of my favorite blogs. I check in at least six days a week, and will continue to do so no matter where it drifts or how far in between posts. You have good things to contribute to the political scene and the skeptical movement…whenever you are inspired to do so. I hope you continue far into the future, but don’t let it become a burden. Write about whatever you want to write about, and there will still be people here to read it. Hell, maybe a few expeditions into less familiar territory will make the old seem new again.

    Best wishes.

  10. In my view, sitting out an election equals to giving Republicans more power. Don’t do it. You may end up regretting it in the long run when someone worst than Obama(Ex: Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann or even Rick Perry) wins the election and makes the situation worst.

  11. In my view, sitting out an election equals to giving Republicans more power. Don’t do it.

    Correct. The same is true of voting third-party. If your choice is between a disappointment and a terror, choose the disappointment. If you want a viable third party in this country, start at the local/state level, not the national level.

    (Voice of sad experience: I voted for Nader in 2000. Illinois went for Gore but boy did I feel silly later.)

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