The 1000th Post: To Be or Not To Blog

Heard you didn’t miss me.  I’m back anyhow.

This is the 1000th blog post of The Domino Theory and I wasn’t sure if it would be the last one.   I took a month off to think about it. Or to put it more accurately to not think about it.

Nobody called,  nobody wrote to ask when I was going to publish again because nobody cares if there’s one less blog in the world.   All this blog is and ever will be is me sharing my thoughts on a topic most people already know about. I’m not breaking news. I’m sharing one man’s opinion and the value of that opinion waxes and wanes depending on how receptive the reader is to what I have to say.

Blogs come and blogs go.  Those that endure do so because the blogger finds ways to keep things fresh and interesting to them.   If they are lucky so will their readers.

This blog was supposed to be a means to an end. The intention was for me to keep my writing tools sharp by keeping busy between freelancing gigs. I never got into journalism to make money because unless you become a brand like Bob Woodward where you make your reputation on one or two good books and squander it by writing increasingly bad books, there’s no money in journalism. At least nobody I know is living comfortably off those wages.

I could do nothing but write about police shootings and racism and never run short of material.   The trouble is  how depressing it is to dwell all the time on blood and bigotry.   It’s not much fun to read either.   This will never be  the place to come for  your Kardashian/Jenner updates, but even I need to lighten the mood at times.   I recently read for my monthly writer’s group a personal story about a friendship which ended badly. It was a substitute for a blood-and-thunder piece I had written about the shooting of Walter Scott. One woman told me, “I was a little scared when I heard you were reading this month. You can be pretty intense sometimes.”

She’s right about that. But too much intensity wears you out.

The other night I came across a Word Press site from blogging expert Lorelle VanFossen and her post, How to Know When to Stop Blogging.  It rang true from the first sentence, “Blogging isn’t for everyone, and everyone doesn’t need to blog. There are times when you should stop blogging, and there are times to take a rest from blogging.”

As I approach the eight-year blogging mark, those are words of sage advice.   VanFossen had more of particular interest for me.

Stop blogging if you don’t have a purpose: Honestly, you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to, and if you don’t know what to blog about, don’t. If your blog has no purpose, stop blogging.

Your blogging purpose doesn’t have to be specific, but it does need to exist. A blog purpose is the reason you blog, the definition of your blog, and why your readers come back to read your blog. If you are blogging about your daily life’s activities and affairs, then that’s your purpose. If you are blogging about a specific industry such as online technology, space, transportation, or ice skating, that’s your blogging purpose. If you are blogging about a specific rare area of science, math, or research, you’ve found a purpose for blogging.

If you blog because it fulfills some deep inner need to express yourself, and it makes you happy and motivates you to get up in the morning, and that feeling lasts longer than 3 months, you’ve got a purpose for blogging. Keep blogging.

Vague, empty blogging just because it’s something to do, or because everyone else is doing it, is useless and a time waster. Stop blogging.

Pretty much this.   Taking a 30-day blogging hiatus did not offer any great revelations. Did not break through a wall of writer’s block. I had no epiphany. No startling insights. None of that. I just needed a break. I took one.

I did not reflect and I did not recharge. I am not renewed or refueled with a brand new sense of purpose. Whatever it was which made me angry or amused or confused or happy or moved to plant my butt in a chair and start typing until what was trying to get out was set free still does.

VanFossen’s parting shot is direct.  “If you are bored with blogging, or bored with what you are blogging about, or your blog writing bores you, it bores your readers. Stop blogging and find something else to do.”

That “something else to do” is to write more, blog less. Writing more means going back to freelancing.   Writing more means recognizing its okay to blog less.     Writing more means writing more stuff that means something and less to fill space because I’m not updating enough.

Too much time spent thinking about writing is not enough time spent writing. There are stories to tell and if I want to read them I’m going to have to write them.    This blog doesn’t have another 1,000 posts in its future, but I’m curious to see how many are left.

 

Barack Obama Into Darkness?

When the “news” broke last week that the National Security Agency under the Obama Administration was harvesting telephone records made within the United States the reaction was as predictable as it was swift.   One big, huge WTF????

Those of us who did not choose to tear out our hair, rend our garments and demand Barack Obama be frog-walked out of the Oval Office in chains were exorcised as fools for surrendering our liberties without a peep of protest.

This conclusion is as fallacious as it is ridiculous and some of you really need both a laxative and a good night’s sleep.  Not necessarily in that order.
I never said the government gathering information on the public was “OK.” But I’m not going to lose it now when I didn’t see all you outraged civil libertarians demanding George Bush’s impeachment when he did THE EXACT SAME THING without Congressional oversight or judicial warrant.

Sure we do. I do. You do too. Everyone does and yes, I am including all of you who couldn’t wait to crow  “See! I toldja the government was listenin! I toldja Obama is no different from Bush. I toldja.”

Correct me if I got it wrong, but how did you get here? Was it via the Internets? Do you have an Internet Service Provider? Did you post on your laptop, smart phone or I-Pad?

Thanks for sharing with the the National Security Agency (which has only been around for 60 fucking years so I really don’t get why everyone is acting like they were just dreamed up by Dubya and now operate with the blessings of Barry).

Nobody is stealing your information about your next booty call, idea for the Great American Novel or your favorite porn bookmarks. You gave that information away. Yep. You left the door unlocked and now that it’s your shit getting peeped and not just some Muslim taxi driver in New Jersey you want to get all bent out of shape?

It is to laugh.

Let’s not do this dance. There is NO privacy on the Internet and there certainly is none on Facebook, or Word Press. Unless you believe founder Matt Mullenweg has 1000 lawyers on retainer ready to spring into action to quash any government subpoena from the Obama Administration for my complete posting history.   I can assure you he does not.

There is no “right to privacy.” It is a fantasy and was bought by Disney and will be part of the next expansion of Mickey’s Toontown.

There is only the illusion of privacy. Your internet provider has your ISP. Your credit cards have your information. You use a loyalty card at the grocery store to get 25 cents off a loaf of bread and you’re handing over more information. You lose your shit when a phone call drops because you’re out of range of a cell tower.

When Verizon asked, “Can you hear me now?” didn’t you know it was a purely rhetorical question? Of course they can hear you now. They have always been able to hear you.

It’s not just Big Brother watching. Little Brother and Sister are too and we gave them permission to do so a looonnnnng time ago.   Am I happy to have confirmed what I already suspected, that President Obama is continuing what President Bush started?   Not really, but I never assumed any differently because I knew when giving a choice between protecting privacy rights and the nation from another 9/11 event,  security is probably going to trump privacy.

This does not make be a blind Obamabot.  I simply don’t see the reason I’m supposed to be freaking out.

I know it’s the default position for many of us on the Left side of the aisle to lose our shit and start dust off 1984 when this kind of story jumps off, but the reality about American life is unless you’re living in a cabin in the woods with no electricity, running water and totally cut off from civilization and living completely off the grid you give away your personal information and privacy EVERY DAMN DAY.

But now y’all want a cop an attitude and act like the piano player in the cathouse who claims he didn’t know there was fornicating going on upstairs?  Please stop and look at the facts.

  • The government is not listening to your phone calls.
  • This is a program implemented with Congressional oversight and with judicial review.
  • It is neither unlimited in what information can be data mined or extended into perpetuity.

You didn’t care when it was happening to Muhammad and Ahmed. Why so serious now?  Because your boring little phone conversations flying through the air are being intercepted?

…a computer will sort through the millions of calls and isolate a very small number for further scrutiny. Perhaps one of the numbers was called by one of the Tsarnaev brothers before the Boston Marathon bombings. Or perhaps a call was placed by a Verizon customer to a known operative of Al Qaeda. The Supreme Court long ago authorized law enforcement agencies to obtain call logs — albeit on paper rather than from a computer database — without full probable cause to believe a crime had been committed.

Civil liberties are not something easily retrieved once given away, but little-by-little, bit-by-bit, Americans have surrendered their liberties and frankly, I find the hand-wringing and caterwauling both too little and too late. When you cede your power to politicians and bureaucrats you can’t come back later and shriek, “This isn’t what I wanted.”

If you want to maintain your taste for sausage you probably don’t want to see how the sausage gets made.

obamabush-obama

Fake is the New Real: 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 8 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 168 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 391 posts. There were 395 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 40mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was July 2nd with 7,056 views. The most popular post that day was Rebooting Wonder Woman: More Retro than Revolutionary..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were wordpress.com, facebook.com, field-negro.blogspot.com, napiszar.com, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for coco, sarah palin, rape, coco ice t, and pam grier.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Rebooting Wonder Woman: More Retro than Revolutionary. July 2010
174 comments and 116 Likes on WordPress.com

2

Coco: The 8th Wonder of the World? November 2009
3 comments

3

I’m sick of “celebrities.” Get me out of here! June 2009
4 comments

4

Hey Kids! Sex, violence and comic books! April 2009
2 comments

5

Has porn made rape a spectator sport? November 2009
6 comments

If  I take this report from Word Press to heart, I guess I should ditch writing about politics, national and world events, sports, entertainment and whatever else goes on in my boring little life to write about porn, comic books and psuedo-celebrities.

How depressing is that?

What a warm, wonderful thing it is to know it’s not insights or caustic commentary or opinion most of the visitors to this blog want.  It’s rape, comic books and a blonde bimbo with an inflated rack and ass.

Wonder Woman changes her stupid costume and that is what gets 174 comments?   Jesus Frigging Christ.  😦    You’re not exactly inspiring me here, folks.

Well, at least I know now how much I’m spinning my wheels.   Got to give the people what they want.

Enjoy.

Sex: easy to sell and good for the stats.