I find multitasking and code-switching a tad challenging. For this reason, three years ago, when I launched into a non-communications/ non-social media-ish job, I found myself essentially hanging up my bloggy spurs.
I did not, however, melt them down and make lawn art out of them. Fortunately for my neighbors.
And yet! I now find myself, much to my delight, in the position of directing communications at this selfsame organization. This job is not only in the right ballpark (I was there already) but at the right position therein.
Hosana and not a moment too soon! Because in a scant few weeks we’re due for quite a political sea-change, something that – for me, and 65,844,953 others like me – looks to be more challenging than rivers being turned into blood, the dust of the land becoming lice, being strafed by swarms of flies, watching helplessly as livestock fall grievously ill, gaping in horror as festering boils break out on all of us everywhere, fruitlessly seeking shelter from thunderstorms of hail and fire, swatting back boatloads of locusts, enduring three days of darkness, or the tenth – which I can’t even speak of.
Yep, I’m talking the Eleventh plague, totally overlooked by biblical historians and prognosticators, whom I don’t blame for not calling this Trump thing because it took a lot of other people by surprise too.
I hope to make my way back here as a means of orientation amidst what promises to be, to say least, interesting times. About that – the Eleventh Plague – there’s much to say, but the short version is: we got this. Activists remain active and are activating yet more; movement continues to move and with renewed vigor; we know what to do, because we’ve done this very recently; and we’re fired up and ready to go. See you on January 21, folks, and at Solidarity Sundays in the meanwhile.
Now to the quotidian and local: much has shifted in the two or three years I’ve spent away from this blog in particular and social media in general (leastwise as a visible consumer and content creator). Several such are worth noting:
- I was so deeply asleep at the blog-tending wheel that I lost access to the core URL for this thing (the .net version) one measly day after the dang thing came due and went up for grabs. Yikes! I wrangled back .com, but am still knocking at the door of that other URL, where the bulk of my various inbound links head to. So. This is like a coffee enema-caliber clean start. Ahem.
- Many of the functions of blogs – collecting a community of like-minded folks, enabling multi-directional dialog, sharing images and words, and so on – have been captured, if piecemeal, by multiple other tools: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus also (depending on your age and inclinations) LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Kik, Snapchat, Wickr, YikYak, or Whisper, and whatever spiffy product rolls out thereafter. Blogs and bloggery are not quaint or moribund, but they seem to me to represent a more self-selective portion of online readership than they once may have. I may be wrong. Either way, I see this as a good thing anyhow.
- In the quiet of my online self-representational hiatus, I have become appreciative of the spaciousness gained from life examined but not filtered, edited, and then represented, and shared. But I’ve also missed the joys of authentic engagement with an incredible online community of people I met through this vehicle.
- My kids have grown older; they now engage with content and communities online; they have a fairly well-informed opinion about their representation online, and take to heart my incessant finger-wagging about how the Internet Never Forgets and Once It’s Online You Can’t Take It Back and so on and so forth. So everything I publish here about them will have met their exacting editorial standards and passed muster. Words of a wide range seem to be okay: so far, I’ve not broken trust. In fact, I’ll take a moment here to note that I am phenomenally grateful that for over ten years I have written every word with the image of my future tween-aged kids hunched over laptops with either best friends or worst enemies in mind as readers. Because now I have a tween-aged kid hunched over a laptop on my couch, and so far, she has not felt unduly exposed or betrayed, and I’m going to keep it that way, for her and for her brother. However! Images of Actual Persons in the present time will rarely, if ever appear. This will explain the odd cropped image of just my face, as in Figure A. above.
All of these items set my chatter here in quite a different context than that time, a bajillion years ago, when I launched this thing. I am relieved, though, to finally, haltingly unite what I’ve been doing offline lately – community-building and social justice work on behalf of LGBTQ families in all their intersectional glory – with what I used to like to do online – which basically amounted to the same thing! Chocolate: meet peanut butter! peanut butter: chocolate! (And if that makes no sense, you must be under 45 years old).
Try as I might, I have found it difficult to keep posts to the standard 500-800 words max. that predominate online media. (I was slack-jawed when I learned at a talk at Fenton years ago that anything above this is considered “long form.”) I will do my best to help a reader out, as an exercise in attention span muscle-building, by brazenly prattling on in multiple paragraphs whenever I damn well have something multiple paragraph-worthy. I’ll also just knock around and figure out by trial and error just what niche something like this might occupy, cheek by jowl as it is amongst everything else on this noisy noisy web.
(What do all the OG bloggers do nowadays anyhow? I can’t believe it’s like the end of Lonely Are the Brave, where Kirk Douglas as the last cowboy, on the lamb from the law and from modern society, gets lost in a mountain escape on his way to Mexico, finally riding his horse onto Route 66 at night, only to be blinded and felled by the oncoming, speedy, violent future. Someone’s persevering somewhere with their online equivalent of an Underwood Noiseless and a drippy fountain pen, damn the torpedoes, damn the ever-splintered attention span!)
At any rate. Thank you, whoever you are, for taking the time to read this. Over a decade after my first post, I’m just as appreciative it’s not just me talking to myself. Thanks to the loooong hiatus, it may in fact just may be me, plus a few other Usual Suspects (howdy, friend!), and some hapless souls who backed into here after misspelling “Lebanese duds” on a Google search.
May we all venture into the coming year with courage, imagination, and, most of all, each other.