The Beginning of an End.

Panel from Sandman #39, "The Soft Places." It's the Latin I'm calling your attention to here.

Panel from Sandman #39, “The Soft Places.” It’s the Latin and the translation I’m calling your attention to here.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with politics. On the one hand, societies are like texts. No matter how good they are, they can always be better, and politics are the way you revise a society. On the other hand, politics are about power. People absolutely destroy one another — often in unethical and illegal ways (and sometimes LITERALLY, in the literal sense of the word) — over power. There’s no separating these aspects of politics from one another. They are two sides of the same coin.

So, what’s a kind-hearted person who has never once been in a fight and has a hard time even contemplating the ugliness of power, but who is uber-committed to the improvement of the society he lives in, to do?

Haha. Engage in politics, apparently. As much as politics leave a bad taste in my mouth, compel me to struggle against the regional culture that birthed me, and create interpersonal problems with people I love, I can’t stop. And honestly, the fact that people I know and love disagree with my views — even to the point that they do such stupid things on my Facebook timeline I have to block them — is not my problem. It’s theirs.

mlk_justice

They are the ones who raised me to be a Southern Man with all the baggage that entails. They are the ones who put “oldest child” responsibilities on me when I was too young to understand what that even meant. They’re the ones who taught me to not be racist or sexist (and they did a very good job of that), despite the fact that they never quite divorced themselves from the racism and sexism of the mid-20th Century.

The worst thing you can be, if you’re a (White) Southerner, is a hypocrite. If you can’t practice what you preach down here, best to just not preach it. Hypocrisy is worse than murder. Yet, (White) Southern Culture has elevated hypocrisy to an art form.

Other peoples’ racism and sexism are not my problem, except insofar as they influence public policy and public behavior. I’m done walking on eggshells around people who are offensive and don’t realize it. Also done thinking I am responsible for the behavior of people who were fully-formed adults before I was even born. Behavioral responsibility runs entirely in the other direction. They raised me. I didn’t raise them. I’m sure they believe they’ve reared a monster. And I don’t care. I enjoy being a monster.

I have objections to the way American society in general, and Southern society in particular, are working right now.

It’s the second decade of the goddamned 21st Century and I still have to write about sexism, racism, and class? On BLOGS??? What what what????? I’m offended by that, but it’s my problem, no one else’s. I’m the one who has to deal with the things that offend me here in these great United States. No one is going to deal with it for me.

Meme discovered at Eco-Style Life Beau Monde

Meme discovered at Eco-Style Life Beau Monde

I’ve spent most of my life honing my communication skills, developing a deep understanding of the pathologies of Southern culture, and figuring out why some groups persist socially while others die. I’ll be 50 before I know it. If I quit now I will die an unhappy man and I will be damned, in the Christian sense of that word.

I don’t want to go to Hell, people. I’m not a conventional Christian. I don’t go to church and I don’t read my Bible (though I can quote it front and back if need be) and I do my best to not pray. But I know what my Maker expects of me. It expects me to do my very best for people who are more disadvantaged than me on account of the corruption that’s run amok in my society since before I was born. That, and take care of my dependents. All the Universe expects of flawed, tiny Gene’O.

It seems like a little. But it’s a lot. Just that much fills my days. Fills nearly all of them. So I’m gonna figure out how to talk about this stuff on the internet for as long as I can find people to give me stages on which to perform. And that starts here, on this dying blog.

justice_quickmeme_by_geneo

If you weren’t aware, this blog has been dying a slow death for months now. It’s been important to mine and Diana’s project, and the time I put into both this blog and my former blog were well-spent. Me blogging here made us a lot of friends during the first year. Lately, not so much. A post here gets me less attention than a Facebook note posted for a restricted audience, and I’m weak on Facebook. So I’m not maintaining Just Gene’O much longer, but I am not done quite yet.

This blog, since I redesigned it last August, has had three purposes

1. We archive things here we need easy access to but which don’t fit on our other blogs, and I can do things here we can’t do on other blogs, like tell you we’re having a Feminist Friday discussion at Victim to Charm this week.

2. This is where you get to know me personally — that, along with supporting Diana’s premiere project — are what the #WeekendCoffeeShare posts have been about up to this point.

3. On occasion, I’ve used this blog to turn bloggers on to social opportunities like #SundayBlogShare and the Blog Blitz (which is going on today, btw).

And that’s it. That’s all it’s good for, and traffic here is tanking. Diana and I are in the process of re-distributing the archival pages. Sourcerer gets the pop culture, Part Time Monster gets the feminism.

Hello, gloves. Enjoy being on my hands for the next little while. I will be removing you shortly.

Hello, gloves. Enjoy your relationship with my fists for now. You will be coming off soon. And I promise, gloves. It’s not you. This all about me.

The rest gets folded into Sourcerer, or else I just let it go until I am able to re-think what I want out of the internet and rebuild my personal presence. This transition will take a few weeks, but once it’s done the landscape in our corner of the blogosphere will be irrevocably changed.

  1. The current archival pages will be elsewhere and the ones here won’t be updated any more.
  2. If you want to get to know me personally, you’ll need to know me on Facebook (which is relatively easy to pull off), or else you’ll need to hang around Sourcerer on the weekends and comment on the threads over there.
  3. You’ll need to find social opportunities on your own for the short term, until I decide whether to fold those into Sourcerer or create a new webspace for Gene’O.

The purpose of this blog from here on out is to establish that I can write well about politics, until such time as I start to place political posts on blogs larger than I can build myself.

If you don’t like my politics (and I’ve given you adequate information over the past couple of years for you to decide how you feel about my politics), it’s time for you to hit the exit.

This is not the end, but everything I do on this blog from here on out is a coda.

I’m shutting this blog down and leaving the archives intact so as not to kill any links to other people’s blogs. Eventually, I will put up a static page and be done.

I’ve made up my mind. This will proceed, and it will be complete by October at the latest.

In the meantime, if you DO like my politics, or if you’ve been following me since day one and you understand that whatever else I am doing, I am telling a pretty awesome story in which several other bloggers are characters . . . Stick around.

I’m opening a new front in my quest to take over the Internet as of now. The foundational posts will be published here, because I don’t have anyplace else to publish them.

Every end is a beginning. It’s a stupid cliche, but it works for this.

Play your ukulele, whatever else you do. Because life is too short to not.

Even if your grades are bad, it doesn’t mean you’re failing.

(How am I doing here, Gretchen?)

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31 thoughts on “The Beginning of an End.

    • Thanks very much! Diana and I have been talking about this a bit lately. Every website has a lifecycle, and this one’s done what it’s going to do for our bigger project. I’m not bummed out about it, but it’s definitely a bittersweet moment for me to say this stuff, because I’ve tried so hard here.

      Anyway, hopefully the people who are using this blog as the primary way of keeping up will find me elsewhere, which isn’t hard, and we can keep right on talking.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much. I don’t understand the politics as well as I’d like, and I’ve lived here all my life, lol.

      It’s a system that runs to extremes, because it’s bi-polar. We’d be better off with more parties, but the institutions are set up in such a way as to make that practically impossible. Nearly all our big problems come down to the institutional mechanics — more often than not, Americans are only presented with two viable options on any political question.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I am looking forward to this new venture, which from what I’ve seen in your discussions of it elsewhere, will mean a truer blogging experience, talking about all that is important to you — unfiltered, uncontained, and raw.

    I’m not afraid to hear about politics, or discuss them. The first step to changing the tide of toxicity is to be open to hearing all views on the matter. We are taught that there can be no middle ground. That there is only Yes or No, Agree or Disagree…. and from these ridiculous notions comes hypocrisy.

    When you find your new platform, you can be sure I’ll follow along. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m looking forward to it, too. Not sure just where it’s going at this point. But will be good if I keep at it. I know what you mean about the truer blogging experience. Most of the bloggers I enjoy most have that unfiltered quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course I’m sticking with you! I’m happy to support you regardless of where you are, or what you want to talk about. And I know you have much to say about politics, and all of it important to building the kind of world I want my kids to inherit. It all sounds like the start of a grand new adventure!
    Go Gene’O!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah. I apparently do have things to say about politics. The trick is to figuring out how to say them, and where. How to be effective, rather than merely opinionated.

      I didn’t doubt for a second that you’d be sticking in.

      Like

  3. Whew. So much to say. This is a transition. Change is necessary for progress. So much I relate to. Growing up liberal progressive in the Bible Belt and the culture that likes to cling to the past. My mom (native of Chicago) is the only other liberal ally I knew growing up. I’ve been a minority in the political aspect most of my life. And I’m really tired of silencing myself so as not to offend others.

    Personally, this is exciting. The first time I “met” you it was when you were writing about mass surveillance. Take the gloves off… I’ll be cheering from the sidelines and I’m sure I’ll be joining you in the ring on occasion.

    Like

    • Yeah. It is a little exciting.

      This is a journey. I’ve had to get myself to the point where I can give myself perimission to be, not honest, but blunt. Almost there, I think. It’s the feminist discussions that have gotten me there.

      I feel so much better just for having written this, but this blog will not do. Five to ten political posts here over the next few months to establish that I can bring the quality, and preserve the projects that are working. That’s about all the gas Just Gene’O has left in the tank.

      I need some new digs, or else I just need to wander the blogosphere posting political things on other peoples’ sites.

      We’ll see how it shakes out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Or maybe both? Maybe work out the kinks here then start syndicating like crazy? We definitley need to start exploring that side of the blogosphere more. And I just realized I got a shout out below the Amanda Palmer video…awww…

        Liked by 1 person

        • hmmm. I don’t know. Kinks will require a lot of work, and I am afraid I hobbled this blog by replicating nine months’ worth of archives. I’ve not seen one single search engine hit since I moved over here and everyone who is interested in the political side of my blogging will certainly come with. Peeps have been clear about that. Also, if I’m going to do this, I want the potential to have adspace of my own, dammit!

          Some sort of migration is required.

          But a syndication scheme . . . oh yes. We do need to explore that.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Looking forward to the new endeavor… politics scare me (on oh so many levels) but I find them intriguing, especially when explord by intelligent and articulate individuals.
    As for Southern culture… also intriguing to me, bit I know SO little about it. Having spent my life pretty much moving from one northern liberal bubble to another I know there’s complete other cultures in my own country that are so deeply entrenched in people’s lives… intrigued. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The thing about Southern politics is: It’s not as homogenously right wing at the street level here as it seems from the outside, but things like districting are set up to advantage very conservative politicians, and we don’t have a lot of actually liberal people running for office. We have very conservative Republicans and quote/unquote moderate Democrats. The Republican party is dominant, but when you look at how they maintain it, it’s all about a 52/48 percent split most of the time, and even when Democrats win, well, they still support things that are conservative by the standards of the East and West Coasts, because they want win the NEXT election, too. It’s sort of a race to the right.

      Bit of a mess, really.

      And that’s about as much as I’ll ever say on the internet about the electoral side of politics. I didn’t pay much attention to elections when I studied politics, and haven’t been engaged with elections aside from casting my own votes for years. I care a lot more about cultural politics and various forms of inequality, and the courts are the place where most of the progress on those sorts of issues is made.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s probably more of the culture, really, that intrigues me. I know that it’s all far more nuanced than anything I encounter in media (I mean, I’ve got this whole slew of pretty awesome blogging friends who happen to be southerners….) so I think the way that the culture and larger political issues intersect is what I’m most interested in.
        Electoral side of politics is a mess everywhere… don’t get me started on a rant about what went down in Maine when I was living there, or the years since…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah. Nuance is difficult and we’ve got plenty of it. The way the media covers the south gets under my skin a bit (especially when I look at how similar the social problems of the lower midwest are, but I feel like the midwest gets a pass unless things get so bad in one of their cities riots break out — that could just be my persecution complex talking, though).

          But I’ve thought for a while that nuance is just beyond most of the media. It’s hard to do any news story justice in a two-minute voiceover or an 800 word story. And I don’t know how it is anywhere else, but EVERYTHING worth covering down here is complicated.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Two thoughts.

    One:
    “It’s the second decade of the… 21st Century and I still have to write about sexism, racism, and class? On BLOGS??? What what what?????”
    To be fair, there weren’t blogs as such until halfway through the first decade of the 21st Century… That you, or I, have a platform to preach at all is a huge step forward – and a potential for change. Let voices be heard.

    Two:
    My photo blogging on my personal blog (the only thing I’ve kept going consistently) has reached the point now that it is receiving as many (as few) likes as the Publicize share on Facebook is getting. It’s just not effective. I’m starting to think of wrapping up my operation there as well. Which is super sad, because what I’ve started sharing has been my sketches – and apparently they’re flopping? Or I started posting something interesting when the blog was already dead and I just hadn’t checked the pulse. And what’s sad is that not long before that, I had some of the best days ever there – great #WeekendCoffeeShare traffic. Maybe I’ll combine the two things… Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Write On! Does the Weekend Coffee Share, and that’s a writing craft blog. Sourcerer’s going to be doing the coffee share soon, too. I think the coffee posts can go on any blog, no matter what that blog does the rest of the week. And I think that if you want to share your sketches, you should build those into CG somehow. Don’t see why you couldn’t do that.

      I’m not a proponent of maintaining two blogs at this point, unless they are radically different and you have an audience for both. Put your content in one place, I say.

      Far as the racism, sexism thing goes. I take your point. It’s that I still have to be writing about this stuff at all that irks me. It should be settled by now, at least to the point that I don’t feel the deep and abiding sense of injustice that makes me act out on the internet over it sometimes. I’m fairly privileged. That I can see these problems at all is indicative of just how big the problems still are. And really. Should have been solved by now.

      I want my flying car already, dude.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As a history major, I don’t have much to say about the social stuff: I agree. Just thought the “on a blog” bit was amusing 😉 As a science fiction thinker, I still wonder if there aren’t ways we could be solving these issues that are entirely different from what we’ve done before. But combine the two and there’s the long view: changing individual peoples’ minds and what they were raised to see and to believe is hard. Raising the next generation to be better is easier. These things take time, because they take that literal refresh of the new generations. And we’re at a point that the generation today can have a voice, and can cry out, WHOA THERE CUT THAT OUT. To the world.

        Maybe that will speed things up a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe so. I’m looking at the social media at this point as property to be inherited, just so you know. Even though the individual blogs will rise and fall and evolve, the network (I hope) will persist. Can’t wait to start teaching the young ‘uns to blog.

          And I do think the demographics are on our side at this point. Millenials are poised to take over the U.S. Gen X is small — squeezed between the baby boomers the Digital Natives. Once the Boomers lose their numbers, Millenials and their children will rule.

          Liked by 1 person

      • As to two blogs vs one thoughts: rolling everything into CG would not be the worst idea in the world. Although my personal Facebook timeline shares get so much more traffic than the Facebook page does, so there’s that aspect for the personal blogging (ie coffee share). Of course, if I quit being lazy for two seconds, there’s going and sharing the post on my personal timeline… but that’s so much harder to do on mobile! And even I can’t find the CG posts in my feed: that’s how few views they get.

        Liked by 1 person

        • yeah. My page/timeline works the same way. On the mobile, what I do is search for the page, then share from it to the timeline with a one- or two-sentence status update. That’s the only value of the page at this point. To allow me to share to the timeline or drop the links into groups on my own schedule.

          And I think you are right about rolling it all into CG. I don’t see that as a stretch at all, and most of what I’ve seen you do at DBCII, especially since you moved away from the writing stuff, seems like it would be just fine there.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee… Are You Still There? Edition | DBCII

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