Monday, September 01, 2003
Final Transmission

"All these worlds are yours...."

Oh wait. That's not right. But dig the crazy 2010 references!

Okay, this is where it was going to say "I've moved," and all that good stuff.

And, in fact, there is a new web site somewhere with a new URL and new blogging software all installed. Okay, the templates were still in development. And HTML/CSS visual design is not my strong suit. Visual design never was, from my first spirit-duplicated "Daily Planet" to the high-school magazine I edited to the college paper (called "thursday" when it came out on Thursday, and "monday" when it came out on Monday -- with a beautiful Cooper Bold Italic logo) I worked my way up through the ranks of, if a quasi-alternative university "community" paper could be said to have ranks. See, I do have pseudo-journalistic cred; i.e., like many other bloggers, I worked on a school newspaper way back when. And even some once-upon-a-time leftist cred: Remember the "process discussions"?

But, to be honest, I'm currently long on somewhat more important things to do and short on ways to increase the number of hours in the day. The school year has started in full regalia.

So the relocation is suspended, and blogging is going on an extended hiatus.

I'll likely rework the new site into some kind of mackandtim.com or .net kind of thing and use the stupendous amounts of disk space for photos, maybe audio. If I can ever figure out all this newfangled music production stuff.

This has been an enormous blast. Two folks who I think are wonderful, but very distinct, examples of what human-sized blogging can be all about are Dragonleg, with his Shattered Buddha blog and Mark Lane with his Flablog.

The permalinks over there show the rest of the first few tiers of my daily blog reads, and I think it's not hard to make a good case that some, even as I enjoy their writings, need to move up a few pegs from the agit-prop Trotskyite "for us or against us" attitudes that latch onto labelling a good dissection of stupid arguments as "Fisking" and calling the hateful or stupid -- or those just plain disagreed with -- as "Idiotarian." I'd like to think that that kind of thinking doesn't really have much currency in the world we live in where actual life-and-death decisions are made, at least as far as I can tell.

But, the blogging world, like much human socialization, has its cliques. Like most human cliques most are horribly embarrassing when looked at with any degree of detachment. Especially the clique that is made up of all the ones who couldn't get into The Clique in high school or college or at work or wherever.

I find that being on good terms with as many people as possible has a lot of advantages, and being part of any clique works against that. In the long run, I'll take the solo route if I can.

That doesn't mean I don't enjoy being part of a gang of gay ex-Memphians who blog and who have several other attributes in common. I like that a lot, but it's not like we're going to take over the world. Or even fantasize about it. Let's put it like this: I think that those that I'm thinking of would at least be aware that they were fantasizing when they were.

I think 9/11 is still very very important to be aware of. I think that to the degree we try to pretend like enough time has elapsed that its impact isn't relevant at this time is not, in many senses, wise. I believe, unfortunately, that radical Islam would not stop even if it controlled Mecca and Medina and Jerusalem -- power corrupts, etc. -- and that many of those who believe that way will continue to threaten free peoples -- or North Americans and Europeans and substantial numbers of Asians and most Latin Americans these days and increasing numbers of Africans, and the Israelis, if you think we're just all controlled by the big corporations and that representative democracy is a sham.

Threaten with death. Threaten with destruction. Threaten with subjugation.

While our individual, national, and global pasts may have brought us to this point, with plenty of wrong, hateful, and stupid moves on everyone's parts since time immemorial, nothing in that past justifies the actions of radical Islam. Those who believe that way base what they are doing on their traditions and their book, just as radical Christians in the USA continue to attempt to justify wrongful attitudes towards some on the bases of their traditions and their book. Luckily we live in a part of the world where those radical Christians are restricted to some degree by other traditions and other texts, like, say, the US Constitution. But there's only a short step from vouchers to madrassas, so it could happen here if we're negligent.

Would/will those radical Christians try the same murderous tactics that the radical Islamicists do? Hopefully we never get to find out. But the radical Islamacists continue. Today, tomorrow, next week.

I don't think they should not be allowed to achieve their aims. I think that free individuals should be allowed to worship as they choose, but that aggresive religions -- like collectivist or totalitarian or facist political movements -- must be restricted, preferrably by custom but, if necessary, by law.

I regret that stopping them requires, at times, the use of physical violence. Or killing. I respect those who thoughtfully disagree with using so much or any force, but I prefer not to live in the first phases of several hundred years of a very dark age. Or that such an age come to be while we are alive to stop it.

N.B.: "Radical Islam" does not equal "Arab." Saying "the Arabs this, the Arabs that" is just as stupid as "the Jews this, the Jews that." It doesn't fit. At least take the effort to pin things down to the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, the Egyptian government, etc. There is groupthink, but as long as there are individuals, attributing groupthink to attribute groups is, in fact, not accurate. Formal organizations with formal processes is one thing, but "the Jews," "the Arabs," "the Gays," etc. just doesn't cut it for me.

Exceptions matter.

Individuals matter. Individuals are all that matter, in the long run. Groups are just accidents of attributes that belong to individuals. Sorry if that is disrespectful to your individual traditions.

So don't forget 9/11. Don't forget that there really is a "they" out there that wants to kill "you." Just for being born where you were. Just for being who you are, whether that's American, gay, Jewish, or a female human who enjoys having sex. Much less all of the above.

Okay, please forgive the rant, and please forgive this entirely too-sloppy exit.

It's been fun not-working for you. Thanks to the regular few readers and to all those who made it this far. Blogging may resume at some future time, but don't hold your breaths.


Let go.