It’s been a bad-news couple of weeks. Developments in the world have sucked — from those multiple anti-Fourth Amendment court decisions through the re-inflicting of UnPatriot Act provisions to individual horrors like the sadistic abuse of Star, “the dog who lived.”
In fact, it’s been a bad month starting with the jingoistic blood-lust over the assassination of bin Laden and the murder-followed-by-ever-changing-sheriff-blame-the-victim stories of Jose Guerena.
But then (as I’ve been reminded lately reading histories of the Middle Ages), developments in the world mostly suck, and always have. At least when they involve governments or conscienceless sociopathic sadists (but I repeat myself).
I deliberately avoided blogging much of the month’s rottenness. Others were covering the bad news and I just didn’t want it here. This is, after all, supposed to be “Living Freedom” — and being free is not supposed to be about being jerked hither and thither by rotten news created by even more rotten malefactors and their malodorous institutions.
But try though I might, it got to me. Yesterday afternoon, I caught a tune going round and round in my head: “Maid of Constant Sorrow.” That’s the girly version of the old folk song, “Man of Constant Sorrow,” which you might remember from The Soggy Bottom Boys of O Brother, Where Art Thou?
It wasn’t the lyrics, which are just standard country misery, but the concept — being a person of constant sorrow. Which is what the world will inflict on you if you let it. Between the bad news and worries about some wonderful people who are going through hard times, I let it.
Well, to hell with the ceaseless din of dismal developments. I don’t want to blog an endless stream of bad news. I don’t want to blog cynical, snarky rants. Not all the time — even though I suspect that blogging cynical, snarky rants about bad news would probably triple the readership and sell more books. Snark is entertaining. Indignation makes people feel good. Even being “of constant sorrow” feels good if you can convince yourself you’re suffering because you’re so Sensitive and Noble that the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune perpetually wound your Saintly Soul.
And it feels irresponsible not to blog the scariest news that — like it or not — affects us all, even though others who specialize in privacy or police brutality or law and regulation can do it better.
Which is why I added that topic-delineated not-quite-a-blogroll over the weekend. In the future, you want to watch video of the latest puppycide — go see Radley Balko. Want to know which part of your toddler the TSA wants to grope next — visit one of the blogs under the privacy heading. Want gun news? David Codrea and Mke Vanderboegh are your friends. I know, you probably pay them frequent visits, anyhow. But now that I’ve put the specialists on this page, I feel like I’m off the hook for at least some of that stuff. (You never thought I was on the hook, did you? But I did. And now I feel better.)
Oh, that’s not to say I’ve sworn off ranting. Of course I’ll rant. And I hope you will, too. The comment section can use some good rants. And good links to bad news. Go to it.
Nor am I going to turn this blog into your daily dose of Happy News. There’d be about five readers left at the end of the week if I did that. And I wouldn’t be one of them.
But Living Freedom needs to be what its title implies. It needs to be a refuge, a sanity break, from the relentlessness of BAD. It needs more of this and less of … well, constant sorrow.
Ranting is easier, and so are quick newsbits. So if I really cut down on the rants and news items, that also means I’ll probably cut down a bit on the frequency of postings. But I’m going to do my best to bring you news you can use, practical freedom tips, as well as some non-sappy uplift, and make this blog live up to its amazingly pretentious name.
I should probably even write another book: “How to be Happy While the Whole World is Going to Hell in a Handbasket.” Seriously. I should. Probably ought to read it, too.