The Internet is a drug with increasingly toxic effects. I’m done with it.
On Saturday I filled out Comcast’s online service cancellation form. Comcast being Comcast, their retention department will now call and arm wrestle me to to stay, as if my slow, grandfathered Internet service were a prize they’d do anything not to lose.
But I’m done.
This doesn’t mean I’m going away from blogging.
I did think about that. I even had a date in mind; but I couldn’t take my head from idea to plan. It seemed ungrateful, almost traitorous to stop. Not to mention a good way to get seriously poor, seriously fast.
So for all of the above reasons, I’m not ceasing to blog.
More likely, though, I’ll have something to say about once a week (Friday or Saturday, probably). And with luck it’ll be content-rich, although it’s not possible to guarantee that. I’ll write what the week brings, profound or shallow, long or short, relevant or irrelevant.
But I’ll do it from the library.
Those who’ve been around a while remember other times when I was offline due to money or to the simple fact of not having access after a life event. But this time I don’t foresee coming back.
The Art of Manliness had this great piece this weekend on how our current cultural move toward minimalism is one way of saying we feel politically helpless.
We retreat into cute, tiny cages and strip our lives (or so we think) of complications because we realize the concept of citizen empowerment is mostly a lie. Some of us go back to family and farm when we realize we’re not going anywhere but into danger, but the urban majority creates a gospel of smallness and purity — purity in what we put into our bodies and how it’s produced and the virtues of small environmental footprints and such. With Marie Kondo’s moonbat notions of keeping only those possessions that “spark joy” being just the latest and most extreme manifestation.
How did we get to Marie Kondo? How did we ever get to the point where even men claim inspiration from that most delicately unrealistic of all household philosophies? Just because it’s minimalist to the point of being Eloilike?
I understand retreat. That very, very first line in my very, very first “political” book was born from a need to retreat and regroup around our own personal lives.
It was about retreat, but rising from defeat and taking some more productive direction against tyranny.
I’ve never been opposed to retreating, as opposed to being stuck engaging an overwhelming enemy head-on using their own tools on their own turf. But there’s retreating to a cave for respite and regrouping and there’s retreating to a cage and pulling the door shut on yourself.
Which it seems more and more people are doing.
There is a third course, though, between a strategic retreat/regroup and an attempt to curl up like a worm, making yourself small to avoid pain.
The third course isn’t for everyone and rarely ever for the young. But it is to withdraw from everyday life, choosing a retreat, but to make the retreat itself your resistance and your statement. You’re not there to re-form the ranks for battle; nor are you there entirely for safety (although, that, too).
You retreat from the world of everyday in hopes of focusing on some higher reality. Your turned back speaks for you — and the message is clear and sometimes surprisingly threatening.
Or at least you tell yourself a story like that. The reality may fail to live up to the plan, if plan there is. Could be you’re actually becoming useless while deluding yourself.
Doing it right takes discipline, focus, and a high toleration for boredom, traits I am not known for. It takes confidence and a strong belief in one’s own beliefs. Good luck with that.
But this is history’s course: Societies slipping beyond salvation produce hermits whose very lives are a statement and a rebuke.
I recently reached A Certain Age. Until a couple years ago, I saw getting older as all beer & skittles (although I don’t like beer and have no idea what skittles are in that context). Then over three or so, I’ve begun to glimpse what they say about old age not being for sissies. I’m still in generally decent shape, but things when they hit, hit hard, and often two or three hit at once.
I’ve become increasingly impatient, looking around the ‘Net and not only not finding interesting news, but finding more and more cruel, vulgar drivel. And sadly finding less and less commitment to liberty. The speech police, the economic tyrants, the cultural destroyers, and the anti-gun fanatics who want us dead are all in the ascendancy. And there doesn’t even seem to be a principled libertarian resistance any more.
I, myself, feel as if I have no answers. I just look back and … cheer at the occasional light in the darkness, hoping (and sometimes even believing) some 30-something will be rising, torch in hand.
But I am done.
I have no idea exactly what I’m going to do during hours once occupied by the ‘Net or Netflix or finding material for that almost-daily blog. No plan. I just know that life is short. And as addictive and perpetually tempting as the online world is, I don’t care to spend however long I’ve got — be it two years or 20 — in that combination of an opium den and medieval madhouse.
More as I go along …