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Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Why it's so hard to blog these days
Posted by Jill | 5:10 AM
Sometimes I wish I'd made a conscious choice to blog about being middle-aged in America, or about cooking, or about cats, or something else pop-cultural and relatively insignificant in the larger sphere of things. Perhaps I'd feel somewhat less like I'm carrying a boulder on my back all the time. But doing this seems like a chore most of the time of late -- a chore and an exercise in futility. It's not that much different from when I managed to bang out a review of Unleashed in 2005 and realized "This just isn't fun anymore."

Part of it is that instead of being able to get my necessary 7-1/2 hours of sleep every night I'm up at 5 AM in order to leave the house by 7:15 for the Job That Ate My Life. It isn't that I don't LIKE said job; and I'm damn lucky to have it. It's challenging, it pays decently, and I work with great people. But when the reality is that you are out of the house from 7:15 (6:15 some mornings) and most nights don't get home till 6:30 PM (or later if you manage to squeeze in a half-hour at the gym), and then have more work to do in the evening, you end up with a house that you'd be ashamed to have anyone enter, and a spouse whose patience with the fact that all you do is work makes him damn close to a saint and who deserves more of your attention than he gets, how do you even breathe, let alone do insightful articles about the Important Issues of the Day?

This is why you've seen little here from me lately but in-depth articles about Olympic figure skating and funny videos. Because when I sit down at 5 AM, and start looking at various news sites and other blogs, I'm so horrified by what I see that I go into a kind of paralysis. I'm not the only one getting to this point. Our good friend DCap, one of the best bloggers down here among the rabble (as opposed to the Big Boys and Girls, for whom this is What They Do instead of something they do in stolen moments), threw in the towel at the beginning of February. Richard Blair gave up at the beginning of the year. Carrie of Carrie's Nation, who used to contribute here, just up and disappeared one day, going so far as to delete her blog.

I'm not about to go that route, even if only because I have no idea what I'd do with myself without it. Going into my home office after pouring a cup of coffee, turning on the monitor, and starting to read is something I do on autopilot at this point. On the other hand, it would probably take the rest of my expected life to just clean up this house. (And no, don't tell me to hire someone, because this house has to be purged of effluvia before anyone can effectively clean it, and after last week's snowpocalypse, all of my shrubbery is pretty much destroyed, which is going to require huge expenditures of cash to have it all dug up and replaced in the spring.) But when I read stuff like this, and this, and Cookie Jill's Sunday environmental news, and when Driftglass has to hold a fundraiser in order to continue, well, you know things are at a sorry pass indeed.

It was one thing when we had an inept boob as President, a soulless ghoul as Vice President, combined with ruthless bought-and-paid-for Republicans in Congress for whom ideology trumps EVERYTHING, including the good of the country and feckless Democrats, bought for usually less money, who are scared of their own shadows. But now we have the same Congressional Republicans and Democrats, combined with yet another President playing out his childhood baggage on a national stage, one who's smart enough to know better, but just as inept, and a Vice President who ought to be better able to help him navigate the morass known as Capitol Hill. And what do we have? Continued war, continued mass surveillance of Americans, continued worship of Wall Street to the exclusion of everyone else, and an impending huge transfer of workers' wages to insurance company executives. So what's the difference? Democrats aren't trying to create an evangelical Christian theocracy designed to bring about the Rapture and they aren't trying to jail women for having miscarriages? Because Jesus and female sexuality are about the only playing fields on which there's any difference anymore.

So if you don't see daily posts from me for a while, don't fret. I'm just trying to regain some equilibrium here.

UPDATE: DCap is dipping his toes in the water again. But for the most part, the only ones of us who aren't just plain exhausted are guys like Bustednuckles, who in a parallel reality, are the Tea Party -- only with rage pointed in the right places and minus the stoopid.

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Anonymous tata said...
Can I bring you a SHRUBBERY?

Anonymous Skepticat said...
Keep on keeping on. You're appreciated.

Blogger Nan said...
You captured my mood perfectly. The ineptness and the blown opportunities, the spinelessness, the Dems behaving as though they're a minority when they're a majority, the total unwillingness (with a few notable exceptions) of anyone to come right out and call a lie a lie. . . it is indeed paralyzing.

Blogger Mauigirl said...
Don't give up. I am finding it difficult as well. For one thing, it is always easier to write about the total skullduggery of the right wing when they're in power. If what is supposed to be your own side is in power and you're still not happy, then what do you do? I still support President Obama and still think he has great intentions. But I did expect he (and Biden, to your point) would be better at getting things through Congress. And sticking to his principles even if it means political risk. We'll see what happens with health care. I hope they can manage to get something passed that at least improves the situation. In the meantime, please do keep blogging, as Skepticat said, you are appreciated! And we'll be missing Dcap, his leaving is a big loss to the blogosphere.

Blogger Bob said...
Keep playing. Finding something different to say about national politics is not easy. I can't face all the serious crap first thing every morning so I let you pick something. I also really enjoy when you spin off in another direction - skating, movies, TV. So write whatever suits you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hire me to write for you! Seriously, this is the first blog site I have ever found as required reading. Although we have differences of opinion (rarely) you have an insight and a perspective that is hard to find elsewhere.
Destress yourself and remember, "It's only a movie."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Please do not stop. The News from the NC papers is impossible!!
As another person wrote, "even if you write about other topis, keep writing.
Your Southern Friend, R

Blogger Distributorcap said...
the hiatus helped me - but i also realized that i cannot do it every day -- too draining. so i take baby steps back

i will say that you have been one of my biggest inspirations and i have learned tons from you - even if about figure skating and cats.

Blogger Gabriel Shanks said...
I admire you so, B@B. As someone who stepped back, way back, from his blog (and has been immeasurably happier for it) I understand the need to prioritize your offline life. May I suggest that you cut yourself some slack, only write when the spirit moves you and time allows, and see what happens? When the tail no longer wags the dog, it's a far happier animal. (The blog, not you!) - ModFab

Blogger Cujo359 said...
I did what you're doing for a while, Jill, blogging every day and working. It's tough to do, and when you get no joy from it, it's damn near impossible. Take care of yourself, and do this when you can.

There are plenty of us out here whom no one in power is listening to already.