Monday, June 4, 2012

Because I need to stop yelling at my friends

So I created a blog. That's right, after all my displays of just how incompetent I am re: any and all computer-related tools and how amazed I am by the simplest things a computer can do (e.g. my "Oh my god did you guys know Microsoft Excel can do math for you?!" 2009), I am creating an electronic blog.

So why now? Well, I recently graduated from SUNY Geneseo and ended my tenure as a student journalist after four years working for the school's student newspaper (since 1922!), The Lamron. While primarily a news journalist for my first three years, I was also a fairly regular op-ed columnist. I viewed this as an opportunity to encourage the campus community to engage in productive and honest conversations about pertinent issues, primarily issues of race, identity-politics, ethics, and difference. At the same time, I would be dishonest to represent my role as a columnist as removed from personal desire; I got a lot of satisfaction out of being able to have my voice heard (or, errr -- read) across the campus every week I wrote a column. I got to synthesize my thoughts on events and issues which I found particularly pertinent into (usually) concise arguments which I could present to a public readership. WOW! That was very important for me as someone who reads EVERYTHING in terms of macro-politics and who also feels a need to constantly speak his observations and thoughts out loud.

But that changed when I graduated. No more Lamron, no more columns.

And honestly, I've felt stifled. I need political discourse. I wake up in the morning and eat my breakfast while watching CNN. And I talk to the television -- out loud -- during segments.

And sometimes I even started talking at people who weren't even arguing with me. I was out to dinner with Sarah and one of us (probably me) brought up politics and I started to basically argue against an imaginary opponent. It was an imaginary conversation inappropriate for the actual conversational space in which I was currently engaged, and frankly Sarah did not appreciate it.

So I obviously need an outlet.

Hopefully, this will be it.

And I'm looking forward to it. I won't have a word count like I would in a print newspaper (though I should probably act as if I do since brevity is a problem for me). I can embed links within my writing, which will make citation much easier (I think). There will be no deadlines, so if I'm having a particularly motivated week, I can write three or four posts, and then take a week off if I'm not feeling the writing bug bite. Not everything has to be an argument, either, which means I can share my more exploratory thoughts before they're well-crafted arguments (not that I ever published a column in The Lamron that was less than thought-out...right?).

So yeah, this seems like a good idea. At least for me. I do still hope someone reads it once in a while and maybe even some good conversations get started. Because, really, my motivation to engage in political discourse is ultimately a motivation which springs from a desire to make the world a better place in which to live. At heart, I am a seeker of capital J Justice. And I think blogging can be a small way to do a little bit of the work necessary to find it.   


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