OK, I give up.
I’ve been a media consumer all my life, and now have the opportunity to add something to what I call the “mediaverse” that we are all living within. So here it goes:
Just a guy. I live in Southern California, although I’ve lived on the East Coast and in Europe. Middle-aged, straight, mostly white. Divorced dad with a crop of awesome sons. I can be emailed at eablair@excite.com, although I’m not the Eric Blair who is trolling the blogoverse so thoroughly.
I’m choosing not to identify myself – right now – for a variety of reasons. I’ll start by standing on the time-honored tradition of anonymous pamphleteering, which I believe blogging fits neatly into. My significant other has a fairly political job (although she doesn’t believe so). And finally, I’m trying to disassociate the value of what is set out here from any judgment you might make about me.
Because that’s what I am. I’m a Liberal – one who believes in the potential value of government action. And I’m armed – I own guns, and believe that the American political landscape is profoundly different because of the kinds of individual rights (I’ve never bought the collectivist 2nd amendment arguments) represented by gun ownership.
That tension – between a belief that government can, through its authority and power, move societies in good directions, and the need for strong individual rights – defines my politics pretty well, actually. And by extension, I believe it defines American politics in the 20th and 21st century awfully damn well.
Think about it. In the course of your daily life, how much of what you know and believe you know comes from your direct experience or the direct experience of anyone you know?
We’re blessed to live in a “global village” (thanks, Marshall). But the price we pay is that increasingly, our experiences are mediated – they are not experiences we directly sense or participate in, or even that we know people who sense or participate in. Instead, we have created professional classes who sense, review, and act on our behalf. We watch the results on paper or on computer, television, or movie screens. And we try and build out internal lives around what we are shown and told.
There are good things that come from this, without question. But there are problems as well. We’ll talk about this later on.
I tend to do things vertically – I buy all the recordings of musicians I like, read all the books by authors, etc. I also have not much time in my life, so here’s what I’m planning.
I’ll spend 30 minutes a day, and try and do two things: respond to the meme of the moment, and also try and extend a few arguments in some depth over several posts.
Let’s see how it goes.