Saturday, December 9, 2006

Hi, there. Time to yawn.

I'm going to squander the first post on my new blog by taking about what this blog is NOT going to be about.

Lincoln Park Fieldhouse at Night. Image copyrighted 2006 by Joseph DunphyIt's not really going to be much about my personal life, at least not the aspects of it that I enjoy. Just reading this intermittent stream of prose that you'll be finding on this site, you might get the impression that I'm a lot angrier and more cynical than I actually am. Why? The very fact that it is intermittent might give you a hint - I'm leaving out a lot. The things that I feel good about at the end of the day are things I like to share with people in my offline life, and I make a point of keeping that seperate from my online life for reasons which should probably become obvious if you look over my sites. What I was encountering was not a good time, and I'm glad to be away from those people. That one of them, who figures prominently in one of the stories, years later still says that he loves to tell stories about somebody he interacted with briefly back in 1997 (or was it 95) should tell just how crazy these people really are.

I have no desire to join them in their dementia, and the character of the pages associated with this blog illustrate my lack of enthusiasm. As I say elsewhere, I tell my side of the story, let the page do my talking for me, and forget about it, because I can, and advise others to do likewise, because this nonsense really gets old after a while. "Hey, Joe, who was that guy back in '96 who lost it because somebody wouldn't believe that apricot herbal smoothies would cure AIDS". I don't know and I don't care. This blog is set up in much the same spirit.

A lot of it is catharsis. Something about life in this city annoys me, I post about it, blow off a little steam, and that takes care of that. What does it do for my readers? I wouldn't pretend to know. Maybe offer a little reassurance that when they get frustrated, they aren't alone in their feelings? Maybe give them a little ammunition when they deal with a few of the apologists for the status quo? I don't know. Mainly, this is therapy.

Which is not to say that this is going to just be a gripefest. I plan on posting reviews of places I've been to, here in Chicago, as time and finances allow. Why not? On general principle, such things should be written from a position of relative anonymity, even if they are being published in a location as obscure as this one, and there are so many Joseph Dunphys running around in my neighborhood alone that even without using a pseudonym, I can still stay a little anonymous. These are going to be humble places because I'm not rich, but some of them can be fun.

What you're not going to see are comments about the latest updates to my sites - that's what my homelist is for, and you're not going to see a lot of commentary about national politics. Bloggers have done that to death, and it's a depressing read, anyway. When our illustrious current president went on the record suggesting that the problems of the bangalored researchers of Silicon Valley could be solved with a stint in junior college, seemingly blissfully unaware of the fact that many of these people had advanced degrees already, and offering no answer to the obvious question of how an associate's degree was supposed to win for these people what a master's or a PhD could not, the nation defined itself through its response. An answer like that one should have rendered the man a laughingstock, but it has been taken seriously by commenters who have compared outsourced R and D jobs with buggy whip making jobs - implying that technology is itself, technologically obsolete in our Postmodern world.

In an abstract sense, this all matters a great deal, but no matter who we vote for we get basically the same imbecilic policies; American democracy has become a polite fiction. This being said, there is some merit in the idea of trying to not think about that which one can't fix, no matter how hard one tries. Are there bigger issues out there than whether Garfield Park or Lincoln Park has the better Christmas show? Probably, but I've long since given up on butting heads with those who will never listen to reason, and as that's a fair description of practically the entire US electorate and its semi-democratically elected leadership, we'll stick with the flower shows. It's better for my blood pressure, and I get more done when I'm happier.

Rome's going to burn whether I fiddle or not, so I might as well play a few notes, know what I'm saying?

Tweedledum and Tweedledee