Sometimes people ask why I blog.
It's not like I've got a million readers. Usually I keep blogging for a few weeks or months, and then I start to attract fifteen, twenty readers. Maybe a few more at times. Definitely a few less at others. Then the blog goes dormant awhile, and they quit looking.
It's not because I ever expect to make any money at it. I won't.
When I was in college, studying to be a classical pianist, I had an obsession with dark, angst-filled music. I had no interest in playing happy pieces. Either depressingly sad or bitterly angry were the only pieces that were worth practicing to me. Anything else I did out of sheer necessity.
At the time I thought it was 'cause I was more angst-filled than most people. Heh. Yeah, just like every single other 18 to 21 year old male who has ever lived. A decade or so later, it makes more sense. It wasn't because I had an excess amount of darkness in my soul - I just had no outlet to express it! I could easily tell people when I was feeling good. Everybody loves to talk about good times. But there's only so much whining and bitterness that anybody wants to hear. So I took all of that, and expressed it in my piano playing. I poured forth my anger through Beethoven, my loneliness in Rachmaninoff.
Mozart? Please. His happy, fluffy music served no purpose for me.
Now I'm a professional musician. Not a particularly lonely or angry one, at that. I still love the dark, passionate classical music, but I don't need it to express myself. The role of music itself has taken a different form in my life; I no longer need it to express myself - I use it to help others express themselves. More on that in a later post.
Now I have a different problem. In college, I had friends to talk to. Not about important stuff like relationships, jobs, and events. No, we talked about philosophy, politics, life, death, all the esoteric and abstract babble that has always and will always fascinate me. We pondered, and argued, and debated. Nothing was solved, but a great time was had.
Most people quit pondering a year or two into their careers. If not then, then kids definitely kill it. Not everybody, of course. But at this point in my life, I no longer have anybody to talk about abstract theories and observations of life with. It's not that I don't know *anybody* who can engage me intellectually; my friend Danielle, my friend Kat, my sister's new man Ed - they are all a blast to bullshit with about these things. Unfortunately, every one of them lives in another state.
For awhile, I tried debating with people online to get the same sense of intellectual engagement. It didn't work. The typical online argument goes something like:
Me: X is false, because _______
Them: Oh yeah, that's just stupid.
Me: Um... What's stupid about it?
Them: Nobody agrees with you.
Them: You think you're smarter than most people, huh? You're just a complete moron with an arrogant attitude. I bet you liked Hitler.
That's an exaggeration, of course. It generally takes twelve to fifteen posts to bring up Hitler.
Regardless, I still ponder things. Some of them I talk about with people in everyday conversations. There are three areas that I can't, though; Politics, Education, and Gender Issues. These are off limits to conversation.
It never ceases to amaze me how close minded the majority of people are about Politics. I have carried on many an enlightening conversation with Trotskyists, hardcore Environmentalists, Secessionists... Many a "fringe" group member will be glad to debate the merits of their position on logical grounds. But a Democrat or Republican? Not so much. If you're not part of the "mainstream," then your thoughts are automatically wrong, and not worth even considering.
And gender issues? Woe be to he who dares to believe that men and women are different! Sexist! Disgusting! Pig! (Unless he believes women are superior, of course)
And talking about Education is a lost cause. The only solution 99% of people are willing to hear is give more money to the schools. The thought that there could be something fundamentally wrong with the very concept of our public educational system is anathema.
So this blog has become my sounding board for discussions of politics, education and gender issues, observations about which I've made that I am simply not allowed by society to express in public, and since have no friends nearby interested in such discussions, I write them here.
Sometimes life gets in the way, and I don't have time. And the blog lies fallow. But probably not in the next few months. There is too much going on. We are seeing events of such monumental import, and nobody seems to be taking notice, because we are too fascinated by who Bret Michaels is going to choose as his Rock of Love, who is going to get kicked off of American Idol next, and when the Obamas get their new dog.
So I'm going to be busy on here for a little while. There will be posts about music, as I've been doing a lot of pondering about that. There will be updates on my life, as the occasion arises.
What I would love is for people to leave their thoughts, whether in approval, or even better - in logical opposition! I don't pretend for a second to hold the monopoly on correct thought, and there are few things I love better than finding myself to be wrong about something!
Of course, first I have to get my readers back. And that might take awhile.
Also, future posts will have more humor; I promise! This is just a lengthy way of saying I'm back... And telling you why.