I Got Wood
Oh, get your fucking minds out of the gutter. You know damned good and well that wood is the traditional 5th anniversary gift. And whose 5th anniversary is it for what?
Well, today's my fifth anniversary of blogging. It was the day before the first of the Iraqi elections. Remember all the purple fingers all the idiot Republicans were holding up during Bush's 2005 State of the Union Address in February and how they thought he was a fucking genius for forcing Democratic elections on people living in a massive war zone, people who were killed by insurgents as they walked out of the polls, people who weren't given their food ration cards until they voted? The election with the 10% Sunni turnout in which the ballots had to be taken to Jordan because Iraq was too unstable for the votes to be counted, the results took months to come in and most of the candidates had to campaign in secret so nobody knew who the fuck they were voting for?
Yeah, those elections. That's what got me into blogging, that and the second stolen election less than three months earlier. It was also about the Iraq War itself, a war that came not to merely define a presidency but one that would redefine the presidency itself.
Well, about three thousand posts, three blogs and two and a half million hits later, where the fuck has it gotten me? Despite writing some of the most insightful and perspicacious political posts on this side of the tracks, I still haven't been blogrolled on a major blog, am studiously ignored by 99.999% of the blogosphere and am even reviled by my so-called colleagues simply for trying to get people to see the truth. On a good day without linkage, I'm getting, after all these years in the trenches, maybe 400 hits daily.
Basically, I've met the same fate my creative fiction writing has. For some reason, except for a precious few whose antennas happen to be tuned to my obscure frequency, whatever it is that I'm doing seems to be inspiring the liveliest apathy in those whose attention I try to solicit.
I know writing talent isn't a factor any more than is my presentation or research.
I've stubbornly stuck to it, tried not to be temperamental about being ignored during the year and a half-long run of this blog, I haven't threatened to quit. But reputations die hard and I have one for being a quitter. I guess it'll always follow me.
Frankly, I never thought in the beginning or for years thereafter that I'd still be doing this. Blogging is the most addictive form of writing for an OCD personality like me. There was never a five year-long period in my life in which I wrote 3000 poems or earned even the fleeting, transient attention of hundreds of thousands in any one year. I'd developed as a political blogger much faster than I ever had as a poet or a novelist so I can't say my time has been entirely wasted.
I've found myself saying that in the beginning I honestly wouldn't've recognized Karl Rove if I shared an elevator with him and the learning curve is quite steep if you start out from a position of near ignorance as I had.
But, as always, I can't say the rewards have been worth the sacrifices, the loss. Perhaps my incessant blogging and obsessive alarm with the direction my country was taking contributed to my losing my family. Sure, I could've done other things and no one ever demanded that I take time away from my family so I could entertain or educate the piddling masses I typically attracted.
But I had and the payback has been miserable. These past five years I could've taken all that time and energy to write 10 or 12 novels and at a time when it was a little easier to get the attention of a stupid literary agent instead of producing only one and getting form rejection letters for all my hard work.
It's obvious that save for a tiny fraction of 1% of the readers out there, I've overstayed my welcome. Sure, I've been linked and frontpaged on James Wolcott, Andrew Sullivan, Daily Kos, Eschaton, Huffington Post, The Nation, Crooks and Liars, Buzzflash and hundreds of other blogs and sites but they quickly forget me. I have to remind them I'm still out there. Blogging's been the only constant in my empty and ever-changing universe. And I don't think I can do this, anymore. The hits aren't there, the comments aren't there and it's obvious that I'm not reaching enough people to fill a Fiat. My last Assclowns of the Week got one comment. Most of my hits come from stalker ex girlfriends, trolls and perverts looking for porn. Pottersville's been turned into the real thing, a ghetto for guttersnipes and sickos and I never intended for it to be that way.
I don't think I can do this anymore.
I was writing to a poet friend of mine earlier this month. When we first began corresponding, he was about the same age I am now. I was a 21 year-old desperate for a critique on my poetry. No one can write in a vacuum indefinitely so I'd pester people. Like I'm doing now.
Just yesterday, yesterday, I tell ya, I was in my 20's. On the 16th I turned 51 with even less fanfare than my rotten, ungrateful, thieving, sociopathic family gave my 50th. I still think I'm getting better and better as a writer at an age when most writers start to dry up and wind down.
So I want to concentrate on my fiction and to try to sell some of it before I dry up. I just thought my 5th anniversary was a good time to just hang it up at least for the time being.
I need to concentrate on my fiction, on getting a job. It's unimaginably hard out there, perhaps even harder than you guys realize, and I can no longer justify the expense of time, energy and spirit that it takes to keep Pottersville one of the best (in my opinion) political blogs out there.
I'd say, See ya around. But I can't guarantee that.