During the last two years or so I’ve found it increasingly impossible to speak civilly to people about politics. I’ve never been a big fan of civility, but during this period I have often found myself insulting people who didn’t in any way deserve it. Without being more specific than that, I apologize to those people.
So about a year ago I quit commenting several on otherwise perfectly nice sites just because politics was sometimes discussed there, but too often in a way that infuriated me. I don’t hate anyone anywhere, but I just couldn’t take it any more. I continued posting on my own terms here, at Open Left, and at a few other places for awhile, but recently I’ve discontinued that too.
Trying to quit. My fans know that I’ve been relapsing a lot, like someone quitting smoking, but I’ve been sticking to the goal. I’ve now deleted all but six of my political bookmarks — though on Facebook, alas, I still end up doing a lot of politics anyway.
I’m not sure that I have any political role in the world of today, and the political future I see is dim. As far as I can tell, the best we can hope for (and it’s not a sure thing at all) is something like Rahm and Barack forever. People who like those guys will not understand what I’m saying, but there are a lot of people who will.
This has been a personal crisis for me, but it isn’t a spinoff of any other personal crisis. I’m solvent, living indoors, in good health, on good terms with the law, and not in danger of involuntary commitment. It’s possible that my pessimism is the result of a chemical imbalance in my brain, and partly for fear of that I’ve only shared it with a few people before this. But when I’m not thinking about politics, I usually feel fine.
My political ideas remain about the same, and I have all the respect in the world for those who are continuing the fight. I still frequently visit Open Left, Firedoglake, Glenn Greenwald, Seeing the Forest, Dean Baker, and a couple of other sites. But in my opinion mainstream liberals and mainstream Democrats are complacent, deluded, out of touch, and often corrupt, and while they’re not the main villains by a long shot, they’re the ones I get the maddest at. And I’m not sure that anyone knows how bad things are going to get.
At Haquelebac I do culture only. Sometimes my politics peeks through, but nothing there is intended to have a political effect.