I was sitting with a friend of mine the other day and we were talking about how we like to write. She likes to write poetry, I like to write about politics, two completely different styles. We also talked about letting other people read what we write. She’s seclusive in her writings, while I remain an open book, typos and all. I told her about Abe Lincoln who used to write letters to people he was angry at, then he’d rip up the letter and nobody ever read it. Those letters were a release of his frustrations. I suppose the same could be said of her… and why I write.
In her case, she writes her poetry on paper and the only people who will know what she’s written is the Department of Homeland Security, the evil minions down at Google, and herself. In my case, my writings are scrutinized and the most ignoble thoughts criticized. Yes, it’s often that bad, you get criticized for the smallest most idiotic things. I suppose Marcus Tullius Cicero said it best “When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.” It’s especially true in politics. When you make a case for what you believe, those who disagree with you will attack you, and the dumber they are, the more personal their attacks become. Unlike many other bloggers, I can take the criticism. In fact, there are a couple of Louisiana websites who still refuse to link to us because they couldn’t handle our criticism.
Maybe I should send them a gift certificate to go shopping at the mall. Maybe a certificate to a salon where they can get a perm and put the man in manicure. Maybe I should call their mommy and have her put some chocolate chips in their pancakes. Have her put some cool whip on top with warm blueberry syrup and melted butter, then have her tell them to forgive me for hurting their feelings. The sad thing is, they are grown men I’m talking about. Men… on the Right who absolutely have no problem criticizing others. Maybe I could get Oyster to kick them where they are wearing panties and see if they still have a pair attached. These people make Cenlamar look like John Wayne.
Ironically, while Oyster often criticized me much more than most, I never took his criticisms personally. He can be annoying and a nuisance, and coming from me he probably will take that as a compliment. I do think he’s misguided and often wrong, but I do believe that he’s genuine in his beliefs and he does what he does much for the same reason I do. Maybe it was a respect that I have for what he did, that I want guys like him out there to oppose my views. I heed the advice of George Orwell, “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”. I want Republican legislators criticized as much as I criticize Democrats because I know, if we can criticize, we have some freedom left.
But there comes the answer to why I write. Edmund Burke is most remembered for his saying, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” I suppose Oyster sees things much in the same light, that he wants is what he believes is right for the country and he stands for what he believes in. I certainly hope that this is the case.
Am I going to save the world? Probably not, but I accept that. I don’t write to save the world, I write because if I don’t speak out, I’m just as liable for the state of society as those who do wrong.
If there is something else that I think Oyster and I can agree one is that we are not owned, we are not paid for, our thoughts are our own. Like us our not, we choose to be free. As Søren Aabye Kierkegaard noted, “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” It seems to me so many bloggers see what other people are writing about and then they have to go write about the same subject, saying the same things that others said. They have freedom of speech, but they have no free thoughts.
I can’t speak totally about Oyster, only he knows whether he’s honest in views or if he’s just another talking point memo. I’m not one of the evil minions down at Google or a thought officer down at the Department of Homeland Security, so I have to rely on my perception.
I do know why I write. I do know who I am and I’m proud and I’m passionate…
I choose to be free.