A lot of you have seen the cartoon. A man shipwrecked on a desert island writes a letter requesting help, seals it in a bottle and throws it into the ocean. The punch line varies based on the philosophy or the humor of the cartoonist. Maybe a bottle washes up with a sarcastic reply or maybe he is rescued and one day finds his bottle floating up to his home port or maybe his own bottle returns to him unanswered or maybe some pirates or cannibals find it and come to finish him off. But the idea of sending out a cry for help to the world is a powerful concept. It appeals to our feeling of solidarity with humanity.
In a way this blog is somewhat like that. Trapped in my little corner of blue state America it’s easy to feel isolated and trapped. Of course, that’s not completely true. I have my friends and family and acquaintances that align with my way of looking at the world (for the most part). And I can read the right-wing websites and even watch some of the non-leftist content on a few outlets that still haven’t cancelled it.
But in a lot of ways the world I remember is being erased and my world is contracting. Thirty years ago public radio used to be fairly entertaining. Now it would be like listening to fingernails on a chalk board. I used to like watching a ball game occasionally. Now it’s just another chance to insult me. They’ve whittled away the things that made life fun. Even the movies have become unwatchable. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
So, I had to invent my own game, my own fun. I look at the world and I write out my thoughts and I put it into the bottle and I hit the enter key and it travels around the world and sometimes I get an answer. It could be a yep or a nope or a pat on the back or even occasionally a middle finger but it’s an answer, it’s a voice, it’s an affirmation that the rest of you are out there. It means I exist. You comment, therefore I am.
So that’s the secret of this blog. You all are the power source that make this blog work for me. I get my motivation, my validation from your presence. Even those who don’t comment but come back every week or every day or even several times a day reinforce my reason to write. Sure, part of it is that I just enjoy the mental exercise of reasoning about the things going on in this crazy time we live in. There’s value in figuring things out on paper (or pixels) and I think better when I write things down and I enjoy posting my reviews and my photos. But I mostly enjoy sending out my thoughts and ideas out into the internet ocean and getting some bottles floating back with some replies.
So thanks to all you folks out there who show up and read my notes on the shores of this infinite ocean. It’s nice knowing you’re out there and don’t be afraid to say hello if you have the urge to do so. I can always use the company. It’s an awfully big ocean.