Five years. (And 602 posts.) Literally a handful of years. (And a heartful.) There is a theory that the Roman numeral V represents a human hand, and the numeral X symbolizes two V hands set point-to-point. It seems obvious that “prisoner’s hash marks” — counting the days in groups of five — owes much to our five-fingered hands.
Five is a human number. Small enough to seem fundamental; big enough to be interesting (two and three are so boring; four is kinda square). Five puts the prime in prime! It’s also part of an easy trick for making large right angles (for laying out fields and building pyramids), and it’s the first substantial anniversary gift (paper, cotton, leather, silk, wood).
Five years ago I started this blog…
That seems long enough that, if it were ever going to become a thing, it would have by now. Not that becoming a thing was ever a goal. I had hoped to find more of my own kind, but that small group seems swamped by an interweb vox populi whose values I just don’t fathom.
There is some comfort in realizing that I’m hardly alone. Bloggers who write about scientific or philosophical material (especially the latter) almost always have small followings. That sort of thing just isn’t as popular as it used to be.
Which gets me back to values I just don’t fathom. That, I think, is the crux of my problem with the world these days. All value judgements aside, my value system has always seemed at odds with that of the modern western world.
That sense has gotten stronger — much stronger — in the last decade or so. (And it’s hard not to draw a very strong causal correlation between this and the rise of the interweb and mobile devices.) The result is I find myself disconnecting from more and more from social institutions that once attracted me.
For example, movies and television.
It’s not that really good movies don’t exist anymore. It’s that they’re so vastly swamped by the shallow, mindless, intelligence-insulting shit people seem drawn to these days. The bar for entertainment is so low it boggles my mind.
I’ve realized that I’m totally over superhero movies (and TV shows). This year I’ve stopped watching Agents of SHIELD, Supergirl, and Gotham. I realized they weren’t doing anything for me and that, in the case of SHIELD and Gotham, I actively disliked most of the characters — the new Jim Gordon is another ignorant asshole just like the new Jim Kirk, and I’ve grown to loath Daisy and Mack.
And that right there is one of the biggest sticks in my craw. I am sick of ignorant asshole lead characters. I am sick of “good” guys doing bad things that the script turns into good things. I’m sick of the by-the-gut brute force approach to life that seems to permeate so much of our media.
Columbine. Tucson. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Orlando. We fill our lives, our movies, our television, our games, with lying, aggression, and violence by the “good guys”… and then wonder why these things happen and, gee, why can’t the politicians do something!
I’ve written about these things many times, both in posts here and in comments on other blogs. Ultimately it seems little more than a writing exercise.
And a chance to vent. Perhaps it’s come down to that. A chance to vent. If I can’t change anything (most of you don’t even seem to believe me), I can at least vent.
This has been an outlet for my urge to create and share things that interest me, but to be blunt, the effort designing & publishing takes has not been rewarding to me, so I think it’s time to change the equation.
I’ve written similar posts, usually on this blog’s anniversary or sometimes as a New Year’s post. I’ve said before that I intend a change of direction, so you would be justified thinking, “I’ll believe that when I see it.”
I think this time I mean it, though. Something about blogging has become onerous. There is still a modicum of pleasure in writing a post, but the attached freight has become too heavy to haul. Regular readers (all one or two of you) will have noticed my one-a-month pace lately. Even that has been something of an unwelcome effort.
Simply put: I’m not enjoying this anymore.
But there are times when venting sure feels good. I think maybe it’s time to take off the gloves and indulge myself in some bare-knuckle brawling (it certainly couldn’t make this blog or blogger less popular).
And I’m good and tired of spending hours finding (or often making) the best possible images to accompany the posts. The effort clearly isn’t recognized, so no more pictures! (Unless I have a really good one I want to share.)
So consider this a warning about a significant sea change in these parts. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more cute images in textual counter-point. Until further notice (don’t hold your breath), this blog will probably just be me spitting nails at whatever topic irks me.
Will it help anything?
It will be fun for me!
You might want to avert your eyes.
To be continued… Very soon…
 For whatever it’s worth, my values come from the literature, art, and religions, of western (and some eastern) thought going back as far as written history does. Distilled, one finds consistent threads of value analysis and illustration that form a framework of tried and true human ethics and morals.
One looks for the things that persist across generations and societies, the things that — time and again — have been discovered lighthouses in the fog of human civilization.