Everybody Comes From Somewhere

March 10, 2018

A reminder

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 12:28 am

Sometimes, one has to accept that in what passes for leftist politics, there are too many who are recycling the same shit that should have been flushed down the proverbial toilet five decades ago. It is not often that I see reference to the Red Army Faction (i.e. Baader-Meinhof) and the “dirtbag left” referenced in the same column. From what I’ve observed, perhaps in some qualitative sense there is no difference. I’ve read probably much of what Ulrike Meinhof authored both before and after her decision to partner with the Red Army Faction in West Germany. If you are not familiar, they were known for robbing banks, bombing buildings, and killing hostages every bit as much as they were for their clumsy pseudo-Maoist prose. I have read enough to at least ascertain that as leftist organizations go, their sexual politics was cringeworthy, and that bunch of thugs was far from alone. Such is the case with so many others who have attempted to insulate themselves with progressive or revolutionary rhetoric. Such is the case now. Hate to break it to y’all (well not really – I’m enjoying this) but a left built on a foundation of unchecked privilege by (mostly) white males will burn down and sink into the swamp, just as has happened in previous eras. Sayin’ one thing and doin’ another just ain’t gonna cut it. If nothing else, after their 15 minutes of fame are up, the drop in podcast subscriptions and forced resignations of the current roster of phony leftists as their jokes grow old and they get caught in the act of exploiting those who might otherwise have been steadfast allies should wipe the smirks of some of those losers’ faces. One can only hope. If you’re going to build a left, you can’t just spout some socialist rhetoric while acting as if that gives you a license to call people cucks and cunts, just like their alt-right counterparts do on a regular basis. It does not give you a license to act casually dismissively towards those who’ve been raped, sexually exploited, or quite frankly exploited in any other sense of the word, period, nor to engage in such behavior. Figure out a positive program that promotes income equality, and is truly intersectional – it’s not that hard if you try. You won’t even have to lose the ability to laugh. Fail to do that, and the allies you lose will be lost forever – and probably to the people whom you apparently hate more than the right-wing. That’s right – you’ll lose those allies to those evil Democratic candidates and causes. Oh my.


January 23, 2018

Serious question

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 9:55 pm

Do you ever get the feeling when you interact with extremists on blogs (or social media in general) that you are dealing with people who would eat Tide PODs?

January 22, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 9:40 pm

I may not post here often, but I do check to make sure that this blog is still in one piece. I remove any spam comments, make sure no one’s moved any of the furniture, and usually log off without a word. Today, that meant changing the title of the blog to its original form. After all, there is a legacy to protect. Some very good people, nearly all of whom have vanished from the Internet Tubes, started this one up as a sort of an alternative to the meta-blogging that was pervasive about a decade ago. I’ve made sure that they all have their administrative privileges should they choose to come back. In the case of our deceased members, leaving their accounts here open is more of a form of memorial – a marker that they meant something to me, and to a whole community of beautiful human beings. In the case of the presumed living, those accounts exist as a means of holding out hope.

I’ll probably still use this as an occasional sounding board. Hey, after all it ain’t costing me anything. I don’t have the temperament of many of our kinder former members, and as my patience for most of the bullshit emanating from the cadre of self-designated “progressive betters” on the blogs, Twitter, and elsewhere on social media wears increasingly thin, my posts are likely to greet readers with a snarl rather than a smile. Just the way it is. I’m tired of the bullshit, especially at a time when the US is facing an existential crisis. If I had a wish, those of us in the Democratic Party and those factions to the left would come together, as this really is an all hands on deck situation. I know better than to pin my hopes on wishes. The more modest hope is to do what can be done to contain the circular firing squad among those on the left so that the idiots prone to do so don’t get in the way of the rest of us who actually want to preserve some semblance of liberal democracy for ourselves, and for those generations who follow and are counting on us to get it together.

September 30, 2017

Postscript: diane101

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 11:28 pm

Booman posted a very nice tribute to Diane not long after the news of her passing. A few of the regulars from back in the day payed tribute. I am hoping that enough of her memory lives on to continue a spirit of community at the Frogpond. We could certainly use it.

September 15, 2017

Rest in peace

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 11:22 pm

I learned late Friday that diane101, one of this blog’s contributors, passed away. She had made a brief appearance at Booman Tribune earlier this year. It was beautiful to see her writing once more. Alas, her time at BT was all too brief. She will be deeply missed, along with others who once contributed here who have passed away (Brenda Stewart, Scribe, Supersoling). So many others who once contributed here and/or at Booman Tribune have vanished into the ether. I can only hope that wherever they are, life is treating them well. We all have so little time on the planet before we fade away.

March 13, 2017

I’m at a transitional point in my life

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 9:23 pm

Actually, that title is slightly misleading insofar as I have been at a transitional point for several years. Midlife will do that. Over the last several years especially, I have increasingly questioned assumptions I once held. In the process, I have come to a point where much of what I once considered sacrosanct no longer makes sense to me given the context of life in the early 21st century. The sorts of movements and parties to which I might have, once upon a time, found attractive turned out to be little more than secular religions. Honestly, I never really had patience for that crap when I was younger. At this stage in my life, I have even less patience. Instead, I now consider myself increasingly an ideological agnostic. If you wish to use the term liberal to describe me, I probably won’t object. Oddly enough, recognizing that a set of beliefs was not working was a bit jarring at first, but as I came to a point where I felt comfortable explicitly stating so, I have felt increasingly liberated. The things that mattered to me long ago still matter – social and economic justice are always going to be a significant part of the fabric of my being. But I am merely pursuing those worthy objectives as an advocate and occasional accidental activist from a different angle, and one well within the mainstream of western politics.

March 4, 2017

Houston, we have a problem here – with the Alt-Left as well

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 11:42 am

This Vanity Fair article on the Alt-Left is one I want to keep bookmarked for a while. Although there are plenty of snippets from this article, which is the must-read of the weekend, this snippet strikes me as the crucial one (partially because this is something I want to address at a later date when time permits):

The alt-left can’t match that for strength, malignancy, or tentacled reach, but its dude-bros and “purity progressives” exert a powerful reality-distortion field online and foster factionalism on the lib-left. Its outlets include not only Jacobin but also the Intercept, one of whose co-founders is the inexhaustible Glenn Greenwald, lawyer, author, journalist, and crucial conduit for Edward Snowden’s stolen N.S.A. data to The Guardian; Web sites such as Truthdig, Consortiumnews, and Naked Capitalism; and anomalous apostates such as Mickey Kaus, a former contributor to liberal percolators of ideas and opinions such as Washington Monthly, the New Republic, Harper’s, and Slate, who migrated sideways and down to the right-wing Daily Caller, did a temporary hitch as a columnist for the Breitbart bughouse in 2016, and serves as a tweeting defender of Trump’s proposed wall.

Other busy beavers on Twitter include Michael Tracey, Freddie deBoer, Mark Ames, Connor Kilpatrick (a Jacobin contributor), Jeremy Scahill (journalist and Intercept co-founder), and similar fun guys. A Tumblr site devoted to “Trumpian Leftism” captures the intellectual flavor of their temperaments.

One of the alt-left’s political darlings is Tulsi Gabbard, a progressive congresswoman from Hawaii who met with then president-elect Donald Trump in Trump Tower and was rumored to be under consideration for a Cabinet position, and its quixotic preacher-man and noble leper is Cornel West, once an orator at every social-justice convocation who got so uncoiled by his rancorous contempt for Obama and cast adrift into the hazy fringes of the alt-left—see Michael Eric Dyson’s definitive autopsy, “The Ghost of Cornel West,” the New Republic, April 19, 2015—that in 2016 he supported the Green Party candidacy of Jill Stein, that stellar mind.

February 16, 2017

Leftism sucks

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 10:03 pm

That is the reluctant conclusion I began to draw a while back. My disillusionment stems at least in part to the factionalism that seems to characterize what we might think of broadly as the left (by which I mean a spectrum of non-capitalist ideologies, many of which have their roots somewhere in the writings of Marx and Engels to one degree or another). It also stems from the way that most of these factions appear to be little more than secular religions. Whatever shortcomings may or may not be found in the work of Marx and Engels, they at least made some effort to be scientific, as they understood the term in the 19th century. In other words, their theoretical work included an analysis of the facts on the ground at any given moment, against which they could test the theory. That is not what happens now. Quite the opposite really. We have prepackaged factions whose particular party lines must be accepted verbatim, or else one is shunned. Overlapping factions that could be the basis for alliances are shunned for their lack of purity. It reminds me of the idiocy I saw among Christian denominations that formed part of the basis for my eventual atheism.

Look, at this point in time, I don’t really see much that the left as it is currently constituted can offer our particular set of precarious circumstances. To be relevant, there would need to be some willingness among those self-identifying as leftists to rethink how they analyze events. Part of that will require jettisoning many of the labels used to describe particular ideologies or factions. One thing I began doing a few years ago was to primarily focus on authors’ ideas, rather than the authors themselves. I found that quite liberating. Leftist theorists and activists should do likewise. Rather than focus on labeling a movement or organization based on some now-dead (usually) man, label your movement or organization or party based on ideas. I’d avoid the label Communism at this point in time. That brand has been well and thoroughly trashed. Maybe Scientific Socialism or Empirical Socialism? Reality-Based Socialism? Something else altogether that gets at the basic idea? Whatever. Come up with something catchy but which describes the essence of what your party or organization is about. By focusing on the ideas, what I hope might happen is less of the personality cults that these old parties became and become more ever-evolving organizations that try theory in practice, examine the results, and change theory as needed. Since factions cannot be avoided, part of being reality based is figuring out what other factions are doing that appears to be successful and attempting to duplicate those results, or even better yet, pool resources and work together. Form alliances. Actually do the work needed to form effective resistance movements, and if given the chance, form effective governments. Yes, that will mean compromise. Yes that will mean acknowledging when ideas you thought might be right turn out to be wrong. Yes that might mean doing some critical thinking.

As I write this, I realize that this will probably go largely unread. Really this is more a blog for me to think aloud, and a space largely unread is a good one for such purposes. If on the off chance that someone does read these musings, please realize that at one point I found much to be valued of what we think of as the left. Obviously I was willing to self-identify as a leftist of a particular flavor at one significant point in my life. I still do think there is some theoretical work that has the potential to be of value in the 21st century to the extent that anyone is motivated to do the work needed to make that happen. Most importantly, to really impress me, I am going to need to see that whatever left emerges is truly one that values hypothesis testing, truly values examining the facts on the ground. If that happens, who knows. I might just re-identify once more. But in its present form, there is nothing for me. The left sucks. I wish it didn’t. Wishes do not make unpleasant facts disappear. End of story.

February 13, 2017

Serious question

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 9:49 pm

When does St. Jill Stein get offered a Cabinet position by Der Gropenfuhrer? Surely she should be rewarded for toadying up to Putin, right?



February 7, 2017


Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 8:57 pm

Jill Stein is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Regrettably, she has a good deal of support from the remains of the old “Bernie or Bust” crowd, who also tend to be a bit on the dull side. One thing I have to give them credit for: facts will not stand in their way of finding new ways to blame Democrats for any atrocity that Trump’s White House throws at us. Case in point: Stein blames Democrats for DeVos being barely confirmed as Secretary of Education.

Here’s the deal: the GOP has the White House and majorities in both the House and Senate. Because of the way Senate rules are written, Cabinet nominees can be confirmed with a bare majority vote. In the case of a tie, the Vice President casts the tie-breaking vote. All 48 Democratic Senators voted no. Two Republican Senators voted no as well, although those two could have arguably done more to prevent DeVos’ confirmation vote from making it to the full Senate floor. The odds of flipping an additional GOP Senator would have been long at best. Why? DeVos has been donating beaucoup dinero to GOP Senators, including the ones who voted in her favor, for years. So, the Democratic Senators did what they could, knowing this was likely a losing battle. Members of the public did what we could do by contacting our Senators, who studiously avoided contact with us. There is only so much that can be done when you are a minority party and have no means of successfully blocking a nominee without cooperation from the other party (and in the current climate, that is highly unlikely). So, we get DeVos, who will be a disaster. The worst.

There is plenty of blame to spread around. The GOP Senators who voted for DeVos deserve the lion’s share of the blame. They took her money and allowed her to buy a Cabinet position. Trump deserves a great deal of blame for nominating someone who is grossly incompetent and who will drive policies based on Dominionist theology, and who will prove to be an enemy of the very public education that the vast majority of us rely upon in order to prepare for employment, college, and so on. I’d dole out some blame to the holier than thou leftists who continue to shamelessly spread disinformation while standing in the way of those who might have some hope in hell of actually getting something remotely progressive accomplished, or at least successfully fighting the rear-guard actions that will consume much of our energy over the next several years. Stein is a useful idiot for the right-wing, whether or not she realizes that. So too are her followers. That will be a tough pill to swallow, but it is high time to tell it like it is.

February 6, 2017

One Decade

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 1:08 pm

Ten years ago yesterday, this blog was registered on WordPress. This domain would serve as a place for us to converse until our everbodycomesfromsomewhere.com blog was readied. That domain would last through much of 2007 and its last post was in the fall of 2008. Its final post was by me and had to do with events in Myanmar. That domain went dark the next year. I made an attempt early this decade to revive this domain. There was some initial success at bring back readers and commenters, but it never really took off as a community blog. At one point around 2007 and 2008 we had 30-something writers with administrative rights who actively contributed content. As of now, I am the sole regular contributor. Several of the original contributors are deceased. Others have sworn off blogging altogether. Others I have no way of contacting, and can only hope are okay. So the project is now a very modest one that amounts to being a sounding board strictly for me for the time being as I sort out the direction I wish to take for the remaining years or decades of my life as an advocate and very occasional activist.

February 3, 2017

What comes next?

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 11:15 pm

If there has been a silver lining around the very dark clouds that have descended upon us over the last few weeks, it is the sheer numbers of my fellow human beings who are willing to get out on the streets, march into airports, make noise and stop traffic each time the current White House occupant (who truly deserves no name, given his lack of moral compass) signs yet another outrageous executive order designed to further oppress those who already suffer. It is heartening to see antifa activists take direct actions against neo-Nazis, reminding us all that these (mostly) men are little more than cowards and that any of us can take a stand against their hatred. More than anything, this outpouring is a reminder that those of us who have wanted nothing more than equity and justice for our fellow human beings are far from alone. That is a truth that should have been self-evident long ago, but one which required a stern reminder. We have that reminder now, and my hope is that it can be sustained.

In my late teens, I was introduced to the world of politics primarily through street activism and direct action while I was simultaneously wrapping my head around theory. After enough years elapsed, and I watched organizations I helped form or had joined – and with them the people I called friends – come and go, I grew disillusioned. The actions make a splash. They are a spectacle, and I am still convinced more than ever a necessary spectacle. But the question the gnawed at me then continues to gnaw at me now: what happens when the last protester leaves the streets, when the last picket sign is put away? Is there a sustained network of people and organizations that can influence policy at the local level, at the state level, at the national level, even at the international level? Is there a willingness to coalition with individuals and organizations that may or may not adhere to your group’s particular way of thinking? If there is a willingness to do so, is there enough open-mindedness on all sides to make those coalitions enduring? Is there a willingness to compromise as needed in order to achieve some tangible reforms that might benefit real people with real needs? Are you willing to accept leaders and candidates for elected office who may well be flawed in order to accomplish a significant subset of your goals? Since theory does play a role in our actions, do you adhere to a theory that can be modified as new evidence surfaces, or is your theory one that must be dogmatically adhered to regardless of facts?

I ask these questions because from the overt behaviors I can observe from those who identify as leftists, I am not sure that the answers are ones that would lead to the sorts of sustained movements that can potentially succeed against an authoritarian regime. I am not sure that we have a left that can get past party lines and dogmatic thinking long enough to form meaningful alliances. Our left is and has been fragmented for a painfully long time. Perhaps it is beyond repair. The activists that I have seen on the streets in recent weeks care little about any of that, of course. The bulk of them are regular working stiffs like me, who want to know that the place they called home is one that they can feel comfortable living in, rather than one that fills them with shame and disgust. They want to know that there is a future for them, their kids, their grandkids. You can join them and form alliances with them – and find that you have much in common with them – or you can find yourself largely irrelevant. In the meantime, I hope that those new activists, and a few who are coming back into action after years or decades of inactivity, are willing and able to make the connections that they need to make in order to build the sorts of coalitions that can reclaim school boards and city councils, state legislatures, and Congressional seats, in the process forming a necessary firewall against whatever tyranny may be foisted upon us from the looters in designer suits who occupy the White House. Even if reasonably solid coalitions are formed, there is no guarantee of success. But doing so is our last remaining hope.

February 2, 2017

Our fallen friends

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 3:28 pm

In the years since this blog first came into being, and then later went largely inactive (the custom domain went dark in 2008), we have had a few deaths: supersoling, Brenda Stewart, and Scribe. So many others have scattered, and I honestly have no idea of how they are doing. I can only hope that wherever they have landed, that they have found whatever they were looking for. I’ll continue to use this as a sort of sounding board, in the process leaving the proverbial light on just in case someone from back in the day wishes to pay a visit.

January 13, 2017

Lefties? You’ve Been Had

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 2:04 pm

A quote from a recent column about how Putin cultivated the “Left” (in particular the followers of Stein and the most virulent of the Bernie Bros) in the US:

Ideologically promiscuous and unbound by the orthodoxies of a single party or historical narrative, Putin has cultivated dupes, fellow travelers, and purblind fools among plenty of American progressives who, whether by accident or design, have facilitated the rise of the most extremist and reactionary president this country has ever elected.

December 16, 2016

Why I left the Left

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 2:13 pm

I’ve been using this particular trip around the sun to do a good deal of reflecting, and to a certain degree putting closure on a few things that have needed closure for a long time. You might say I was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Breakfast of Champions, in that regard. I have a reputation as being a leftist that goes back more years than I want to count. And yet, this year was the year I reached my breaking point. I cannot pinpoint an exact moment or incident where I just said, “Fuck it, I’ve had enough.” Rather, I think this was a perspective change that was in the making for a long while.

One thing that oddly enough won’t change is that I still think there might be something of value in the work of Marx and Engels, and to a degree some of Lenin’s writings. The work of more existentially oriented thinkers like Sartre, Fanon, de Beauvoir, and Gorz paved the way for 1) examining the role of individual agency and choice within the context of massive social forces and 2) in the case of the latter three authors the introduction of the concept of intersectionality (the notion that forms of oppression are interrelated) even if they did not use that term per se. Gorz in particular was keen in his early work of expanding leftist organizations to include demographic groups that had been marginalized, which was a genuinely radical break from the usual focus on trade unions and working class politics and rhetoric. That work should still be studied and if feasible adapted to our current situation.

Thing is, I just don’t see the Left as it currently exists, as being capable of doing what needs to be done in order to fight the battles facing our century – a resurgence in fascism, climate change, and the changes in our ability to find work as our civilization becomes increasingly automated and as AI gets so sophisticated as to overtake workers in increasingly more skilled sectors.

Whatever faults Marx and Engels had, they viewed their approach as scientific. Now what the term scientific meant in the 19th century to political economists and other social scientists and what the term scientific means now differ a bit. But what Marx and Engels were willing to do was to test their theory against data (material conditions as they called them) and adapt their theory as more data came in. Today’s Left – in its many factions – shows little interest in doing that work. Rather, the Marxist-based parties and organizations have taken on a sort of secular religious form in which dogma is privileged over data. The problem is hardly new and existed long before I was a student activist. But I am keenly aware of the hazards of failing to toe party lines. This faith-based approach to leftism is doomed to failure. Our history is littered with its failures.

Bottom line for me is that leftist organizations that I have had experience with have been woefully ineffective both at achieving change and at reflecting on evidence that might lead to needed adaptations to become more effective. In order to be effective, these organizations would need to form coalitions, engage in compromise as needed, and eschew party lines in favor of a more evidence based approach to activism and/or governing. Most leftists of various stripes that I run into today and have run into in the past are flaming dogmatic assholes whom I would increasingly not want to give so much as the time of day. The more successful actions I was involved with as a student were ones that involved organizations that fit within something more mainstream, and I am increasingly convinced that as a much older individual are the organizations I need to affiliate with going forward. The coalition of voters in a local election earlier this year reminded me of just how “unlikely alliances” could form for the betterment of a community under siege from neo-fascist elements, and how successful those “unlikely alliances” can be if given a fair shake. One consequence is that I ended up joining the Democratic Party, as I still reside in the US. I am certainly not uncritical of the way the 2016 campaign was conducted both at the primary and general election. For its faults, it is currently the only viable party that can combat a Trump regime’s worst excesses, and may be our one hope at achieving some semblance of successfully retaining some of the benefits that living breathing human beings rely upon. I’ve looked for alternatives. They don’t exist. Spouting party line propaganda or engaging in meaningless theorizing (on or off the internet) does nothing to serve people who really do need advocates for their day to day needs. In my personal life, I am focused on my local Democratic party and what it can accomplish. So in essence, I have transitioned to tactically being a liberal. Despite what happened nationally, what I got to experience locally was personally gratifying.

It comes down to: do I keep doing the same thing over and over again and remain miserable, or do I try something that actually seems to make a difference and as a consequence allows me some semblance of solace? I’ll take the latter any day. That may be a bitter disappointment to some and a pleasant surprise to others. Personally, I’m indifferent either way. But if I can be part of a solution to real problems, I can go on with a sense of purpose that I honestly had not felt for a long time. The last year has been freeing.

November 13, 2016

Why We Are Afraid

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 10:10 am

This is a Tumblr that got set up in the aftermath of Trump’s electoral college victory (note he lost the popular vote). So please visit Why We Are Afraid, and note how abuses against people of color, LGBT individuals, those belonging to religious minorities, and so on are being subject to abuse at a dizzying rate.

November 5, 2016

There are no innocent bystanders

Filed under: Meta — thebokononist @ 9:15 pm

I am in a meta-blogging mood as of late, and this perhaps as convenient an outlet as any for me. In my twitter and Facebook feeds, as well as on some blogs I still frequent, I will see some of the last of the third-party dead-enders state that they are not responsible for the outcome of our upcoming election. Their hands are clean, they argue. They are but innocent bystanders, and it is either the Democratic Party standard bearer or those who support her who are responsible should a Trump victory ensue, and they are the ones responsible as my dead-ender acquaintances have made crystal clear, when Clinton turns out to be a warmongering neoliberal and all-around nasty woman.

Sounds wonderful. It must be nice to live in a world in which one has no agency at all. The only problem is that there is no truth to that fantasy. A choice is being made, even by those saying they are choosing not to choose. A man far wiser than me once stated something along the lines that “when I choose I chose for all mankind.” That wiser man was someone named Jean-Paul Sartre, during his early existential-humanistic period. When we make a decision, we are advocating for that decision. We are saying with our actions what we believe is best. My acquaintances are making a statement, and whether they realize it or not, they are making one by default if nothing else. In a sense they get to live in bad faith – having it both ways. They make decisions, but can claim that since their decisions don’t really matter that they bear no consequences for their actions. I wish them luck with that. I really do. If only life were so simple.

I have made some choices myself. One of which was to rejoin the Democratic Party and support as best I could Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Sanders had a greater than expected run, but came up short. So given what our only other viable party was foisting upon us (in the form of Donald Trump), I have opted to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign in whatever capacity possible. I do so with eyes open. There are many reasons to be concerned, but at the end of the day, a third Obama term struck me as far superior to that of the rule of a wannabe Mussolini. Let’s just say I am getting some flack for doing so. Nor am I terribly surprised. Had Sanders been the DP nominee instead, I would be getting the same flack from many of the same suspects for supporting his candidacy.

We could dream of a better system for choosing leaders in the US, and I have certainly offered ideas of what better systems might look like. But we have to deal with the concrete reality of what is available in the here and now, in the absence of any viable alternative. As things stand, my hands are visibly dirty. That’s what comes from making difficult choices and owning those choices. But the truth is, those claiming clean hands are in denial. Their hands are dirty as well, as they too will have made choices, undoubtedly difficult for them as well, that will have impact on the lived reality of their fellow Americans, and people around the globe. None of us can escape that particular reality. We do have to live with our choices. I can live with mine. Can you with yours?

Consider this a start of a series of posts on why I have stopped identifying myself with the American “Left” – even as my core values have remained the same. I will have some things to say over the upcoming weeks and months as time permits. An almost unread blog is probably the best place for me to gather those thoughts and refine them at least a bit before putting them to more public forums. To wit: I really did not leave the “left”. Rather “the left” abandoned me, and I was in denial until quite recently.

October 23, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 5:19 pm

I’ll be going through and changing broken links as time permits. I did clear out the very little bit of spam that had polluted the place. Still deciding what to do with the blog, and increasingly thinking this will end up a personal blog for me for a while. I hope that those who might still occasionally lurk will like the changes I make and those who still have accounts will feel free to make their own if they so desire. Take care of yourselves.

October 15, 2016

I am still here. Does anyone else remember?

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 1:16 pm

A decade ago, the blogger who probably brought most of us together, first as a group of dissident bloggers at Booman Tribune, then at Mo Betta Meta, and finally here, died. Ductape Fatwa as one of those rare individuals who could be simultaneously divisive but with a degree of politeness and empathy often lacking on blogs and social media more broadly. He is very much missed by me. Our little group fell apart over time. My interpretation was that there were a handful of people who were really the glue who kept us together and without them, there was no us. I go back occasionally through the archived posts and comments at BT, MBM and here and see names from the past who are now ghosts. I always hope that everyone is alive and well, even if it has been years since many of us have been on speaking terms. So much has changed since we all scattered away. What conversations could we have had during the OWS era. How are we reacting to BLM? How do those of us who represent any form of left progressivism (whether liberal or significantly more to the left) build a firewall against a rising right-wing nationalism not only in the US, but elsewhere across the globe. How do we find ways to comfort and support one another during such turbulent times? How do we handle the multiple crises we will be facing due to climate change in the ensuing decades in a way that minimizes further damage to our environment, and is truly just in the treatment of those most vulnerable to the ravages of a warming planet? I wonder. I know I have made some personal decisions in the last year that will seem like a sharp break from the line I might have take previously. Call it mid-life crisis, call it some sort of awakening, call it something more pejorative, but it is real. In the meantime, this particular community that once existed is gone and in all likelihood will never return. If it did I would be tremendously but pleasantly shocked. My quixotic attempt about five to six years ago to “get the band back together” ended as one might expect. So, I may still use this as a sort of personal space, but I have no hope of seeing a return to what once was. I can only wonder what might have been. If someone from the old days hears my baby tapir siren and wishes to chime in, I would be more than grateful. Your accounts have been left as they were and your administrative privileges still exist as we all had intended, as a community. Wherever you all have scattered to, remain well and let’s hope we can ride out the storm apart if riding out the storm together is not an option.

February 27, 2013

We’ll met again. Don’t know where, don’t know when.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebokononist @ 11:08 pm

I have cut blog activity to practically zero. It all comes down to paying the bills. The work I’ve lined up recently does so. Blogging…well, not so much. I won’t remain silent forever. Stay tuned…

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