"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Billmon Drops Out; Pause, Breath, Revelation

Billmon was one of the great pioneers of the form we call blogging, and now he's gone on perminant(?) hiatus. He left behind an editorial in the LA Times which takes the blogosphere to task in essance for selling out.

On the one hand I don't think quitting because the revolution seems to be on hold is really top form. I understand that the pressure is at an all time high, but one would think the syndrome Billmon decries would be all the more reason for him to get his voice out there. On the other hand I do from time to time feel like I've lost some of my authenticity. Hence this series of confessions.

The beautiful parts of the past year and a half, my great adventure in politics and blogging, have mostly been human. It's been about the relationships and the personalities and seeing through them to a better future.

The web is crisscrossed many times over, and though it's complecated like that, I wouldn't have it any other way. Back when I had time for things that made me feel good, I used to run a little performance art variety party called axiom with my friends in NYC. On the last performance night, just before I took off to California for the Summer of the Hassle and then to work for MfA, Frank and I did a piece that incorporated work by Billmon. He was in town, so he showed up for it. It was a great night:

The atmosphere was friendly, but also had moments verging on the revolutionary. Frank and I set a tone early with our quasi-political pomo comedy routine which incorporated a little scene by Wonk Web Celeb Billmon. We were basically talking about our own amateur wonkishness vis-a-vis that of a true warrior, and we included a scene Billmon wrote that we thought was kind of fun. Billmon took video, so maybe some of that will surface. We were experimenting with getting into political territory without making anyone uncomfortable, making it something that people can then talk about, pioneering.

Over on BopNews my pal Matt is wondering what it all means. Noting that "the blogosphere has not produced its Hunter Thompson, its unique and compelling voice, its own sense of difference, its own politics." This echoes thoughts I've had.

Matt, if I told you when we were up there in the echoing upper decks, watching Kerry give his acceptance speech I was squirming in my little blogger-ally bench seat under the sharp press of clean Tennesee LSD -- which is true -- would that make any difference? It wouldn't, I think, because I kept the experience to my self. For fear of embarassment, job security, or something along those lines, I held something back because I internally judged it improper. Without all the professional relationships I'd built in the past year, I would never have been able to sneak my way into the Fleet Center, and the desire to protect and retain those relationships kept my trap, for the most part, shut.

In Augusto-Boal terms, I let the cop into my head.

I haven't the gusto to get into it now, but I will say that my trip -- the whole 18-months as well as the psychadelic flashes -- has been a full and rich tapestry that some day I will meticulously and brutally document. It might perhaps have an outside chance at claiming redheaded stepchild status vis-a-vis Fear and Loathing, but I don't know. There's plenty of grist for the mill, but I'm just not that good a writer yet, and in spite of my declared allegance with the truth, stepping into the naked lunch in the way I'd need to to do it right is a frightening prospect after a year of career.

But it's got to be done. I need to get out front or else the odds are I'll just wind up another cog in the machine. That would be like death. It's a hard thing when you realize the right path for you is not going to make you financially secure or roundly well-liked. I flashback to Baadasssss at this moment. After the 2nd I will need to go to the desert.

Blogging for me is an extension of an old aphorism that I've been living with since childhood. Don't get a job, get a life. Matt notes that we all need to get paid, but wouldn't it be great if you could collect a paycheck just for being yourself? That was the promise, and there was an idea that this promise would marry with next-generation politics and something really beautiful would be born. Instead we've got what we've got, which is anything but pretty. It's hardly even fun anymore, this election-time blogging.

The question before us is this: what do we do in these last five weeks. I think we cut loose.

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You might ask yourself why you drank something like 10 beers and took several doses of whiskey, or you might just go looking for succor in ibupophen and coffee. Me, I'm thinking about going back to bed.

Something in the drumming inside my head makes me thirsty for northeast cold weather, historical lovesick echos from Northhampton and Vermont, dreams of sex like religion amid the autumn leaves. The coffeeshop full of happy couples; children; beautiful people.

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I Can't Wait For November 3rd

Confession: I wish the election were yesterday rather than six weeks ahead. While I'm looking forward to the bit of political theater we call "The Debates," this campaign has become (to quote our Secretary of Defense) a long hard slog. There's very little excitement or surprise, and no fun whatsoever these days. Barring major unforseen developments, there's nothing likely to change the dynamic in the next six weeks. Fuck it; why not pull the trigger now?

There are logistical and of cource legal reasons, but I don't find them all that personally compelling. You might call it an attitude problem on my part -- problem because it's a mindset that can prevent me from making major breakthroughs in my work -- but I'm not going to pretend it doesn't exist. For all intents and purposes my life is on hold, has been on hold for some time, for this event, and I want it over with. The feeling I have now is honestly one of watching the clock in grade school, and in the mean time there are things I'm lacking.

New clothes? Wait until after the election. Romance (or even unhurried coitus)? Wait until after the election. Quality time with friends and family? Wait until after the election. Rekindling the creative process? Decorating my room? Yoga clases? Vacation? Fun? Wait until after the election.

No one's imposing this on me but myself, of course, and no one can fix it for me, but that doesn't make the situation any less intolerable.

It struck me out of the blue this afternoon: I'm bored! I haven't felt bored for the better part of a year. Lonely, yes. Depressed, yes. Exhausted beyond imagination, many times; but not in recent memory have I felt the listless and unfocused malaise that is my childhood nemesis.

You see, before the engine of adolesence gave me angst and pathos to tussle with -- and even after -- I was bored out of my mind a lot of the time. Thinking back, I believe the crushing weight of boredom did not begin to receed until my latter teen years, when I discovered good friends, advanced placement classes, acting, the school newspaper, drugs/alcohol/partying and then moved to New York City (where the only way to be bored is to be braindead or broke) in relatively short order.

I was thinking earlier today how stressed out I am, and how the only thing I can compare it to in terms of magnitude of effort is at the end of my college career when I wrote, directed and produced a full-length play while simultaniously finishing my academic requirements and working two jobs. I was thinking of this not because that was four years ago, during the heat of the 2000 campaign which I ignored, but because I'm having a hard time focusing lately, and in that last week of production my friend Frank dropped me a little care package which included whiskey, powerbars and some of his adderall.

I was wishing again for that pharmaceutical whetstone to sharpen my edge, but I don't know if it would help or not. The situations are somewhat non-analagous. There's much less structure to what I do now, no classes, no real boss, no set understanding of the products which are expected (essays, plays? no no, son, build me a social movement, mkay?). I have no advisors watching over me and offering sage advice. The work is in someways creative, but it isn't stratching that part of me that itches lately. It's a pickle, and I'm not above attempting to use chemestry as part of a solution to the problems I face.

But confessing all this makes it somehow easier; more engaging; less boring. The system works! There are other more hairy truths to disclose in this investigation of "why I'm not a really happy camper" lately, the hariest of all -- as always -- having to do with other people. I'll get there. The process is sound.

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Ego Translations

I just watched Gone in 60 Seconds on TV, mainly as a means of sedating myself. Tube is just like any drug, a thing you do to tune your experience, and some times it's a good one for calming you down or numbing you out. Sometimes that's a pretty healthy thing to do. Anyway, it wasn't really all that bad a film. Some of the characters were great. Robert Duvall looks like he's having fun doing his rusty old man schtick. Angelina Jolie is a genetic freak. Nicholis Cage, while much more convincing as a human being, makes an ok action anti-hero.

As typically happens, dipping my head into the stream of popular culture produces new trains of thought, getting me going on ambition, drive, stride, purpose, etc. It's been a rollercoaster these past six months, many personal highs and lows. Sometimes it feels like I'm bullet-proof with holy ghost power, other times I wonder where it all went wrong. I seem to maintain a pretty high opinion of myself, though. I do tend to think that I'm special, but the kind of personal clarity I can recall at other points in time is lacking.

I haven't felt at home in a long ass time. That's one of my recurring life-things, feeling like an outsider. Lately when my mind wanders that way I end up sinking into past brushes with coupledom. I search back for moments of peace and the first few things I remember are other people's beds, which then leads me to ponder why I didn't really ever treat any of the good women I've know all that right. Why I never made an effort to hang on.

It's a lonely Koenig lately, occasional hookups notwithstanding. There's a kind of visceral hunger that comes along with this state. It's like when you've been drinking for a while, and you're getting thirsty from dehydration, and you keep hooking down cold beers, good "drinkin' beer" like Pabst or High Life or Tecate, with an almost animal intensity. The ritual act of symbolic quenching just throws more fuel on the fire, most likely until you hit the wall and loose consciousness. I tend to resist judging any of this; in the midst of fever there are glorious moments of clarity and pure reeling sensation; insights and kicks and maybe even adventure.

So I find myself inconsistantly lusting around, eyeing pretty things but not really reaching out to touch. The surges are strong, but fitful, and my personal self is such that there's very little connection, follow through or ownership. It's kind of like being a teenager in that I'm reluctant to lay claim to my desire, a procrastinating lust, but without the thrilling electricity and danger that comes with innoncence. My forebrain knows pretty well by now that with a little focus I can proabably get whatever I want. The problem, really, is wanting something enough to focus, to reach, to expend energy without guaranteed return. That's a trick I haven't mustered in quite a little while.

Bringing it all back home, like always the story of women is the story of my life. I'm hungry, restless, but the path is dark and the way forward unclear. I've been forced to think beyond this election that's been my obsession for so long and I realize I don't have much of a game plan for myself. I don't want to continue my current lifestyle, but I don't have anything better lined up either, and that's a problem. I need to spend some time on personal development, some time of recreation and simply being a social being again. I want to write books and see the world. I want to do so many things; a sea of possibilities, as my man Mark says; but first I've got to renew my sense of who and why I am.

So it's about role indentification and rekindling the passion. I'll do it. I'll find that inner reserve of hope or faith or trust or whatever it is that's kept me going times when I've been down -- and I've been down much worse than this; this here's just confusion and fatigue -- it's just that I'm tired and frustrated and I don't have any good methods for any of this. It's all a crapshoot until I strike a good new vein of energy.

Like the song says, they say the darkest hour is right before the dawn. Buck up and bear down; the way will emerge in time.

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Confessions. The truth always feels better.

It's a new category, an attempt to get back to the roots with this old website. Things are starting to move again, and I've got to get right with my ethos if I'm going to have a rat's ass chance at being happy with the future.

This website started out as an exercise in truth-telling. It was immediately a failure, as I failed to publish the rather personally-significant details of my love life. I've generally been cadgy about posting about girls, partly because I don't believe it's really my truth to tell, and partly because I'm shy, and partly because I'm don't want to appear over-eager, over-critical, or over-concerned to others.

Lately my own love life hasn't been much to shout about. This page has been static for quite a while. I've been uber busy, true, but I've also let a lot of things slide. I've been more compromising than I aught to.

The position I find myself in at the moment evades my attempts at lyrical description. I am a bundle of abortive and often disconected desires; fickle, not because I am flighty or distracted, but because my impulses are checked, tethered, and most distressingly unowned.

I'm being vague. Details will emerge over time, as I decipher the way of knitting these things together so they make the overall meaning. I'm all for telling dirty stories, but I'd like to do more than that.

Confession is a form I'm very interested in creatively. Have been for a while. Time for some praxis on that.

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