I made an observation about my relationship to this blog last year that feels very true to me, and at the same time I don’t think I really understood it. (which is sort of a strange phenomena, but alas.) I noted for myself that I think I am at my best in this blog (and I in life for that matter) when I am at my most gentle. Retrospectively, that actually means a couple of different things, and I don’t think I ever really grasped how that actually manifests in this forum.
I’ve started this weeks post several different times, trying to tackle several different things, and I got part way through on each one, and like clockwork each time ended up deleting the whole thing. But I wasn’t deleting these for the reasons I thought I was. This wasn’t a result of me thinking “oh this is bad, this is bad writing, this is a bad idea”, but rather, I ended up thinking “Is this how I actually talk about this subject, is this genuine, am I being gentle?”
I think the question of gentleness then manifests in two different ways here. On the one hand, one of the reasons why I was struggling with these posts is there was a lack of gentleness in the writing itself. It would often feel like I was pushing to try and tackle really big ideas, and it always felt somehow really outside of myself, like I had to put in extraneous and unnecessary effort to do this posts.
But this is where the second issue of gentleness comes in, the one I haven’t clocked for myself. I would then catch myself doing this, and then punish myself by deleting everything. There was a lack of gentleness in the attempt to allow gentleness.
And while I think it is good for me to note for myself when I am drifting into extraneous and disingenuous territory in relationship to big ideas, I never let myself acknowledge, I fucking love big ideas. I love reading about them, I love talking about them (as my peers know) and I want to be able to write about them.
So I want to write something down here, so that I can hold myself to it. I want to write about some big ideas and try and be gentle about it, and also, not care if I fail in making it gentle (or if I even fail in getting the ideas right). So for next week,I’m gonna try something. People have been talking a lot about comedy, and its relationship to politics and political ideology, and I’d like to give my two cents. So for next week, prepare for Cortland’s post regarding, Cynicism, Ironic distance, Diogenes, and “The most dangerous philosopher in the west”. Take care.