December 27, 2010
It’s been a year already? You know, I remember that it was almost around this time that I first started bouncing around the idea of Randomology. The first article was published in mid-January, but since I started drafting and researching around this time, I’m calling January 31st the official anniversary for this website.
The first website design, for those who were here in those first few weeks, was a rough template assembled with what I can only call finger paint. Yes, it worked, but it looked just as artificial as it felt. As I learned to download and use WordPress, embed links, and use Deviantart images, I became more comfortable with this whole blogging thing.
Overall, though, I think it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned many things, and I’ve set goals for the coming year that should make it an interesting, and stressful, 12 months.
And what exactly have we learned this year?
Censorship is alive and well. It’s the same knee-jerk reaction, and while people still invoke the innocence of the children, their arguments are just as invalid. Art is a tool, a form of expression. Silencing it won’t work, and all art, even the trashy soap operas, deserve some measure of respect. Now, whether they’re good or bad art is another question, but they should be heard nonetheless.
I learned that I hated Beck, but by actually listening to him and picking apart his arguments on everything from art to language, I came to the quick realization that people are not just stupid… they’re downright psychotic for listening to a man who contradicts himself and twists religion to his own needs. He is a cult leader, and while his ramblings have been getting more and more incoherent (going so far as to label a fight on obesity as a socialist conspiracy).
My prediction? He’ll self-destruct or say something so utterly offensive that he’ll get canned or someone will take him at his word and do something violent.
Of course, Fox, the most popular news network (and oh how I cringe to call them that) will whitewash the issue. Just like they and others like to “clean up” history and the news to make it look better for conservatives.
My own state spent several months putting history through the washing cycle (along with the Klan robes) and making it look as though progressives, you know, the ones that actually advanced the causes of freedom and equality, were the ones to blame for all of society’s ills.
I learned that people fear words. They fear language. Why? Words have no power by themselves. Intent and use have power. Maybe ancient myths would have us believe that knowing a thing’s name gives us power, but that’s not the case. Knowing about sex doesn’t make you a slut. Knowing curse words will not keep you from thinking bad thoughts and wanting to curse someone.
Likewise, certain words have gained power they never imagined. “Socialist” and “liberal” have joined “progressive” in becoming labels for a group that seeks to overthrow our country… or at least that’s what the Right keeps shouting. Language has changed to fit the world.
I’ve learned that I have much to learn when it comes to writing. I’m pretty good, I think. I’ve got a decent imagination, and I’ve written novel-length manuscripts before, but Charcoal Streets is perhaps the most aggressive endeavor I’ve ever undertaken. Besides the time and scheduling conflicts I built up since mid-summer, as well as a very unfortunate business partnership with a self-proclaimed filmmaker, I’ve not given my baby the work it deserves.
The research I’ve done in the last year has given me more insight into people than at any other point in my life except perhaps my senior year at college. I’ve seen the best and worst. I’ve seen artists struggle and create wonderful works of art. I’ve seen freedom grow. I’ve seen racism rear its ugly head.
But these are all just small revelations and growth spurts.
I grew a fanbase for my writing.
I connected with people all over the world.
I began my journey to publishing a novel.
I grew closer to my girlfriend as we lived and worked together… until I proposed to her right before Christmas and she accepted.
I am poised to make this site, my art, and my writing, the best they can be.
See you on January 3rd. Buckle your seatbelts. Wear a helmet. Put your flak vest on. It’s full throttle when we come back.