Writing Without Footnotes

I’m sitting here thinking about my conflicted history with “blogging.” I think I published my first attempt at a blog sometime back in the late 1990s. The internet was in its infancy, and blogs had crazy URLs like http://netins.net/publicweb/eller91229401. That would be your “home page.”

The first blogging tool I can remember using was a plugin of sorts for an old version of Microsoft Word. It would take the words you wrote and magically convert them into HTML and then magically upload the code to your designated site. Pictures were few and far between. Most of the graphics found on the web were gifs that jumped around through some magical code that made them appear to be moving.

Everything happened at the speed of honey on a cold morning. The internet was slow. Modems that cost a couple of hundred dollars were rated by the number of kilobytes per second. A standard modem could transmit at 14.4 kbps.

I’ve never found my grove for writing on the internet. I don’t know if its my introvert tendencies displaying themselves or if its some form of perfectionism, but I simply cannot write for a personal webpage.

I have no problem turning out thousands of words per week for other purposes. It’s really not a writing block or anything like that; I just can get into the groove.

I’ve thought about taking down my personal site. It’s existed in some form or another for many years. It contains a lot of the material I’ve written for other purposes, so for that reason, I’ll probably leave it, but it is one of those nagging areas of friction in my life. It’s always there as a “should do this” type of thing.

Take this little essay, for example. I’m not sure how many words it will consist of when I’m finished, but it is not a problem to write a few hundred words in a few minutes. Why not make this a blog entry? I don’t know. I really don’t. After all, there are millions of other blogs polluting the Internet that consist of a lot less meaningful content than this little ditty.

It has nothing to do with tools, priorities, time, or any of the many other things that keep people from writing. It is something deeper. It is something that sits snuggly between my ears in some deep corner of my mind that keeps me from publishing. Is it fear? I don’t think so. Is it caution? That doesn’t sound right, either.

I’ve tried a “30 Day Flush” in which you publish a piece like this every day for 30 days in an effort to get out of a rut and get into a flow. Not only did it not work, I didn’t make it 30 days.

I’ve tried starting and restarting. I’ve tried a new template or bringing a new focus. I’ve tried “curation” and microblogging all to no avail. In short, I just don’t like blogging. It’s not my thing. What is ironic is that I really believe writing is my thing. I express myself best in writing. I’m not comfortable recording myself on video, and when I listen to myself on audio, I hear too many “ah’s” and “uh’s” and even some stuttering. Writing is natural for me. It flows. I have an idea and I can simply start writing. I even like my style of writing. I’m not a poet, but there is a rhythm and rhyme to it. I can sense the flow of words.

Why do I want to publish? Because I believe I have things to say. I believe I can contribute to the conversation in the world today. I have a sense of history and an appreciation for the story of mankind. We need people who appreciate history and our story today.

Too many weak-minded folks are trying to erase our history or paint an inaccurate portrait of our history. Like the glitzy magazines that airbrush the cover girls into flawless perfection, we are taking an airbrush and a blowtorch to our history. Rather than teach our children about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nathan Bedford Forrest, we simply erase one from our history books. But then, that’s the problem with academics today. They are too afraid to study and write about Nathan Bedford Forrest because it is not politically correct. Yet, how can we understand the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr. unless we also understand Nathan Bedford Forrest?

Maybe that’s it? When I write, I have a strong sense of responsibility and accountability. Much of my formal writing was in pursuit of an academic degree of some sort or another. Success in academic writing is based on authenticating your evidence. Who said that? Where did they say? What context did they say it in? Research it. Footnote it. I also see the environment academics find themselves in today, and freedom of thought is something that has been lost. One of the quickest ways to find yourself exiled to the Russian and Slavic Studies department.

When I start to write for my blog, I hear those voices kick in. I hear professors of old questioning my reasoning and asking me to justify my conclusion. I fear the red pen.

I also hear the politically correct elitists working to silence any voices of disagreement or dissent. STAY ON NARRATIVE they scream in their best brown shirt indimidating voice. It is a sad state of affairs.

It’s not enough to make a simple statement: progressives today remind me of totalitarian socialists and communists of a hundred years ago. That is my opinion, and it is based upon a lifelong study of the totalitarian states that rose to power in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s. I can provide a lot of evidence to support my claim, but I don’t want to spend the time producing a research paper on this topic. I don’t want to write an article for this website that is ready for peer review. I just want to take a statement like that and ruminate on it.

So, if you are one of my old professors…forgive me. I am going to publish this post in spite of your strong opposition, even if I hear you only in my head. Yes, I hear you. Don’t fault me. Let me express myself without footnotes and without fear. It’s ok. Really. This will not end up on a peer-reviewed journal, and if I should ever write for a peer-reviewed journal, I will use footnotes. I promise.