by Brad Nelson 12/10/15
As the chief cook and bottle washer here, I thought I’d take a moment to say thanks to all those who post here and who contribute articles.
This site is an ongoing experiment. If I had to tell you its guiding principles, well, I might have to stop and think. We have no Establishment Republican agenda nor do we repeat vapid slogans such as “Black lives matter.” (Don’t all lives matter?)
Much like you’ll find in life, we’re a somewhat odd assortment of people — but with one difference. We are willing to stick our necks out and write something that doesn’t sound like the same-old, same-old that you’ll find out there. Now, this style has its severe (and I do mean severe) drawbacks. People like their egos being boosted. They like (despite all the “No fear” shirts) to be surrounded by convention. They like “likes,” for all intents and purposes.
Another thing we have going against us is that we are opinionated. What’s worse, our opinions are often spot-on, so sloppy thinking and writing often gets chopped on here, whether home-grown or something we find around the web. We may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer but we know how to cut.
And too much of that can be bad for one’s health and for one’s willingness to write, so I always try to stress that we not be nit-pickers. Whatever the case may be, this site provides opportunity for serious thinkers who have at least an ounce of iconoclast in them to write what they want, when they want it. And I’ve been somewhat amused at times both by the willingness of some people to actually do so and by the stage fright that keeps so many away.
But we are who we are. We’ll be doing this for at least another year, come what may. I prefer a spirit of inquiry rather than the usual pissing contests. But people are who they are. I prefer original opinions written with a bit of wit and style, but it’s inevitable that people pick up the idea that “serious” writers all have to sound a certain serious way. I say screw that but I’m decidedly in the minority.
So we trudge on in a world going mad with misdirection and half-truths. Vapid and just plain stupid sloganeering passes for serious thought in our culture now. For now, we are free to prick this ridiculousness. In the future? Who knows? Most of us here see where this is all heading. The restrictions on thought now common in the university setting have already infiltrated corporate culture to a large degree. Soon we may be speaking a language that might as well be Martian as far as the rest of the PC culture is concerned — if we’re allowed to speak it publicly at all.
So thanks for hanging in there. You certainly give this place direction by what you submit. I don’t have a strong hand on the tiller, for better or for worse. This might seem weird given the typical nature of internet sites to be bolted down pretty tightly. But I’m willing, however difficult sometimes, to continue the experiment. All I ask is that people give their best, nurture their talent (as opposed to just parroting the culture, even the conservative part of that culture), and think outside the box once in a while.
I am here because I can’t stand the vacuousness of Facebook, nor the pointlessness of writing profound thoughts at the bottom of someone’s pseudo-conservative article that is here today, gone tomorrow. I might not have as much faith in some things as I did a couple years ago, but I do have faith in one idea: The true, the good, and the beautiful can still gain some purchase in this world even though much of our culture celebrates the false, the bad, and the ugly.
So if you have something to say, and are willing to spend at least a little time refining what you have to say, then say it. And remember that we prefer substance over style here.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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