A quarter of a million pages later.
The pages read counter on this blog is closing in on 250,000, so it seems to be a natural review point. The blog came out of an extended discussion with some friends that occurred at the height of climate hysteria. We could all see the damage it was doing but for them it was an academic thing and consequently the discussion went around and around. In an effort to move it on, I posed Lenin’s classic question; what is to be done? The dreaded consensus was that there was nothing which could be done.
That answer didn’t work for me and after examining a lot of different avenues, I came back with the idea that writing a blog was a least a strand of something which I could do. They looked into it and assured me confidently that the odds were I’d be lucky to get five hits a week and settled back into the usual discussion. Everyone was comfortable just talking but no one was prepared to do anything.
I made a measured withdrawal from the group and left them to it. They’re probably still talking. They were good, clever people but the downside of living an orderly and ordered life is they simply didn’t understand about long shots. If it’s the only one going, you have to take it and make your mind up to have a bloody good go at it, whatever that might entail.
There’s nothing special about me or this blog; I’m a painfully imperfect ordinary person and this blog by its very nature will never be mega. It’s just the thoughts of someone who is genuinely surprised to realise what they plainly see before them is quite different from what they’re supposed to be seeing. That’s not a recipe for a content life but at the same time, I feel blessed that I still have that capacity to be surprised about things and more importantly, be prepared to do something about it.
Whether it actually achieves anything is an unknowable, but that’s the essential nature of a long shot, a leap of faith into the darkness, so that’s a pointless discussion I’ll leave alone. It’s by now an old and tired question for me, a part of my profound personal frustration with writing this blog.
There are so many other silly hearted things I’d much prefer to write about but they’re all off-mission. I can’t write about the science I love, because that’s not the demographic I’m aiming at. I write context, analysis and political trends. Cold infowar. I occasionally end up writing snippy articles about the petty financial green thievery in the developed world, without mentioning the ongoing industrial scale genocide caused by environmental policies in the developing world, because I know people are inured and ultimately bored by those stories. They just can’t relate to such misery for too long, so I tastefully ration myself to a rare sharp crack across the knuckles piece. They’d soon get bored with a succession of bleeding heart articles.
I write exclusively for people in the developed world in the faint hope of kicking off something at the Fat City end of the causality chain, which just might conceivably one day clink its way down to those one billion humans scraping along on a dollar a day, and have a palpable effect on their lives. Sometimes I think the blog’s readers might not really believe they exist as human beings – real actual people like you and me.
Everyone knows they exist but they’re somehow theoretical; they don’t have faces, eyes, despair or the loved ones who’re looking to them to get everyone through the grind of yet another day. That’s truly the Devil’s greatest trick – they’re the invisible ones, the victims who don’t have any input into this so-called debate, so they don’t exist in any meaningful emotive sense.
There’s an urgency, impatience and anger in me, which I have to brutally sublimate every single time I sit down to write the usual calmish indirect piece, or I’d be overwhelmed. That’s the necessary discipline and it fairly drains me at times.
But I will keep bashing away, because what I do know is that it’s a shot at doing something rather than standing idly by doing nothing. You never can tell. It might actually have some effect, no matter how modest.
Related articles by Pointman: