According to the log, this is the 27,592nd post written here at Bark Bark Woof Woof since that quiet Saturday afternoon of November 8, 2003. The number may be a little skewed since a bunch of posts were duplicated when we moved from Blogger to WordPress a few years ago, but even so, it’s over 25,000 posts, almost all of them written by me. With the exception of time lost during three hurricanes and the occasional power outage, I’ve posted every day since I started.
Like everything, this blog has evolved over the last fourteen-plus years. I’ve grown in my thinking, gained great insight thanks to reading a lot of other blogs, and learned so much that it’s hard to remember all that we have been through. I started with a year left in George W. Bush’s first term, confident that he and his minions of warmongering scallywags would be voted out of office in a landslide by Howard Dean and peace and prosperity would be restored. Then I pinned my hopes on Barack Obama and stood with the liberals as we achieved long-awaited dreams such as healthcare reform and — still can’t believe it — same-sex marriage. And now it’s all threatened, both in body and spirit, by a criminal vulgarian who is a mockery of every value we stand for. I’ve stood strong for resistance with a healthy dose of Marxism — as in Groucho — to empower it.
But this blog hasn’t always been about politics, and I’ve shared personal moments of success in my writing, my work, moving to new homes, blooming orchids, cool cars, annoying peacocks, and trips to the Keys, Kansas, and Stratford, Ontario. I’ve also entertained, energized, reminisced, and educated with daily doses of music, and on occasion a good film clip. (What can I say, I’m an eclectic guy. Or scatterbrained, if you prefer.) I’ve also shared moments of loss and reflection, trying not to be too self-indulgent. My rule has been, “If I didn’t know me, would I want to read this?” Most of the time I’ve said yes. You may disagree.
But I’ve gotten into a routine that I’m not happy with and it’s showing around the edges and creeping into my work. Rather than forge on and trying to run on fumes, I’m going to be making some changes over the next couple of weeks. Replace quantity with quality, drop — or cut back on — some things that have outlived their usefulness, and look to delving more into areas that are more in the way of artistic exploration and insight rather than just cut-and-paste comments from another source with a clever headline and a snark button at the end.
As I said, this will be gradual. The next few weeks will be foreshortened anyway; next Sunday, April 22, I head out for a week to visit my parents and then deliver a paper at the Missouri Self-Taught conference at the University of Missouri. Two weeks after that I’ll be hosting the scholars conference at the William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence, Kansas, marking my 26th trip to that event. So my blogging from then until the middle of May was going to be light and variable and this seemed like a good time to take a deep breath and exhale. So that’s what’s going to be happening.
Okay, I know I could have written all of this in one sentence: “I’m changing the way things work here.” But I thought I owed you at least a little background.