Perhaps some of my thoughts don't exactly pertain to current events (narrowly defined). Oh well. I do hope (and plan) to turn my attention to more current matters. But at the moment, as I try to fit blogging into my crazy life once again, I reflect on some of the things that I've learned while blogging, or while not blogging. Today I have time to tell you about one or two of those things. And I hope they may be of some interest.
I realize that when I say "you", I am talking to only a handful of people. It's no secret: This ain't the most popular blog on the web. We only get a few visitors here every day -- sometimes none. And that gives me what I call "D-List Privilege".
My "D-List Privilege" means that because I don't have enough readers to make a noticeable impact on the "big picture", I can accidentally tell too much truth as often as I want, without suffering any consequences. Dissident writers who have better arrangements, and therefore wider "circulation", work under much tighter constraints.
Speaking of constraints, I will tell you about mine. In order for a post to be considered fit for publication at my blog, it must reflect my current opinion (informed or otherwise), it must respect the facts of the matter (unless it's obviously satirical), and preferably most of the words should be spelled correctly. And that's it. Any extra quality in my writing is a lucky break. But some writers have it much tougher.
I shouldn't name any names, but I once had a lively correspondence with a wonderful writer (and thinker) who wrote a weekly column for national syndication. He would often hammer on the Bush administration about Afghanistan and Iraq on moral grounds; that is: rather than the usual "faux-left" opposition ("We're not winning!") he was saying, "We shouldn't even be there!"
So we got along very well. I can't say that for any of the other nationally known "dissidents" with whom I've had contact. And I've been in contact with more of them than you might think, because I started out working behind the scenes at a very prominent blog (no links or names, please). I hardly need to add that I became dis-associated from that blog after accidentally telling the truth too many times.
Later, in the privacy of my own (D-List) blog, I wrote a piece about that experience, or inspired by it, or informed by it, or something. It was called Throw Up And Go To Sleep: Why There Are No Paranoid Lunatic Conspiracy Theorists, and it turned out to be (in my opinion) one of my best, and (by all accounts) one of my most confusing pieces.
I could tell you more about that, too. But I want to tell you another weird story, so let's get back to the main line of thought, shall we? Or at least, let's get back to the previous tangent!
The columnist to whom I've been referring, who wrote so many insightful columns about the post-9/11 wars that should not have happened, never wrote anything that even hinted at whether or not he realized the official story of 9/11 was too loopy to be believed. So one day I asked him:
Why don't you ever write about whether the government's story of 9/11 is credible?And he said (paraphrasing):
If I ever wrote something like that, it would never get published. And neither would I. That's why guys like me need guys like you.
It's nice to be needed, but it sure would be nice to get some help sometimes! I understand why he can't help us on this. And I think it's important for us to understand that he really can't do that. And, for the same reason, neither can anyone else whose name you might recognize. But this is not what I wanted to tell you.
I used to have a widget on my blog that could tell me where readers had come from, and how they had found my site. I would monitor the traffic sometimes, more for entertainment than anything else. Most of my readers came from the US, and I thought that made sense, since I was often writing about US politics, US misgovernment, US war crimes, 9/11 (or is that redundant?) and so on. After I started writing about Pakistan on a regular basis, more readers started coming from Pakistan, and that made sense too. It was all pretty obvious, really.
Less obvious: How had they found me? Some came from high-traffic sites that linked to my posts. What Really Happened linked to far more of my writing than any other site. And even though I didn't agree with everything that Mike Rivero (of What Really Happened) stood for, I was happy that he was willing to send his readers to my site.
Some came from sites where my pieces had been re-posted. Info Wars did more re-posting than anybody else. And I certainly didn't agree with everything that Info Wars stood for, but then again I had no choice in the matter. Oh well. I could tell you more about this, too, but most of it is boring.
The interesting traffic came from search engines. And the widget showed me not only what engine the reader had used, but what the reader had been searching for.
One post in particular got an especially high number of hits from search engines. It was a satirical item about Iran's quest for nuclear weapons and the hypocrisy of the people who claim that Israel should have hundreds or thousands of them while none of the neighboring countries should have any.
But it was framed in terms of (and told from the point of view of) a guy in a residential neighborhood, who has all sorts of advanced weaponry, and who's trying to prevent one of his neighbors from acquiring a knife, on the grounds that this would endanger the whole neighborhood. That post was called "Should I Kill My Neighbor?"
It attracted mostly readers from the US, and they were searching for things like "how can I kill my neighbor?" or "how to kill my neighbor?"
I kid you not. Nor would I ... except when I do! But this isn't one of those times. It's a curious insight, I tell you! Keep a close eye on your neighbors. You never know what they're typing when they're sitting alone at their keyboards in the middle of the night with nobody watching!
Of course, if any of them ever did kill a neighbor, the police would seize their computer and find evidence of their web searches, and use it against them in a court of law, where they would be found guilty and sent to prison, maybe forever. So perhaps I should write a new post called "Should I Kill My Cell-Mate?" so they could visit my site again.
Or maybe not. I actually prefer the readers who come here on purpose.
Speaking of which, I thank you for your kind attention and I will be back with more soon. Probably too soon.