This won’t be the type of return that all of you, who have so enjoyed my political commentary, might expect. I am not here to save the day and speak out with more bombastic rhetoric and be the sole voice of reason in this mess. I am not going to continue with political commentary as it once existed on this blog: this time, it will be more theoretical and will not stick with the shallow dealings of the now, the now being the day’s events. It will be broader in scope, but it will come across here less frequently than before – my writing will consist of other subjects. Before, my commentary followed a formula of “find news story, give angry opinion on it, find news story…” ad nauseum. That’s over.

But, perhaps, I shall tell you, readers, how this exile came about. Following the week of Thanksgiving, I decided to stop reading the news for a week, and, as such, stop blogging.

The results of that week? I felt absolutely liberated and my mood felt fantastic. My mind wasn’t channeling any of its usual negative energy – energy, it turns out, it picked up from paying too much attention to the media. By unplugging myself from the Matrix, I felt substantially better, simply because my mind was focused on things other than the dealings of the corrupt. I was no longer filled with anger, and I was starting to be more positive in all parts of my life. I just felt, if I haven’t made it clearly enough already, better.

Of course, after a couple weeks, I had a desire to know what the hell was going on in the world, so I started to slowly plug myself back into the Matrix. But here’s the catch: I didn’t have any reaction to the news – I read it and that was that. Well, maybe that’s a lie: I did have a reaction, but it was subdued and what I expected based on my ideology. Now, in reading the news, I have a “default” reaction to the article based on my political opinion: liberty = good, tight restrictions = bad. It’s ironic, since I started this out as a bit of a lefty. Now I’m more in the vein of a libertarian. And I’m sure the latter is my “true” view – as it was only obtained by my own thought and investigation, not via the view espoused and endorsed by the Matrix. But I digress.

At this point, my confidence was rising, and I was reading the news without any repercussions to my mental health, and life was good.

And then the ice storm came. Yes, the one you’ve been hearing about in the news (link here). I live in the worst affected part of Massachusetts, and lost all power for 9 days, losing it for brief periods 3 times afterwards. The temperature in my house dropped to below 40 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit). I was cold, didn’t have school, and read just about all day. More importantly, I learned to value the modern conveniences we take for granted – light and heat, namely. And, I was forced to totally unplug myself from the Matrix (if you’re wondering why I keep making annoying Matrix references, you’ll see in my material later. Promise).

Yeah, I suffered quite a bit during that period, but it finalized the burning of the bridge between me and the rest of the crazed world. How about that. In the aftermath of the storm, I read more, worked out more, was better at everything I committed myself to doing, was fitter, happier, and more productive (anyone who catches that reference is awesome, by the way). I wasn’t negative, but I didn’t transform into the grating optimist I hate so much. I was the same person, yet was… better. Again: fitter, happier, and more productive. Life was good. And yet, I’m here, plugging myself back in. “Why?” you ask, “Why bother coming back here after becoming a happier individual because of your absence from this place?”

And now, men and women of the jury, we get to the heart of the matter. During this period of feeling good, I still felt like there was something missing, and, with increased availability of technology, I was slowly lapsing into my previous, boring life, complete with hours spent looking up trivial information (though, not quite news) on the internet (no, not pr0n you idiots!). Allow me to digress, though I will be getting to the middle of this all.

Before, I found that I was reading articles by anarchists, libertarians, authoritarians, Trotskyites, classic liberals (what I consider myself to be), socialists, Communists, and everything in-between and I managed to agree with all of them, because all they were doing was criticizing the system. I didn’t agree with, however, their remedy to the situation; I only agreed with their diagnosis of the problem. I managed to, for a brief period of time, share in their disdain of the system. Turns out I was well on the path to the Dark Side… Remember, Yoda said:

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

And I didn’t want to suffer. My posts were so filled with negative energy that it dragged me down, and, ultimately, made me an unsuccessful blogger, because I did nothing but offer negativity. To my credit, there’s nothing I could’ve really done to improve the situation, since I called for real change (and no, not the kind that Obama’s offering), and there’s no way that my kind of change would be implemented just by me blogging about injustice in the world.

On that same note, insanity is defined as (by me, at least) “doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. I kept posting about politics and it didn’t do anything for me or for my readers. I wasn’t offering them anything valuable; my posts were like a sledgehammer of negativity, which crushed all the value that might have been contained in my post. I wasn’t helping anyone do anything – I, again, was just hitting them over the head over and over with the message “THE SYSTEM SUCKS”. And, really, it did nothing. It made me feel worse.

During this whole exile, I came to the conclusion that although the System sucked (not to be confused with the Matrix), there was nothing I could do at all to change it. That’s a scary thought (says my past self), but, I woke up and smelled the sweet smell of coffee in the morning and realized, again, that I truly could not change anything (at least, with the means I was using before). And then, I did what I thought I couldn’t do before: I let go. I let go of all feelings of the System because I knew there was not going to be a single representative to be elected in this country that would be someone I would have no qualms about supporting. And, astonishingly, it was okay with me. I am still an impassioned arguer on the behalf of my political ideology, but only if the argument comes up during a conversation; I will not create a political argument for the sake of doing so. I was just so exhausted from arguing for it before that I chilled out and stopped bringing politics into the mix unless someone else did because it was destroying me from the inside out.

And, back to why I’m here: I need to write. I need to do something fulfilling, something to be proud of, something to keep me sane while I’m not reading or working out. I need to return to the blogosphere and just network with you guys again. Except, this time, I’ll enjoy it, instead of just focusing on getting my blaring, hopeless message out to the world. And you guys will benefit from that the most.

I’ll write commentary from time to time, but only to talk theory. No current events stuff, and I’ll certainly be writing more about what I’ve been reading as well as shifting the concentration things like self-improvement and personal philosophy, with (HOPEFULLY) fiction making regular appearances.

So, dear readers, I’m back and better than ever.

  1. i’m really happy to see your return to the blogosphere and a different one, in the best kind of way, at that! πŸ™‚

    i’ve always been apathetic to politics, and the very few times that an issue strikes a chord with me, i mostly get indignant and upset. that’s one of the reasons why i don’t really take an active role to know politics more.

    as for your definition of insanity, i’m afraid i have to say i’m very, very insane according to your definition. 😦 will i change that of myself? well, change doesn’t happen in a day, or a week. but i’m aware of my flaws, and i suppose awareness is the first step to anything!

    you go to school? i thought you’re working… so i suppose because of the ice storm, you’re now fitter physically and mentally with all that working out and reading! πŸ™‚

  2. Welcome, welcome back!

    I didn’t know that you classed yourself as a classic liberal, Brett – I always took you as a libertarian. Oh well, I know we all can be wrong – and I am wrong a lot of the time. lol.

    Good to see you’re good and safe.

  3. Sulz: Thanks! And now, after my exile, I can fully understand why you’re so apathetic about politics. You can only change by taking action – stop frowning, buck up, and start working on yourself. Don’t whine about it. Just do it. (Of course, more on self-improvement on another post!)

    Will: Turns out being a classic liberal is very close to being libertarian. But, in my definitions of the two terms, I am a classic liberal. Which is why I love my country, but hate my government (well, the people in government). Unlike some libertarians, I acknowledge the necessity of the state to protect its citizens using one code of law. In the anarchic strain of libertarianism, people magically work themselves out, or private entities resort to deciding what is law. I think that doesn’t work, thus I am a classic liberal in the vein of the Founding Fathers.

  4. thebeadden

    So glad to see you back, Leap! And to hear all is well in your world, that you are doing better than ever. You were missed! A few years back our power went off for 3 days and I loved every bit of it. It was refreshing.

  5. Wow, leap!!! What a comeback! This is one honkin’ good piece of writing!

    “My mind wasn’t channeling any of its usual negative energy – energy, it turns out, it picked up from paying too much attention to the media.” —Ah, we have a convert! πŸ˜‰

    “My posts were so filled with negative energy that it dragged me down…” —Indeed. When we’re plugged into the Matrix, as you say, it can really affect our mental states. That’s why I limit my news exposure to 5-minute radio soundbites—UNLESS the radio says something major and/or interesting is going on, in which case I’ll tune in to one o’ them left-wing radical cable news outlets to see if I really am interested. I time myself, though, and if I’m not feeling engaged or happy after 15 minutes, off it goes!

    I agree with your definition of insanity. It’s sometimes difficult to pull oneself out of that loop, but it’s worth every effort to do so.

    Personally, I have no idea whether the system sucks, or not; I tend to think that’s really none of my business. I just do what I feel called upon to do, and engage where it feels right. I think your realization that you cannot change IT is brilliant. There are many that would not agree with you or I on this. I don’t expect change from “others”, just from myself.

    I love how nature contributed to your introspection. Sounds like the worst of it was being cold. {shiver}

    We’ll you’ve got me going! I’m very pleased to know you are back, and better than ever. I look forward to reading more of your ideas and experiences.

  6. Indeed Muse, indeed. I thought all that pseudo-pop-psychology was a hoax, until I started implementing it. Now, I’m not saying I believe in the “energy field” hypothesis that my mother loves, but I am willing to accept that positivity begets positivity.

    Note that I am in no way advocating total optimism; I still abide by my rationalist philosophy. But, most often, the negative conclusions that people (who call themselves realists) come to are not rational. Get that for a second – they often accentuate the bad and are not looking at the situation rationally, as they form a (pessimistic) conclusion, then justify it afterwards. The rational (wo)man would assemble all of the “evidence”, and then piece it together to form a conclusion. And, though they think of themselves as rational, they are not.

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