The December 22 & 29th, 2008 issue of The New Yorker contained a piece by Mark Twain, entitled “The Privilege of the Grave.” In his usual dry, witty way Twain contends that free speech is 5000 times more rare than murder and punished 100% of the time. He is, of couse, speaking of punishment by one’s peers, family, society, etc. It is a wonderfully well-written piece about the longing many people have to say what they truly think, and how that is almost always supressed. I do not want to go further in summarizing the essay, as I know I could not do it justice, and besides, would rather anyone who happens to stray by read it for themselves. There is one bit towards the end though that, if anything was, was the impetus for my actually embarking on this venture. He writes, “Sometimes my feelings are so hot that I have to take to the pen and pour them out on paper to keep them from setting me afire inside; then all that ink and labor are wasted, because I can’t print the result.” I know that feeling well. I have expressed myself most clearly and almost solely through private written communications for many years. While there are probably many people who could clearly enumerate my political, ethical, and religious positions, if only because of things such as facebook groups, there are far fewer who could tell another why those are the things I believe. I sometimes fear that even I would be unable to do so.
So, I began a blog. The Twain essay was impetus, but probably the situation in Gaza was the greater “reason,” as it were. I find myself heartbroken and uneasy, distracted even from my mounting horror of the disentegration of the economy. I wanted a place to vent all of those feelings, but in a reasoned manner. This is my chosen vehicle of expresion. That post will take far more time. It will be soon.
Until then, I suppose I should say welcome.