I have been remiss when it comes to writing diaries for the Moose. I have lots of ideas, but they all involve heavy research and lots of work. That is a serious drawback for someone like me who’s main character trait is laziness mixed with a strong flavor of procrastination. But that isn’t the whole problem.
A bigger problem is that I don’t really feel any inspiration for any of the diary subjects I have in mind. One was a look at the current state of conservatism in the US. Another was a scholarly look at the meaning of progressivism and its role in society. Income and wealth inequality in the US is another topic that interests me greatly. Other ideas have come from some books on my recent reading list, like Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell and the biography of Benjamin Franklin I’m currently reading. All of these seem(ed) like great ideas, but they also seem like a lot of hard work for little reward.
The problem with most of those ideas is that they require long, in-depth analysis to be really effective. Unfortunately, the web isn’t suited to 5,000 word essays. That’s another reason I’ve had difficulty getting started on any of these.
Writing is one of my favorite pastimes so I might be able to overcome my lazy nature anyway. My love of writing could even make me go forward with any of these projects even though I know that few people would bother to read them all of the way through. The act of writing would be the reward. Somehow that just hasn’t been enough to get me started.
As I was trying to get to sleep last night I thought through much of what I wrote above. Then the real reason for my lack of diary production finally came to me. I’ve been focusing on the process instead of the motivation.
This blog has many excellent writers with a firm grasp of language and writing skills. It also has writers who write from emotion or love of their subject. When I write a diary I am trying to fall into the first group. When I write in the comments I often fall into the second group. I need to forget about trying to be ‘pretty’ and concentrate on being earnest. More Mark Twain or Poor Richard than Voltaire.
The main pleasure I get from writing is when my words touch someone. That’s why I get more pleasure from writing something like my story about the gay couple than I do from writing about the process of politics. It is why I like to read and write poetry. I need to touch emotions instead of intellect. I am not a lecturer, I am a storyteller. I am not a wise old pundit, although I’ve got the old part down pat, I am a bucolic dreamer. All this time I’ve been trying to be a David Brooks when I should have been trying to be a Dave Barry.
Once I finally thought this through I saw right away what I should be writing. The best and most popular diaries I wrote on MYDD were the snark diaries I wrote during the primaries. The best diaries and comments I’ve written here are the ones that come from the heart instead of the head. It’s time to let the better part of my nature out of its cage.
Now we finally come to the point of this diary. Unless the point was for me to talk about myself. That is, after all, my second favorite pastime. 🙂
I have an idea for a regular series of diaries. More like a weekly column than a diary. It will be an effort to refute the current right-wing talking points by combining the Socratic method with humor and snark. I don’t know whether it will work, but at least it will be fun to try and that’s the whole point.
Here’s where the help I asked for in the title to this diary comes into play. I need a good list of all of the right-wing talking points and ditto-head beliefs that you’ve come across. I’m not only talking about what we hear on the news. I’m more interested in what you hear from real people. The things you hear about politics and the state of the country from your conservative or Republican friends and family. Of course, I know some of the most common, but I don’t really interact with many Fox News watchers. I can watch O’Reilly, but that only tells me what he is saying. It doesn’t tell me how much of that people really believe.
Got any good ones to pass on? I’m not looking for the wing-nuttiest ones like birth certificates.