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I’ve made a decision

September 25, 2008

I don’t enjoy writing about politics. Maybe the situation has gotten too bitter, too conflict-oriented, and I think that my writing has suffered because of this. When I started this in 2006, the landscape was new, rough-hewn from nothing by a group of people who, although many disagreed about almost everything, could get along and laugh together sometimes, too. That was what attracted me to the Delaware blogosphere and inspired me to join it.

With the current embattled state of the elections, the good vibes have become few and far between. Rather than simply disagreeing with an opposing viewpoint, we have been making monsters of our opposing writers. The enemy is no longer those who wish to rule rather than serve, it seems to be each other for no better reason than the support of different ways of making the country or state a better place. Politics is a divisive issue, and despite my hope that we were better than that, it has divided us.

Where we once used to attack ideas, ideals, or plans for improvement, now we attack each other. Ad hominem has become the rule of law, because after years of posting and comenting together, we know each other well enough to understand the ideals behind an idea, and it’s easy for us to use “consider the source” as a way of curtailing real debate. This makes us much more liable to attack a person rather than seriously consider their ideas and treat them with respect. It’s made us forget that we have the same goal, making our country/state a better place, even if we have different paths to that goal.

I’m taking a break from the politics part of blogging. I don’t want to say “I quit” because we’ve all seen how that works out (I’m looking at you, Jason and Dave). But, I am taking a break. At this point, I hope it is permanent. However I do enjoy writing, and I will not allow M-BA to die.

I started Merit-bound as a way to school myself in an area that my knowledge was sorely lacking: politics. When M-BA began, I barely knew the difference between the House and the Senate, and it was through the study and work involved in posting here, and even more so, the reading of other, more knowledgeable bloggers that got me where I needed to be. It’s because of the DE bloggers that I know of the trials facing our state, that I can make informed decisions about hot topics, that I know by name, policy, and face a good deal of our local General Assembly. I am also more aware of the ideals that I think the country needs to embrace in order to improve for the sake of the citizenry. Maybe that’s enough for me to be able to raise my kids to be active, knowledgeable citizens, and instill the virtues of civic duty in them.

So, where does that leave M-BA? Maybe the DE blogosphere needs a place to sit, relax, leave the guns at the door, and just enjoy each others company. Maybe we need a place to relax and remember the good things that we’re fighting for, while leaving the fight for a bit. Maybe Jason and Dominique like the same bands. Maybe Mike W. and Delawaredem enjoy the same movies. We don’t know becasue the warlike nature of politics right now makes us less than folk. With this in mind, my new goal will be to make M-BA into the base in a game of tag, a place where all can come, relax and just bullshit about our lives, our kids, our interests.

I bet you didn’t know that I have a little 3-foot-tall articulated skeleton that, when Halloween comes around, the family poses in different places to get a cheap scare out of each other.

See? There he is, taking the dictation for this post. Great typist, despite the fact that he doesn’t have articulated fingers!

I want to start talking about the 99% of our lives that don’t happen in the political sphere. That’s a lot of life that has, up to this point, been greatly overlooked. There’s a lot of Delaware life out there that is being ignored in the blogosphere. That is my new goal. I will begin on the first of October with 31 days of Halloween. I’ll change the theme of M-BA to match the mood, and will talk about all things spooky and scary, hit some local Halloween attractions and review them, and get back to loving writing.

I hope you all join me in talking about the good things in our lives, the things that make politics important. I’m excited about this change, and hope that folks come along with me. As for politics, I will keep reading the locals, and comment when I need to, but that is no longer the focus.

Thanks for continuing to read all this shit!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Ed T. permalink
    September 25, 2008 10:21 am

    Bravo! I agree that it is about time to move on and aloow the haters to hate in their own time and space. There is much more to you as a person and to the world that the politics of this one little place and time.

    Talk about your love of the Simpsons and a good brew, those are the things you know well.

    Welcome to the rest of the world, please enjoy your stay!!

    -E

  2. Meggie permalink
    September 25, 2008 6:53 pm

    You know I’ll go with you wherever you go. Your posts on M-BA have educated me more than you know. Many of the things you have written about, I never even thought about. You have helped reinspire an interest in politics that I had let die for years and years. Through your blog, I got to see old friends. But, I love to bullshit too. And with all the drama in our personal, professional, and national lives, this is just what we need. You have my support fully. I look forward to reading your 31 days of Halloween. Maybe you’ll reignite my love for Halloween too….

  3. September 26, 2008 1:03 am

    I became intrigued over the Georgian debacle after reading the first person accounts you provided… since you have some family, and may possibly still have contacts, I would be interested in hearing what was going on…. obviously the gaze of the eye of Sauron has moved back from Gori to Washington in time for the financial meltdown. I wrote some stuff on Georgia and would be interested in hearing any info from that blacked out area….

    And don’t forget the science… I have someone vying for the next scientific title with this awesome piece…

  4. September 26, 2008 7:58 am

    Well, the science will always be there, since it’s something that I actually enjoy writing about. As for Georgia, the best I can manage at this point is that everyone is at home and getting on with getting on.

    To be honest, the discussions with my family of late have been “Is everyone still okay.” I haven’t really gone further and asked what Russia was up to.

  5. September 26, 2008 1:17 pm

    I dig what you’re saying here, Joe. I have become such a political junkie of late that I’m getting on my own dang nerves. And you’re right, most of our lives don’t involve politics. There are much happier and insightful topics.

    Part of my problem is that I’m wired 24/7, so it’s kid of hard to avoid it. Lately, I’m just sick of it all.

    I look forward to your new direction, and I think I’ll take a little bit of that advice myself. I will try to remain educated, but in the end I’m not sure how important it really all is.

    You’re a great writer…keep it coming !

  6. arthur permalink
    September 26, 2008 1:44 pm

    It is sad to see the political rants that have become common place on various blogs. I have, for years, called it legal discrimination. Everyone wants to be a star bellied sneech and if you aren’t then you are not worthy and deserve to be called whatever someone figures to be appropriate just becasue they have a star upon thar. Or do they not want a star upon thar. Good luck with keeping your mind clear and your sights high.

  7. September 28, 2008 9:44 am

    Good post Joe. I guess I categorize the extremists as crazy and mostly ignore them. You need to include Hube, Al Mascitti and Liz Allen here in the immobile vituperative column, methinks.

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