revisions

I decided to take down several previous posts. It’s fine to tell my story, but it’s not fair to tell someone else’s without their knowledge. I’ve been warned about this before, but I had forgotten how it was unfair to other people. From now on, it’s just about me.

I also decided to shut down my poetry blog. I created that site to share with my real-life friends, but I get almost zero traffic when I post anything. I posted links for my Fakebook friends, but the only people who visit the page arrive via the WordPress Reader tags. That’s not what I had in mind. I wonder if the algorithm prevents my posts from being seen by my friends since I almost never use Fakebook.

Isn’t any blog an exercise in vanity? Really, who wants to know the life story of an average guy with bipolar who does nothing remarkable with his life? Yet I continue to write, posting things that seem important to me but are next to irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I say I post for myself, but I secretly wish I had hundreds of followers (real people, not bots) who cared about every word.

I suppose the internet is moving on from blogs to shorter formats, but I have resisted using those platforms. Most of the time, I can’t share in real-life the things that occupy my thoughts; it’s too deep and too personal, and I have to constantly censor myself. Having anonymity helps me write out my private thoughts while having the knowledge that I could pull the plug at any time.

Maybe I will unplug things sometime soon. I’ve done it before. I could start a shiny, happy site where I only post the positive things about my life, but at that point I may as well be on Fakebook again. The problem is that even if I rebranded and opened a new blog, it would still be me doing the writing. The leopard can’t change his spots, and I would still have the same doubts and fears and demons that show through in everything I write.

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the politics of fakebook

It seems like most of the people I went to high school with have become a raging alt-right conservative. For some people this doesn’t surprise me, but in a few instances I never thought they would swing that way. I grew up in a small town in California where the political climate is more like the southern states than elsewhere in the state. Most everyone I see on Fakebook is all “guns, Jesus, and Trump”, not necessarily in that order. I’m sure some of my former friends supported the mob at the Capitol.

I’ve heard that people naturally grow more conservative as they get older, but it certainly did not work out that way for me. When I was a kid I grew up around and went to church with mostly-conservative older people. During college I started expanding my attitudes a little bit, and studied what conservatism was all about (at that seemingly innocent time). I didn’t like the right-leaning philosophy very much, and started moving away from that way of thinking throughout my late 20s. Since that time, and especially since my diagnosis with bipolar 15 years ago, I have become increasingly liberal while the conservatives have become increasingly radicalized. I have reached the point where I would rather vote for dead people than for a Republican.

As far as my high school friends, they can take their “god, guns, and country” posts and stick ‘em. I don’t go to Fakebook anymore because I got tired of looking at those posts. There aren’t enough cats there to make me go back.

ten albums

There was a thing on Fakebook where people shared a list of 10 classic albums that influenced their musical taste as they were growing up. No one asked me to play, so I’m putting my list here.

I grew up as a sheltered child, so I didn’t get to listen to rock music until I was about 13, and I didn’t get to buy my own music until I was 15. I didn’t start discovering my own tastes until after I started building a collection thanks to the Columbia House Record and Tape Club (kids: ask your parents). Once my membership had outlived its usefulness, my dog joined, and later my 80-year-old uncle joined and got 8 cassettes for a penny too.

Anyway, here are 10 albums bought from age 15 through 18 that have shaped my listening preferences since then. In no particular order:

  • Rush – Permanent Waves. My first Rush album was in the bargain bin at the store where I worked, and a co-worker recommended it to me. Best suggestion ever.
  • Genesis – Three Sides Live. Not my first Genesis album, but my most nostalgic one. Purchased in Australia, it was a gateway drug to their older music.
  • Phil Collins – Face Value. Purchased in my first order from Columbia House. I was initially confused which songs were Phil’s solo work and which songs belonged to Genesis.
  • Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms. I said I was sheltered; I once seriously asked a friend if Dire Straits were satanic, and they laughed at me. That made me hate church.
  • Peter Gabriel – So. At first I just liked the hits, but when I discovered Peter had once been with Genesis, I became interested in his older solo music.
  • Yes – Classic Yes. Another album which introduced me to the wonders of 70s progressive rock.
  • Miami Vice Soundtrack. I loved the TV show, and I memorized all the words to the Vice Rap (“The Mob, a full time job, known to extort and steal or rob!”)
  • Huey Lewis and the News – Fore! Maybe not the strongest album in the list, but Huey and the gang were the epitome of coolness.
  • U2 – The Joshua Tree. Once I played this repeatedly during a trip to Death Valley in an attempt to feel the music; it became a favorite afterward.
  • Van Halen – 1984. My introduction to hard rock, and what’s more rebellious than the smoking baby on the cover art?

Finally, number 11 with an asterisk goes to Porcupine Tree’s “Nil Recurring” EP, which has influenced everything I have listened to since I discovered them in 2007.