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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

As you may have noticed (and I mentioned in “Silver Lining“), it’s become difficult to fill my news columns due to the pandemic; nobody’s talking about anything else (even though there are definitely other things to talk about), so there just aren’t enough stories to feature (because I have even less interest in writing a column about stupid epidemic memes than you have in reading one).  So for the time being, I’m rationing news items to seven per news column (instead of the usual nine to thirteen) until I start noticing the number of fresh items has increased again.  This also means I have fewer things to write full columns about, so you’ve probably noticed that most of them touch on the pandemic as well.  Since I’m not going to let some stupid collection of RNA that isn’t even actually alive (and its attendant hysteria) break a decade-long perfect record, you can be sure I’ll keep posting something every day (and look for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II on Monday).  But until things get back to relatively normal, a lot of them may be meager pickings like this one.

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Back Issue #81

Are you blind or just stupid?  –  “Deadbeats

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In order to keep my news columns reasonably consistent in length, I keep them to a minimum of nine news items and a maximum of thirteen, and I try not to let the number shift by more than two in either direction from one column to the next.  So if one column has ten, I try to keep the next one to no more than twelve; since they’re written half a week to one week in advance of publication, I can see how the queue is stacking up and move items from one column to another as needed.  Well, when I started working on “In the News #1022” on the 12th, it had twelve items, but on the evening of Sunday the 15th I realized that one was a duplicate of an item from #1021 (same story in a different source) and that there were only seven items in #1023.  So I eliminated the duplicate and shifted two items to #1023 to even them out, and as I started slotting stories for #1024 I noticed it was also probably going to be lean.  It didn’t take me long to figure out the reason:  COVID panic has pushed “sex trafficking” hysteria off of the internet’s “front page”, so to speak.  Usually about a third of the stories in any given column are directly related to “sex trafficking” hysteria, but in the past week and a half those have all but dried up; #1023 would’ve only had one such item had I not shifted two of them from #1022.  Now, it may be that this is only a temporary respite, and that once governments stop these dress rehearsals for martial law we will once again be inundated with crude sexual fantasies about pubescent “sex slaves” abducted from Ikea and raped by dozens of men a day.  However, the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria ended in the UK because of the First World War, and in the US because of the Great Depression; it wouldn’t be at all surprising or unprecedented for this one to be killed by a pandemic.  We’ll have to wait and see, but if this indeed turns out to be the case, the dark cloud we’re all enshrouded in right now might well turn out to have a silver lining.

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This is only the third leap year since I’ve started the blog; since it doesn’t come around often, I don’t really have any set pattern for what it should look like.  But when I looked back at the last one, I found some guidance:

Where will I be on February 29th, 2020?  Will I still be posting every day, or will I have wound down somewhat?  How many new books will I have written?  Will I still be living in Seattle?  What will my income be like?  What new experiences will I have had?  How well-known will I be?  Will the “sex trafficking” hysteria be over, as I predicted just before that last Leap Day?  Will I even be alive?  There’s no way to know, or even to guess; the only way to find out is to wait.

There’s been a lot of change since then, but fortunately not as much as over the four years before (though I’m traveling more than ever).  Obviously I’m still posting every day, but aside from news columns the average length is shorter and Fridays are sometimes quite short. My fourth book will be out soon, and I have plans for two more this year and three next year, including a third collection of short stories; I also have a documentary, The War on Whores, that was still in the talking-about stages last leap day.  I’m still spending most of my time in Seattle, though of course now I have my farm, Sunset; on the last leap day I hadn’t even decided to relocate yet (that didn’t happen until December of that year).  I’m making about the same as I did four years ago, but expending a lot less effort to do so; in fact, I don’t do traditional escort advertising any more except for my personal website and free ad sites, and I plan to mostly stop taking new clients at the end of this year unless they have impeccable references.  I’m still alive, but unfortunately so is “sex trafficking” hysteria; however, it has backfired on its creators and promoters in a way I didn’t quite predict, with over half of Americans now supporting decriminalization (many of them because of the hysteria rather than in spite of it), and strong pro-decriminalization momentum in a number of US states.  And as I head toward the tenth anniversary of this blog, I’m seeing a slow shift in the way I live my life (for the better, I think).  Will I be around to answer these same questions on February 29th, 2024?  Only time will tell.  But as I look at all I’ve done over the past decade, I can say that I’m reasonably satisfied with my life and accomplishments.  And as that’s not something I’ve ever really been able to say at the end of any prior decade, I think it’s enough.

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Back Issue #80

If they dressed as Playboy bunnies, would he claim it “bordered on bestiality?”  –  “An Enormous Big Nothing

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Note for new readers:  My blog and Twitter feed are definitely not “safe spaces”, and cannot be made so with “trigger warnings” or “content notes”.  I am fighting a war against government oppression and police brutality, and war is never pretty or safe.  So if reading the truth about authoritarian violence upsets you, I suggest that this topic in general and my oeuvre in particular are simply not for you.  I do not and will not self-censor; if anything I will rephrase bureaucratic & journalistic euphemisms to make the ugly truths they’re trying to hide more visible.  So “confiscate” will be rendered as “steal”.  “Former police offcer” becomes “typical and representative cop”.  “Corrections officer” becomes “screw”.  “Have sex with” becomes “rape”.  “Die in custody” becomes “murdered”.  You get the picture.  If it’s more than you can handle, go in peace and I won’t blame you.  But I cannot and will not “tone it down” to avoid offending the easily-offended, nor will I respond to attempts to police my language with anything but the same lack of respect I respond to attempts by the state to police my behavior in real life.

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Though last week was very busy (with work, other appointments, etc), I still managed to get everything done that I wanted to do, including preparing my tax stuff for the CPA, uploading the interior of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II, setting up my other forthcoming book projects, and solidifying my travel plans for this month and next.  On top of all that, I managed to make time for another Star Trek podcast, this one called Enterprising Individuals; it’s been a lot of fun dipping into that audience, and I wouldn’t mind other fancasts contacting me!  On the travel front, I’ll be leaving for Orlando next week, then I’ll be in Austin for two days in March; it’s unlikely I’ll have much extra time to see anyone in either location, but if you are in either of those places and want to try, let me know and I’ll see what we can do.  I will certainly have availability when I visit New Orleans in May, and possibly when I go back to DC in March, so speak up if you want to see me either of those places as well!  I’ve got a lot of energy right now, and though I don’t really know why I think it might simply be that I’m in a good headspace and have a lot of confidence in my life strategies at the moment; one sign that this is the case is that two new stories popped into my head, and I got one of them written up over the weekend for inclusion in Lost Angels early next year.  Anyhow, I think that’s all for now; next week at this time I’ll be winging my way across to the other side of the continent.

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