Well Shut My Mouth

The Gaming Intelligence Agency (a site that I’ve followed for some time) is shutting down, and I think their final message is worth reading even if you’re not that interested in video games. In my case, I found that it codified something that I’ve been struggling to articulate for awhile. Specifically, this section:

[The writers’ work] rested on the unexamined assumption that this is something worth broadcasting. The axiomatic belief that my voice is valuable, and that the thoughts I think are worth reading.

The most important thing I learned over the last two years is that this isn’t necessarily true. The perspective that Andrew and I bring to games criticism is a perspective it already has too much of.

This is as good a way as any of raising the question: what exactly am I doing here?

* * *

About five years ago I started this blog with a statement of intent. In that piece I said that “I like my own voice[…]”

I no longer hold that opinion. At best, I am ambivalent about my own voice. Because of who I am, and the background that I have, my voice is unalterably that of a white, straight, cis-gendered male. While I don’t intend to excoriate myself for my identity, the fact is that my perspective is one in which the world is positively drowning. It is, in a word, over-represented.

Worse still, I haven’t been using what little reach I have to take a stand on anything because of cowardice, frankly. I am not strong enough to fight the world and its depredations. I do not want to spend what little time I have arguing with people who do not engage with others in good faith, whose primary strategies are focused around irritating, harassing, and exhausting the people they disagree with until they finally become either to tired — or too scared — to speak. Also, since I post under my real name, there’s a genuine possibility that someone who takes exception to what I say could easily ruin my life, and that’s scared me off of doing much good.

If I can’t say anything important though, the next question becomes: why should I say anything at all? Up to this point, I’ve been blogging because I have a deeply-rooted desire to run my mouth and to crack wise. Given the state of the world these days, those hardly seem like responsible reasons to make use of this platform, and to potentially drown-out somebody else you could be reading instead.

* * *

Maybe I’m just tired. I’ve spent the past three years working a job that keeps me constantly busy, and requires that I spend about five hours a day on public transit just to get to and from work. I get practically no sleep during the week. Off the clock, I find myself easily confused and I am frequently wracked with anxiety. Maybe, after a dozen years of trying to be a good blogger and a good employee I’ve finally just burned out. I don’t know.

But representation is important; acknowledging that the space (or attention or “mindshare” if you must) that I take up could be better used by more diverse voices is important; understanding that I am running myself ragged for questionable reasons is important too.

* * *

I’ve met a few wonderful people while blogging. Some leave comments (thank you!), some send emails (oddlotsblogATgmailDOTcom, by the way), and some are other bloggers who post interesting links, have interesting adventures, and are poised to take the theater sports world by storm (which is pretty damn awesome). How could I give up interacting with such cool people?

So, with all that said, am I quitting?

Ummmm… no? Sort of?

I’m not going away exactly, I’m just going to be real, reeeaal quiet for a while. Maybe for a long while. I’m going to focus on being valuable (hey, I’m a Virgo, we like to be useful) by being a pageview, a viewer of advertising, and a donor to other, smarter writers. I’m going to be an audience for people who need to be listened-to more. It’s literally the least I could do. I’m sorry.

And, this is more of a personal, selfish thing I guess, but I’m going to try to have fewer of my conversations in public.

That’s not to say I won’t still check for comments. I’ll also still be checking email box and the contact form for this site as regularly as I ever do. Oh and, if you must, you can message me on Twitter @OddLotsBlog (though I hardly ever check that account so don’t expect a timely reply there).

I’m not on Facebook. Fuck Facebook.

So, not good-bye everyone. Thank you for reading.

Woman to be Billed

A woman will replace Alexander Hamilton on the new US $10 bill – Boing Boing.

Neat, and probably long overdue for something so… innocuous? I’m not sure what that word should be. On the one hand, representation is important. On the other hand, you’d think that it wouldn’t be that difficult to put a lady on a bill, considering how often the damn things are redesigned and all. It’s not like we re-writing the Bible, here.

Not Your Last Chance

In each life, there are at least one or two moments that form a pivot. The decisions a person makes in these moments will determine the shape of the future. Regardless of what you do, the actions you take — or refuse to take — make the world is a different place for you forever after. Sometimes, a bright new day dawns. And sometimes, you spend the rest of your existence lamenting the life you could have had.

This is not one those moments.

In fact, it’s not even a moment of any kind. Not at all. It’s a person.

Granted, it’s a devastatingly cute person, and maybe even one of the few that you’re actually able to get along with — but nevertheless, it’s a person all the same. They are not a decision point, crisis moment, or pivot in your life. Those are things. People aren’t things, silly.

More importantly, people are not Last Chances. No one is a Last Chance.

People like to say that when you meet “the one” you’ll know it. And that’s… kind of true. The important thing to remember is that it goes both ways. They’ll know it too. And if they don’t know it at roughly the same time that you do? Then it wasn’t meant to be, was it?