Posted by keith on July 13th, 2011
I’ve been looking at the main page at pondering on the lack of recent posts. There is a reason for this – not the pondering, but the lack of posts – and it stems from the tension that arises between the part of an activist that writes about what is going on with the world and the things that activist is concerned about, and the need to get on and do something about it.
I have read far too much of the former and seen far too little of the latter. There was a time when I enjoyed seeing my name in lights (as it were) and thinking that presence amounted to achievement. If all you are attempting to do is raise the public profile of something then fine, go ahead and write and get your name in lights, but as a means of achieving change then public awareness is a poor substitute for public action, even if in the eyes of the mainstream environmental groups public awareness is considered action itself. That is, to be frank, a pile of horseshit (actually, horseshit is pretty useful stuff, but I can’t think of another analogy to use for the moment).
All the time I am writing I am not doing. It’s not quite as simple as that because in my case, and the case of a lot of writers, the act of writing is also a way of creating ideas and sometimes part of the mental preparation that is essential for a successful action. But the moment writing becomes a substitute for getting things done is the moment something is going wrong. Like the gamer who plays Second Life or Minecraft while all the time atrophying in their own self-deluded idea that gaming is life.
Yes, I am writing a book, but it’s coming along slowly because I am spending far more time getting out and doing stuff, whether that be engaging in conventional non-symbolic activism, taking part in community projects and activities, growing food and tending the chickens on our small plot, earning a bit of money or (better still) bartering for my computer skills, or just being a part of a family and circle of friends. Writing is not really a priority.
Sorry if that means The Unsuitablog is not the vibrant, edgy read it once was, I’ve just been distracted in the best possible way.