Miercoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol. 17: Balance

Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight. Equilibrium is pragmatic. You have to get everything into proportion. You compensate, rebalance yourself so that you maintain your angle to your world. When the world shifts, you shift.
~ Tom Stoppard

I just had a lovely and interesting conversation with Amber which touched, among other things, on the subject of balance.

When I changed my blog skin, the lists and links on the right-hand side of the page did not carry over to the new version. So I had to start reconstituting my links from scratch. Naturally, I started with the blogs and sites on my own "follow" list--the things I read regularly. Since this time I was able to figure out how to make it a blog list rather than a mere link list, it now shows the titles of the most recent post on each site. (Though, perhaps due to my poor skills in technomancy, I still haven't figured out how to put up a cool "donate through PayPal" link like the one PersonalFailure has. Ah well. Maybe I'll just create a PayPal store which offers poetry by commission, and circumvent the whole problem.) This caused Amber to notice, and be disturbed by, a thing I had only thought about as a vague worry in the back of my mind: Almost all of my links are liberal, anti-conservative, ex-Christian, or otherwise blue sort of places. Yet in conversation and in real life I strive for a more balanced, "I don't trust anybody" approach, and this seemed to her like a worrisome contradiction. Possibly disingenuous, even.

My own views are more like the t-shirt which reads "fiscally republican, socially democrat, sexually liberal." I like the idea of a flat tax, a percentage of income for all persons, and of laws which permit relatively law-abiding citizens such as myself to own firearms. (Did you know it is illegal to own a handgun in the city of Chicago, but not illegal to own a rifle--for which there are no practice ranges within like 100 miles?) I like the idea of gay marriage being legal, of evolution being standard curriculum in schools, and of marijuana being legal, at least for medical purposes such as the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea. (Seriously. Nothing else worked for my sweetums at the time. Even the doctors agreed that as long as they didn't officially know about it, it was a great idea.) In fact when it comes to relationships between consenting adults, I like Dad's idea of the relationship contract. Regular hetero marriages, in addition to being legal contracts, could have the sanction of the appropriate religious bodies. However, any other relationship which does not violate other laws could be delineated in a contract and signed by the appropriate parties. Which would include of course gay marriages, but also temporary partnerships, poly groups, Gorean "slave" contracts, open marriages--pretty much every kind and flavor of human relationship. Provided the persons involved are all adults and sign in the presence of an attorney and/or judge, who would hopefully be able to vouch that said adults did not do so under any overt coercion.

But of course there isn't a political platform which perfectly matches my views: we live in a democracy. Not a synchromocracy, in which the whims and opinions of the populace are charted in real time and fluctuate like the weather. Unfortunately one is expected to choose either the red team or the blue team, harp on the flaws of one's opponents, and sheepishly apologize for the foolishness of one's allies. This seems ridiculous to me. I view myself as rising out of a conservative background, even though for the last decade I've been either a nonparticipant or a silent, not entirely comfortable participant. So I take some comfort in reading many blogs with a liberal bias, because they make me feel that maybe I'm not crazy. At least by comparison.

Yet having primarily liberal-leaning blogs in my sidebar does create an inaccurate impression, and is definitely counter to the spirit of what I'm trying to do here. I want my blog to be a place where everyone genuinely feels welcomed and validated, regardless of their views. I want the distinction between thoughtful and asinine to be far, far more important than the distinction between conservative and liberal. With the caveat that everyone should get a chance to be asinine from time to time, so long as they don't become dependent on the habit.

I'm thinking that my sidebar categories will be something like "Good Guys", "Overzealous Partisans", "The Unabashedly Rude", and "Relations and Personal Friends". Y'all know what categories you yourselves will fall into if you are regular readers.

I would like to invite everyone who reads me, though, to give me some links to get me started. Reasonable conservatives and crazy whackjob liberals especially, since given my linklist I will have a slightly easier time finding the converse. (Although You Are Dumb, for example, clearly falls into the Unabashedly Rude category on the liberal side. So perhaps it won't be so hard for me to find crazy whackjob liberals...) My point is, if there's any viewpoint which you think should be represented yet I have failed to adequately acknowledge, please, find an eloquent proponent of same and I will linklist them.

Because here on the internet we are a collective of disembodied voices, bereft of the social cues and visual signals which would normally ameliorate the acid touches of our opinions on one another's brains. My own blog postings of late have been deliberately void of politics and the doings of religious organizations, for the very good reasons that those things are relatively small parts of the average life, and any discussion of them tends to get people's dander up. I am not avoiding the subject because I have no opinions. I am avoiding the subject because, in general, I don't consider my own opinions authoritative enough to be worth starting a fight about, and besides, I have so many other things to talk about which I find interesting and fun.

So please, post me some links, or send them to me if you have my email! Expand my horizons, and thereby help me to expand the horizons of my other alleged readers!


Amber E said...

Hey Kiffle,
Thank you for the post. Balance is a nice title. today I was reading the blog of a shiny new author


His novel Monster Hunters International is great. Action, humor, well developed bad guys and minor characters (of course the protagonist is developed but none of the characters are flat) several nice twists...anyway I'm having it mailed to you by Amazon so you can read it in a few weeks.

Back to the issue of balance. Larry Corriea has several blog links on his blog. I have not throughly examined them but they seemed to be more Right/Independent leaning than some of the things you have so you might want to check it out. Okay, must get back to work.

Love ya,

Fiat Lex said...

Hey Amber! Thanks for the link, I will use it to start researches. I will also check out Michael Savage, I know you mentioned him when we talked about this on the phone.

I've just started editing my layout now, and I'm realizing that in addition to more social-issues sites I want to have way more ones about science. Science rules!

Love and pez!

Amber E said...

That galaxyzoo site is awesome.
Love ya kiddo