It is taking me a long time to come up with a reply to Traeger.
Normally I would feel guilty about this, but the fact is it takes me a while to think of what I want to say to something important.
And this is even more important: I no longer work on a schedule. I no longer work on obligation.
Since I threw it all up, my blood pressure has dropped twenty points. People want their names remembered. People want diplomacy. People want prompt replies.
I no longer provide any of those things. And my blood pressure is down.
Too much of what I say sounds like a quip when it is deadly serious. For decades when someone asked me, “Is he friend of yours?” I have replied, “I don’t know know. I am a friend of HIS.”
This is not a quip. This is many years of hard experience talking.
Traeger never required any of those things from me for him to remain a friend of mine.
I have always known this about practically everybody else except Traeger: the person who says he’s my friend is always one sentence away from despising me. What is called friendship by most people is a very slippery thing.
I no longer worry about this. Common courtesy comes to me from my upbringing, but pretending to admire nonsense or respecting standards that mean nothing to me is like constantly smiling for the camera. If you are a sociopath, it is easy. If you are an honest man, it wears on you.
If you are a monomaniacally, obsessively honest man like me, it is a burden you must eventually lay down.
Whitakeronline had the world’s deadest list. Through the years I begged readers to put my ideas into newsgroups. A vanishingly small handful sometimes did that. Their time was devoted to Clinton’s immorality, to Iraq, to the front pages. They kept e-mailing me comments from great leaders who were saying again what other writers had said repeately my entire lifetime.
I cannot list the number of Great Crises like Clinton and Iraq that I have had to listen to people obsess about through the weary decades. No one who was obsessed with them a decade ago can even remember them now. But what I was trying to tell them, upstream against the torrent of Latest Things, is still as current as tomorrow’s history book.
And nobody noticed.
I am not talking about how hard this was on me. I am talking about how this led me into TWO nervous breakdowns and was heading me into another.
When I announced my retirement I asked people to read my archives and THINK about what I said and how THEY could USE it.
I could count the number of people who are doing that on one mutilated hand.
All I ever asked was an outlet for my ideas. I’ve got that now.
I do the blog because it is a two-way street.
I have already said far more than can be swallowed by people who put me tenth in a list of priorities which consists of eight items. No one but me understands what I am doing. That is why it is so effective.
I work hard to boil concepts down as far as it can be done. Then I sometimes get replies that say, “I agree with you.”
Big deal. Then I get e-mails quoting other writers they agree with.
If other writers are doing the job, why should I knock myself out?
I now have my blog and Stormfront and may be some easy internet radio shows I am STILL trying to get set up for.
I need very little little help with this, but I am still tenth priority in a list of right, so it is all frustration.
And I am out of the frustration business.
Did I mention that my blood pressure has dropped?