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The Good and the Bad

Updated: May 20, 2019

You know what's great about writing a blog these days? There are so many of them that you can largely be anonymous again. And I wonder who even reads them anymore? I rarely do, which is really strange since I started out as a reader and then a writer. I loved the written word. I loved old words, unused dusted off words. I loved Shakespeare and Emily Dickens and the Bronte Sisters and, of course, Jane Austen. But I could love them because for me there were a world and a history away. The fact that the US started out as a colony we all know, but we are divorced from it in a way that other former colonies are not. So, for me Pride and Prejudice could just be about some old patriarchal system and Persuasion could just be about lost love, never mind what everyone was doing in the East or West Indies.

I was such an avid reader. I read my way through my entire school and city library and now I can't remember the last book I read or even the last time I read an article without skimming some part of it. To be fair to us readers though, what it takes to write an article and the care that used to go into it is a thing of the past. Now you just need to be first, never mind doing the work to really verify sources or sometimes even perform a spell check, so if I skim it's because not everything on the internet is worth reading all the way through.

I was reminded today of how far we have come from back when my father got a computer in the 80's and after an hour of basic programming, basic the programming language that is, a smiley face would appear on your otherwise dark and blank screen. And when the first communities sprung up on the web in the early 90's there was no way to advertise yourself but somehow we likeminded individuals found each other. We had to just send out

our words into the void, an itsy bitsy beacon calling out into the night. Just like we call out into the vastness of space to see who else might be around. And amazingly it worked, and for a while we were together. Not perfectly so, even in the early days there were instances of abuse. Sometimes communities rallied and became stronger and sometimes they failed to protect those on the receiving end of the abuse but we told ourselves that it was early. That ruled would be established, norms would be put in place and we would mostly follow them because of our love of the shared space away from everyone else. But then, came, well, everyone else. And suddenly everyone could be found, and no one could hide and so, I retreated back to my camera and then to my filmmaking, and then to digital images and then to memes and now I am back, full circle, because I feel like my community is still out there somewhere. Somewhere beyond the manufactured anger that has us all so miserable all the time. And this is my beacon. I hope you find me.

Can you spot me on this globe?

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