"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty."
I'm not going to be involved with the Runaway Slave thing today. An unfortunate series of events have conspired to keep me home working. And yet I am relieved to be in my hidey hole and not part of that thing which I think begs me to answer questions I'm not sure I have answers to.
It is part of my dilemma as a writer, that I am of a particular sort which defies explanation, except for those of my rivals and opponents who all feel confident that they've got my number. I have a love-hate obsession with describing myself and my purposes because I know them so well, and I fear others know them so tangentially. What am I doing here? Why can't I just do x? These are not questions I ask myself very often because I know the answers - it's just that I don't think anyone else wants to hear them.
Yesterday I went over to Booker Rising and read some of the comments that people over there have been making about what I write here. I have this oddment of conviction about myself that I acquired when I turned 30. I stopped qualifying my statements with 'IMHO' and just said what I meant, and let the counter arguments fall where they may, correcting myself as logic dictates. So I tell you what I really think, all of the time. The problem is, that's all it is. Whereas I think most people assume that I mean to tell other people how and what to think. I don't. I only presume that others might be doing what I do when I speak, which is give them the benefit of what makes sense to me. Still, when I say it, I don't mumble and I guess it sounds evangelistic.
I am quick to take correction when I am mistaken and to de-emphasize my conviction when I am wrong. These are not the qualities of what we tend to call 'Alpha Males'. The assumption, like the social prohibition of fat hairy guys in Speedos at the beach, that only certain types have any business speaking out in a non-subversive manner. So to hear me proclaim loudly some thing, and then to hear me disallow that speech on another occasion augers against the sort of heroism I gather people expect of one so bold.
Which brings me to my relief.
At some point, I'm going to get out to meet Hindraker and Ponzi and other fellows at Claremont. In another life I was destined to attend college there, recruited as I was to the first coed class of Pitzer College in consideration of a Philosophy major with computer classes over at Mudd. It would have made a world of difference to me, I think in retrospect, and I would not be so much of the streets. On my credenza is the Rand Experts Guide 2010. I am open to the page with Eric V. Larson and I sit here with some consternation at the fact that I sat through a Meetup yesterday at Coco's in Manhattan Beach discussing our Afghanistan policy with people I know don't know our Afghanistan policy. When was the last time I read something by Eikenberry or Crocker on the matter? I hate forgetting. I hate not knowing. I hate spending time listening to people who don't know.
But in the mean time there's this place I can walk up to, take a seat and be considered. It's called 'black Republican' and it is essentially meaningless because it is essentially derivative. I know that and I don't believe I can be convinced otherwise. For me to speak up on the matter, as welcome as I am to do so, comprises some element of compromise. That's because I'm not really seeking an audience. I'm not out to gather support for my position. I'm merely curious, and as usual, I'm saying what I say because I'm a writer.
Of course that's not all there is to it, and it's not entirely under my control. But I have a conference call in 3 minutes, and I really have to go...