Tag Archives: freedom

Having a Blog vs. Using It: Some Thoughts

I don’t follow analytics much with my blog. You’re reading it. That’s all I give a shit about. Following the traffic, I don’t do much of that.

I’ll check once or twice a month, see if my daily visits are holding up, and if there are massive spikes, I see what posts were near that day. Pretty chill, but I’ve done this for enough years to actually have a grasp on who you, my reader, often is. Or the readers I care about, anyhow.

And while my old sex posts drive my traffic the most, it was actually politics and current events that became my stratospheric posts over the years. When I get pissed, it seems to resonate. Apparently my anger reflects the frustration we feel both in Canada and the USA, and even England, because most of us are living in a classist divide that’s becoming increasingly religious.

So, over the weekend at the Pride events here in town, I chatted with friends about social media conferences, and how, for me, it seems more about selling tools than encouraging propagation of debate and discussion.

When it comes to blogging, I feel it can, and does, change the world. I don’t wanna talk about WordPress, metrics, and all that shit. The message is the message, for me, not the medium.

I feel an obligation to put ideas and content first, design and discussion-tracking last. I believe my voice matters. (And so does yours; whether you choose to use it is your drama.) I don’t really need to host the discussion here, I just need you to leave this page with a few thoughts percolating in your brain, and then I’ve done my job — that’s always been my take on things.

Sunday’s conversation kind of ended with my thinking that I’ve betrayed my ability to write, my strong beliefs on where we’re going wrong today, and my desire to see the world live according to my ethos (since I’m super-inclusive and secular), all by failing to continue blogging in a more frequent way.

I give good debate, baby. And I’ve been letting myself and my readers down at a time when I think we need more discussion, because if anyone can be the spark to a good fire, it’s me.

The Past’s Shadow is Long

Part of the reason I don’t watch my traffic today is because I don’t want to feel beholden to numbers. I’m cranking out some 1,500 unique visitors a day, and without doing a lot of work to sustain it. It’s what I call “legacy traffic.” Google had lost me for a long time, but now it points anyone looking for sex tips and smart writing here. Good job, Google!

Still, it bothers me a little, because I haven’t been writing about sex for about 3-4 years.

To have so many of you still turning up, with questions arriving in my inbox (which I’ve been ignoring in my life chaos), it tells me there’s a dearth of great information out there, and that mine’s standing the test of time on the web, a hard thing to do.

These days, I’m a-thinking. I don’t want to be writing about sex and relationships, because I’ve more or less been celibate since all the trouble began with my back, except for, you know, a dalliance or two. My head’s not there right now, and I haven’t wanted it to be, either.

Maybe I underestimated the voice I bring to the sex discussion, and maybe I need to rethink my role and the validity of my place in the fight for a smarter world that’s sex-positive in a way that doesn’t mean we have to jump the “taste” shark. Maybe I also underestimated how much we have devolved into an orthodox society with increasing hangups about sex and sexuality.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But if the Shoe Fits…

I’ll be doing a lot more thinking about this. I’ve avoided talking about sex or sex news because I was tired of being pigeon-holed as a “sex writer,” since I feel that’s about 8% of what I’m comprised of, but if it’s not getting done properly by others, maybe it’s time I dust that conversation off. Just something I’m considering, and not a promise. Your thoughts are relevant to my thinkin’, so feel free to persuade me on this.

Maybe combining sex and politics in this same post is indicative of who I am/have been as a blogger and a person.

I think sex and love are basic human rights. I believe who we are as a society is something that shifts and changes through the ages, like a river carving a canyon. Change and evolution is constant, but often only visible on a wide, long view, and while I see the massive changes we’ve had for the better, I see how far there is to go.

Born Under A Bad Moon Risin’

I’m of that generation that came of age in the analog times but made the digital world our bitch. I was my college’s last journalism class to lay out a newspaper with glue and paper, and the first to do so on the computer. I was born at a crossroads, with one foot in old-world news, and the other kicking toward the future. My head of journalism was a former editor who ran political campaigns, so I learned about the press from both sides.

I’ve blogged since 2004, about sex since 2005, and I’ve been political since my teens. I live in borderlands and know more about America than most Americans will ever know about Canada, and I bleed maple syrup.

I was raised Catholic, rebelled against it after I learned of molestation scandals and cover-ups in my own Archdiocese and high school. I identify as a feminist but love men and deplore radical thought in any vein, especially if feminist.

The Alchemy of a Writer’s Voice

Somewhere, in the midst of all those qualities and attributes lies the reason why I too have a voice that’s important to the mix of who we are and where we’re going.

We have the ability to stand up and be counted, to leave our prints on the windowpane of the world, thanks to the internet.

For those of us who can do so, yet don’t do so, we’re betraying a gift of being born with talent in this time and space. We’re at a point in evolution where we have the means and the ability to project our lonely voice around the world, free of corporate interference, free of investment, and yet we’re mired in a complacency that sees our society devolving almost daily.

While the 1% keep getting richer, we applaud and watch the Bachelorette while reading TMZ, glorifying the division of our classes, because glamour is somehow more significant to us than protecting our dwindling average-citizen quality of life.

We belittle the intellectuals, want leaders we can have a beer with, and seem to do everything we can to avoid the realities of what’s going on as economies around the world teeter on the brink.

We delude ourselves into thinking change can’t come, that we’re just the little guys. We pretend that if we keep watching TV, shopping for “Made in America” products, and praying to the good God above that we’ll be just fine when that high-water mark of society gets overrun.

I don’t buy any of it.

In a span of three years, with no technology, no automatic weapons, no electricity, nothing, the working class of France brought down the nobility and monarchy, and modern democracy was born. Three years. By people with HOES and SHOVELS, with the occasional dagger for good measure, for crying out loud.

Shit started rolling last year, but I don’t respect the Occupy movement a lot because there are too many dumb-assed anarchist fucks in the mix. But they’re heading in the right direction, as long as they leave anarchy out of the debate.

They’re right, though. Anger, frustration, these aren’t things we should be feeling fleetingly. These should consume us.

There’s a disparity of income distribution that is a mockery of what the USA was founded under, what Canada should exemplify, and it all comes down to legislation by politicians who are bought and sold by the interests of those they mainly seek to protect, the upper-upper-class.

We deserve better.

And the only way we’re gonna get better is if we never, ever let the matter drop.

Me, I’ll never be that guy on the street with a placard, but I have this soapbox.

I think it’s time I start seeing this blog as an obligation, not a hobby, because I loathe the world we’re becoming, and I cannot respect myself if I don’t shout out loud about why I feel it’s all going so horribly awry.

And that’s what blogging can be. That’s what it should be.

If you want the latest scoop on TomKat’s Divorce, maybe it’s time to aim higher, expect more, and become a part of these discussions we really need to stop avoiding.

Praying for Egypt

As I write this, the Al Jazeera live blog is reporting that the Army has told protesters in Tarihr Square that they will not go against civilians. Hundreds of judges are now reported to have joined the protests. Curfews are being ignored. Jets overhead are being ignored.

I’m a child of the ’70s and grew up during plane hijackings in an era of war in the Middle East. In my lifetime, that region has always been a problem… from assassinations to oppression, and now the home of terrorism.

This dream of seeing dictators overthrown and new eras come to life is something one holds inside when they love journalism and politics, something we dream of seeing once in a lifetime.

When the East German Wall came down, down came the Communist regime throughout Europe.

Is this Egypt’s wall? Is this the toppling domino that unseats Middle Eastern dictators en masse?

In an era when it almost feels like there’s less hope than ever for civilians, this protest in Egypt makes my heart sing.  I’m so full of hope and prayers.

This could be the week that changes everything. It really could be.

If you’re not following what’s happening in Egypt, you’re missing out on what might be history happening… possibly the real start of real change in the Middle East.

Pray for Egypt. Pray for change.

A woman in Beirut supports the Egyptian struggles.

New Obscenity Laws in Canada

Once again, Canada leads the pack. Back in 1969, Canada’s new prime minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, said that the Canadian government had no business being in the bedrooms of Canadians. Consenting adults — male, female, straight, gay — could do as they wished, because where there was consent between the parties, no harm.

That is the prevailing thought behind the some new rulings that will be redefining the parameters of what can and can’t transpire due to “obscenity” here in Canada.

The gist of this? Swingers / sex clubs, the Supreme Court of Canada now says, are legal. Why? Basically because by way of entering the swinging establishment, where sex usually transpires quite openly, all those within the premises have essentially consented to the acts being committed therein. Go on ahead and visit Montreal, visit a swingers club, and have a little sex while you’re at it. It’s legal.

(About Montreal — the Paris of North America: There’s a show filmed here in Canada called Kink, and each season it’s set in another Canadian city where it follows the lives of a few participants as they go about their kinky existences in their little kinkdoms– from boring homosexual sex through to leathers, whips, and all the pain you can eat. Slings, anyone? Easily the kinkiest place in Canada is Montreal, where fetish is a rite of passage. God, I love my French-Canadian heritage. ;)

There are reasons I’m profoundly proud to be Canadian, and the level of personal freedoms is far and away at the top of my list, of which this is simply the latest example — most recently preceded by the legalization of gay marriages. Whether it’s smoking pot anywhere I want in this town (although still illegal, it’s largely ignored — we are this continent’s Amsterdam, kids, and owners of the best dope in the world, sez High Times) or knowing that I could perform any sex act I want (except possibly bestiality, which obviously is not exactly my bag, since I can’t even handle hairy backs, let alone fur), there is no doubt that the border between Canada and the United States is where my world changes, drastically.

So, here’s a thought: Your life is only as good as the freedom with which you live it. Whether you have extreme views on sex, drug use, or just everyday rights for everyday people, voting is crucial to the well-being of your life. It’s no secret, I don’t like George Bush. At all. I dislike the politics I see coming across the wires from our Southern neighbours, and it saddens me to see what seems to be an erosion of freedoms in a time when “freedom” is what the fight’s all about. Ironic, methinks.

But the point is this, your supreme court shapes the land in which you live. Hell, look what it’s done for my country.

Bush was elected on a fiscal platform, and because he pulled patriotic strings. I’m not sure many people sat back and thought, “Hmm, will he be the right guy to pick Supreme Court judges that will shape my freedoms for the next four decades?” Well, fortunately/unfortunately, that’s the case. Not one judge, but two, and with three years to go, who’s to say what’s next? You think you have an opinion on his choices yet? How could you, when they’ve got a lifetime in their offices? Some twenty, thirty, forty years of deciding policy that will impact the lives of every citizen. Food for thought, indeed.

Perhaps this is another fork in the road of our two countries. Now, me, I’m no swinger, and it’s unlikely I’ll ever be. I’m an old-fashioned romantic with a fondness for orgasms, that’s all — and a fondness for freedom.

So, swing away, kids. Montreal’s where it’s at. Coming soon to a Canadian city near you, perhaps.