This will be my 600th post as I celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of ElephantTail. If you work that out I have written an average of 25 posts a month since I began here, which by normal standards is a lot of writing for a fast aging 73 year old, who types by the hunt and peck method. This morning as I write this, I’m sitting on a futon in the main room of my small cabin in the Catskill Mountains. It is raining and cold outside as I pound on my cheap laptop, with its’ missing keys and broken internal battery. That depresses me, since only yesterday I finally had an outlet installed outside on my deck, so I could write in the sunshine, but alas there is no sunshine predicted for all day today.
My personal predilection has been to always attach some significance to personal anniversaries and to try to use them to impel me towards greater efforts. This is akin to all the people who resolve to go on diets on New Years Eve and more or less just as successful. So at the two year point for ElephantTail I am contemplating my direction once again and re-examining my needs. The original explanation for why I started this venture can be read if you click on the About link above. Suffice it to say, it came about as a result of my hurt and anger when a few I considered friends, betrayed me at my last venture and so this blog was sadly born out of the need to prove to myself that I could succeed on my own.
You note that I say “prove to myself” rather than prove to others. My personal hubris, a part of me for as long as I can remember, is that I’ve never doubted my own abilities to succeed in anything that I’ve chosen to do. Or as my maternal Grandmother, who didn’t speak English would say to me in Yiddish as a cautionary warning:
“Moishie, ir ve gat mer nerv vi seykhl!”
Mikey, you’ve got more nerve than brains!
Grandma Esther was right and in the many, many years since the child within me heard her words, they have been proven prophetic in my life. When it comes to my talents, or my intelligence, I have been supremely self-confident in life, in the face of others disapproval, or denigration. Yet I am honest enough with myself that I don’t share the illusions expressed by Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront:
For the truth is that I never could have been a contender. The reason for that is that my emotional makeup is and always has been close to that of Peter Pan. Pleasure and contentment have been my main goals in life, because having the self confidence that I could always succeed if I wanted to, I have rarely been motivated towards the all out, egocentric effort needed to really attain what success means in our society. I’d like to think my persona is like “Britt (James Coburn), an expert in both knife and gun who joins [The Magnificent Seven] purely for the challenge involved” Britt’s conceit and perhaps mine, is that he is so good he only competes against himself.
For instance, in 1977 I was languishing in a job as a Caseworker in Welfare, awash in the many sybaritic pleasures of Sex. Drugs and Rock and Roll that the 1970’s had to offer. I had no real plan for my future. However, I was involved in a destructive relationship with a cheating woman, who told me that “You are too old, too fat, too Jewish and going nowhere in life, for me to care for you!” Those cruel, yet true words energized my then latent ambitions. Literally, within 6 months I had won a full tuition Scholarship to Columbia University School of Social Work’s Masters Program and lost 20 pounds. At the same time I had talked my way into the Psychotherapist Training Program at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training. The Columbia Masters Program was particularly sweet, since that girlfriend’s mother, who considered me a loser, was most proud of her own graduate degree from Columbia. I dumped, the then more appreciative girlfriend two years later and five years later I was married to the love of my life, had my two darling daughters, a burgeoning Psychotherapy Practice and had moved into upper management in NYC’s Child Welfare Agency. I had also had my first heart attack at the age of 37 and so life goes.
My point is, that as much as I dearly appreciate those who take the time to visit here, I am really writing for myself, rather than for an audience. Curiously though, my audience has grown, but in ways I’d never imagined. As the About details, I got into this blogging thing by becoming prominent as a commenter on Jonathan Turley’s popular blog Re Ipsa Loquitor. Given the amount of argumentation, my initial blogging experiences focused on the importance of people’s comments and the angry responses to them. By the time I got here, it was ingrained in me that the heated debate of a Comments section was an essential element. Thankfully, a group of staunch internet friends followed me from my last blog. Chief among them were Swarthmore Mom, Blouise, Bron, Big Fat Mike, Carlyle Moulton and Mostly Mozart. As time has passed their contributions have waned and I suppose other interesting things are happening in their lives, my own diminished presence in commenting, has contributed to only a trickle of comments remaining.
My commenting contributions have become few and far between, because as these two years wore on I began to realize that my posts gave me a rostrum to write as I pleased and I had little need to defend my opinions in order to somehow justify them. What has happened too, is that a Fascist fraud has become President and I deeply believe he represents a threat to us all. Because of that I have been regularly posting at so far 6 different Facebook Groups (with many thousands of members) dedicated to resisting Trump. It is easy for anyone who stops by here to see that I almost exclusively write about the Resistance, because frankly the danger this awful person represents is far too fraught to ignore. My stats show that Facebook has brought in many of those who find some interest in reading my musings and my plans for the future are tied in with finding an even wider Facebook audience composed of those engaged in Resisting this dire threat to us all.
Yet as my third year begins, with this being my 600th post, I’m writing this one for those who aren’t following me on Facebook and in fact this effort will not be posted at any of those 6 groups. I respect that those groups are about the politics of Resistance and my own personal musings are not appropriate for the audience. Yet as this milestone has passed I wanted to connect with those who have seen me evolve through my 7 years as a blogger. I appreciate you for all of your support, I cherish the comments you’ve made and the knowledge you’ve imparted here. My two year statistics are below, make of them what you will.
- 62, 449 Views
- 12,538 Visitors
- 15 Different Countries, 2,785 views
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