Refreshingly Cynical

I've written speeches ("I don't run for Governor to define myself...") magazine and newspaper articles, television and radio news stories, podcasts, tweets, documentaries, pamphlets, blurbs, headlines, cutlines, bylines, datelines, news releases, newsletters, op-eds, editorials and columns...

...Legislative/Congressional testimony, impromptu remarks, streams of consciousness, marriage vows ("From this moment forward...") eulogies, letters, legal briefs, television and radio commercials, print ads, advertorials, mission statements, strategic plans, talking points, etc., et al, ad infinitum.

As a kid I once wrote a science fiction screenplay (sort of a Star Trek meets Laugh-In). I don't write music, but I sometimes "add value" to existing lyrics. I hope one day to write a book.

And now I'm writing a blog.

Think of it as the natural evolution of a creative mind.

Professionally, I lead/motivate a team of communications practitioners carrying an advocacy message (read: we're propagandists). In that role, I often say, "you're assuming people will actually read this stuff." Okay, maybe the motivation part needs a little polishing.

I find propaganda's always more effective when underpinned by the truth:

"Family farming is more than just a business. It's a culture and way of life worth preserving."

"Federal farm payments end up in church collection plates and pay the property taxes to support schools in rural communities." I'm in Washington this week and I worry that one's wearing a little thin, but I thought the 'church collection plates' was a nice touch.

I'm working on a blog in my professional life. Over there, I wrote, "Do we have a public policy agenda? Of course. We won't insult your intelligence by trying to convince you otherwise. But we also won't hit you over the head with it."

You see where I'm going. If I really believe that, then the same principle should apply here. I have no agenda in this personal blog other than an outlet for the crap that bounces around inside my noodle. I won't insult your intelligence by trying to make it anything else.

In pre-Internet politics (campaigns and actual governing) I loved letters to the editor. You can say whatever you want in them. The same holds true with a blog.

So what should readers expect here? Beats me. We'll define it as we go along. But blogging is, by nature, a conversation. Read and react. I encourage you to chime in. I've done a 1-80 on that one, by the way. If McLuhan thought that medium was the message...

Left to my own devices, I tend toward cynicism and self-puffery ("...but I thought the 'church collection plates' was a nice touch.") When you think about it, blogging is not without a certain ego-driven motivation.

I mean, strip away the narcissism and this whole enterprise is nothing but an e-mail.

I'm old enough now to understand that the cynicism will never go away. It's part of me. But I've learned over the years to manage it so that I don't lead with curmudgeon. A friend once described me as "refreshingly cynical." I hope that comes through here. Again, draw your own conclusions.

Typical with my life, Jackie offered the best advice:

"Just write the damn thing and get it out there."