Take a Sad Song and Make It Better
Gustave Flaubert . . .
I feel as dreary as a corpse, completely stupefied, my accursed Bovary torments and confounds me. There are times when it all makes me want to die like a dog.
Ah, the joys of writing.
I’ve been reading progressive websites ever since the beginning. I can remember when the Netroots was still without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Then the spirit of Moulitsas wandered through the darkness, and eventually he beheld the void, and he said, let there be light, but there was still no light, so he lit a match, and then someone loaned him a candle, so there was at least a little light. And he said let there be diaries: and there were diaries. And he saw the diaries, and some of them were good.
And he said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the diaries, and I will make a covenant with anyone with a User ID, and unto them shall be given the power to divide the diaries they like from the diaries they don‘t like. So he made the firmament, and the covenant was fruitful and it multiplied, and the diaries which were under the firmament were divided from the diaries which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And in the fullness of time, this ritual spread across the land, and many humble scribes longing to see their scrolls ascend above the firmament and be read by vast multitudes were afflicted by disappointment and despair, for their scrolls were condemned to languish in the recent scroll list until the time allotted to them ran out and they vanished from the face of the earth.
So when they try to write their next scroll, they feel as dreary as a corpse, completely stupefied, their accursed scroll torments and confounds them. There are times when it all makes them want to die like a dog.
I’ve been there. I think we’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter if you’re Glenn Greenwald or Meteor Blades or Digby or Josh Marshall or the newest scribe on the roster, you’re going to be stupefied and tormented and confounded at times by the challenge of conveying what it’s like to bear witness to all of the corruption and deceit and degradation you see all around you, as the politicians fiddle and the bankers fiddle and the judges fiddle and the journalists fiddle while everything burns.
Keep writing and posting, even if your diaries don’t get the readers they deserve. There’s more truth in one progressive diary than there is in entire editions of the New York Times or Washington Post or on any of the other big media outlets that only say what the plutocrats tell them to say and call it journalism. Read and recommend more diaries, give everyone a chance to share their stories and concerns and insights.
Life in this wreck of a country is a sad song, the music is sad, the verses are sad, and that chorus of austerity we keep hearing is the saddest of all, it’s awful. But we don’t have to listen to it every damn day until we‘re dead, we can change the music, we can write new verses, we can we can toss that bogus chorus through the Overton Window, we can write a real chorus everyone will want to sing, we can take that sad song and make it better, and keep making it better until it’s the best song ever written, until it’s so inspiring that people will still be singing it a thousand years from now.
That’s what we can do.