April 17, 2008 at 9:53 am 17 comments

It’s an odd thing, but for months now, I have felt very little desire to speak out on issues, or get into debates with sheeple.  Even, or maybe especially, about freedom.

For the past couple of years I’ve really been noticing how much most people only want to talk about themselves – especially on a very mundane level – and heaven forbid they return the favor and give you equal time!  The art of conversation is so far deceased that it has rotted into a putrid game of self-important, self-promoting control – harmless in a superficial sense, but deadly boring and wasteful of precious time.

But then too, I don’t care a rat’s patootie about the mundane aspects of most people’s daily existence, nor about revealing my own, when I would really prefer to discuss and debate thoughts and ideas and information about freedom, self-sufficiency, preparing for the trouble I see coming, etc.

So, in large part, I’ve gotten into a habit of assuming (usually with reason, I think) that no one cares to listen to anything I have to say.

Now, too, when I hear of abuses, I don’t get het up with anger or outrage anymore either, the way I used to.  (And it was that energy of fed-upness and violated justice that motivated a lot of my writing.)  I do often feel for the victims, if true innocent victims they are.  But the feeling I now experience toward the perpetrators is a cross between indifference and quiet resistance.

And I think it’s that quiet aspect that has me not talking or writing about my thoughts, concerns or plans.

It’s a struggle within, because one voice in my head says, “But these issues are vital and should get some exposure, and you can give them that!”  The other voice, though, counters, “Those who care at this point are already aware.  The rest aren’t interested in being preached at by you.  Let reality educate them, as it soon will.”

No coincidence, then, that last week, heavy into this mood, I decided to reread Atlas Shrugged.

P.S.:  Oh, and speaking of fiction, I was not one of the finalists in the Freedom in Fiction Prize.  No reasons or feedback were provided, so that’s all I can tell you.  Thanks to all of you who have provided warm support and commentary.  Your input has been valuable in every sense.


Entry filed under: Big Picture, Free Your Mind, Gulching, Privacy, Writer's Life.

Welcome to the gulch, Brad and Wendy… Swan song, I suppose

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tsrosenberg  |  April 17, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Hey – commiserations; neither was I a finalist, and none of the finalists seem to be blogging about it. Ah well – onwards and upwards, as they say!

  • 2. PintofStout  |  April 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    It’s good to see you back. Sorry to hear about the contest. Keep plugging away at it.

  • 3. Kent McManigal  |  April 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I can empathize. I get tired of being told I am too radical, or have an attitude of superiority, or am just a bad person for one reason or another. I get the feeling that my words are wasted; those who need to listen, won’t.
    Just know this: some of us do care.

  • 4. Taran Jordan  |  April 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Awww…you guys are the best. 🙂 I appreciate the good comments!

    TS, if you happen to read this, what did you write about for the contest? I’m wondering in part if they didn’t like my submission because it’s historical fiction rather than sci-fi. Comments from the judges would have been really helpful. I do feel your pain. Best of luck with your ongoing work, and with keeping it ongoing.

    Yo, Pint, how’s life? I’ve kept up with your blog, but haven’t had much to say there either. Thanks for missing me.

    Hey, Kent, how you been? You put it well, the mute-ant disconnect I was trying to get at. Sometimes it does no good to try to help sheeple types, even though you mean well. I think it’s like in an election: most people don’t want to hear the bad stuff, no matter how true – they love the candidates who tell pretty lies out of photogenic faces. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

  • 5. Tracey S. Rosenberg  |  April 17, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Huh, I was logged in to wordpress when I left that comment, but it didn’t link to my site. Okay. (It’s in case it doesn’t show up this time!)

    Anyway, mine was also historical fiction, set during a 20th century war. Which is a pretty vague statement, now that I think about it. 🙂 I’d really love to see what sort of things made it through, out of curiosity.

    I can see why they wouldn’t give comments; it sounded as though there were a lot of people giving their opinions, and it can be really damn tough to say why some were chosen and others weren’t if the ones that weren’t come down to ‘not quite as good as the ones we chose.’

    Incidentally, if you have a bit of money to spare, you might be interested in bidding on some of the items in this auction:
    There are quite a few auctions which are agents/editors/writers willing to read proposal + 3 chapters and provide feedback. I will be bidding!

    Best of luck yourself!

  • 6. Brian N.  |  April 17, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I know how you feel. It’s acceptable, given the risks of alternatives. What is one to do? I suppose I’ll try to move forward with encouraging the occasional glimmers of insight that I see, here and there.

  • 7. lewlew  |  April 18, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Hi Taran!
    I understand how it becomes a weary task to get worked up about injustices that occur on a daily basis any more. You feel the tug but if you let it take over your life there’s no energy left for living.

    I’d love to hear anything you had to say, big or small. It’s often the smallest details that make me smile; I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the same for you. If you’re moved to write here, that’s wonderful. If it’s become a burden, don’t do it. Life is too short.


  • 8. Taran Jordan  |  April 18, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Oh, Tracey, of course – you’ve linked here before. 🙂 Hmm, you entered hist fic as well…Lots of judges involved? I didn’t get that impression, since we only had to send two copies, but I know you called and talked to them at one point, so your sense is probably better than mine.

    Brian, you make a very good point about encouraging glimmers of light and truth around you. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    Lewlew, yes, it can be wearying and draining. Yet there’s more to it with me lately. It’s like the changes that occurred in my mind when I learned about my ex’s cheating and was preparing to divorce him – indifference to someone/something so far removed from my values, coupled with the intent to get the hell away.

    As for small details, you have a point. Especially stories of personal challenge and success, even small ones. They’re a much needed spiritual fuel.

    Writing and blogging aren’t burdens exactly, at this time; it’s more that they often feel futile, pointless, and even risky if I do reveal details. But I am very pleased at the many comments this post has received from all you good people – I think I was wrong to worry about the futility issue. 🙂

  • 9. PintofStout  |  April 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Writing and blogging aren’t burdens exactly, at this time; it’s more that they often feel futile, pointless, and even risky if I do reveal details. But I am very pleased at the many comments this post has received from all you good people – I think I was wrong to worry about the futility issue. 🙂

    I’ve written about this on occasion and usually conclude that I write mostly for myself and what I can give to others (and they give back) is just a bonus.

  • 10. peregrin  |  April 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    First time poster–I can totally relate. Sometimes you just need to take care of your own needs (and those of your immediate circle, if necessary), then sit back and wait to see what happens to the rest of the world…I’ve been feeling this way for a while now…something’s gonna happen, don’t know what, when, nor where, but I’m going to quietly prepare and keep my eyes open.

  • 11. Taran Jordan  |  April 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Pint (#9), you’re right, and you have said it well before – it shouldn’t be about others. I can and do write purely for myself much of the time. But of course, blogging by its public and wide-open nature is directed toward readers.

    Peregrin, welcome to TFO. 🙂 Right on and succinctly said. I do read and hear of more and more people growing in this kind of awareness lately. It’s often nebulous, but nonetheless real. I haven’t met very many such folks myself as yet, but if I can, it’ll be good to get some real discussion going. Good wishes on your own path!

  • 12. tsrosenberg  |  April 21, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Oh, I didn’t phone – I don’t have THAT much chutzpah. 🙂 But I e-mailed Justin Marshall, and, hang on, let me get the e-mail. Right, he described the judging process as ‘a multi-staged approach’ with a panel that included ‘literature professors, think tank presidents, fiction enthusiasts and a group of young adults’. With that disparity, it’s kind of amazing that they all agreed on ten finalists! 🙂

  • 13. morrigan  |  April 22, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I have grown very weary of so many things.
    My point of view is like that scene in City Slickers where Billy Crystal is explaining how to set the clock on a VCR…..”He’s not going to get it, it has been hours now, even the cows could do it by now.”

  • 14. Taran Jordan  |  April 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Tracey – hmmm, thanks for the interesting info! (Although it does sound like a mishmash of boilerplate marketing copy. 😉 ) They do seem to have covered quite a spectrum of readership. I wonder how they found the time.

    Morrigan, that’s a great analogy. I hope you are not too weary in spirit! You and Jeff2 were wise to get your tails out to your gulch in good time. And given recent weather, your garden should show a bumper crop this year…

  • 15. Brian N.  |  May 7, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Even at the edge of the abyss, there are laughs to be had.

    “How do you do the clock?”

    “Oh that’s it, you’re dead!”

  • 16. jomama  |  August 19, 2008 at 9:26 am


    We need a new word to describe the people who talk
    at others. How about ‘atversation’?

    I usually get up and leave when that starts.

    Most don’t notice, since they’re talking to themselves anyway.

  • 17. PFJO  |  October 26, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Try living in Los Angeles… the empty, vapid nature of human discourse is such that I actually find myself striking up “debates” with insane Larouchites just for fun. When exactly what is that ideas stopped mattering?

    Today is the first day that I’d heard of “gulching” and I must say that it sounds appealing…


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