For some months now, I have been toying with the idea of closing this blog down. Let me explain.
When I originally started the blog, it was with three main objectives.
Firstly, I wanted to explore the possibilities of online publishing. As I put it in my first post on Feb 23rd, 2003:
After centuries of disenfranchisement, subjugation and de-humanisation, the Internet promises to re-empower the individual and unite ordinary people around the globe. Personal web sites like Blogger give us a medium to make our voices heard like never before. This Blog is my voice on the Internet.Blogs were a cool new thing at the time and - as a compulsive writer - I was excited about giving it a try. From that point of view alone, this blog has been a huge success. Sure, it would have been nice to get a hundred million readers (like Atrios), but I am not too worried about that. Self-promotion requires a degree of networking and other forms of marketing that I have never much enjoyed. If I have ended up being a lone voice crying in the wilderness of cyber-space, so be it. It's been a fun, rewarding, frustrating experience for me personally as a writer, alternately soul-destroying one day and hugely inspiring the next. I hope my readers have also benefited from the experience.
Secondly, I wanted to gain a real understanding of the external forces that control my life. It seems most of us spend our lives - wittingly or unwittingly - helping to fuel this rampaging juggernaut we call "Modern Civilisation" yet we never stop to take a really good look at it. Who built it? Who controls it? Where is it heading? Again, from that first post:
Who are we? Where are we going? What kind of world do we want to create?This blog has again been hugely successful in helping me understand these forces, at least minimally. Sure, they tend to be complex, interwoven and highly secretive forces, shrouded from public view and protected from accountability. Think about Skull and Bones, the Carlyle Group, the CIA, OPEC, AIPAC, and all the rest. Think globalisation, Big Money, Big Oil and the World Bank. By now I have at least developed a good, basic grasp of what is going on in this world, and I will never be able to look at things in the same way again.
We live in a world of "guided missiles and misguided men" (Martin Luther King). The industralised behommeth of 21st Century "Civilisation" races at full steam towards a destination most thinking people no longer wish to attain. As we hurtle blindly towards our materialistic, nuclear future, we leave behind untold wonders and riches, many never to be seen again. Who built this cursed machine? Who controls it? Should we be trying to stop it, destroy it or re-direct it? Or should we just be jumping off?!?
They key issue is globalisation, of course, an irresistable phenomenon in this ever-shrinking world, but certainly one that doesn't NEED to be a bad thing. We must resist the corporation-dominated vision of globalized Fascism which drives the global agenda today, but we also need to imagine, create and spread a positive, alternative vision of global harmony, equality and peace. Indeed, the struggle to resist the negative global vision of today could ultimately become the unifying experience for all the world's citizens to build a better world tomorrow. Such idealism is not mis-placed in today's world.
My third and ultimate goal in setting up this blog, of course, was to get BUSH OUT. I wanted to campaign for the removal of not just George W. Bush, but also all the other pompous fools (including my own Prime Minister, John Howard) who were responsible for the outrageously undemocratic and illegal decision to go to war in Iraq (and so much more since then). I focussed on Bush because it was obvious that without him the whole thing would never have happened, and his removal from office would surely precipitate the demise of his followers.
Sadly, Bush, Blair and Howard have all won re-election since I started blogging. So my blog can be counted a failure on that basis alone. Indeed, it still makes my heart ache when I think about all the greedy, self-centered people who knew the truth but still voted for these men. And yet, and yet ... who would have imagined, back in 2003, when the "hugely popular" Mr Bush proudly declared "Mission Accomplished", that things would have turned so decisively against him? At the time, I was derided by aggressive Bush supporters as a "tin foil hat" wearer who had been "drinking the Kool Aid". I was threatened frequently with physical violence and all my arguments were dismissed as "Conspiracy Theories". Now those arguments have been proven true, and those pro-Bush cyber-thugs find themselves subjected to the very same ridicule. As I write, Bush's popularity rate in the USA is 32% and falling. Censure and impeachment, once un-thinkable fantasies, now loom large on the political horizon. It seems the Bush cabal may be battling for its very survival in the November mid-term elections.
We have come a long way indeed. And in that sense, my own journey of discovery on this blog has matched a broader public awakening across the USA and around the world. I certainly do not claim to have been a leader of the online anti-Bush movement, but nevertheless I am pleased to know that my blog has helped to light the way for some readers. A large proportion of my 65,000-plus hits (to date) have come from online searches, and some stories available here are no longer available elsewhere (or are all but impossible to find).
So what now? I am sure most readers are as frustrated as me by the relentless stream of outrage-generating stories which we continue to read, day after day after day, and by the persistent lack of public accountability for these high crimes and misdemeanours. So what to do?
Personally, I have to ask myself if this blog is still the best way for me to instigate change and drive Bush (and his cabal, and his coalition partners) from office. At the moment, I am not sure.
In the old days of printed papers, it was often said that "today's news is tomorrow's fish-wrappings". It's a truth which the Bush cabal and their spin-meisters know all too well. And it applies to online news as well as the printed page, though perhaps to a lesser extent (fish-wrappings rot to dust in the garbage, after all, while online news remains on file for search engines to rediscover).
I know that blogs like this help to maintain the rage and keep stories alive, building a community of outraged citizens around the world, all demanding real change. We have helped bring Bush to his knees, but ultimately it will not be blogs like this that finish him off.