But I think this post of Dave's (and btw, sorry to hear that Dave's checking out; he's one of the better ones out there) encapsulates why I've made that conscious decision as well as anything. People are what they are; bozo politicians are more often than not reflections of their constituencies (or enough of them to get into office). And while snarking on stupidity and its many practitioners is still fun and gratifying, at the end of the day it has the outcome of peanut-gallery guff, it changes little to nothing. It's cathartic for me, and hopefully entertaining for you. But that's about it.
Not that I'm stopping or anything; as we head into yet another round of midterm foolishness, no doubt moar and bettar morans will scuttle out from behind the faux-wood paneling in the GOP's crazy-aunt basement. And dickless Democrats will squawk and piddle about it, but in the end do fuck-all. The names and details change, but the results are generally the same, and there's not a damned thing any of us can do about any of it. But for me the energy these days is with the music and the music books, not because it's exactly a profitable venture for me as yet, but because it's entirely within my control.
In nearly nine years of steady blogging(!), preceded by about six years of forum activity and boisterous commentary and interaction, there are definitely days or weeks where I feel like I've said most or all of what I have the ability and capacity to say. It becomes a pattern of diminishing returns, attenuated only by my willingness and ability to bring in, absorb, and process more information, and regurgitate it usefully.
That was not too huge of a challenge when I read mostly non-fiction over the last decade; the process of reading-analysis-writing fortunately goes fairly quickly for me at this point. But most of my non-fiction reading recently is short form. I probably read 50-55 books last year, but at least 80% of those were fiction, especially crime fiction. I don't know why; as they say, it is what it is.
Political observation is and always will be fascinating to me on some level, because to me it represents a confluence of interesting disciplines -- history, culture, geopolitical strategy, sociology, and more. Approached honestly and diligently, it has endless possibilities to inform and even surprise on occasion.
But we are more of a Facebook/bumper sticker nation when it comes to political discussion anymore, and there's only so many gaggles of twittards one can read through and stomach. I see this in many of the other political bloggers I read regularly, so I get that it ain't just me. It can be very frustrating to take the time to inform oneself and analyze data, only to see decisions be ultimately be made by people who too ignorant and/or lazy to bother with all that, or by folks who are engaged enough to get informed, but not quite enough to take any meaningful action.
(Note: Voting does not count as "meaningful action," it is in fact the bare minimum required of anyone who still thinks there might be a glimmer of a possibility that their voice in the wilderness might still count for something. But when the two parties, in practice if not in rhetoric, are much more alike than different, then it matters less and less.)
As America gets more and more fat, broke, crazy, and violent, and tries to deal with its compromised role on a groaning, cluttered planet that is only becoming more so, all we can do is hope to hang on, while looking out for higher ground.