Well that wasn’t easy.
You didn’t miss the first seven, I’m just jumping in here. I’m spending September on the most advanced, complex and challenging professional project I’ve ever done, so I’ve decided to journal my month in order to 1) keep myself sane, 2) maintain a light, let’s say rosy-knuckled grasp on my humanity, and 3) maybe build up a little momentum and keep this up after the 30th.
The project is technical in the extreme, but I’ll give a shot at making it accessible to non-technical readers. (God knows if I have any non-technical readers, or, for that matter, technical ones. I’m probably just talking to myself here.) Let me give you a bird’s-eye view, the way an entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy might help you make your gentle acquaintance with a spiky topic: imagine a house.
Writing is hard and slow. Writing about writing is a little easier and a little faster. So I thought I’d do some of that, being the pretentious wastrel that I am.
Back in 2008, some friends and I started writing a story. It was about resistance, revolution and underground struggle, or at least as we—a gaggle of college kids who were raised on space opera, were in love with the romantic, revisionist narrative of World War II, and thought George Bush was as bad an antichrist as America could conceivably anoint—understood those things. The story was called “White Rose,” after the resistance group formed in Nazi Germany in 1942, whose core members were university students in Munich: kids about the same age as we were, and who, as Christian pacifists, must have rolled in their graves every time our protagonists mowed down a battalion of government jackboots with machine guns.
Well, here we are again.
I’ve been a little absent for a long while. I’ve fallen out of contact with people, and I’ve neglected or abandoned a lot of pursuits. Aside from sporadic stirrings on Twitter and Tumblr, my digital presence has been pretty limited. Truthfully, my non-digital presence hasn’t been much better.
That wasn’t intentional, though in some ways it was a necessary sacrifice. Since 2013, I’ve had a couple of job changes and moved to Virginia. To put it clinically, my capacity for non-essential activity has been limited. That’s not an excuse. There are choices I could have made better, or at least differently. If you’re reading this, you might have been angered or upset by some of those choices. I’m sorry about that. It won’t change overnight.
But after the events of the last week, I know that’s not good enough anymore. We’ve all just discovered—or at least, we are newly aware—that the world is not in good hands. Institutions that were old and strong can no longer be taken for granted. “Everything will be okay” is not a credible belief system.