What is the proper tone for a blog?
My guess is that blog writers, if they are also novelists or newspaper reporters, don't write their ideas the same way they do for print publication. The typical blog writer has no boss. The Internet feels like a medium without restrictions. The addictive attraction of blog writing is its freedom. Blogs should be a place to look for new ideas, some of which are not empirically demonstrable.
I've been reading experts on blogs, trying to find the proper tone. They say the best blogs are intensely personal and filled with passionate dialogue. In my novel and on this website I am trying to share what I have learned in a lifetime of attempting to heal myself. I believe the future of our species will be determined by dealing with our mental health. We are frail, easily delusioned, superstitious and violent. Sam Harris' books brilliantly set forth the dangerous future religion is leading us into.
In a hundred years we may not have a planet if we do not start looking at what happens to us physically and emotionally from the moment we are conceived to six years old.
Bush, pathologically, does not solicit feedback from those around him, evaluate results, or easily hold people accountable. In spite of his MBA training he does not remotely perform like a competent executive. He cannot bear the subtleties of inconclusive debate. He sees reconsidering decisions or changing course as evidence of weak leadership.
He must be right and he will not surrender. Old currents of blind rebellion run deep. And we're not dealing with an intellectual giant. His facial expressions tell us we are dealing with an angry child.
It is no surprise that such a man, in the interest of vast sums of money, would lie with no regard to how many lives or how much torment the lie might cost. Unfortunately there are too many doctors and lawyers, sworn just as Cheney was sworn, who do the same thing. We are living in an epidemic of psychological immorality where even religious leaders are morally corrupt. My explanation lies in our upbringing.
I was a soldier and am familiar with firearms. There is absolutely no way Cheney could have shot his lawyer buddy, unless Cheney was completely unconscious. Deep, ancient anger will produce this. For moments he wasn't present. He didn't even see what he was aiming at. He might have been firing shotgun pellets at some old memory he wanted to exercise. I do not believe the reason his daughter is a lesbian can be solely accounted for by genetics. No doubt the man is also a child abuser.
These failures stem directly from Bush's old family drama -- creating a personality diametrically in opposition to his father. The collapse of his reason for invading
I wonder how much of an element early damage and beatings are in the rise of Evangelical Christianity, which seems to seek to block thought and feeling and substitute for it -- superstition.
Two absolutely ruinous mistakes, leading inexorably to our present disaster, were made early in the occupation by Paul Bremmer. Bush, Cheney and or Rumsfeld could've gotten rid of this incompetent and reversed course -- just as our President could have quickly chosen someone to better handle the aftermath of Katrina.
By contrast, overcoming failings in their marriage, there is no way that
I am the son of a man so pathologically narcissistic that when I was in my 20s he took all of my film directing credits and placed them under his name in the Directors Guild of America directory. My father never was a film director, but the Radio Directors Guild, of which he was a member, had long ago been folded into the DGA. At that time I had not bothered joining because I worked essentially alone. No less a director than Robert Downey Sr., who gave his unfortunate son marijuana to smoke in his early teens, gleefully informed me of the theft.
“As for your blog, the first entry seems too strident. Too many opinions and too few facts lead people to question your objectivity—if not your sanity. Perhaps such a peroration might attract some other victims of abuse, but I think you also want to engage people who haven’t had the experience. Overstating your case with inflammatory rhetoric is likely to turn off those who aren’t intimately familiar with the problems.”
Here we have it! Abuse is a persistent menace – therefore in speaking out stridently, I am insane. Doesn’t this well meaning, intelligent man realize half the population of this country has been abused? Therefore half our adult parents are abusers. It's probably worse than that.
It’s the subject our film (for the time being called "The Backlight Chronicles") is going to address. We elected an abused president who has surrounded himself with other abused, pathological personalities. Are we are not intimately familiar with the problems?! They are destroying us. Who would not be strident?The only people who don't have first-hand “experience” with abuse are those in denial. It's everywhere, pernicious and dangerous. I am already receiving letters from abuse victims and lining up the hundred or so people I will need to testify in our feature-length documentary. Their stories are absolutely amazing. One would not believe civilized adults could treat their children this way. It's going to be heartbreaking. But only by telling the truth and confronting it can we bring change.
A main thrust of the film: there needs to be a federal law removing the statute of limits on child abuse. It should be like murder, for it is the murder of a little soul. Victims must be able to sue a federally, because their civil rights have been violated. Many states are so backward that most of their legislature is made up of abusers. New York is an example that also excludes recovered memory. One cannot count on those fellows to change the law.
It seems that in certain areas only fanatics can bring on change. Perhaps only those obsessed will take the steps to confront injustice or inequality. Somehow in all our years of being intimate buddies, traveling and working together we had never discussed anything of a psychological nature. That speaks of my prior self. But also speaks to my unconscious denial and unwillingness to hear the kind of responses I would have gotten.
“Getting rid of some of the bloody red screeds would help, but first you ought to tone down the angry language. You know that a word can have very biased connotations and I think readers will trust and believe you more if you protest less. And I think you don’t want to preach just to the choir—you want the nonbelievers and the on-the-fencers, too. “
I agree. But it is hard to tone down the angry language when it is so obvious we're on a pernicious and dangerous path. I recently wrote an impassioned letter to a sophisticated female friend whose troubled teenage son had been talked into seeing the same therapist she saw. I was informed that the therapist assured the young man that nothing he said would be repeated to his mother. Please, Madame therapist, display some therapeutic wisdom, even though our idiotic laws render you invulnerable to lawsuit. A young man needs his own, private therapist.
“Saying that the letter was about Seung-Hui Cho, who killed people at Virginia Tech, would inform or remind people of what you’re referring to. I was confused. And I don’t recall that there was evidence of abuse in his background, either.”
It really doesn't matter what that insane fellow's name was. People know I am referring to someone so angry he pumped stranger’s bodies full of bullets, and made a video justifying his rage. Of course there is no public evidence of his early abuse. He was living in
“Your second entry represents to me more of the tone and style you should aim at: rational, more balanced, therefore more convincing.”
To me the style and tone of these pieces is the same. We must do something about our violent ways with children or we are doomed. If a superficially civilized country like the
“I’d like you and your book to be a success and want to see you portrayed as the rational man you usually are, and not some meshuga. And the fact is, this tone is not fair to your book, which is much more persuasive.”
A book is not a blog. I took care to make “Backlight” evenhanded and believable, even though it presents a surrealistic and idealistic take on the