Being a Bastard Works
When I first started multipleegos.com it was simply an extension of my old LiveJournal, a place to post personal thoughts, photos of my trips, and so on. That was a long time ago, back when everyone had Friendster and Multiply.
Now I have Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Plurk. I have Project Otaking to keep all my geek-centric fixations compartmentalized, away from the sensitive eyes of the monoculture. (‘Monoculture’ is geekspeak for ‘people who think everyone should like the same things they do’.)
Making niche blogs tends to fragment your opinions, and I have many, many opinions.
See, I tried toning down my act. I really did. I kept my head down in law school, kept my head down at the firm. Parroted opinions I heard in the break room that morning.
But there’s a funny thing about opinions. The safer your opinions are, the less you actually have to say.
Being in sync with prevailing opinions makes you plankton, drifting along prevailing currents. Prevailing opinions prevail because people are afraid of sticking their necks out. Afraid to swim under their own power.
Take the current Philippine Reproductive Health Bill controversy. One very large herd of sheep thinks one way because the Church tells them too. Other large herds of sheep think in other ways because they hang out with herds that don’t like the Catholic Church herd (because they belong to other herds that the Church doesn’t like, like non-Catholic Christians, Wiccans, LGBTs, and so on). These dissenting herd opinions shouldn’t be confused with individual, considered opinion because of their own tendency to apply broad generalizations in their arguments (like the tiresome labeling of the Catholic Church as the Magisterium).
Or take the outbreak of democratic-themed revolutions in the Middle East. (‘Themed’ the way warehouse shopping centers are themed. Those aren’t really warehouses, and you’re not really getting a better deal because you’re inside what appears to be an industrial building. It’s all a show.) None of these revolutions are like the others. But it’s hard to tell when the only reason people read the news is so that they won’t be left out when all their officemates are discussing the headlines.
There is someone on my Twitter who loudly trumpets the visionary commercialization of geek culture by his coterie of entrepreneurs but loses no opportunity to diss Apple for being money-grubbing control freaks. (Because he doesn’t own an iOS device.)
If I’m going to end up agreeing with people who contradict themselves from day to day, I’ll be disagreeing with those same people by sticking with what they previously said. And if I’m going to be contradicting people inadvertently anyway, I might as well do it intentionally. I might as well stick to my own opinion in the first place.
So here’s how it’s going to be from now on: I’m rebooting this blog. I’m going to say what I think, and I’m going to make peace with the fact that nobody wants to hear opinions that don’t match their own.
I’m going to be a bastard.
Because being a bastard works.