Time for a sabbatical.

17 Nov

I have been maintaining this blog for five years.  Somewhere along the way I lost my original intent, which was to simply leave a record for my children.  This is how it was, these are the things I saw, this is how we got here, I was saying to the kids in their future lives.  I thought that eventually they would read all this, probably after I was gone, in an effort to understand how their world became what it is destined to become.  I could have left a private hand-written diary, but this has been easier, what with the ability to embed links to sources, etc.  I got that they did not want to hear all this depressing information right now – who, in his twenties, wants to think about how crappy his life will be when he is my age?  Not because of anything he has done, mind, but because that is the deliberate plan of a few very wealthy entities who have captured power over the entire planet.  As a matter of fact, my kids set up this website expressly for the purpose of giving me a place to vent – they did not want to hear all this stuff at the dinner table.  So I wrote and recorded, all the while thinking that eventually they will get old enough to become curious about some of the strange goings-on and nasty changes that would begin to affect their daily lives.  (Then old Mom will be vindicated!  Isn’t it funny how much smarter your parents get the older you get? they would say to each other.)  I knew they did not read this blog as I wrote it and I was okay with that.  I was writing for their future selves.  (Despite their lack of interest in my words, I have gotten advice from them on how to make money on the blogging adventure.  Dear God. Where did I go wrong?  No-one will see a “donate” button here or google ads; the idea of trying to hustle a buck from some other poor saps just like myself would be kind of an ironic and twisted perversion.)

My siblings and parents also knew all along I was writing, but they – with one exception – have no interest in this messy stuff, this depressing, awful shit; shit which they assume any crank in any generation could find to complain about, so they do not read it.  The one exception is one of my brothers, who will call and say, “Fine post you had today.”  Or, “How can people ignore what you talked about today?”  I can count on him to offer editorial advice or help in fleshing out a thought.  He never commented publicly here, but his private thoughts have been freely expressed and always helpful. (Me ke aloha, brah.  Mahalo.)

But somewhere along the line, I forgot my original intent.  One or two people left comments and I started thinking I had something to offer the public.  Why, strangers were reading this and finding it useful.  I can be somebody!  Heh, heh.  What silliness.  But that sort of thinking overtakes us gradually, doesn’t it?  Finally, I found that I was actually becoming bitter over the fact that so few people found me interesting or useful, as those couple of commenters never became a larger pool of readers.  And even they have mostly disappeared now.

It is time to regroup.  Writing about the state of things as they currently are and speculating about where we are headed – even though the disastrous direction this country has chosen should be obvious to anyone – really is depressing.  The fact, misguided though it may be and however it came to enter my psyche, that no-one seems to care really is depressing.  And so I have become depressed.  Distressed.

I have new obligations at work and new obligations in my family life that I should be focusing on.  Believe it or not, some of these articles I write take hours and hours.  I check and recheck facts, I search for the best resources, I edit many times before I post something.  I need a break from this self-induced schedule of chronicling our downfall.  I may post an occasional item of outstanding import, but I simply cannot continue inflicting this on myself, at least not until I get over this idea that someone should care.  I need, as they say, perspective.  Fact is, no-one cares and I need to get back to the point where I don’t care that no-one else cares, if you see what I mean.  One third of the Americans polled recently say they would agree to cavity searches on a regular basis while traveling.  What the hell can you possibly say to that?  When I remind someone that nationwide the electric companies and insurance companies used to be state-regulated and non-profit, or that we used to be allowed to protest without permits, in any public area, or that the government paid for all the cable lines to be laid and these communications companies have been making pure profit all along,  or that there did not used to be such things as derivatives and that speculators in the markets were heavily regulated so they served an actual social value, I get a shrug and a “Oh, yeah, I kinda remember that” if they are my age; I get a blanket denial from a younger person, a snotty remark such as, “Where did you hear that?  Where do you get your information?” as though I had not been alive then and remember it or were making up “socialist” crap.  Such is the power of propaganda.   We are not only losing our present and our future, our past is being rewritten for us as though it never happened.  Things were never different than they are right now – what are you on about?

I’ll be around, and no doubt I’ll be back once I collect myself and remember my place in the scheme of things.  In the meantime, stay alert.  Watch for developments on things like the TPP, a false-flag to start war with Iran, austerity inflicted to benefit the oligarchs, tearing up the entire place to frack it all, and the militarization of the country.  If I can find the information, so can you.   Oh, and when pundits tell you that it is now up to the “progressive community” to hold Obama to his words, smack them upside the punkin’ head, because they are deflecting the blame from the system and the brute beasts whom we elected (but none of whom actually gives a damn about us) to us.  They are basically admitting that he lied, his campaign promises are for jack, you did not vote for what you thought you did, in fact your vote never mattered at all, and if he continues to sell the country out to the neocons and big corporations, it is your fault.   Fuck that shit.   Obama does not hear you, compadre, you fucking retarded liberal, you.  You may have voted for him, but you did not elect him; and he serves the ones who made sure he was elected.  Half the country would have been just as happy to have Romney, think about that; a rich asshole who openly says that the wealthy should get everything and the rest of us can fuck off.  What a difference a few short years and a lot of bullshit from the media makes.  That we were content with these two “choices” and actually argued over them.  The die is cast.

Yes, well.  Good luck and Godspeed.




Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


8 responses to “Time for a sabbatical.

  1. Kitt

    November 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Teri: I mean this in all and complete sincerity: While I completely understand your discouraged and deflated outlook due to the seeming and real lack of interest in what you have worked so hard to write about so that we will know more, your work has not been in vain. Please, don’t, as they say, let the bastards get you down. Or more seriously, please know that you have been, still are and will continue to be appreciated. And, there is no sin in needing and wanting to feel appreciated.

    I’ll check back in, but in the meantime, if you are in some contact with Bystander, aka, you know who, ask her for my email address if you like. If you don’t have hers let me know somehow and I’ll get mine to you some other way.


    • Teri

      November 21, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Kitt and Paxhonu,

      Okay, now you guys have me tearing up. Thank you both for taking the time to write. I’ll be back – I’m just so down, you know?

      Kitt, I don’t know Bystander, aside from seeing her comments at UT. I can’t recall that she has ever addressed me directly (either here or on UT) and I certainly don’t have her email address. Your email address appears to me when you leave a comment here, although no-one else can see it. I can write to you at the address you use to post here if you would like.



  2. paxhonu

    November 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Dear Teri: This article, Time for a Sabbatical, is very touching; so obviously being a quite personal testimony to the depressing grind of speaking the truth to an audience who is either literally or figuratively not there or who otherwise simply will not listen. I too am tired and depressed about it, and all I do is (very occasionally) post a comment here or (even less frequently) there. (Nearly every comment I’ve ever posted was right here on Random Thoughts.)

    Your first-rate writing, manifest intelligence, ahead of the curve research, and keen discrimination in selecting the topics that (should) matter all make your site irreplaceable.

    Jeremy Scahill in a recent interview said that independent journalists and writers need, for the sake of their sanity, to accept that their work probably has little efficacy on policy or the public at large. That people like him (a set you are most definitely included in despite the disparity in fame), do the work because of their internal passion for truth and passion for change. Witnessing an actual change because of your/his efforts is obviously a much hoped for goal; but detachment from the bitter disappointment of seeing no result, and detachment from the normal human need for positive feedback is, according to Mr. Scahill, a necessary condition for him (and you) to keep on keeping on.

    I often wonder why so few comment here. Is it that so few come here? Probably fewer than you’d like, and definitely fewer than we as a society need. But honestly, the articles and blog sites evidencing the largest and most prolific commenting communities seem more than content to swim in only shallow waters (UT comes to mind). The quality and depth of your work just leaves most of the class behind. They don’t know what to say, and won’t do the additional reading and thinking necessary to come up to speed, so they go somewhere else where no-one is really saying much of anything except the obvious. Or where the author finds it sufficient to point out some stupid stuff so-and-so over there said rather than taking the conversation deeper, into Teri territory. As a consequence perhaps, their readership then comments back and forth endlessly to one another; only rarely evincing anything beneath the veneer. (Sorry, GG.)

    Anyway, Teri, I hope you rediscover the spark and come back soon. Write for us on those occasions when you feel like it and it suits your schedule. Know that we are out here, checking to see if you’ve posted. Or searching your archives for some earlier essay we need to read once again to (re)educate us on this or that topic. The difference you make with your words may not be particularly obvious to you; but without your voice, and without the voice of those very very few like you, we have no chance at all to ever emerge from this darkness.


  3. Kitt

    November 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    “I can write to you at the address you use to post here if you would like.


    That would be fine. The reason I’ve offered is simply because I’ve been so appreciative of what you’ve written over time for so long now throughout this stretch of time we’ve all more or less suffered through. I know that you’ll be back but I don’t want to feel cut off or for you to feel cut off. If you do write, that would be a bonus, but most importantly I wanted you to know that you are welcome to do so.

    Thanks again for being a such an exceptional voice for me and others to listen to!


  4. Susan Balmer

    November 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Dear Teri,

    I understand your need to regroup, but please don’t feel that your hard work is in vain. I only heard about your blog through a commentator when GG was at Salon. I never comment anyplace for fear of vitriolic comments. I also understand your sense of despair of trying desperately to warn your kids and for me, grandchildren and a close cousin who believes Pres. O is a good man, being regarded as “crazy” in a benign, harmless way. Regardless, I’m in awe of how beautifully you write and your exhaustive research. I don’t know how you can do all of this and still work and take care of a family. Please get some rest but you are needed now because much more trouble awaits us.

    Sincerely, Susan Balmer


    • Teri

      November 25, 2012 at 6:16 am

      Dear Susan,

      Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I am finding it difficult not to write, so no doubt I will be back at it very soon. I am trying to get to the point where I can handle this like a crazy person on the street holding a sign reading “The end is near! Repent and be saved!” That crazy person doesn’t care if anyone joins him on the sidewalk; he simply feels impelled by his message. So, too, I should carry on with no regard to audience. Unlike the crazy person, at least my “message” is backed by facts and figures. The point is, or should be, to record truth, not to impress anyone with my quite average intelligence. I think I was getting too full of myself, and so the break.

      You are right – there is much trouble ahead. Sadly, Americans are particularly vulnerable and unprepared, as we have been carefully prepped to turn on one another rather than to give careful consideration to matters and recognize the manipulations of the powerful. In a way, it is the end times.

      I also have a grandchild now and am worried for her future. When it is my turn to care for her, I hold her up and tell her, “You are so beautiful. You are so smart. Always remember that the daughter of a lion is also a lion.” She’s only six months old, so her answer is to put her little hands on each of my cheeks and mash her mouth on my chin. I figure that’s about as good as it gets in this life.

      And that needs to be enough reason to continue on.


  5. Stephen Berry

    November 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I too have been following your excellent work for quite a while
    and now feel badly not to have shown my support earlier.
    I think, as someone else said, that your work is so complete and
    well-researched that there isn’t much one can add. That is the
    impression I am usually left with.
    Please consider your sabbatical as just that.
    Rest, recharge but please continue writing when you are ready.
    In the meantime is there anyway to communicate outside the blog?
    I have information that I would very much like to show you.

    Thank you and kind regard.
    Stephen Berry


    • Teri

      November 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Dear Stephen,
      Thank you very much for your gracious comment.

      I will send you a private email.




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