Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Twitter Has Become My Anti-Muse

So, one of my New Year's resolutions was to write more. And I did. For a couple of months, I made a point to blog almost every night, even when I had absolutely nothing worthwhile to say.  Yes, it was a little self-indulgent, but it was also quite cathartic.  And I did get a fair amount of positive feedback. So it seemed, overall, a good thing to be doing.

Then, quite unexpectedly, I got some praise and encouragement that prompted me to consider a return to my political blogging days.  For several years, I'd steered clear of that due, in large part, to a negative experience I had involving a friend.  More recently, both career aspirations and Facebook have cautioned against dipping my toes back into the political pool.  You see, there's a job I'd really like to have and, unfortunately, being outspoken about my political views is likely to put the kibosh on that.  And, given that I typically link to my blog through Facebook, and that a good portion of my friends (including family) hold views different than mine, I've worried about alienating people I care about.  Which, when I think about it, strikes me as quite cowardly.  I'd like to believe that those who know me and call me "friend" love and accept me for who I am regardless of whatever political differences we may have.  Still, feathers get ruffled and offense, once taken, is often hard to set aside and forget.

So I've contented myself with mostly fluffy writing -- at least in terms of what I've shared with/inflicted upon my friends.  Then Twitter came along.  Well, that's not quite accurate -- I've had an account since 2008. I'd never paid it much mind, though. Something sparked a renewed interest in it earlier this year -- I think, quite honestly, it originated with my (rather embarrassing) obsession with Bravo TV.  I started following "real housewives," but before I knew it, found myself following real politicos instead. It began with politicians, and then evolved into pundits and media sorts. No longer did discussions of who's had the most plastic surgery or is heading into foreclosure intrigue me.  Not even the undeniably adorable and irresistible Gigi the Pom managed to hold my interest. 

In Twitter, I found my true social media soul mates: those fascinated with both political science and journalism.  We are geeks (of the borderline cool variety), sharing this corner at the intersection of the Beltway & the Fourth Estate.  To the unTwitternitiated, it must all seem quite alien.  But to me, it's a slice of cerebral heaven. There's only one problem. No, I take that back - there are two: 1) Ruminating on all this more substantive stuff has put a damper on my fluff-inspired efforts; and 2) Twitter is such a lightning-fast medium, and my timeline so populated by people who write/blog/editorialize for a living, by the time I'm able to cobble together something more substantial than 140 characters, they've already written it, published it, disseminated, and covered it all far better and more thoroughly than I could ever hope to.  In short, I'm intimidated. 

And yet, I can feel the spark inside. I do have some fire in the belly. And I'm tired of being apathetic and, worse, cowardly.  And that's the best place from which to write, in my opinion. Structured, overly-planned out writing is great for motions and briefs.  But a blog, if it's to have any hope of being remotely interesting to anyone other than its creator, has to have that fire, and maybe some sass to accompany the humor. 

So, what's a girl whose muse is both defused and confused to do?  Why, develop a split personality, of course.  One of the wonders of the Internet is that it allows us to assume multiple identities.  So, that's what I aim to do. I welcome those who have more than a passing interest in my political musings to let me know, and I'll be happy to share my links.  For those who prefer the lighter side of Susie, I'll still be right here.  Prattling on about smiles and other random musings.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hello. My Name is America.

A warning up front: This entry will mark a significant departure from my typical tone and subject matter. 

"Hello. My name is America. You killed my people. Prepare to die." It came to me about two hours into the coverage of Osama Bin Laden's death. Those familiar with one of my all-time favorite movies, "The Princess Bride," will recognize its inspiration. 

I actually typed it into TweetDeck, and then erased it.  Something made me question.... Too flip? Too...something?  I remarked earlier that it feels a little weird -- I've never celebrated someone's death before. I'm not quite sure I much like this feeling.  I am glad we got him. Though the circumstances were somewhat extraordinary, I do believe that justice has been served. 

Ultimately, I decided to go ahead and put it out there into the Twitterverse.  Not surprisingly, it provoked a (mostly positive) reaction. I'm not laughing, though, as some have assumed. 

This is a sobering event.  Again, I believe it to be a positive one for our country. But I can't help but reflect on the genesis of this quest:  The many lives lost and forever altered by horrific events that happened nearly 10 years ago. I hope that, in some small measure at least, today's events help bring some closure and peace to those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in the battles waged since.

God bless the lost souls.  God bless our military men and women for serving and protecting us all.  And God bless America.