Friday, March 14, 2008


I should have started blogging years ago.

Sometime around 2000 or so, I found out about something called a "blog" which was the hot new thing on the Web. I'd been writing journals since 1985 and writing a series of "Project Notebooks" since 1992. Surely I should take to the blogosphere like the proverbial fish to water. But no. I was still strictly a lurker. Until this year, that is.

I realized that I'm past forty and not getting any younger. My life was already approximately half over, and I hadn't yet done anything in my life. I was still very much the professional slacker. This couldn't go on. I had been working on a comics series very halfheartedly since '92, the year I joined a Japanese animation club, but nothing came of it but a lot of procrastination and self-kicking.

In the spring of 2006, I discovered the perfect excuse to get off my passive butt and start writing some of the stories in my head. The book was called No Plot? No Problem!, and it introduced me to something called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The first time I tried writing a novel, I couldn't finish it. But I'm still working on last year's novel. NaNoWriMo has a sister contest called Script Frenzy; this year comics scripts are allowed, and that gave me e perfect excuse to start work on the comics project I've been working on since 1992. And so I'm getting ready to retire from the slacking business and become the writer/artist I've long wanted to be.

For the last couple years I've been writing notes in my Project Notebooks, and this quiet little voice (the voice of reason?) keeps telling me that I should have written it in a blog. It was only now, when my novel Bad Company and manga Spanner are on their way to being published, that I actually built up the nerve to create a blog of my own. A few, actually. I'm dedicating one strictly to my writing and art projects, and another will be more personal.

This blog, however, will be my soapbox, my venue for all the politically incorrect opinions that I've developed over the years. That's why I'm calling it (for now) "The Outside View" -- apparently a fairly common name for blogs, since I couldn't use any variation as my blog site name. I've always been an outsider, having grown up as a misfit (I was the weird kid in school). I'm usually on the outside looking in, so I'm likely to have a more objective view than someone who's inside whatever. I don't expect everybody to agree with me; nobody ever agrees with everybody. This is my view.

I should start off by stating my position. I'm mainly a left-wing libertarian, though I have some respect for certain socialist views. So I like freedom, and I don't like government. By the classic libertarian principle of "war is the health of the state", that means that of course I'm against the ever escalating series of wars that are bankrupting the US and dragging the world down with it. I've learned to think dialectically, so my conclusions may be strange even to some people who share my basic political outlook(s). I'm an odd combination of idealist and cynic, and one of those rare people who actually grow more radical as they get older. There's more to it, but that's the basics of it, whether people like it or not.

It's been a long time. But now I've stopped just lurking, and started putting my views out for the world to see. I'm now a blogger. I should have been one eight years ago.

When I put my other blogs up, I'll post the links here. [Update: My other blogs are now in the "Links to My Sites" on this blog's sidebar.]

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