Decennial fridge-cleaning.

I recently concluded, god forgive me, my tenth year of blogging. For most of those ten years – excluding a three-year dry spell where I concentrated on writing a novel – I’ve kept up an undemanding pace of a post every month or so.

Why so slow? Every time I write something, I ask myself,

A) Is this argument true?
B) Considering the high likelihood that it’s untrue, is it interesting enough to be worth sharing anyway, as a well-meaning contribution to public debate?
C) Does the risk that my argument, misinterpreted or taken out of context, might corrode public manners or morals, outweigh whatever negligible benefit there may be in sharing it?

A, B, and C are tests of conscience, which I alone can answer. If an argument passes all three, I apply a fourth, exoteric test:

D) Will this argument get me in trouble if it comes to light in some future internet search or social media controversy?

I live in a left-wing town. I move in left-wing circles. My opinions about Brexit or The Benedict Option aren’t relevant to the kind of jobs I’m likely to be paid to do; but employers are free, and in my view should be free, to hire people they feel will fit into their company culture – which around these parts means saying “hear, hear!” when the boss tweets out the latest anti-Trump meme.

In what’s left of 2018, I’ll be publishing a half-dozen or more posts – I haven’t quite decided how many – that I’ve held back over the past few years out of caution, or if you prefer, cowardice. I always intended to buff up these abandoned posts and publish them someday. But as the backlog grew, it became evident that even salting them into my posting schedule, one every few months, would leave casual visitors with the impression I was far more of a right-wing crank than I really am.

No harm resulted from my circumspection. The world hasn’t suffered for want of these opinions. But I’ll feel less chicken-hearted having shared them; and I might as well do it while I still have hair on my head and a little money in the bank. Afterward I can bury them under discussions of old books and movies, and resume my customary pose of inoffensive boringness in time to start worrying about my retirement.

M.

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