Over the years, many of you long-time readers have reached out to me to send me tips or to let me know that you enjoy what I write and share here, and it always means the world to me.
Yesterday I got something notably different in my inbox, and I’m going to publish it here along with my response because I think it’s worth talking about.
Here’s the pseudonymous email I received.
Is Waxy a blog about the internet or is a blog about the personal feelings of the writer? Is it about things you find or make for the internet and share those ideas or is it just a blog where you give us your opinion of how bad Trump is then expect everyone else that reads your blog to agree with your ideas? Is it a blog about how the political right cause all the World’s problems, lead by Trump, then it is your job to let us lesser informed know of this? Is Waxy about turning a blind eye to any bad thing that the Left do so that our minds can only see the ills of the Right who, of course, are lead by Trump? I am so confused.
Is it your vocation in life to tell us how stupid we are and only to show the bumbling of the Right whilst overlooking anything the Left do? Is it that people can only make up their minds if they get biased feedback?
Waxy like so many of my once favourite sites is now only on this planet to tell me one side of the political story so that I can feel bad about myself. What is wrong with people making up their own mind based on ALL the facts or being an individual a scary concept for people with such low self esteem as many of the Left?
Why is it that 95% of us know what an idiot Trump is and most of those 95% don’t give a flying f%$# about American politics yet we have to be bombarded with all his foibles whilst hearing of the saints from the Left. I yearn for the good old days when I could follow and read my fave websites of which Waxy was one and not be bombarded with anti Trump, anti right, pro Left and bury your head in the sand and make up my own mind and not have to read the biased opinions of websites which are now just “safe places”
I don’t owe anyone a reply and would normally just ignore an angry email like this. But I realized that I’ve never talked about the shift in focus that’s happened here over the last couple years, and I thought it would be worth articulating.
Here’s what I replied:
Waxy.org is, and always has been, my personal sandbox. It’s where I write and share things that I think are interesting or compelling or important that I come across online. In the past, it’s generally been things related to internet culture, copyright and fair use, the intersection of art and code, emerging technology, and the social web.
Right now, those issues just don’t matter very much to me. We’re living in a country facing a badly-mismanaged pandemic that’s killed over 200,000 Americans, a deep distrust of science and the press, the widespread rise of conspiracy theories, racist police violence, an authoritarian takeover of the federal government, a looming election crisis, and a possible civil war.
I live in the U.S., and it sounds like you don’t. That’s great for you, but I have to live here and worry about the safety, security, and future for my family and friends. Quite frankly, it’s hard to think of much else. I still link to fun internet stuff, as I always have, but it’s just one subject of several that matter very much to me right now.
As for accusations of bias, I link to articles that are factual and well-researched from authoritative sources and established publications. But I don’t think there’s “another side” to issues like the mishandling of the pandemic, systemic racism, police brutality, climate change, or the Trump administration undermining the election process. It’s the objective truth, and anything else is just spin.
I’m certainly not forcing anyone to read anything, and I share links that I think are compelling and worth reading. Feel free to read it and make up your own mind. Or unsubscribe if you can’t tolerate viewpoints that challenge your own, if it makes you feel better.
Either way, I’m not going to stop writing about issues like these until things change in this country, and I have the great luxury of focusing my attention on fun and creative things happening online.
Thanks for the feedback.