Toward A Richer Form & Forum


Recently.. yesterday actually.. I received an automated email from my youtube account notifying me that someone had responded to one of the comments I had posted to a youtube video. There was nothing out of the ordinary about that I had been actively commenting lately and expected some responses.. and with the culture of youtube being as negative and inflammatory as it is, I expected some of that too. But this comment hit me in a way that crystalized something for me: I had been wasting my time and effort. Who was I even talking to? and why? I didn’t know them, and they didn’t know me. When I think about my motivation for commenting at all.. it has to do with just really reacting to what I saw.. or read. it had nothing really to do with trying to communicate directly with anyone.. and thats my crime. Even though there are folks that send me messages telling me how something I wrote resonated with them.. or inspired them.. or validated their own ideas & experiences.. those individuals were simply eavesdroppers on my conversations with nobody.. with the wall.. with the TV.. with the internet. They had simply overheard.

armed with that, I signed-on to youtube, deleted my initial comment and signed-off. I decided that from here on out, I would put my thoughts.. my ideas.. my perspectives into richer forms.. and I don’t mean monetarily rich.. I mean culturally and artistically rich. Ralph Ellison could have delivered the stories from Invisible Man orally out his windows for several hours each week. And the stories would have been just as relevant and brilliant and impactful.. but to who? Only to the folks that happened to be close enough and interested enough to stop and listen. And those who missed it, just missed it.. should’ve been there. Well, I’m glad Mr. Ellison didn’t do that. I’m glad he chose the Novel and the Essay.. over babbling out of his window; and so I must do the same.

So that is the backdrop for my latest idea: to collect my writings from the various places I have stored them around the internet and to process them into “richer” forms: Essay, Story, Screenplay before publishing them in public forums where they basically simply occupy space as “user content” that, as anyone that used to post over at blackvoices.com knows, can be deleted at anytime [1],  or worse: you can find yourself banned from the Public Forum where your work has been published.. which is sort of like being evicted from your residence while being forced to leave all of your personal belongings. The thought of that alone, raises my blood pressure. And so I must come out.. I must emerge.. in th sense of the protagonist in Ellison’s, “Invisible Man”..  I must emerge from underground and fulfill my role in society.  And I will. And I am.

[1] The Huffington post flushed years and years of rich content down the tubes when they took control of “blackvoices.com” from Aol Time Warner by deleting all of the many years of forum discussions.

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