Monday, February 2, 2015

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

For it had bene an auncient tree, 
Sacred with many a mysteree"Februarie" by Edmund Spenser, from The Shepheard's Calendar

I am Sex Mahoney and this is where I blog.

Lately, I have had several people call me "blogger" with an insulting intent that makes little sense. With magazines dying, and books mortally wounded, even acclaimed authors are now bloggers in that almost every writer has by now had at least one piece published primarily on the web, for the web, and usually to a blog.

We are all bloggers.

So it's strange to hear people use it as an insult.

I suppose people must have done the same with other written media. Like some poet once turned to the author of a novel and looked down their nose as they hurled the epithet "novelist." Or a scribe, upon looking up from their wet clay tablet so recently imprinted with the latest adventures of Gilgamesh, and beheld a contemporary dipping an instrument into a pot of liquid and laughed with the other chiselers about all the new "inkers" and how the trend was never going to catch on.

I am a blogger, and proud of it.

So in the interest of sprucing up this blog (which has lately been mostly link roundups of other -- better -- blogs), I signed up for a class called Blogging 101.

Each day, a new topic is assigned and the participating bloggers are obliged to explore it.

The first topic is the title of this post "Who I Am and Why I'm Here."

This is my very roundabout way of describing that.

Who I am is Sex Mahoney although that is not my only name. Sex Mahoney is the name I use when I am writing here.

I also post comics here, which I sign as Sex Mahoney. My parents gave me a name, and I use that in person. Various friends have given me various nicknames, but when I stop seeing those friends that name fades away like the friendships. Sex Mahoney is the name I gave myself. It is not my only pseudonym, but it is my favorite.

Sex Mahoney is also the name of a fictional character in a screenplay I wrote a long time ago. Like most screenplays, it's probably not very good, but I haven't read it in many years so there's a possibility it could be. I'm afraid to read it because it's been so long since I wrote it, and if it's not good, I'll either be tempted to fix it or I'll die of embarrassment. In my memories, it's a good story. Probably best to leave it at that.

I am here because I want to blog more and get back into the practice of writing for myself.

I have written for all kinds of reasons, but some of the most satisfying writing I have ever done is for little or no monetary reward at my own pace and pleasure. Sometimes, it is satisfying to write for others, because it offers limitless potential for external validation. The rest of the time, I prefer to write on my own, about esoteric things, and to a small audience.

Although the audience may be small, they are a necessary part of my writing process. Over the years, I have tried my hand at journaling, but writing completely for myself feels just as isolating as being me. I spend all day in my head, talking to and telling myself stories. It's not as permanent, but it's more rewarding than journaling, for which I lack the necessary discipline or interest.

I try to write about a diverse range of topics, but I often circle back to popular entertainments like books, films, cartoons, music, history, and other arts. Once upon a time, I tried to write political satire, but I'm even more afraid to read that than I am my screenplays.

I sometimes read political blogs to learn their secrets, so that I can one day write about politics without sounding dumber than I think I am. Sometimes, I just think I really am that dumb.

But one of the writing prompts asked with whom we (that is the people participating in Blogging 101) were hoping to connects and I'm not sure how I want to connect with people. I want to write, I want people to read what I have written, and I want to read what other people write so I can learn about new topics from fresh perspectives.

I used to comment on every blog I read, but then I realized I could be a troll. I'm not very nice and even in person I have a hard time not offending people either by failing to read their social cues or saying something weirdly offensive. I'm not squeamish, and people can find that jarring, especially if I don't go out of my way to moderate my offensive speech. In person, I try very hard to be inoffensive. On paper, I'm like someone who farts in an elevator: Far too concerned with my own comfort to the point that I make the environment uncomfortable for the people around me.

I don't want to be a troll.

Although, the solitude might be nice.

"Swan Dive" by Ani DiFranco at House of Blues of Cleveland, OH

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