You are reading my official 400th post on this blog. Along with the 100 or so in the incomplete folder, this represents about six weeks of 24/7 writing over the past two years. At an average of 1,000 words each, the 400 posts add up to 400,000 words, minus illustrations, which would be a respectable novel on the order of "War and Peace".
The primary criticism I've received is that my blog doesn't seem to have a hard focus. Of that, I am guilty as charged. I didn't start this effort to have a single focus. I started it as an exercise that would be a legacy to my children...an effort to expose the mind of their father in a way that few children are privy.
As a writer, I've pumped out millions of words for money. I've written hundreds of scripts, thousands of press releases, manuals, reports, and all manner of printed communications. As a sideline, I've contributed hundreds of updates to urbansurvival.com, first as Oilman1/Houston Bureau, and later as the Indonesia Bureau. I've written dozens of articles and ghost written books. The vast majority of my work is uncredited, which is fine. I got paid well for it, so who's complaining?
I wanted an outlet, though, that was just me. No committees. No editors. No deadlines. Only my own inner drive to write. I don't get paid for this, though I have gotten a couple of jobs because of it. In the end, it is a practice ground where I develop my thoughts and ideas for later polishing. Most of what you read here is first draft with only minor edits for spelling and grammar after the fact. In the parlance, it's 'spew'.
What's particularly gratifying is that, in two years, I've watched the hits go from zero to 8,000 per month. Of those, about 1,000 per week are unique, meaning about that many individuals read this site on a regular basis. In all, I've served up 100,000 pages in the time I've been at it. I've also had Rense and Icke, and a dozen smaller sites, pick up posts for redistribution. It's exciting, really.
But what is really gratifying are the folks who've written in to say that this or that post made them think, or gave them a new perspective, or taught them something they didn't know before. The teacher side of me beams with pride when someone 'gets it' and takes the time to say so.
I titled this blog "Life on the Far Side" because it gave me latitude. The original idea was from a friend who encouraged me to write a blog about my experiences living in Indonesia. But I didn't want to get trapped into a travelogue. I wanted to be able to write about all the topics that swim in the ocean of my mind, and about which I spend hours of my life reading and studying. I wanted to be able to switch from Jakarta traffic to the gods of Olympus seamlessly. This was to be my 'signature' work.
It's been a real education, too. For instance, the most popular themes here are the articles on semiotics and acupuncture. They run neck-and-neck. The all-time hit leader is "GlobalRev and the Pig's Lipstick." Close on its tail is "Adventures in Acupuncture II." What my hit-counter tells me is that people are thirsting for any information on how symbols and hidden communications work, and information of alternative medicine. We can extrapolate ad nauseum on what that means, but suffice it to say that the audience here is hungry for good, solid information on how the world works.
Interestingly, it matches my own thirst to understand how the Universe works, and why.
I'm taking this moment to thank you, the reader, for your support and encouragement. It is like a shot of espresso to read an email from readers who got something from my work. Gratefully, my readers are not ditto-heads, but thinkers who appreciate (as do I) a catalyst that gels their own thinking, or offers additional lines of research.
The lamentable thing about the modern world is that most folks don't consider research and learning to be life-long pursuits. They have been trained to think of these things as work of 'experts' and 'authorities'. It doesn't occur to them that we can all become such with a little volition of our own. If anything, I want this blog to be a celebration of on-going adult education that is self-motivated and doesn't require the confirmation of outside 'authority' for verification.
Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am.
One criticism that I should address is why I don't publish more links. Well, if I link everything I refer to, then I limit your personal research to what I have found. Your job is to take the names and references and find your own sources. I don't have any pretense to tell you WHAT to think. When I do link something, it's because that particular article or site offers something that must be communally experienced to understand what I am saying.
At any rate, enough of the reflexive analysis. I just wanted to pause and mark the 400th post, and to address a few things that newer readers may not have picked up yet. With that many articles online, folks are bound to find something they like. Click around in the archive in the right-hand column. See it you can't find something that challenges and entertains you.
One thing I hope I never do here, though, is amuse. If you don't want to take the time to figure out why, it's because the word comes from French via Latin: a muser. It means, 'without thought.'