Monday - The Re-Education of Jon Pitts-Wiley: A Thousand Words
Were I ever important enough to deserve an assassination plot ... (which would be rather flattering in a macabre way, considering assassination is like murder deluxe. Think about it: There's a plot, a conspiracy, cover-ups, grainy footage. Not to mention the fact that to even qualify for assassination you have to be messing up someone else' s program on a foundational level. Of course, I wouldn't really want to be assassinated since that involves violent death, but a strange part of me would be kind of flattered) ... Anyway, were I important enough to ever warrant such efforts, it would not be terribly hard to track my movements and ensnare me in some nefarious plot.
I would love to be a harder guy to find, but because of what I do, I'm not. The Web is where I do much of my work, and the Web is where work finds me. I wouldn't yet be so smug as to consider myself a public figure, but I could easily make the argument that I do public things, and the nature of that public-ness is aided and complicated by the Internet. I sometimes contemplate public office—for the power and the Town Car and to maybe help people, too—but then remember I've probably written somewhere between 2 and 313,432 outrageous things that some voters would probably not take a shine to. Maybe I could put it all into a revelatory and redemptive book, thus cleaning the slate, but the Internet has such a permanence; it has done such a number on hearsay and plausible deniability that I'd likely miss some collegiate missive on teabagging and heterosexual power dynamics (That's a lie. I'd totally put that one in a book).
I am hooked into the mainframe with little chance of escape. I actually have considered success in terms of the ability to unplug without it affecting my bottom line. Power, to me, would be having neither phone nor email address without it affecting my life in any way. I may get there one day, but mainframe mainlining continues to rule this day.
As a member of the 1st Rifleman's Brigade of the Baby Militia, Juice, rascal that she is, remains off the grid in her eternal search for more room in her mother's uterus. When she breaks free of that wombly bondage, The Feath and I will continue to support her freedom-fighting efforts despite my reflex to post everything she ever does on Facebook. And my blog. And my other blog. And Twitter. And some platform that hasn't even been invented yet.
As I discussed this with The Feath, I wondered if I was being hypocritical; I mean, I do discuss this child—and her mother—fairly frequently on Web-based platforms. What's a few pictures? As I thought, I remembered that I intentionally present them as characters in my life, characters who provide the material for stories I tell. When it comes to my wife, her name isn't terribly hard to find as she, too, is a person who does public things, but the tone I set here is meant to invite readers to relate to my stories, not to enter my life. On Book of Odds and elsewhere, she is The Feath and not her given name because, quite simply, most of y'all don't know her like that.
And so it is with Juice. I have to admit, there's some selfishness that comes into play here. I've probably prevented her from being a Web picture juggernaut because I do not wish to share her in that way. As a person who does and will continue to do public-type things, I have to be increasingly mindful of what I don't give; to be aware of that which the mainframe cannot get ahold of.
Am I making things harder on myself in certain respects? Absolutely. I probably won't think this embargo was such a good idea when I'm trying to find a diplomatic way of ignoring the umpteenth person to be salty about not having seen the baby yet, and I'll very likely sigh with exasperation at having to mail the people who really do have the right to take a gander at this kid, but it just seems like the right thing to do now.
Will this embargo last forever? With the direction our society is moving with regard to technology and its increasing necessity in everyday life, I think it will be very hard to maintain. This could quite possibly end up a "well, it was the thought that counted" sort of thing. When Juice inevitably wins the youngsters' community fun run and has her picture taken for the local newspaper with some snappy caption like "Blue ribbon on a gold star day," it'll be difficult for yours truly to stand in the way of her moment and her life.
But for now, she's off the grid. For now, she's free.