With a blog like this one, which is not monetized in any way, there is no real pressure to add any new posts. Especially since the multitude who seem to have subscribed don’t ever comment on anything I write. (I’m looking at you, Lurker. I need some love here.) So a new topic is always a puzzle. A new topic requires inspiration.
Finding my voice has been a interesting process. I started this blog because, at the time, I was employed at a Chinese university where my official blog served the interests of students and visitors to China. It was read by my employers and, I’m pretty sure, by state officials. I had one complaint from some prude when I posted a picture of me kissing my wife. The university suggested that I should take that picture down, which I did. Expressing my true feelings on many issues would have resulted in expulsion from China very quickly. So Darwin Harmless began as an outlet for my frustration.
My early posts were mostly rants about some of the outrageous things happening in the world. Things like the murder of Salman Teseer. I used obscene language liberally, and my writing style more or less imitated the voices of Freethought Bloggers. I was ugly. I was not polite. I called people stupid and idiots with wild abandon. And slowly I became tired of that voice. I found myself toning it down. I found myself trying to be just as forceful without breaking language taboos unless severely provoked.
The choice of subject also changed. I stopped commenting on things that were already saturating the Internet blogosphere. I think I have posted on Donald Trump twice, once before the election when he claimed to speak in my voice, and once after, in recognition of the social bubble that caused me to feel safer than we were, a social bubble that shattered with the election. But mostly I try to avoid the obvious that is covered by so many other bloggers, unless I feel I have something new, personal, special, or genuine to add.
Writing as Darwin Harmless has been an interesting exploration of who I am, of who I want to be. I now feel like I’ve found my real voice. I feel like the stuff I post is bravely personal and worth spreading around.
This site is still a wank. But even wanking can have a purpose – getting one in touch with his body, his feelings, his needs and desires, overcoming shame at something that is healthy and natural. Verbal and emotional masturbation can serve the same purpose. So, Darwin Harmless, wank away.
Now if I can just find something to inspire a good wank.