Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Intro -- Here Goes Nothing
Why I am Starting a Newsletter
We are entering a strange phase of American life. Our future has never felt more uncertain, with looming threats on the horizon like what will happen in the next hundred years to the planet. How big will the global population get. How bad will it be for us? The animals that share the planet with us? It is a future we can’t yet know. Coronavirus has given us a taste of what the future might hold for more pandemics or antibiotic resistant super bugs. We’ve all been trapped in our homes, with not a lot to do except read or watch a movie or spend time online.
All the while our country is more divided than it ever has been since the Civil War. It is not only divided between right and left, both sides are also sharply divided between Trump supporters and establishment Republicans on the right, and on the left, moderate Democrats, progressives and the rise of the Black Lives Matter/antiracist movement. On the left we’re splintering into factions making us more divided than we should be heading into an election to defeat Donald Trump.
I run the website AwardsDaily.com, which covers the Oscar and Emmy races. Since I can’t use my website to ruminate on the times we’re living through, especially if I plan on writing controversial things, as I do plan on writing, I thought I needed a separate space to do that. I have been writing on Medium for several years as well, but Medium is too much of a social network, which is something I would like to separate myself from to send my thoughts and ideas out into the ether.
I think social media is driving us all slowly insane. I do think we’ll eventually learn to live with it, because if there is one things humans do really well, it’s adapt. But in the short run, I wonder what impact it is having on our brains, on our hearts, on our souls.
On the one hand, I am worried that if I start writing what I’ve been thinking it will be met with the harsh reprimands. At the same time, there is not enough people on the left willing to speak up to talk about what is happening for fear of being called out, shamed and put out of work. I run my own business but in this climate the fear is real. A few angry phone calls can put anyone’s source of employment in jeopardy. I’m having a hard time keeping my mouth shut, is the only problem. I see a disaster looming and I feel like joining those brave voices that are trying to shift the course of the Titanic which is about to slam into the iceberg.
The topics I will likely be covering will include the presidential election, cancel culture, human evolution, Film and television (but mostly film) if the mood strikes, technology and female sexuality. Reading this newsletter might be like stepping back in time, before social media algorithms manipulated us into doing everything for likes. We are controlled by them - to the point where we stop being ourselves in service of the likes. The bigger asshole you are, the more likes. The bigger virtue signaler you are, the more the likes.
Because of that, woke millennials may or may not find this newsletter useful or even interesting. It is directed at people like me, who try to think independently and who maybe feel there is no place left for your voice or your thoughts.
My politics are negotiable. Even if I’ve been listening to a lot of conservatives of late, like the Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes, Fuck Silence’s Joe Walsh, The New Abnormal’s Rick Wilson, Andrew Sullivan, even the odd Ben Shapiro episode, and I read and listen to some on the left, but usually those who have abandoned Team Woke - like Sam Harris, Matt Taibbi, and others whose politics I don't know. I don’t only listen to white men, though that list is most definitely white and most definitely men, but I listen to the Blocked and Reported podcast with Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog. I am a member of Persuasion.Community and a big fan of Yascha Mounk. I real Quillette’s Cathy Young. I listen to Coleman Hughes.
Maybe that matters to you, maybe it doesn’t. I’m not a big fan of performative activism as a way of boosting my own image. I know I probably should but I think it reads as a wee bit pathetic, the opposite of what it is supposed to do. I gravitate towards those who give it to me straight, without turning into something that depicts the world as it should be, rather than the world that it is.
I can’t speak for the black experience, or any person of color so I won’t try. Nor will I pander by pretending to really understand where they’re coming from because honestly I don’t think that’s possible. I listen as much as I can, and I do whatever I can. But I won’t be lecturing anyone on racism here. That is not going to be the focus of this newsletter. It is will be, as much as possible, the world as I see it now.
I am working on several podcasts. I will post them here when they are are published. I may also post short stories or excerpt from other works.
Join me if you’d like. And welcome.
In the meantime, tell your friends!