I stopped writing for nearly 2 years. It wasn’t for lack of ideas, as the world made plenty of clumsy maneuvers, decisions, and responses well worth commenting on. It wasn’t entirely due to lack of desire – writing has and will always be my creative outlet for self-expression, but the increased connection between writing as a creative force and also my primary means for generating work affected my desire to produce work. Every time I would begin to pen anything, the questions of “who should I cite from to bolster my position,” “does this look right and is addressing or sidestepping critiques,” and “how many pictures do I need to introduce to capture the people” among many others simply slogged my mental excitement to produce. Before, I was producing simply to produce – perhaps that’s my working wheelhouse. The best I could hope for was someone reading my work, thinking about it, and moving on with their day. That’s still the best I can hope for, but a new worst was introduced – the possibility that someone could use my words against me in some arena. Which meant however I produced, it’d better be the kind of production that won’t cost me while staying true to my desire to produce meaningful content about the various philosophical life problems the world presents me, you, and plenty of people we all know. Quite frankly, there’s a lot of bullshit in the air and it was my hope to get people to at least begin to recognize the odor.
It’s difficult to become something you’re not. Rather than sticking to my guns, I left the shootout completely. The landscape has changed in these two years – the usefulness of the Internet has exploded, the uses for blogs have themselves changed, and my views themselves have taken shifts. What I did wonder is what’s the purpose of using my voice in this landscape with little, if any hope that these aren’t wasted words in cyberspace? Others who are more astute, more experienced, and more worldly seemed to have everything covered, at least as well as I could. They all possess a particular quality, one that I used to have and have recently gotten back:
It’s a great mantra to go by in many respects, particularly when considering my hesitations and false starts for writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s read by 1 or 1,000. It damn sure doesn’t matter if these words get held against me – being honest is something I’m known for and the same folks were going to have a problem with something I said at some point. If anything, it’s time to be brave enough to regain my “Fuck It” and return to my roots as a writer. I’m a philosopher by nature – I’m not apologizing for it, either. For many of you, I’m the (only) philosopher you know. More than likely the (only) Black philosopher you know. What kind of world is this where the Black philosopher you know doesn’t participate in the conversation? It’s not a world we’re inhabiting any longer.
On Mr. Philosopher: The Ignant Intellectual, expect to see fictional stories that expose weaknesses in our conceptual understanding of issues like race, property, gender, class, power, and more. Expect to see short pieces that describe the beauty and vitality of things like the Movement and why there are a host of unfortunate misconceptions about the world as it is. Expect longer pieces that explain the logic behind the shit that doesn’t make sense if we’re not able to put ourselves in their position. Above all, expect me to be me. Profanity, crude examples, some sophisticated vocabulary, conceptual analysis, thought experiments and engaging with things from my unique perspective just about sums up how I operate in the world. What had been lacking is the same creative outlet I’d used since I was 3 with the same confidence that my 3 year old self had. We can’t afford me to pull punches when my colleagues’ voices are reverberating bravely amidst the smog of insufferable ignorance. Over 2 decades in the game, perhaps I needed a brief retirement. Let’s hope I’m more Bulls Jordan than Wizards Jordan post-retirement.