Me, Part One- Straight Up


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At the Smithsonian, 2001.

I recently got some advice from a friend of mine with a few more years of experience in politics- don’t share so much. It wasn’t the whole “shut up” thing, it was the whole “some people might not like/agree with you” thing. I took it in stride at the moment, but it stuck with me for a few days, and it actually moved me towards writing what i’m starting here- a sort of tell-all expose on myself. In essence, the exact opposite of the advice. At one point in my life, I would have to honestly tell you I’m doing this out of rebellion, because I would have been, but now i’m not. Their advice was spot on, and I should actually listen to it. I just can’t. It’s not me.

My motivations for writing have changed a lot since I started writing regularly back in 2006. Back then I thought I was telling you something you didn’t know. I was some sort of trailblazer, a rebel, someone who spoke what needed to be heard. Except of course, that was all bullshit. Absolutely nothing I was writing, especially about politics, but certainly about music and sports as well, had not been written before. I just thought I had some sort of unique patent on what I was saying. I didn’t. It took me many years to figure that out, but in a lot of ways the one area I’ve grown is in view of self-importance. I get that I’m not “special” now, and at one point I honestly looked in the mirror and thought there was some kind of destiny at work.

Now I write for transparency. I write to get out all the stuff I think, and to maybe link up to someone else who thinks and feels the same. I write for the discussion piece of this, not because I think I’m telling you something groundbreaking. Sure, maybe I will come up with something new and different at some point. That’s not really my point though. I don’t want to hide things. I have no interest in it. My ambitions don’t require me to be sneaky, or to sugar coat anything. I work in a business where people scheme and plot their ways up the ladder all the time, and the phony-ness wears me out. It’s not a skill that I’m good at, and yet I feel like it’s basically an assumed trait of everyone in the business, and one that people therefore think i’m bad at. I’m not bad at it. I just don’t do it at all. I believe in laying all the cards on the table and winning anyway. If my cards are better, there’s not much more to it for me.

I come from a pretty straight forward, blue collar background. Nobody in my family, close or extended, was some major CEO or Congressman, or anything like that. What you saw was what you got. That shaped me a lot. My grandfather was just a hard-working man from Phillipsburg, nothing more or less. You didn’t try to be more than you were, where I’m from. My friends aren’t ones to “front,” and neither am I.

For that reason, I’m really transparent. There’s not really a scheme. In many ways, I write on this site as a basic therapy for living in a world where people aren’t transparent. For the most part, I put my ambitions out in the clear. My ambitions are not to really impress anyone else either, really. That’s not my thing. Not my thing at all.

In short, I’m not writing this to impress anyone or to create some entirely new wave of thought. If that happens, fine, but I’m writing this for me to feel like i’m not hiding behind any walls. I want to feel like when someone meets me, does business with me, or just talks to me, they’re getting an authentic version, not some copy of what I want to be. You get to see who I am. Tomorrow in part two, I’ll tell you a bit more.

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