Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Portland Freelancer Goes Back Underground

I think I made some decisions during the White House Correspondents Dinner on C-Span. I have become extremely disappointed in many people recently, including myself. I have to get back to work. This blog world is fun but I believe that it's beginning to do me harm. The Portland Freelancer is going on hiatus. I don't want to have to defend what I'm seeing on the blogs right now. I could comment, but I think I'll pass instead.

The break-in of my house this week was a reminder of the fleeting nature of opportunity. There is a limited amount of time to get it together, so I've got to return to the path.

In many ways I was very content and successful underground, lobbing jokes into the machine. It's not a bad gig, writing anonymously. I actually tried to do some good. I mean the damn things go on all around the world, so there was a chance of having some impact. Besides, it feels nice to think you are making people laugh on a global scale, or trying to anyway. Besides, if one of my jokes bombs, nobody gets hurt.

That last paragraph seems a little overblown but the TV stuff is on in over 70 countries, and the radio is on in a bunch more. I've had jokes on CNN and that is something like 220 countries. Then things get repeated on big-time websites like Reuters. So as pompous as I admit that last paragraph was, I can back it up. Nobody else in this city sends their ideas farther out there - that I know of anyway. And don't forget the 11 people watching my cable access show.

So I should have been content. When I got the column in the Tribune it was my first foray out of my productive little bunker. This blog was another.

Right now, I don't know about doing this. Are my fellow bloggers the people I think they are, or just a brilliant disguise? For example, the way some of my favorite sites handled the school shooting was just deranged. They were way too eager about it. I mean trying to make everything bad into a conspiracy is as ridiculous as trying to make everything bad into the work of the devil. I am disappointed with some aspects of blogging right now, and I'm going to withdraw.

The cable show could be next. Since they stole my video camera this week, that has become quite a hassle. For example, this Sunday's show is the rerun of a gig my former trio played in Hillsboro last year. It already seems like ancient history. Actually, the cable show will go on, because I've committed, but that's about it.

Speaking of music, I once wrote a song called, "Out From the Underground": The first lines were: "When I get out from the underground, I'm going to take a look around. This invisibility is doing weird things to me." Well, I've had my look around, and now I want to go back. I've got a project I've got to do, and I want to put everything into it.

I've been avoiding a technical manual I have to read, and it's driving me nuts. Too bad the thieves didn't take that. I've got some life homework and I've been putting it off, and it's sort of understandable. Learning has become harder as I get older. I actually can still write pretty fast at times, but I only have a limited amount of energy in a day and I can't waste it. I've got to work on my new project. Blogging was fun, but I've got something I've got to do. Of course, the Portland Freelancer reserves the right to return at any time. Quitting things like this can take several attempts, but for now, I am so gone.


At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the manual you have to read? You could ask those technical questions through the blog.

I think instead of abandoning the blog all together you should just make the content posts, short or long, and just not pay attention to commenting back in the comments. Let the www develop its own hierarchy in that section.

Ironically if you follow that advice you won't be able to confirm it.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Mam said...

My Dear Bill,
I have only just recently found I'm going to loose you. That makes me increditably sad. Your blog was the first one I clicked on each morning to see what adventure I was going to be treated to that day or what profound injustices you came across and was making us aware and making us think in the process. I was never disappointed.....your trip to Seattle trying to outrun the snow storm coming, your cross country hitchhiking story as a very young man...and many, many more in the short time I've known of you.
Thank you Bill.
I will really, really miss you.
Eugene, Oregon

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Carol said...

The blogging world will be a lot less interesting to me. I have been fascinated by your adventures, enlightened by your opinions, and found humor in your jokes. Being about the same age, some of your writings have revived some of my own memories.

I respect your decision......and mourn it also. Like mam, you are on the top of my 'blogging' bookmarks. It is ironic how one (me) will miss someone that that they have never met, yet feel like they have known for years.

My favorite part of this last blog is "Of course, the Portland Freelancer reserves the right to return at any time." One can only hope...

Thank you for the time you gave to the blogging world...I feel it was an honor to know you through your words!

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Randy Leonard said...

I am very sorry to see you go. However, I certainly understand your reasons.

I too used to engage in blogging more, however, it seems that some of my old Portland favs have descended to the lowest common denominator. Name calling, multiple level conspiracy theories and corruption charges have me considering plastering the interior of my house with tin foil so "the Rays" don't get in.

However, I like your chosen option as a (and healthier) alternative.

If you're ever by city hall, please stop by my office (it is the one with the picture of Curtis Salgado that can be clearly seen from the hallway). I would be pleased to buy you a cup of coffee.

Good luck and Gods speed.

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't let the feeling of violation of the theft make you go underground. Take a big deep breath and keep your head in the sunshine. Its not about the other bloggers, it's about you.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger MAX Redline said...

One problem I've noticed - nobody seems to use proper English anymore. including myself

No, it's including me. Whenever a memo comes out, they want you to contact "myself" if there are any questions. On radio ads, "educational" institutions have some lady who says that "the students are professionals, like myself".

Right. I want to go there so that I can learn how to speak stupidly.

Okay, that's a minor point, but I'm really tired of the constant "dumbing down" that seems to be going on.

On the break-in: is that such a big deal? Myself's place was broken into a few years ago, and myself decided to install steel doors and frames so that it'd be a hell of a lot harder to kick in the doors. No problem since, for myself, anyway.

Me (oh sorry, that'd be "myself" in NewSpeak), I think you have a lot to offer. Ticked me off when the Trib dropped your column, frankly. Sometimes you're funny; sometimes I must miss it. But you've always been worth the read.

In any case, it's a bit odd to see you going off-target about bloggers. Everybody has their own take on the school shootings; the only difference between now and the Texas incident is that we're a lot more wired. Personally, I chose not to discuss the VT case, so that doesn't put me (sorry, "myself") into the "eager" side of the blogosphere. It seems a bit sorry to use that as an excuse to withdraw.

"Sorry, Honey, I have to withdraw now".

Yeah, Right.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Bill, was it something I said?! Kidding aside, good luck. Its been fun.

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No don't leave!!!!

My life will not have any meaning anymore.

What will I do???

Don't leave me now...(insert rest of words to Chicago song).

Come back, Mr Bill, pleasse come back.

or not.

Okay, I am over you. Bye.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Amanda Fritz said...

Your prose is so thoughtful and thought-provoking, astute, well-written, and entertaining - I hope it won't be limited to one-liner jokes on TV and pithy Letters to the Editor for ever. Thank you for sharing so much of your time and your self on this blog.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Sully said...

Hope to see you back here when you pop your head out again.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Roger said...

I guess this means I'll have to spend the first 20 minutes of the morning working now.

You had a good run here; you'll be missed by thoughtful readers and thoughtless posters (not you, Butch!)

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Simone Poulus said...

Can we know what is the project? Also please speak what is the joke host and bandleader suffer?

Thank you.

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say it ain't so BILL.

Like others have noted, your blog was my first stop of the day - always thoughtful, well written, and certainly topical (often, painfully so).

I, like others here, hope a few weeks to refresh will see you back with juices flowing again.

Regardless, a sincere thank you for what you brought to my day (gee, I'm even going to miss Butch!).


At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Tenskwatawa said...

Wherever you may go, Bill, there you are.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger kw said...

Bill- like all the other commentators-I have enjoyed your blog. Hopefully you will be back! Best of luck to you and happy trails!

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous DHBrat said...

What a bummer. Just found a great and interesting blog by a fellow Brat and now you're stopping? :(
Loved your hitchhiking stories and was hoping for a review of the rest of your summer! :)
I'll check back anyways in the hope that you changed your mind!
Either way, thanks for the great stories and the other interesting stuff. Best of Luck!

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Hello? Hellllllllooooooo. Bill, I know you are still checking this ;)

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Bill's take on Brandon Roy winning rookie of the year.

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOD, I have looked all over the web for a freelancer in Portland to do some work for my company..and none of you people post an e-mail address!! Freelancers in Portland must all be doing quite well to make it so damn difficult to contact any of you. SHEESH!!!

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C'mon Bill, you're on strike. can't you just use this space to keep your writing muscles limber?

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