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Allow Me To Use This Space To Express My Opinion That I Have Too Many Spaces To Express My Opinions

So, as I have mentioned more often than is dignified, I have a theater company. Specifically, an online theater company we started in 2020. We did well critically in our first season, but the opposite of well in terms of making any money. We were also really bad at even breaking even. Frankly, we weren’t so hot at even running at a slight loss. The red we ran in was was, well, REALLY red (I’m not good at colors. One nail polish company I googled to find more precise wording suggested I describe our level of red as “Passion’s Fury,” but I felt that was too vague and, let’s face it, erotically charged).

That’s not terribly awful, though; after all, we’re a non-profit company, and we’re not in it to get rich. Also, as a sidebar, some of you may be thinking, is online theater actually theater? That’s a whole aesthetic debate no one wants me to get into here, but let me just say that I think, if done well and with a vigilance to the medium, it can be. Kinda sorta.

Anyway, this is all to explain we’re desperately trying to expand our audience, and are willing to stoop to almost anything, no matter how ridiculous or degrading, to move the needle even a little. Think I’m exaggerating? Let me disabuse you of that: we’ve decided to start a podcast.

I told you.

It’s been estimated that by 2035, the average American will have 1.5 podcasts of their own, according to something I just made up. Still, I’m sorta looking forward to trying it and I think it may be fun and who knows, possibly help a little bit. But as I prepare for my first recording, it does give me pause: can there be TOO many outlets for self-expression? Are many of us finding it difficult to get through our days in a non-performative way, even when we’re alone?

And really – and I get this is not the best elevator pitch you’ve ever heard – isn’t there something a little, well, maddening that I – a man who has more than once in the middle of a phone call suddenly panicked because I couldn’t find my phone – get more outlets to share my views than so many of history’s great thinkers? That’s a rhetorical question btw. It’s definitely maddening.

I mean, I write for two blogs, tweet gratuitously (as if there were any other way to tweet), write plays, and now I’m inflicting a podcast on a world which already has a pretty full plate? I mean, obviously I’m still going to do it, so my ambivalence can’t be too overpowering, or at least not potent enough to overcome my bottomless need for validation from strangers.

And don’t worry: I get the irony/self-indulgence of using this platform to discuss whether we have too many platforms.

And I mean, am I fooling anyone by my craven use of the plural? It’s me. Worst of all, I have realized that the more time I spend listening to my own voice and honing my own thoughts, the less time I have to absorb those of others. And once again, these forums (I know, forum is singular but even I’m not that pompous), designed to foster community, can have the opposite effect. That might be just me. I do know that it’s not only beneficial to my understanding of the world to listen more than talk, it’s also bliss to get out of the cramped confines of my skull.

I guess what I’m saying is it’s hard to think amidst all of these think pieces. It’s hard to hear one’s own heartbeat amid all this noise, and I’m afraid I am contributing more than my share to the cacophony. And yet, I genuinely believe sites like ours are an unalloyed good. After all, at the bottom of it, I think we read to know we’re less alone than we might sometimes think, and my fellow contributors on Pointless O (that’s apparently what the teens are calling it) are good at contributing work that ultimately serves to provoke self-examination.

I s’pose in the end this post has, ironically, typified the self-indulgence I am worried about. Perhaps some of you might feel similarly, but in the end my main concern is that I’m too busy worried about what I think and feel (and how to phrase it) than I am at simply paying attention to the world around me, and what other people can teach me.

Which I can then blog about.

Anyway, in the spirit of this and out of genuine curiosity, I really would love to know your thoughts about this and hope you’ll share them. I promise I’ll listen.

10 thoughts on “Allow Me To Use This Space To Express My Opinion That I Have Too Many Spaces To Express My Opinions

  1. Hello Jack,

    Thank you for sharing about your theater company. As I read your post, I could definitely relate about how I used to interpret the world and also some of my goals, which I strived toward achieving.
    I’m not sure if you know, but I write and share articles about our deeper nature, and also about the law of attraction–that we bring about what we think about.
    Many people believe that the law of attraction is a modern-day hoax of some kind, but from years of study, I assure you it is not.
    Perhaps one of my articles (including a link here) will be of service to you. If it’s not of interest, that’s fine, too!

    Wishing you well with your online theater!


      1. You’re welcome, Jack. Not trying to lead, or convince you of anything. It’s just a perspective of which many are unaware.
        Just for the record, in case you don’t know: Andrew Carnegie, who was one of the wealthiest men in his day, stated: “Any idea that is held in the mind, that is emphasized, that is either feared or revered, will begin at once to clother itself in the most convenient and appropriate form.”
        Best! 🙏

  2. Love that you gave the figures based on what you just made up. So honest. Love it.
    I will sometimes read a post advising me about yada yada. I ask myself where do they get their statistics from

  3. Jack, you are so good at humor to make your point. And you make a great point about listening more than talking. And while I might not be impartial enough to answer this as a fellow blogger and contributor to Pointless O, I’ll take a stab anyway. Writing has made me a bigger reader/listener/researcher of other’s people content – because that’s where I get my inspiration. So perhaps it’s more about being involved than about opining and the more we do that, the better our web of connection to others is. My two cents…which at most what it’s worth…. 🙂

    Great post!

  4. My solution to the same problem was to blog less and respond more. You can do a million log posts and never read anyone else’s. You can’t write a decent response if you don’t read the post you are responding to.

  5. Late to the party, as usual, but thanks for another entertaining and thought-provoking post. Like you, I prefer to make my points using humour but in my relatvely few more serious moments I do worry that the proliferation of blogs and podcasts is doing no more than creating echo chambers where people just read things they already largely agree with and – dangerously – can form the mistaken view that this is the world’s received wisdom. Good luck with the online theatre – and I for one would appreciate a piece about it!

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