Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Yo Field; you be slippin dog!"

This is what a co-worker and (I think) a fellow field Negro told me this morning as I headed into my courtroom plantation. "You gettin 'sof' on that web site of yours dog. I am not feeling the passion like I used to. If I want to read about love and all that current events sh** I will go to one of them other web sites, or the evening news or some shit." Dude is more preaching than talking to me at this point. And since he is one of a handful of people at my 9-5 who know that I blog as the "field Negro" I am a little irritated at fam cause he is kind of putting my shit on blast. " Come on Field you gots to start bringing the noise again Dog, or I am going to drop you from my must read list." "Yeah I hear you; hey, I am just in a slump that's all." "You lucky your shit is usually on point, so I am going to cut you some slack this time, but don't let your shit get 'sof' on me again dog." I am walking away and I hear dude laughing in the background, and I can't even look back at his ass.

Now as much as I hate to admit it, the guy has a point. I don't know if it's Bush fatigue, blogger burnout, or what. But lately I haven't been feeling any passion for writing how I really feel about shit. I know that I have been really fed up with my fellow bloggers out here as well. People who are supposed to be crashing the gates, but who are acting more like gatekeepers. Especially bloggers of color who I expect so much more from. ( I am including myself in this group). Like dude said; we "have gotten sof". I know I am probably suffering from a form of blogger burnout, but what's up with everyone else? Are we all flaming out at the same time? I know African American Pundit posted about this and our apathy towards Katrina a few days back. And my first instinct was to say; who the f**k is he to tell me what I should and shouldn't blogging about, and he doesn't know how many times I have blogged about Katrina? But he might have actually had a point. For him it was Katrina. But there are other grassroots issues out here as well which effect us and which we need to be addressing. Black on black crime, and the shit in Darfur comes quickly to my mind; but there are so many other issues out here which have an effect on black folks.

So yes I am slipping, just like all the other bloggers out here who are blessed with writing skills and access to the world wide web. I think we have been letting the news cycle control our thought process and not staying true to what we should be doing. I know I have.

I am going to try and post again tomorrow, and I just hope that come Monday morning fam won't be calling me out.


Hathor said...

If it is, post amongst ourselves; does that have any impact? I don't know. Eventually the impact has to be felt outside the blogosphere.

I do think it is natural, to eventually say all that you have to say. We have to replenish our ideas and in the blogosphere is is hard to engage in argument that will stimulate new ideas. Most bloggers are preaching to the choir, there is hardly any debate.

Among the first posts I read here, you were describing the response from the progressives at Daily Kos and how you were banned at La Shawn Barber's blog. Since we are given this lot, to have such people's ideas influence policy that affects our lives, I feel it is imperative that we give our perspective and have it respected.

I have come to believe that the blogosphere is not the medium to effect change for black folks. I don't like to speak of problems unless I have a solution. In this case I don't know how we get the facts known that racism is not dead, the effects of it are harmful, that racism is currently effecting our lives and that blacks are scapegoated for everything thats wrong with Western Civilization. We know what to do to help ourselves, but lack in mobilizing people into action or being able to create the motivation.

field said...

Hathor, I love what you said about giving our perspective and having it respected. And I agree with you that the blogosphere is not the be all for any kind of movement.-- We have to get off our backsides and work. But I do believe that it can be a jumpimg off point where we can mobilize ourselves.

I think we just have to keep getting the word out there about racism and self improvement, which is why I am kind of pissed at myself for losing focus.


Christopher Chambers said...

Ok I have something. Why in the Transformers movie (semi spoiler here) did Tyrese, Anthony Anderson and yeah the Autobot Jazz (played back during my childhood by Scatman Crothers, now but Ving Rhames, it seem) all have to adhere to stereotypes? I mean stuff on a Tyler Perry or Snoop Dogg fan would love? Is it becaause it's Michael Bay film? I mean, Jazz even said something like "S'up bitches?!" Huh? Make you want to root for Megatron. Say, you think the Decepticons might be running the White House? La Shawn barber's really "Ravage" with a black rubber skin...

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Dude sounds like you spoiled him, Field.

Sometimes, your game gets thrown off. That's okay. If you need assistance, I'm sure you could use some Field Negresses like myself and Rikyrah to back you up while you get some needed rest.

Otherwise, dude doesn't know what he's talking about - you haven't let up yet.

Christopher Chambers said...

Post script. I do invade right wing blogs all the time. It riles them up like a bees nest, as they are even more insular. Indeed 99% of them dont have the balls to chase me back to my blog, and when they do, they use the ole anonymous.

Hathor said...

christopher chambers,
You are so right about that.

Angie said...

Yes, I know that many times we are preaching to the choir. But there are times that these blogs really help someone. I am evidence of that. Reading certain blogs (Skeptical Brotha, The Field Negro, The Thinking Black Man, Mirror on America, and The Free Slave) and comments from certain bloggers (Mostly Rikyrah and some of the other regulars at Skep’s blog) have educated, reactivated, empowered, and prompted me to demand change in my life and the lives of those that are around me. I usually fuss about things with my friends, without taking any real steps to create a change in policy. Now, I have been using my voice and actually writing letters to those that can create change. This is all due in part to my exposure and activity in the Afrosphere.

So, don't think that your words are just bouncing off the walls. You really never know who or what you are changing with this blog.

Field, take a break if you need one. But please, I beggest of you to come back and educate and provide some laughter for us out here in these fields.

We don't just want you, we need you. (smile)


Liz said...

Call me a softie but I like your posts on love and everything else. Honestly, if all you did is talk about what a racist asshole Bush is, I might get a little bored. After all, who among us needs to read a blog to figure that out?

There are so many different things impacting our community, not just Bush and Cheney. Go ahead and talk about love. Black love is a political thing in our world where we don't see all that many images and representations of it.

Tell your friend that was complaining that he can get his own blog and then he can step up and bring the noise as well. He shouldn't be so damn reliant on you to be the gate crasher. After all, you could get hit by a bus or something and then what would he do? (I am, of course, knocking on wood that this doesn't happen to you.)

Blogxilla said...

Sup Field, let me say you have a new reader in me dog. But I beg to differ the blogosphere is the perfect place to start a movement if we just connect. There are tons of black bloggers out there who blog about relevant issues and not just what rihanna is wearing or who beyonce's is wearing and what other nonsense is going on in the world. I brought to light the story of Malik Thomas His story he was burned to death by a group of white boys and the cops refused to investigate. but a movement can be made if we mobilize

djtyg said...

Don't sweat it, Field. It happens to all of us.

We get so burned out on all the shit that's going on in the world that we just stop getting shocked by it all.

But then something really shitty happens and it gets our blood pumping again.

Malik Isasis said...

Hey Field,

Bloggers who put the media and Bush on blast are individuals working tirelessly, and for that we usually end up with secondary trauma, leading to burnout. I have like you,burned out on several occasions because I'm so passionate about what's going on. I'm currently trying to work through it now. It is perfectly okay to write about whatever you feel like, because you still speak and write with passion. I support you as a reader and fellow blogger to keep, keepin' it real, in whatever you choose to talk about.

Malik, The Matrix

field negro said...

Damn! Thanks for the encouragement you all. That's one other thing the blogosphere is good for; therapy!

Angie, you almost made me cry girl.

Hopefully my man (you know who you are)is seeing these comments.

Thanks for enlightening me people.

Prodigy-Maestro said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. I took a extended break from my blog(, much to the dismay of myself and others but my drive finally came back to me and now i'm tryin to get back on my grind.

Personally, i feel you've done enough good and inspired enough people with your blog that you deserve a lil' down time if that's what it takes to re-energize yourself.


aulelia said...

field, your blog has always been so good. i agree with prodigy-maestro, cut yourself some slack. you get people passionate about important issues. getting people interested is nigh-impossible and you achieve that. the opinion-holder should write down his own thoughts. he can't control how you write!

dnA said...

There's always room to do better. That's why we can't stop pushin'!

rikyrah said...


I don't think you're slipping. I enjoy your posts, even when I disagree with you. And, I'm with Angie- I find encouragement,information and wisdom in the responses, along with the links folks drop in your comments.

My only complaint is that I totally wish you'd put up a permanent House Negro, Lawn Jockey site. You have quite an honor roll already for both of them.

I am not Star Jones said...

i read your blog every day...not because i'm trying to kill time but because it's important to know what you think about Katrina, the supreme court, bush, the devil's handmaiden Ann Coulter, and other topics of the day.

i feel that anyone who stops by takes the knowledge, laughter, indignant anger and compassion shared into their daily lives.
That's got to count for something.

Glib Gurl said...

Hey FN,

I know what you mean about blogger burnout. Shoot. I have to force myself to update these days . . . just so much going on . . . but glad to know you're still fighting the good fight in the virtual world.

liz said...

I taught a prejudice class for a while, and I called that burnout you describe "consciousness fatigue." In class we discussed how those in a dominant group have the unearned privilege of stepping back or turning off for a while if they experience it. Those in a subordinate group don't have that luxury. In other words, if you were White, you wouldn't have that weight of guilt for not feeling up to enlightenment 7 days a week.

Nevertheless, everyone needs a rest from such hard emotional work if they can get it--don't beat yourself up. You'll come back inspired.

fairlane said...

Although I only come in here occasionally, I don't notice any drop off at all. You're an excellent writer without doubt.

I think one thing you could try, if I may be so bold as to suggest, is not try to write an epic every time you post. Some times simple posts, a video with a few comments, or just a brief outline of something going can generate a lot of interest.

It also provides viewers with the opportunity to put their own take on the issue instead of laying everything out for them.

Of course, I'm not one to talk as I consistently write posts that are 2-3000 words, but it does burn you out.

Trying to change the world is a lot tougher than it sounded in College, especially when things don't ever seem to change. You get discouraged, and pissed off.

Another thing I do is change things up. One day I rail about Bush, the next I post some poetry I wrote ten years ago. I may not get as many visitors, but that's fine with me. Keeps your readers on their toes.

It's easy to place too much pressure on ourselves, and when that happens our writing suffers.

Anyway, that's my take. I enjoy your writing.

Anonymous said...

Do you have thoughts on the cheating charter school story in the weekend's SF Chronicle? There are awkward racial issues involved - a black principal succeeds in getting many low-income black kids into college, but to some extent by doctoring transcripts and test scores. The principal's childhood, marked by poverty and racism, probably go some way toward explaining his contempt for rules, regulations, a system that did not serve his generation well. Teachers have been reluctant to report irregularities due to queasiness at becoming part of a conflict drawn along racial lines, and because righteousness can seem a white privilege at times. And yet - anyway, links are at
It's nice of you to permit anonymous comments, though I feel rather cowardly for making use of this option. Started reading this blog just a few weeks ago, and am finding it very worthwhile.

field said...

Thanks anon., and I will definately check out those links!

He Hawaii Imiloa said...

I'm new to ranging the blogsphere, but your blog is a must-read for me, and I've recommended it to other folks (who already have too much to read--we all make the time). While the main focus of your work here may be calling folks on their BS and trying to refocus this part of public attention and discourse on meaningful and ignored issues, a writer has to have many modes in which to work...and variety to stay loose enough to write effectively. Please just keep doing what you're doing; it's terrific and inspiring.

Drew said...

"So, don't think that your words are just bouncing off the walls. You really never know who or what you are changing with this blog."

Angie in a comment above...

I can tell you honestly that you (and others) have changed me by what you've written. Been reading different blogs for about 4 hours today, and I already feel responsible for the knowledge I've gained, the new perspective on things I've been shown. And it's gonna change my life, and through that (I hope) the lives of some of the people around me. I know this sounds melodramatic but it's true. Thanks and keep writing!

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