When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who the hell is Truth-Pain?

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Allow me a brief post to introduce myself. As the founder and main writer for “Truth-Pain Emporium” (http://www.truthpain.blogspot.com/) I’ve been recklessly (some say) rendering opinions and editorial blasts on many topics since 2006. Most of my posting have been on political themes but I do wander off and post on the virtues of watching lizards lick their eyeballs from time to time. One cannot ever confuse my style or content with those Bloggers having serious penmanship or depth of knowledge. Social Sense or Benning's Writing Pad, I am not. I don't even dare call myself a writer, but a social commentator who happens to express it via the written word as my abilities best allow me. When my friends Robert, Jenn and Sam invited me to bring my arsenal of landmines to their garden, it required a brief (yikes…) biography so that the gathered conservative masses could know a little of what makes my Twinkies really frost. So here we go …

I am an Independent voter, with conservative / libertarian leanings, who at times thinks that anarchy mixed with a benevolent Dictatorship is not such a bad idea. I am not a person who buys into any party platform line in absolute alliance. I believe in making the case the case that one can parse ideology to fit your moral or philosophy compass. In my yute, er youth, I was a Democrat because my family mostly was that. Then I turned Republican because I had a severe aversion to communism and thought the only way to defeat the USSR-driven ideology was through the iron-fisted foreign policy of Ronald Reagan. Then I went off the reservation completely and converted to Libertarian thought. Yes I was even baptized and took first Communion in the social-liberal/fiscal conservative dogma. If that description has you confused, it gets better.

I would pile-on to all of you the history of Messier Truth-Pain's life since he was a guppy swimming in his father's pants, but do you really want to know about my childhood in New York, New Jersey and (gasp!) Puerto Rico? Well neither do I, so I will spare you the pity-party I was just going to throw myself. Let’s just itemize those “Jesus moments” of how I became who I am, … deal?

  • 1969: My nine-year old goober butt sits perplexed at the grainy black and white image of Neil Armstrong hopping down from the ladder of the landing craft onto the Moon’s surface. The first memory I have of my mind having a semblance of critical thinking. ["hmmm, Americans are cool and groovy people!"...]

  • 1973: I’m 13 years old sitting in my mom’s Miami home, and instead of playing with my rock em’ sock em’ robots, I was glued to the Watergate hearings [“who is this John Dean guy anyway? and boy, Plumbing sounds like a great career choice...”]

  • 1975: The images of blind-folded American hostages taken by militant students in Iran do not make me more understanding of the world, but it does open my curiosity of Religion, and its cause-effect of events throughout history. At this time, my Pentecostal upbringing is beginning to suffer some serious foundation damage. [..."so Dad, how does God allow this crap to happen again?] Yes, my Christian boat has serious leaks.

  • 1978: While applying on-masse to a federal college grant (true story, I swear), my (Puerto Rican) public-finance High-School Counselor, tells 400+ kids to put “0”, or zero as our parents income so that we could get the top amount in the available BEOG (later Pell Grant) funding. […“hmmm, somebody has to be paying for this, why is my counselor asking me to lie about my parent’s income? Are we Puerto Ricans THAT special?”]

  • 1980: Ronald Reagan was the first truly inspirational public figure that I can remember. Nobody else could have awoken me from the late 70’s “malaise”. His theme of “Morning in America” was my call to serve. For the first time in my lifetime, I was proud to be an American (sorry Michelle Obama, I used the line first). I then joined the US Navy and for the next 4 years ate, drank and crapped GOP evangelism. The Elephant could do no wrong.

  • 1985: I attended a Libertarian seminar in San Francisco by a guy from the CATO Institute. I was never the same. He whipped my melon to ideas and views I had never considered. Talk about a singular moment of clarity. It did not dispel the notions of my Republican blood, but the meaning of Liberties and Freedoms were expanded to the point that I began to question some of the GOP’s platform (It hasn't stopped…)

  • 1992: The first year I began to listen to talk radio. Limbaugh was the only guy on the right, but I had a myriad of left-leaning talkers in the San Francisco market. The truth, I felt, was always in the middle of the war’s fog. I registered independent that year and (so shoot me) I may have helped Bush 41 lose the election by voting for H. Ross Perot [well, at least HE did not look at his watch during the debates…]. Had Perot not run, I dare say, the majority of the 19% who voted for him may have either stayed home, or voted for H.W. Bush. The Clintons would have been a zit in the Ass-heap of history.

  • 2001: September 11th. I remember rocking my 4-month old daughter to sleep in her mechanical rocker, while watching CNN replay the tumbling down of the twin towers and being scared, truly scared, for the first time in my adult life. The world to me has not been the same since. I remember spending the next month online sucking up everything about Islam. Before that, the last time I seriously thought about it was when Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

  • 2005: The year the GOP party lost me completely. Not conservatism, just the party. I could not understand how a party that shoved “No child left behind” and expanded Drug benefits worth tens of billions down our throat could have won re-election. Was Bush a conservative? Angry and hell-bent confused I searched the web for Forums where I could discover other like-minded persons such as myself and I blundered into “bloggers” […”what kind of idiots are these people who think they can editorialize about news and actually expect people to stop by and comment? The hubris!”]

  • 2006: I turn into an above-stated idiot and launch my own blog, not expecting one comment to come my way. Surely nobody would think the rantings of and ex-Democrat, ex-Republican, ex-Military and living in the People's Republic of Kalifornia were serious enough to consider thought-provoking, right? Boy was I surprised…

I tend to mask my anger and dysfunctional logic with irreverent humor and satirical camouflage. My writings are so grammar and syntax-dyslexic that I am surprised some of my fellow bloggers have not awarded me the prize for “Person most likely to make the English language obsolete all by himself”.

At the end of the day, I am –like most of you-, a native-born American who loves his country, wants to change what is good slowly, and what is bad a bit more rapidly; and who may prefer different roads in the pursuit of my happiness. I try, repeat, try to look at things pragmatically and through the prism of others before I park my cannons on their front lawn and lay waste to their ideology-orchids. I was last in line when God was handing out politically-correct genes,… and then he kicked me out of heaven altogether for beginning to doubt him in the first place.

Having said all that, I am humbled at anyone who graces my opinions with their time and banter. I hope my musings can add to the mission of this blog, not detract from it.

Onward …


The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

TP, Your sense of humor has always been on of your best atributes!

For those of us who have known you from Truth Pain Emporium, it is nice to get details !!! LOL

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Thank you for your comment and your faithful readership (can I call it that?...). I agree that humor is the edge of the pen I use the most. A humor or satirical-driven chuckle (or outright disgust) from a viewer or reader can sometimes opens doors of thought-consideration that pure essays may not.

I thank you as well for providing many a postings for me to ponder within your own Blog Castle.

Live long and prosper...

Anonymous said...

"I am who I am." Isn't that one of Popeye's lines?

Glad to see you here, TP. I've always enjoyed your writing. Upward and onward.

Semper Fi

Anonymous said...

I am glad you finally got off your butt and wrote a bit about yourself. :-) We all know and love you, and now others will too!

I thought it was very well done but that doesn't surprise me in the least!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Mustang, Jenn:

I appreciate you both. Each of your individual Blogs have been a source of inspiration, laughter, deeper-thinking (to the point of brain-freeze), and just a worthy endeavor of time well spent!

Its good to be among all of you.

Robert said...

It was with great reluctance that I tendered your invitation. One memory of sailors is that they did a fine job steering the ship, swabbing the deck, and tying down AmTracs.

Another memory of sailors is when I hit a beach and turned around, they were no longer there and the tall mast of an LST was just visible on the horizon.

However, you know we have been blog friends since way back and we are fortunate that you have consented to join us.