Yeah, I know.
The image in your mind right this second either is, or should be, the erstwhile Ryan Reynolds GIF asking “…but why?”
Those of you who a) know me and b) have a functioning long-term memory will recall that this very same website was used for several months as the home of the Michigan COVID Dashboard. That little project came to life in the fall of 2020 when I was sitting at my laptop, bemoaning the fact that no one out there had bothered to take all the disparate data regarding COVID that was floating around the Interwebz and put it in a convenient, easy to read digest that could tell you if today was the day you needed to start shitting your pants.
Before I could get too worked up, though, I remembered I don’t have a job. If someone needs to put in the small amount of work to simplify and aggregate that data, well, why not me?
And thus began my new outlook/policy/mantra : any utterance of “someone should…” needs to be reflexively questioned by “…can I?” When the answer is “yeah, actually I can”, well, I need to just fucking do it. Because if nothing else, being an infinitesimally small part of the solution always beats being an inactive observer to the problem.
You can be reasonably sure there’s a 99% likelihood anything you read on this very screen upon which you gaze is bullshit. Bullshit from different folks, for different reasons, for sure, but bullshit nonetheless. Virtually every tap or click brings you, in some fashion, someone trying to sell you something. Could be political propaganda disguised as news, paid for by the people who paid for the politicians, or it could be that co-worker you barely tolerate trying their damnedest on social media to convince you their home life isn’t a dumpster fire of lies and settling. In any case, what you’re not getting is any attempt at connection.
And that, dear reader, is why I’m setting the clock back to 2006 and venturing to populate a fucking blog. Because real, transparent, truthful connection seems to be in short supply in our shared digital world, and someone should try to buck that trend, and yes, I can. So here we are.
Now, make no mistake, I’m aware this is not a new, novel, or noble concept, and I’m well aware there are quite many folks already doing this better than I will ever be able to. My goal (and I use the word “goal” incredibly loosely, because this is as much an indulgence to myself made possible by copious amounts of free time as anything else) here is to add to that collective of sincere content, not compete with it. Mostly because I would lose really, really bad if I did.
Finally, I’ve made a decision to go with quantity over quality. In the past I would try to make coherent posts that were “well written”, in hopes they would become “popular”, so I could…. actually I never really did think through what the fuck it was I was trying to do with all that. But I know I tried to make posts that looked “polished”, and could serve as self-contained missives to be shared and spread around the internet. The whole exercise was more about trying to “succeed” with tanktronic.com, even though, as noted above, there never really was a metric defined for success.
This time around, it’s going to be ugly, unrefined, and borderline meaningless. There will be inside jokes, narratives that go nowhere, and an assumption that the reader already knows the backstory. I’d much rather provide an oasis of entertainment and connection to one person than a one-time viral distribution to a million people. Plus, let’s be real, there’s not even a million people left who read anymore.
It is entirely possible, and I do not mean this in a self-deprecating “aw shucks” kind of way, that each and every post here ultimately only connects with one person out there. But that’s ok. Someone should, and I can, so I will.