Sunday, April 6, 2008

Who is John Brown... Just in case you were wondering...

My recent post about "talk radio personality" (cue laugh track) Taylor Marsh has led a few people to ask "Who in the hell is John Brown, anyway".

That's a fair question. Here's an honest answer.

My name isn't John Brown. I stole that from the abolitionist, another Kansan.

I live in the KC metro area, on the Kansas side in the ever-so-boring suburbs. I'm approaching 40 and some days I notice single thin, white hairs sprouting off the tops of my ears. I remove these immediately.

When I was a kid, I dropped a giant glass jar of peanut butter on my foot in the grocery store. I was wearing flip-flops and the store floor was hard. The force of the jar's landing resulted in the loss of my big toenail on my left foot. Eventually, it grew back. Even today, however, it is different. It has a certain "ridged" feel and it grows at about 3x the rate of my other toenails.

I'm happily married and I have a little kid who is far more awesome than your little kid will ever hope to be (if you happen to have a kid). My wife is far more awesome than your spouse, too.

I have a job. It's a pretty good one, too. Not great, but pretty good. It pays most of the bills. My wife has a pretty good job and it pays the remainder of the bills and gives us money to squander foolishly, as the middle class tends to do.

Before I took my current job, which is sales-related, I did many other things. One of those things was "small business owner". I was part of the allegedly small percentage of new businesses that didn't fail. Things were going good. I decided to shut down, though, because of the time involved in running my own shoppe. See how I used the double-"p" with a "e" spelling there. I'm crazy like that.

Before that, I was involved in social work. Before that, I taught. Before and during that, I went to school. I have a bachelors degree and more graduate hours than anyone on the planet who doesn't actually have a graduate degree. I kept quitting programs right before completion because I have moments of clarity and stretches of fucked uppedness. "Uppedness" is not a word. Even though I never put much effort into school, I was always good at it. My grades were on the high end of the spectrum and I won awards and attention.

Other jobs included a stint on the radio, doing hard labor, selling stuff, bossing cubicle people around, writing for other people and loads of stuff I'm not going to bother mentioning.

I don't like pancakes. I like waffles if they're crispy and topped with whipped cream and fruit.

I can be really nice. I'm talking nicer than pleasant. I can be a real prick sometimes, too. Occasionally, I'm a complete asshat. Fortunately, I'm right far more often than I'm wrong. That makes things easier.

I read a lot. I watch westerns sometimes. I like to review westerns, too. You can find some movie reviews on this blog. I root for the hapless Kansas City Royals. I wear contact lenses. I wear size 11 1/2 shoes and I'm 6' tall. As much as it pains me to write this, I am getting fatter as I age.

Politically, I classify myself as an Independent. That isn't because I can't make up my mind about things, though. It's because I think both "sides" are full of shit on some matters and closer to correct on others. If you're really all that interested in my overall political outlook, your best bet is to continue to read this blog and/or check out the archives. It comes out piece by piece.

Mainly, I dislike intellectual dishonesty. I dislike the bullshit hit and run politics that so often dominate our discussions. I'm okay with hypocrisy but only when it makes sense to be a hypocrite and it's done honestly and openly.

I don't mind arguing. I think arguing is an AOK thing. I don't even think it has to be done pleasantly all the time. At its core, though, the argument should probably be about the actual matter at hand and not the kind of tone in which we wrap it. Those who can sling a little attitude while making good arguments are fun and interesting.

I do find Hillary Clinton's candidacy grotesque. I intentionally and willfully call her a monster. I think her campaign causes soul cancer. I'm an Obama backer, but I have reservations about his stance on a variety of issues. I don't believe Barack Obama can make the unicorns and leprechauns pitch in together to create the Giant Rainbow of Ultimate Joy. I do, however, think that he is willing to entertain serious discussions in serious ways, something Hillary Clinton will never do. I don't hate John McCain. I don't really like him, either. I think he is the last 8-track tape in America's stereophonic history.

Taylor Marsh. I should probably address that whole thing, since it's becoming a bit of a controversy. I don't hate her. I think she's often wrong and usually silly. I actually have a begrudging respect for her. She's developed a massive and loyal following for herself, despite lacking the traditional background required to be taken seriously in her field. That shows chutzpah, moxie, or whatever and is somewhat cool.

So, if I don't hate her, why did I whack her around? I don't think I did. I kept seeing her name all over the place and couldn't get any idea of who she actually was. I did a little research. I wrote a few blog posts. The end. She is what she is. I think it's interesting, though, because she really does push her "credentials" even though the backstory is sort of a tall tale.

Why don't I use my real name? Why don't I tell you all about myself? Isn't it just as good for John Brown the gander as it is for Taylor Marsh the goose?

Well, I don't want or need to be famous for blogging my opinions. That's part of it. I like my anonymity. That's another. I'd prefer that the folks who read Prepare Yourselves for a Settlement judge it on its merits--the actual content. Do you like the writing? Do you like the quality of argument? Things like that. I don't want to be judged based on my background because I don't think it's all that important. I don't want to feel the need to "juice" my history to create false credibility, either. I just want to have my little slice of the web where I get to express my opinion and others get to assess it free of bullshit appeals to authority.

I'm John Brown. Thanks for visiting. Watch your step on the way out.


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  1. I grew up in KC. Missouri side not far from the old Blue Ridge Mall.
    It was nice then. Heard it's gone downhill since.
    Now live in northern Illinois.
    I use to read Marsh once in awhile about a year and half ago. Felt she was silly. gossipy.
    Then, when she became a version of Hillaryis44 I thought she totally went into the toilet.
    As a woman, I cannot stand Hillary and think she is a cancer.
    I also back Obama.
    He is also my senator but, I back him for reasons other then that.
    I find Marsh's paranoid and sobsister rants hillarious.
    Most of the big time bloggers don't take her serious except Mydd, which has also gone into the toilet.
    How were the xmas lights at the Country Club Plaza this year?

  2. That part where i say marsh is paranoid is from the strange posts on Huffpo.
    I think the woman is unhinged like her idol, Hillary.
    Marsh also claims to be a Kennedy scholar. right.

  3. I appreciate the 411, but you didn't have to do that to satisfy the Marshians. If you were to ask someone not on the Internets about Taylor Marsh, I'm certain their response would be, "Who the hell is Taylor Marsh?"

    Nice work, BTW. Keep it up.

  4. Anon-

    I think Blue Ridge (isn't that the one right off of 70?) is gone now. If I'm thinking of the right place, they leveled it a year or two ago at the behest of Wal-Mart, who received some big ol' tax break to build a super center there.

    The lights were the lights. The same every year and still pretty neat when you're in a festive holiday mood.

    "Sobsister". I like that.

  5. Ok,
    reader 51 of "Prepare yourself..."
    I do around 150 but the fact that some guns I've owned and reviewed are popular keeps numbers up even if I quit for awhile.

    I am a political activist in the Democratic Party of Oregon and I've been of that frame of mind for over 40 years so you might not be surprised that my opinion of T Marsh fairly well mirrors your own. I don't get offended by it, that would be taking it too seriously, tiresome is a good word.

    I'm pretty lukewarm on Obama but I plain don't like Hillary.

  6. Chuck-

    As noted, I don't consider myself a Democrat--though I do tend to vote that way more often than not.

    When I choose candidates, I basically ask three questions... One, who's smarter? Two, who's less of an asshat? Three, who's backing the right ideas?

    This time around, I think Barry has an edge in the smarts department. McCain and The Monster aren't really far behind, though, in my estimation.

    The asshat test is why I'm down with the O. He's talking about a different kind of politics and he's doing it in a different way. If anything, the campaign is struggling to find a way to better enunciate the perspective outlined in his book, which I nodded along with quite a bit. Obama has his moments of asshattery, to be sure, but he's definitely winning by sccoring low on the lying/cheating/cheapshotting/dickhead scale.

    McCain is a close second--so far. He's really doing an admirable job of not insulting my intelligence every day--so far. I fear the worm will turn, though.

    Hillary? She causes soul cancer and is a monster. She truly represents the most flawed elements of our system.

    My third test involves issues. Obama and Clinton have a slight edge over Mccain here for me. I deviate from party lines all over the place, so this is a sort of complicated process for me. It is also boring and not worth a long essay here.

    Chuck, I have no idea why I just wrote this response. It has very little to do with your comment.

    I should have made jokes about guns and peed all over TM again. My bad.

    Tiresome is a good word. Thanks for being reader 51!

    John Brown
    Self-Important Egotist