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On writing, and the kindness of strangers
As the newsletter wraps up for the holiday season, the writer reflects on the first three months of Acceptable Views, and gives thanks.
Lucy Van Pelt: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys, or a bicycle, or clothes or something like that.
Charlie Brown: What is it you want?
Lucy Van Pelt: Real estate.
(If only Lucy knew just how impossible that housing market dream would become for an entire generation, some fifty-or-so years later — but I’ll happily settle for the Substack subscribers.)
It’s been a real honour to be a part of your reading habits for these past few months, which is why I decided to hold back a more traditional column I had in the hopper (which will now drop in early January), in favour of writing something a bit shorter and more personal to the readers who have given me so much and asked for so little in return.
Truth be told, when I started this newsletter three months ago, I was looking for something more than just an outlet for occasional witterings. Much to my amusement — but mostly horror — I had started to become known as “Alex from Twitter.” I’ve heard it on the golf course, at protests, restaurants. . . each time from wonderful folks who were only being kind, but for every utterance of “say, are you Alex from Twitter?” I felt the bottom drop out beneath me just a little bit more.
I have no memory of speaking with the high school guidance counsellor about the upward mobility of the D-list Ontario Twitter celebrity, but we did talk a lot about politics, journalism, creative writing, and the pipe dream of one day attempting the Great American Novel (I’ve never been one for the oft-dainty CanLit, unless you count Leonard Cohen, or the recent works of Emily Mandel).
I may also have no memory of such a chat, for under utterly benign circumstances in the spring of 2022, I gave myself the second or third concussion of my life, from which I have yet to fully recover.
While not the only personal health challenge that I dealt with over the past calendar year (and we all have our challenges), this wasn’t just an attempt to write what I can only hope are columns of some value inside the independent media psychosphere, but to try and regain much of what I’ve lost — be that through entropy, bad habit, or garden variety blunt force trauma.
How thankful I am, then, to have found such kind readers, and a place to call home here on Substack. If the comments are any indication, I may even be close to ‘all there’ cognitively. (I’m as surprised as you are.)
In just three months, 16 articles have reached inboxes across the globe.
30,000 readers have been indoctrinated either on purpose or by accident.
The newsletter is closing in on 1000 subscribers.
And dozens of paid subscribers have helped this writer recover a piece of himself, while supporting him in his efforts to become something other than just “Alex from Twitter.”
I know that I’ve said thanks before, but I really do mean it. To think that your inboxes are also filled with writers who I so greatly admire, and yet once or twice a week you also have time for my boutique Justin Trudeau jokes means the world.
So thank you, dear reader, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to give my brain a break for the next two weeks, so that I can hit the ground running for you in January.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.
And please, stay home and stay safe. (Kidding, kidding…)
If you’d like to support my work this holiday season, become a free or paid subscriber.
Or, give the gift of independent media.