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16 February, 2012

Mission (Re)statement

When I began this blog, my plan was to create one more little waystation on the web for folks who were new to polyamory, whether trying it in their own lives or just curious about a friend or neighbor, to get some information. How have other people tried this way of life? Does it work? For whom, and how? Maybe I could warn folks of some common pitfalls and celebrate the potential benefits. I'm sure there's more to say about the basics.

Now, a few things are changing. For one, media outlets big and small are devoting time and attention not only to non-monogamy in general, but also to polyamory in specific. The website Modern Poly exists now, as do the Polyamory Media Association, the Polyamory Leadership Network, and a host of other admirable organizations. It seems like polyamory's time in the spotlight is here. That's not to say that the 101 level information is now or ever will be irrelevant; as new minds hear this word and seek out its meaning and the culture behind it, it'll be important to stay on message, and as long as new human beings are coming of age, we'll need means to learn and to teach each other about ways to live harmoniously with each other. As for this little blog of mine, I'm certainly a work in progress myself, which by definition means that I haven't written all the advice I might -- how could I when I haven't learned it! But, in sum, there are many more places to find information on polyamory than there used to be.

In addition to the proliferation of poly resources, I'm not satisfied with being a one-trick pony. (I'm not satisfied with being a pony, period, but that's mostly because it's damned hard to type with these hooves.) How can I talk about polyamory without talking about its context: about the other normative narratives that constrain sexuality and family formation, like the treatment of heterosexuality as a valorized default; about institutions that control or influence behavior and thought, from legal to religious systems to pop culture; about learning to earn allies by being a good ally to our neighbors, which (in my case) has been a major part of learning what "communication" really entails. It all comes around to be useful in the end, whether it looks directly relevant or not.

All told, while this blog will no longer be strictly an introduction to polyamory, that element will remain, bolstered by explorations of other topics -- sometimes tangentially related, usually closely, and occasionally about as out-there as I can manage without blowing my cover and just posting fan fiction. (But seriously, I have this Hamlet/Faust crossover that will knock your socks off when I finish it. Awww yeah, nothing gets my motor running like existential angst among the over-educated. Rowr.) I may take down some of the early posts that discuss the personal lives of partners past and present, and I may take a perspective much more informed by a broad emphasis on social justice. After all, if I want to be treated with respect, I intend to earn it by treating my neighbors with respect. That means, whenever possible, taking a "shut up and listen" approach ... and then acting on what I've heard, if I get a chance. Maybe you'll be inspired to do similarly; that's up to you! Whatever brings you to Poly-Rhythms, I hope you find something here that helps you figure out how to be more yourself.

Best of luck, and feel free to comment! Sometimes the best part of a blog is crosstalk among the readers. (Yes, do my work for me! Bwahaha!) I'll be busy, so don't expect a lockstep march of a posting schedule, but I have about twelve posts drafted and should be polishing them up for release in the coming weeks. I think it's safe to say:

Broadcats, resumed!


Sit back and enjoy.

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