This phrase of opposition has been going through my head a great deal lately, but not in one singular way or as a descriptor for one singular contest. For me, right now, it represents something both internal to me and external to the world, each at the most opposite extreme of life’s spectrum.
This may be the most free-flowing thing I’ve written yet, and though I rarely spend even an hour on the posts I write, this, I fear, will take a form with far less structure even than those which came before.
It wasn’t the break-in at the Watergate that undid Richard Nixon and his team; it was the cover-up of it which followed thereafter. Let’s start there. The break-in was private, the cover-up, both – an act of collusion between the perpetrator, his lawyers, and their cohorts. The downfall was public and historic and ended them all.
“Be nice,” he said. Be nice. What does that even mean? I think I’ve possibly written about it before, or if not, my close friends and family have certainly heard me say it plenty: ‘nice is an act you put on for the benefit of the perception of others; good is what you either are or are not inside. I’ll choose good.’ Putting on a fake smile, waving my hands, animating my emotions and contorting my face does not, to me, hold any modicum of ‘good.’ It’s fake, nothing else. “Nice” is public, ‘good’ is private. I have always chosen private.
When I started writing publicly more than 12 years ago, I chose to remain private, using the shared name of my two grandmothers, Belle. I even chose the last name of my maternal one because I feel it has grace and goodness, as did she; in fact, the photo icon on my Twitter profile is my grandmother Belle. It was my pen name and nothing more, though it did provide relief to me, an outlet by which I could say what I thought and felt away from the industry in which I worked, an industry itself still riddled with misogyny. Everyone close to me knew and knows; my sister, best friend, son and favorite uncle all follow me on Twitter. The NBA team I love does as well, and I’ve often gone back and forth with writers from large papers discussing aspects of my technical expertise in digital. So I’m sorry, but it was no real epiphany, Tiphany, and it certainly was and was never meant to be “inescapable” who I am.