I Am What I Think

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Posted in category Just Stuff

This post is the result of a conversation that was carried out on a Google Group I belong to that is for paleos (paleo-primal lifestylers) who are philosophically libertarian. The posts discussed writing style, and why some of us write the way we do. That is, why are the writings of some folks sanitized (softened to appease to the sensitive) while others, like me, write in a style that is more blunt?

The reaction I have received for the last 12+ years online: Some hate my very direct style, many love it. Those who hate it really loathe it. The loathers tend to be soft, and they are the types who think you can still change the tide of totalitarianism by writing your congressman emails and snail mails. Those who like my direct style are sick and tired of the soft-peddling and fluff from others. I’d say that a very large majority (% in the high 90s) of my readers not only like my style and read me because of it, but they make consistent comments across the board such as “thanks for being a breath of fresh air” or “I love your writing style” type comments.

In my earlier years of publishing (early 90s), I received much more vituperation and hate mail than I do now. And I kept on keeping on, in spite of that. Almost everyone else who was attacking me way back when (certain writers, websites, bloggers) is long gone (except for a couple of Reason magazine folks), but I am still here. Still here and still kicking. Back in 2003, or thereabouts, WorldNetDaily, which was at the top of the world at that time, took a huge swing at me ….. and missed. The Editor who did that has no more presence. The lack of reception I once had – among a small group of pc libertarians – has flipped immensely as we’ve seen a shift in peoples’ views of what they think we need to do in order to clean out the totalitarian house.

My style is a direct result of how I think. I make no effort to be of any particular temperament, or otherwise. It just is what it is. My writing is me, my passion, and my desire for the truth, no matter what the consequences. I could easily kiss ass (like many of my libertarian colleagues) and moderate my ideas, and the result would be that I would get more “mainstream” libertarian jobs. And you all know some of these folks who have sold out to soft-peddling in order to make the appropriate friends and alliances. But I can’t sell out like they do.

My greatest asset is this: I don’t get paid to be a libertarian full-time. I have no one to please, no one to beg, no one for whom I have to “conform” in some sense. I throw my ideas and talent to the market and it either sells or it doesn’t sell. I am completely independent. I let my occupation fund my passion. I have a great, solid occupation with good pay/benefits, and I have a formidable resume that will never leave me without a job in my profession. That allows me the flexibility to do what I think I need to do to be true to myself and my passion for libertarian ideas – that is, being forthright, with little or no Oprah dust sprinkled on top. I can make some nice $$$ writing (that is, $$$ per hour spent writing), and I do that when I choose to take on something that is of interest. I have more (libertarian) work offers thrown my way than I can possibly accept, due to Job #1 and too many damn hobbies. All in all, it’s a hell of a fun ride.

But I am also a proponent of “know your audience.” People at work call me a “people person.” (I am not kidding.) I joke with them: No I’m not! I’m a misanthrope! (Just kidding.) Really, that comes from the fact that I know how to judge my audience and understand their level of sophistication. So you’d never see my hardassness on the job (unless someone tries to steamroller me), and that’s because I understand what they need that motivates them, and how they need to be embraced and/or steered.

However, in the libertarian world of ideas, where theft and aggression is sport and I am deemed to be some Fisher-Price plastic person for the central planners to move about as they please, I have no way to combat the control of my mind, property, and life other than putting on the 12 oz’ers and coming out swinging. I keep my libertarian world and my work world separate. Be independent and let no one own you.

More than anything, I value not being owned or controlled by some external force(s) that has a larger, less impassioned motive. People who have known me forever know that this trait is just burned into me.

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11 Responses to I Am What I Think

  1. Paul says:

    February 24th, 2011 at 9:24 am

    You are awesome. Been reading you since ’04 or so; don’t always agree (I do 98% of the time), but appreciate your ability to clearly make your point without assuming I’m an idiot.

  2. CMN says:

    February 24th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Karen, I tend to write in a diplomatic style. Not to appease but to win over with logic that is couched in some rhetoric. However, I firmly believe that we need all the different voices that say the same things yet in different ways. I find that the more direct speakers come up with the best dysphemisms as well, and I frequently incorporate terms that I get from you and Will Grigg in my own blogs and debates.

  3. John Venlet says:

    February 24th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Karen, I’ve always enjoyed your writing style (even if we disagreed), and your style. Keep them both up.

  4. Karen De Coster says:

    February 24th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Paul – you disagree with me 2% of the time?!? Well, how dare ye!!!! :–)

  5. Charlie says:

    February 24th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    1. You get kudos from me for having a real job.

    2. Style is person relative. Some people are confrontational. Others are diplomatic. Ron Paul is a really nice guy and garners a lot of respect for his manner of communication. I’m not going to knock that guy for not being more like you. OTOH, the confrontational style is the way I do things. No matter how you style it, people react to the substance of what you are saying. Truth is always a hammer blow to the deluded.

    3. Truth is a two way street. If you can dish it out, you need to also be willing to take it. Unfortunately, many of the “heavy hitters” are this way because they have a glass jaw. Their aggressive style is camouflage for weakness. They can be merciless to others, but they have a deep well of insecurity. They can give the hits, but they can’t take them. When you can take your own medicine, you are truly fearless.

    4. I agree with you 99.5% of the time. That .5% is the millimeter I maintain between my lips and your ass. It’s a pride thing.


  6. Jeannie Queenie says:

    February 25th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Karen, you can take a girl out of Michigan, but you can’t take the Michigan out of the girl. I’ve been on the east coast now for 22 years, and still feel like a stranger in paradise…well, not exactly paradise when it comes to folks who act like they have a need for Exlax. I find the older I get the harder it is for me to tolerate all those who don’t say what the mean, and don’t mean what they say…but if you should dare to say what you mean, it scares the crap out of them and you get strange looks for not being politically correct. So, I believe you when you say that folks either love ya or hate you for your style. Since I also have a hard time keeping my gums from flapping in the breeze on many topics, I am one who finds your honesty refreshing. I have to pass on to you this fantastic video of another guy I just love to bits, none other than my favorite Dennis Miller who never ceases to amaze me with his oh so un PC ways…this one is too good, and more, so apropos for what is going on planet wise. So ck it out and keep on writing gal… http://thehayride.com/2010/11/from-dennis-millers-hbo-special-brilliance/

  7. Iluvatar says:

    February 25th, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I find that my writing style adjusts to the Blog master – generally-

    OTOH- I do not post much. So that makes me a Tyro.

    But here, I have enjoyed the fact that I can post my true feelings (and get SLAM-DUNKED for them, too!!). But I don’t have issues w/ a rebuke – it is how we all learn.

    And that is the most important thing – we ALL have expertises in a variety of categories.

    Being able to SAY your knowledge is a constructive exercise.

    Being ABLE to HEAR is a constructive exercise as well.

    Hey look, I get it – I am just a shiite poster – a worm, trust me, I get it.

    I suffer no ego issues due to this.

    I would just like to help us all out – and in turn, get a little kick-back from the retorts that occur (= learning).

    It’s all GOOD!

    If you have noticed, I have even tried to help out those cats that were really weird (last summer, par example). It is really about trying to help people – that’s all.

    But sometimes, I lose my patience, to wit:


    I have NO patience for liberals and their redistribution schema. We’re done there.

    If you notice, I wasn’t taking any prisoners – & while I am certainly no Libertarian, nor am I a true Anarchist – you get a view of how you can get there via other channels…

    Got there by simply wanting to be a free man (+ some other shiite – but I would claim it is unnecessary if you were well-centered to begin with – & I was not).

    I swear, if Clark dumps on that last post? I am gonna get him! (really laughing) Actually, I will probably get more informed!

    Hey? I enjoy your distribution of information? I am very pleased that a 30-something has this degree of knowledge; and I am proud for you for that.

    I have learned a lot & will continue to do so.

    And I will continue to try to contribute as I can.

    PLease continue on your path – my concerns of other issues (I wrote them to you previously – & I am STILL skeered of you! DUDE! – Ohio-style) are private – period!

    Hang tuff kiddo, surf is up!

    Please be well…

  8. dean says:

    February 25th, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I prefer writers who refuse to mince words and simply tell it like it is.  Some of my favorites, (including you, Karen) are William N. Grigg, Claire Wolfe, Vox Day, Glenn Greenwald, and Lew Rockwell.

  9. dean says:

    February 25th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Oops! Forgot to mention Becky Akers.  She has a sharp tongue and knows how to use it.

  10. cousin lucky says:

    February 26th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Ms De Coster You Are Not A West Indian Woman, But You Remind Me Of My
    Grandmothers, And Their Friends; ” For Real Women ” Never To Ever Be Taken Lightly!! God Bless You!!

  11. Wayno says:

    February 28th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Karen, Many years ago my father gave me some wise advise, he said,…never let a day go by without learning something new. Today I learned how to use the word “vituperation” in a sentance. Thank you for expanding my limited vocabulary. Always a pleasure keeping up with your writings, current events, advise or otherwise,(such this).

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