Living in the Age of the Knee-Jerk Reaction

JordanMy Big Mouth

If social media has taught me anything, it’s that having an opinion is a risky enterprise; at its best it’s likely to reveal new sides of people you thought you knew, and at its worst, attract vitriolic trolls. Social media has, for all of its good, made the public sphere so much more public, and instantaneously so. No more quiet quips on your Myspace page. And definitely no bad jokes on twitter —you could lose friends, your job, or even be harassed. And forget trying to make an impassioned plea for anything meaningful at the Oscars without a storm of backlash. Worse, simply having an opinion is no longer just a matter of speaking your mind or standing up for your integrity—it’s … Read More

JordanLiving in the Age of the Knee-Jerk Reaction

Be a Shield, Not a Target | On Criticism

JordanMy Big Mouth

What I have learned this week: when you put yourself out there for public view, you open yourself to criticism.  Audiences claim and often, I think, dehumanize, anyone in a public sphere; just look at celebrities–we consider them “fair game” for any projection, as though their fame denies them their right to privacy or humanity. Don’t worry–I’m not calling myself anything near to famous–only public. My blogs and my essays, my stories and novels go out into the world where strangers can  (and do) read them. And lately, it seems, my thoughts have pissed a few people off (I didn’t even think I was controversial). Maybe this has happened to you, too. But you don’t have to be a target. … Read More

JordanBe a Shield, Not a Target | On Criticism

My Enlightened Booty

JordanMy Big Mouth

This blog first appeared at Indie-Visible as part of the My Big Mouth column. The older I get the more convinced I am that I should be making significant, chartable spiritual progress, especially as I was raised without religion and have yet to adopt one (unless you count occasional psychic reading/shamanic clearing/energy workshops pursued in my twenties). My friend Alegra calls my evolution “consistent, erratic progression.”  But the more I try to find myself spiritually, the more I’m drawn into the world of my body, which almost all traditions agree means the least in the final pass to the Great Beyond. You can’t take it with you. But you can shake its booty to pop music. That’s right, it’s in my exercise classes–a hybrid of … Read More

JordanMy Enlightened Booty