The state of social media currently in this country has become so toxic that it recently forced me to reevaluate my priorities, not because of some sort of political realization or acquiescence of certain opposing views, but rather, due to the soul-sucking effect engaging on a daily basis is starting to have on my life. The reality is that none of you know my name (I just love saying that, kind of like Heisenberg) because I’m a paid political pundit. Rather, it’s because I write a series of action thrillers for Emily Bestler Books at Atria. As a result, I’m fortunate to have become friends with people who do it professionally on both sides – my good friend, Kurt Schlichter, on the right; and my friend, Molly Jong-Fast (on Twitter), on the left. They are both creative, talented, and hilarious, and I appreciate both of their viewpoints more than I can say. Seriously. Molly’s version of March Madness is priceless, regardless of your political party. And Kurt’s recent piece on the hypothetical internal thoughts of Andrew McCabe are laugh-out-loud hysterical. You have to read it. But I’ve decided that it’s in my best interest – not as an author; I have followers who support my occasional political rampaging – as a human being to avoid it…for now.
On 22 March, I celebrated 9 years of sobriety. Two days later, I turned 46. Both of those events forced me to turn inward for my annual self-evaluation and take a personal inventory as to where I am in my life. I’m a father, husband, hold a steady job, write action-packed emotional roller coasters, and just accepted a potential worldwide movie franchise, starting with the first book, OVERWATCH, being produced by Braden Aftergood and Thunder Road Pictures. On top of that, as a former Marine officer, I still work out every day, which helps neutralize, albeit slightly, the perpetual state of outrage I have over both current and domestic affairs. You see where this is going, right?
The bottom line – with all of those constantly spinning plates, engaging in political arguments, especially when the ideas of moderation and tolerance are verboten, is not productive for my family, my work, and my psyche. I just don’t have the cycles required to do it effectively and responsibly. What should matter to you is the annual Logan West thriller I produce, and anything that takes away energy and time from that endeavor needs to be minimized. (The one guilty pleasure I have is our series of Netflix shows. Who doesn’t? Jessica Jones Season 2 was excellent; highly recommend. Netflix, your safe, for now.) It all comes down to priorities, and I’m sorry, but social media for political purposes can no longer be one. As a recovering alcoholic, I need to focus on things that have a positive effect on my life, not a detrimental one. Life is too short and too precious to focus on things that diminish it.
As a result, here’s what you can expect from me on Twitter and Facebook – updates on my books, my critical movie reviews, my general opining on movie music (go follow Lorne Balfe; he’s a genius) that I write my thrillers to, updates on the movie adaptation as it progresses, sarcastic opining in general, video games, my Peloton bike (I’m addicted to the damn thing; aghhh!), and positive comments supporting the military and law enforcement. I may still offer up the occasional piece to my friends at The Weekly Standard from time to time, if they’ll still have me. The ones I did last year on the NFL kneeling controversy and the furlough were thoughtful and moderate, again, things in general not valued on social media, the ultimate id enabler.
Hopefully, you understand, and more importantly, hopefully, this one change should allow me to deliver the best product possible to you, my readers and followers, year-in and year-out. It’s what you deserve and what you should expect. Publishing before politics, at least for me and at least for now.