What is The Midside?

A description of what you'll find here and why you should keep coming back, as well as an explanation of the origin and meaning of the term "Midside"

Conventionally it’s accepted that there are two ways to live. You’re either part of the in crowd or you’re on the outside looking in. These two sides are stated in many ways–cool v. uncool, jock v. nerd, rich v. poor, have v. have-not, left v. right, Democrat v. Republican, liberal v. conservative, proletariat v. bourgeoisie, etc.

I reject these dichotomies as being fundamentally harmful to my life. The more I’ve worried about if and where I fit in (or not), the less happy I’ve been. The more I’ve felt I had to pick one of the two loudly trumpeted sides, the less I’ve found I knew. In no time I started living the only way I knew how–on The Midside.

Here, the be-all and end-all, the ultimate, the goal, the alpha-and-omega, the telos, is your life. My hope is that every time you stop by, you’ll find something that improves your life, even if just in a small way. My favorite sites, writers, musicians, books, shows, movies, and anything else are the ones that enrich my life through the transfer of positivity and knowledge.

For instance, Breaking Bad may be a masterpiece, but if it didn’t help me learn about writing and production, it’s focus on evil would’ve been too much for me to handle. Hopefully, by presenting my experience with the show, yours will likewise improve. If it doesn’t, feel free to call me an asshole. I don’t mind, really.

I’m just sharing my life openly, honestly, unabashedly to help improve yours. Why?

Because life is what happens in-between.

Content

This site will feature a diversity of genres of writing (and other media) that will mainly fall into three categories.

Original Work

Writing that comes completely from my brain, such as the post you’re reading right now and the About Me post. While it may be influenced by work I haven’t done (what isn’t, really?), the focus is on the “original” idea I developed. Let’s not get bogged down in a debate on originality here. Instead, let’s focus on how awesome my writing is. Expect poetry, updates on my writing projects, personal essays, my amateur attempts at nerdcore rap, and maybe some short stories in this category.

Commentary

The strongest application of my ability to essentialize may be my critical analysis. I excel at learning what something is, why it is that way, and then explaining it. The order I placed those tasks is important. For my commentary, I will always figure out what something is first. Only after that comprehension is complete will I decide whether I like it or not. In other words, reading comprehension (metaphorically) must always come before value judgments. By approaching analysis this way, I can appreciate aspects of things even if I don’t like them, thus focusing my critical energy on positivity. Expect reviews of television, movies, and music, as well as thoughts on cultural issues and events.

Podcast

Every week I produce, edit, and host a podcast with Daniel T. Richards and Elliot Rivera. In today’s day and age, I don’t believe it’s possible to be successful as an artist if you are one-dimensional. Transparency is the key to being taken as intelligent, talent, and creative. This criteria presents difficulty for a writer, as writing is necessarily a nontransparent task. Everything I produce is planned, written, edited, rewritten, and edited again. In contrast, a podcast, while edited, is a one-shot recording of thought and presentation. In Welcome to The Midside, in order to witness the farce that is more commonly call the world, I won’t shy away from any topic or statement…even if it’s just for the sake of a cheap laugh. Expect discussions of the news, culture, pop culture, philosophy, movies, and television, and segments such as Read It On Reddit.

Origin

In order to earn my Bachelors in Writing from Ithaca College, I was required to take a class called Personal Essay that was taught by the stereotype of a burnout hippie–a jaded and know-better pontificator who lectured the class by recounting long meandering tales of his failed marriage and broken family and knew no boundaries when commenting on students’ papers. That semester he informed one girl she should experiment sexually. Considering that he had tenure, her refusal to report him to the administration was probably a wise move.

Besides the ability to remain quiet during the professor’s rants, your grade in the class came down to four papers. The first paper was about love. I don’t remember the topic of the second. By the third, I’d grown frustrated with the “lessons” and the Bs I received so far, so I decided to write inane nonsense to see what would happen. I spewed gibberish about being trapped in a boxing ring between two greenish dwarf-like creatures with pointy ears that would violently impede my progress no matter which corner I bolted toward and then barely edited it. That nonsense resulted in my only A paper that semester.

The topic of the fourth paper was probably our place in the world (or something like that). I didn’t think I had a place. I still don’t really. It doesn’t matter much. I hesitate to define my value and identity in relation to other people. Still, I’m a hard worker and love a good challenge, so I committed to come up with a concept for the essay.  What I created was The Midside.

The core of the concept was a statement made by an eighth grade classmate. He told me that it wasn’t that people didn’t want me around, it was that they didn’t care either way. Obviously that quote is paraphrased through over a decade of memory, but the point still resonates. I was neither in or not. I’m still not, and I’m proud of it. What does that say about me? How does it affect what I do? How do I deal with it? Those questions were what the paper was about, and what my life is about. The answers are what I share with you.

I guess that crazy hippie professor wasn’t so bad after-all. If it weren’t for him, this site might have never happened.

Oh, who am I kidding? That bastard only gave me an A when I wrote about being punched in the face by goblins.

Welcome to The Midside.

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