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Frequently Asked Questions about “Barataria”

What’s this blog about?
I answered that in a post.  Generally, it’s whatever has crossed my mind lately.  That’s usually something to do with not where things are, but the way they are connected.  I find that this predicts where things will be in the future.

You don’t have a better answer than that?
Politics and culture and all the other stuff we have around us comes from somewhere.  Our world is one defined largely by humans, a social world, and yet in many ways its workings are more mysterious than the natural world that has its own ways.  The spaces inbetween people are filled socially by something, and our reaction to everything comes from how we view those spaces.

Should I be sorry I asked?
Just go with it.  Barataria is about looking at the world one strong half-step back – just far enough out to have some perspective, but close enough in to keep your hands dirty.  Somewhere in there is the perfect place for something that eludes so much of our news – context.

You write a lot about black/latino/gay stuff.  Are you one of them?
I’m about as paleo-male as pale allows.  Yet I still find myself often on the outside, looking in.  Status in this world is a state of mind, and I’m not in the right mind.  Wait … well, youknowwhatImean.

Why is Barataria often general and philosophical?
I think that my niche is to provide new perspectives for understanding a changing world.  I do not pretend to have all the answers, so I hope to ask some very interesting questions.  If things don’t seem to make sense I find that a change in perspective is usually what’s called for.  Please, by all means, challenge me when you think there is a better way to look at things.

Why do you tend to write like a wannabe mystic?
Bad habit.

How did you get such a big fan base writing such insanely long articles?
Barataria started out as an experiment. I wanted to see if long thoughtful articles could generate an audience – despite conventional wisdom which states that blog pieces are supposed to be short, narcissistic, and highly trendy. Because of the support Barataria has received I think that the point has been made. Thank you all for that!

What do you do for a living?
There is joy in all work done well, and I’ve done many things to get by.  I make most of my money consulting small businesses in all matters related to Social Media and Inventory Management.  I have experience as a Chemical Engineer and a Grant Writer.  What I do is explain complicated subjects in a concise, organized way.  Email me at erikhare at gmail dot com if you could use my skills!

Are you a Liberal or a Conservative?
If you have to ask, I’m probably doing a good job.  If you have to assign a label to me I prefer that it be “Progressive”, but I honestly think that politics as we know it has rendered all of these words meaningless in any practical sense.

What do you believe politically?
I believe in people.  Politics, the operating system of a democratic government, has to have deep roots in the culture and economy of a people if it is going to be meaningful and relevant.  I believe in the power of free association and free markets, but I find that these are ideals that aren’t often realized perfectly.  I think there is a role for government in reinforcing the social and economic ties that freedom both provides and requires because of this.

Do you have a hidden agenda in what you write?
I am part of a conspiracy that wants to bring a sense of sanity and introspection into our public life.  The agenda is to get people to keep their eyes open and think about what they see, and nothing more.  It’s not a vast conspiracy at all, but you’re more than welcome to join.

Should I take what you write as funny?
Absolutely.  I’m rarely sarcastic, but I find that saying things blankly has a Bob Newhart sly funny about it.  When the world around you is one punchline after another, it’s best to play it straight to get the big laughs.  The audience is supposed to fill in the gags.

Why aren’t you better known?
Ask my agent.  Seriously.

Yes, seriously – why aren’t you better known?
I’m terrible at promoting myself because this isn’t about me.  I watch the world and it gives me material free of charge in a constant stream.  I’m from the near-outside, a place that I think gives me an edge when it comes to telling people the truth about the world.  Truth doesn’t sell, and neither does eccentric.  Maybe one day I’ll make it to the Bigs and be insanely successful, but don’t bet on it.

Why don’t you tell us all more about yourself?
I tell everyone an awful lot about myself.  If you get Barataria, you get me.

If I were to tell a friend that they should read an article, what should I tell them is the reason behind it?
A desperate search for reality in a world that really does buy its own bullshit.