Well, after almost 3½ years of blogging here at Subversive Influence and after watching a certain meme go around most of my blogfriends for a week or so, I’ve finally been officially tagged as a “Subversive Blogger.” *sniff!* I’d like to thank the Academy… it just goes to show that if you work hard and blog incessantly, anything is possible. Or something like that.
But just what does it mean? Jake (the meme-starter) Bouma says,
American author Henry Miller (1891-1980) once said, “The new always carries with it the sense of violation, of sacrilege. What is dead is sacred; what is new, that is different, is evil, dangerous, or subversive.”
Subversive bloggers are unsatisfied with the status quo, whether in church, politics, economics or any other power-laden institution, and they are searching for (and blogging about) what is new (or a “return to”) — even though it may be labeled as sacrilege, dangerous, or subversive.
Hmmm. Well, when I got started blogging here I dubbed it “Subversive Influence” which was a spur-of-the-moment decision based on a flash of insight which serendipitously aligned with a fortuitously available domain name. I thought it was catchy and that it conveyed something appropriate. Now, 3&frac;12; years later, I’m thinking about what it actually means, thanks to John LaGrou tagging me. So Dictionary.com says:
1. Also, sub·ver·sion·ar·y [suh b-vur-zhuh-ner-ee]
tending to subvert or advocating subversion, esp. in an attempt to overthrow or cause the destruction of an established or legally constituted government.
2. a person who adopts subversive principles or policies.
sub·ver·siv·ism, sub·ver·sive·ness, noun
—Synonyms 1. traitorous, treacherous, seditious, destructive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
adj. Intended or serving to subvert, especially intended to overthrow or undermine an established government: "Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities" (Erica Jong).
n. One who advocates or is regarded as advocating subversion.
sub·ver’sive·ly adv., sub·ver’sive·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
Now wasn’t that helpful? It almost sounds like it isn’t a good thing after all, doesn’t it? One more, from The Online Etymology Dictionary:
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version) Cite This Source
likely to destroy or overthrow (government, discipline in a school etc.)
Example: That boy is a subversive influence in this class.
subversion 1382, from O.Fr. subversion, from L.L. subversionem (nom. subversio) "an overthrow, ruin, destruction," from pp. stem of subvertere (see subvert). Subversive (adj.) is first recorded 1644; the noun is from 1887.
No, it really doesn’t sound good. What’s with the desire to reject authority and overthrow a government someplace? That’s not what I’m on about. I do like Jake’s definition though… I want to see change, but not so much by a forceful overthrow… just by applying influence wherever possible. A quiet, under-the-radar subversive influence. “Sub” meaning “under,” as in “understated.”
Come to think of it, Jesus was subversive. He was there to apply influence and bring about change, but not through forceful or violent means. (Well, there was violence involved, but he was only on the receiving end.) It comes out in Jesus’ exchanges with Pilate, doesn’t it? Yes, he is a king, but not that kind of king. Yes, he is a revolutionary, but not that kind of revolutionary. They killed him for it anyway.
Wait a minute, what happened to all that glamour of being subversive? When I named the blog, I knew it wasn’t glamorous. I knew that real change requires patience and longsuffering paired with a willingness to put up with excruciating delay in the realization of what one longs for and has faith for. Like the saints of Hebrews 11 who died not seeing what they sought after, but with unshaken confidence in the fact that it would nonetheless be realized. In a sense, it’s a prophetic calling to gently push for specific changes with the full knowledge that one’s message will not be welcomed and will not be a comfort to its recipients. But this is no reason to shrink.
So yes, I am a subversive blogger. This is what I set out to do, and what I intend to continue doing, together with other subversive bloggers (who may hereby consider themselves tagged) like Andrew Jones, Matt Stone, Rickard Bjerkander, Rob McAlpine, and Bill Kinnon… as well as a goodly number of other previously-honoured subversives.