Saturday, May 8, 2010

Trouble in Bloggie Land

I've learned a few things in my ramblings across Blogistan.  These lessons apply equally to everyone: left, right, anarcho-libertarian, royalist, whatever.

Tis easier to give offense than receive.
We all talk smack among ourselves and engage in gross generalizations of whole groups of people (Obama voters are leftists, tea partiers are racists, etc.)  Many who engage in this resent it when they are so lumped.  They shouldn't.  Imagine how stilted the writing would be if it were pockmarked with copious qualifiers, exceptions, and exclusionary clauses.  You'd never get your point across and no one would want to read it.

It's a blog, not a doctoral thesis.
Hyperbole, metaphor and other rhetorical devices are what make writing and reading fun.  There's a lot of over-the-top stuff out there, but I tend to grant blog authors pretty wide latitude before I consider a post the equivalent of crying fire in a crowded theater.  References are always good, but if you find yourself pasting in Rachel Madcow and Keith Olberboob videos every day, you may want to expand your horizons...

Everything is not a personal attack.
Lampooning and name-calling in a blog post is not exactly ad hominem, and it often serves a higher purpose.  Again, I grant a blog author lots of room to get her point across.  Saying "The socialists in the Democratic party," or "those moronic tea partiers" is not a direct insult to you, so get over it!  Now, if the author is just slinging that stuff around with absolutely nothing other than MSNBC to back it up, then he is the real moron. 

Don't say anything you would not say to the person's face
Calling someone in a thread a name is impolite, and things do get pretty ugly out there.  My personal rule is that I wouldn't say anything that I'm not willing to say to his face.

Words get abused and curmudgeonly purists need to just get over it.  Nazi, Communist, Racist, and Fascist are the Big Four.  Each word symbolizes a horrible chapter in human history.  Screaming these words at everyone you disagree with is the equivalent of the boy who cried wolf.  It removes the sting from the words by overuse and diminishes the bloody history they represent.  Unfortunately, I only see this lexical abuse increasing.

Blogs are comfy clubhouses for like-minded people.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  Trolling is in the eye of the beholder.  It's all subjective, and the blog owner is lord of the castle.  If you don't like it, start your own petty fiefdom!

Attempts to "reach out" are Quixotic at best, naive at worst.  Guilty as charged.


Snarky Basterd said...

Appealing to your lefty friends today, Kurt?

Sorry. Couldn't resist. You should get some interesting comments from the other side on this.

My theory? F*** it. If people don't like my place and what I have to say, move along.

Silverfiddle said...

I wrote this weeks ago after my failed foray into Left Blogistan. I figured I'd put it out. Saturday is always slow over here...

I have this naive desire to unmuddy the waters. I am not trying to build a mushy middle, Frumm-Brooks bridge between the two extremes.

I am seeking clarity. Like Dennis Prager, I prefer clarity to agreement. Indeed, on most issues, our views are irreconcilable, almost by definition.

I think your view is the predominant one...

thewiselatina said...

I do not understand why people get so mad at the blogs. The life is too wonderful to be mad all the time.

Post a Comment