Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Hopelessness of Blogging 
and of Bloggers in General

The percentage of contributors to blogs who deny Reality whenever Reality doesn't fit their pet world view is frankly staggering.

Left versus Right is no longer the point, yet so many rage on blindly stuck with ragged tattered perceptions, stale shibboleths and talking points that ceased long ago to have any pertinence to what truly has bearing on our lives.

Both Right AND Left tend to take the WORST example or aspect they can find of any individual, group, or faction of which they disapprove or want to think they don't like, and present that as The One True View. 

Not only does this insult everyone who thinks differently by implication it also presents the person who asserts selected facts or assumptions as The Whole Picture as a bigot. 

A bigot is by proper definition an individual who adamantly refuses to entertain or give credit to any thoughts, feelings, opinions –– or facts –– incongruent with his own. 

By this definition there are just as many bigots on the Left as on the Right -- and vice versa.

Perhaps every one of us is a bigot –– at least much of the time.

Another serious flaw in these internet discussions is the way contributors who don't like –– or don’t know anything about –– the topic perpetually CHANGE the SUBJECT –– usually to one of their pet causes or pet peeves –– and then proceed to expand on the irrelevancy –– often with tiresome, vociferous intensity.

I'm not excepting myself from this criticism. WE ALL DO IT from time to time, but after more than TWELVE YEARS of pounding away at the keys on numerous blogs and websites I have come to the sad realization that most of us do little or nothing but chase our tails with an endless recital of pet hates and lamentations.

The worst part of it is when anyone dares to present something beautiful, charming, comical, encouraging, probing or uplifting, the contribution is either ignored altogether, slighted with a polite-but-decidedly-perfunctory acknowledgment, or derisively dismissed or lampooned as "Pretentious BS" or regarded as irritatingly Self-Righteous.

IF the blogosphere does, indeed, hold a mirror up to Nature, the image we see with few exceptions is downright hideous.

I recognized our Ducky the moment I saw him, didn't you?

~ FreeThinke


  1. FT,
    Spot on!

    Do any of us ever change one other person's mind about ANY topic?

  2. BTW, I have a lovely time-lapse video for Sunday. How many bloggers will want to watch such beauty unfold? Very few, I predict.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Erudite commentary, FT. I wholeheartedly agree.

    Writing fiction that will never see the light of day is more rewarding than blogging.

    And then, as if you needed any proof to back up what you are saying, The Source shows up to grind axes against two people who you did not mention in your post and who have not yet commented here.

    I have called blogging a fool's game, but that is too harsh. Is fishing? or doing crossword puzzles?

    Rather, blogging is an avocation. It's fairly harmless if you keep it in perspective, and it can spur you to learn new things.

    It will break you heart if you believe you are going to change anybody's mind.

    I'll stick with my fiction. Telling stories to myself is much more rewarding.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Thank you, Kurt and AOW both.

    I deleted The Source before I realized Kurt had responded to "it." Perhaps that was wrong of me, but I am trying to establish a firm policy of not tolerating irrelevant, impersonal tirades and accusatory rhetoric -- especially when they are peevish and blatantly bigoted, even though the policy may drastically reduce readership for a while.

    I see more and more that too many of these blogs have become mere DUMPING GROUNDS for ill-natured ranting and raving.

    PHOOEY on that!

    As you both know, I write poetry -- a lifelong habit that has grown with the years. I do it primarily because it beats twiddling my thumbs, and certainly beats indulging in ceaseless outbursts of indignation, exasperation and condemnation. I also see it, since I tend to write within the confines of rigidly stylized forms, to be good mental exercise.

    I keep learning and trying to perfect challenging new material at the piano for the same reason. Also, the music, itself, is beautiful and tremendously encouraging -- I think.

    Besides being fundamentally destructive, harping on negativity to the exclusion if all else is BORING -- to the point of STUPEFACTION.

    We can actually make ourselves ILL by harboring too much resentment and constantly courting Despair.

  7. Long way from bigotry to white supremacy, FT.

  8. I see that You deleted my post AGAIN, I hope you're feeling better now, I only wonder why you allow people to post comments about me and when I respond, you delete it? They were replying directly to me and my comment.
    You seem to favor the Progressive bunch don't you!
    It's high time for the madness of the Progressives, Democrats and all Socialists to be put in their proper place.
    Well good luck with these people on your blog.... Brrr Bye.

  9. A little off-topic,
    But as for Obama’s “brilliant” idea to discourage his daughters from getting tattoos, what if the First Daughters decided to wear deadlocks, get tattooed and speak Ebonics? Would Barack and Moochelle do likewise?

  10. I believe that what you don't understand, FT, is your absolute intransigence.

    Take music for example. With you it's a two edge sword. Rather late in life I am trying to make up for lost time in my appreciation of classical works. I attend maybe twenty concerts a year, I've added classical works to my music library and I enjoy your opinions.
    However, appreciating the Baroque to the exclusion of so much else strikes me as limiting.

    Then we get to economics where your intransigence is much more of a problem since, unlike the arts, you are virtually illiterate but hold court with the maximum vituperation. Not a fruitful position for discussion.

    My take on the right is compounded by the recent spate of "Boston got what it deserves" postings at the usual suspects.
    How do you hold a civilized conversation with such Yahoos? People who even call themselves Christian. A Christianity that's morphed like something out of Kafka, maybe.

    But as I said to my niece one night driving home from a Red Sox game, the key is to keep growing and take an interest in the world. Myself, I feel for the people who have shut their minds or had them shut by rabies radio or religion at often such early ages.

    Nothing to see here folks, move along.

  11. I recognized our Ducky the moment I saw him, didn't you?

    What gave me away, the Luciano Barbera suit?

  12. PART ONE

    Thank you, Thersites. A wonderful quotation, indeed! I'll post it here, if you don't mind, because so few will bother to click on the link.

    "Imagination has been called that 'busy faculty' which is always intruding upon us in the search after truth. But imagination is also that higher power by which we rise above ourselves and the commonplaces of thought and life. The philosophical imagination is another name for reason finding an expression of herself in the outward world.

    "To deprive life of ideals is to deprive it of all higher and comprehensive aims and of the power of imparting and communicating them to others. For men are taught, not by those who are on a level with them, but by those who rise above them, who see the distant hills, who soar into the empyrean.

    "Like a bird in a cage, the mind confined to sense is always being brought back from the higher to the lower, from the wider to the narrower view of human knowledge. It seeks to fly but cannot: instead of aspiring towards perfection, 'it hovers about this lower world and the earthly nature.' It loses the religious sense which more than any other seems to take a man out of himself. Weary of asking 'What is truth?' it accepts the 'blind witness of eyes and ears;' it draws around itself the curtain of the physical world and is satisfied."

    "The strength of a sensational philosophy lies in the ready accommodation of it to the minds of men; many who have been metaphysicians in their youth, as they advance in years are prone to acquiesce in things as they are, or rather appear to be. They are spectators, not thinkers, and the best philosophy is that which requires of them the least amount of mental effort."

    ~ Jowett Introduction to Plato's "Theaetetus"

    As you may or may not have seen for yourself, these thoughts articulate my own pattern of beliefs and perceptions so well it makes me shiver with a kind if internal delight to know that "someone" really does understand after all. ;-)

    Ducky chides me for being "illiterate" on the subject Economics. That may be in the sense that I never earned a degree in the subject, and am not conversant with the hip academic jargon du jour, but that does not mean I have no understanding Reality. Ducky -- like every other earthbound materialist I've ever known -- seems to have little or no understanding that ALL knowledge, ALL invention, and ALL achievement stemmed for someone's INTUITION -- a sudden flash of insight -- a fleeting vision. (CONTINUED)

  13. PART TWO

    I believe that at root All Things Are One. What may appear to be entirely different subjects, topics, themes or fields of endeavor are in fact branches of the SAME tree, if you will.

    We cannot be 'experts" in every field, of course, but we CAN understand things if we learn to rely on Principle.

    I've noticed many become impatient, easily irritated, and quickly lose patience with those of us who use figures of speech, draw inferences, attempt to discuss parallels, make analogies, speak in parables or try to indicate what the underlying principle that motivates some aggravating particularity of the moment might be.

    In frosty tones they will say things like, "That was not the topic I wanted to discuss here today," and completely miss the relevance you may have brought to the subject because of closed mindedness, lack of imagination, mental laziness, or possibly ill temper.

    Mostly in my never humble opinion it is a lack of CURIOSITY, a certain smug complacency, and often a morbid preoccupation with Self that keeps people forever battling in the dark.

    With so many of us the attitude if, "If you can't see it my way, you're either a demON or a morON.

    That aside, my growing intolerance for "drive by" fusillades of (usually bilious) canned rhetoric doesn't fall into the category outlined above. Those who spend their time randomly spewing dissatisfaction and hatred without bothering to acknowledge the presence of others or make any attempt to engage anyone in civil conversation are just not worthy of our attention -- or so I believe.

    By the way by any chance was Magritte related in some way to Man Ray? I see a great deal of similarity in the incongruity of their imagery.

  14. Formulations like this make your writing interesting and pleasurable:

    "drive by" fusillades of (usually bilious) canned rhetoric

    Ducky: We all have our tastes, including music. I'm not a big classical buff, but my classical music tastes track my architecture tastes (and music and architecture did progress somewhat in tandem).

    I much prefer baroque to the later neo-classical stuff (too much heroic stomping and clashing going on).

  15. Late to this discussion, but after reading Miller's blog, whatever Miller advocates, I'd be against.
    For some reason, when the Democrats are in charge, I keep feeling the need to take a shower.

  16. It's not a question of preference, Silverfiddle.

    I prefer Robert Doisneau to Henri Cartier-Bresson. Certainly doesn't mean I find Cartier-Bresson unworthy.
    Any critical mind has preferences.

    I prefer silent films to early 30's sound but I certainly don't reject early sound.

    When preference leads to outright rejection and an unwillingness to explore, as it often does with Ft, then its value is diminished.
    When those who don't share your your preferences get tagged with the ridiculous remark (more common on the fringe right) that they "don't understand reality" you know you are dealing with someone who completely missed the bus.

  17. FYI: My musical interests span approximately EIGHT-HUNDRED YEARS of development. Western music is rooted in the Church, and all composers, whether they wrote specifically FOR the church or not, owe a great deal to the institution that sponsored and nourished what-became an unrivalled, unequalled Tradition.

    The interest in what-I-prefer-to-call serious music rather than classical music began at the dawn of consciousness -- literally in the cradle --and must have been innate or automatic, because there was never a time when I didn't love the stuff.

    Not everyone is so blest. I am grateful for the love and understanding God gave me and for the encouragement given by my wonderful parents and other relatives.

    Ducky, rather absurdly, keeps saying that my tastes are limited to the Baroque Era, when nothing could be farther from the truth. If I had to choose only ONE composer, which would be all-but impossible, I suppose it would have to be Ludwig Van Beethoven, but I would hate to have to do without dozens of others.

    I try not to criticize other people's tastes, but I suppose it may sound as though I do by implication, because I have such strong preferences which I make no attempt to disguise, but my intention is never to insult anyone, even though I roundly despise most of the popular music that intruded itself into the culture c. 1955.

    Music is a LANGUAGE and one that I know about as well as I know English. Just as the differences among comedy, tragedy, sadness, nobility, empathy, shyness, modesty, boldness, courageousness, pusillanimity, insolence, obscenity, condescension, humility, arrogance, sensationalism, frivolity, profundity, pretentiousness, bombast, maturity, immaturity, docility, rebelliousness, banality, ingenuity, originally and piety, hypocrisy, duplicity, mockery, sincerity, fondness and affection -- you name it -- are nakedly -- sometimes embarrassingly --apparent when I read what others have written, so it is with music whether it be from familiarity from in depth study or when I hear it for the first time.

    I wish I had such a grasp of Math, Science and many other things, but as with anything truly worthwhile a devoted study of serious music is bound to result in finding that increased familiarity provokes increased curiosity which in turn gives greater knowledge and ever deepening devotion. One could never come to the end of knowing what Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Mozart's 27 Piano Concerti, Beethoven's Nine Symphonies, Schibert's Song Cycles, Brahms' Requiem, Wagner's Music Dramas, Strauss' Tone Poems and Mahler's Symphonies are all about.

    This stuff is like Crackerjax, whose slogan, as you may remember, was The More You Eat, the More You Want.

    With really great music, the more you know it, the more you want to find out about it.

  18. A bit too quick to judge on FT's musical tastes and openness Ducky?

    A friend of mine is a grad student at Yale, a composer. I post some of his work on my blog from time to time, and FT was astute enough to detect the influence of Stravynski and Berg in my friend's work.

    It's fairly silly to assume that simply because he chooses to post Baroque pieces often that Baroque is all he lisens to.

    Now, FT, that's not to say that you don't have your moments of close-mindedness. After all, just the other day you suggested we deport all foreign born Muslims, including my friend who came her as a political asylee for being a member of the PEACE CORPS.

    Imagine my frustration when someone who has never even been to the Middle East accuses me of being naive about issues there; knowing that I spent 5 months there, knee deep in their troubles and woes.

    What truly makes the blogosphere hopeless is that you have people who extol the value of liberty and justice, and then a day later calls for discrimination based on religion.

    The fact that no one seems to care one shred for logic or sound political theory is incredibly disheartening.

  19. "Baroque" is ducky's way of insulting FT's taste. The duck pretends that artists of the baroque period were devoid of "real" creative talent.

    Authenticity is the altar at which the duck worships. The idea that an artist might be "trained", vice exercise a "natural" talent, is "repulsive" to him. The "Academy" artists are "unworthy" in his eyes.

  20. When those who don't share your your preferences get tagged with the ridiculous remark (more common on the fringe right) that they "don't understand reality" you know you are dealing with someone who completely missed the bus.

    The Bus Stop starts in the mirror, duckman.

  21. " But imagination is also that higher power by which we rise above ourselves and the commonplaces of thought and life "

    I can wholeheartedly agree with that statement, but must also point out that imagination is also that which places the boogeyman under the bed. Imagination ungoverned by the faculty of reason can be a dangerous thing.

  22. FT, i think that AOW's first comment sums it up nicely.

    My personal opinion on blogging is this: There is nothing to be gained if we cannot have grace for one another. A fellow blogger taught me that, a non-Christian, in fact.

    I seldom comment because rarely does it make any difference.

  23. Good morning, Jen Nifer. Your modesty is becoming, but your rare comments do make a difference in that they encourage and cheer me in a generally bleak, contentious environment. So, I thank you very much for your good will and gentle support-- and for letting me know you bother to read what we present here.

    Back in the days when I published a small town newspaper and two periodical journals we considered each letter to the editor and phone call to the office highly significant.

    My business manager, who understood the world of facts, figures and statistics far better than I, said that for each reader who took the trouble to write or phone there were several thousand others who held a similar opinion regarding whatever piece was in question.

    So, please know your comments are always welcome even if you think they may not have much impact.

    SilverFiddle, as usual, is right. If we write with the intention of changing the world we'll be destined to suffer a broken heart. On the other hand, if our intention is to clarify our own thinking and simply share our findings come what may, the exercise can be rewarding.

  24. Thank you, Finntann for stopping by.

    I have to agree with your observation about the role of Imagination, but I would still insist that ALL the really GOOD stuff ORIGINATED in that faculty. Unfortunately, so did all the BAD stuff. ;-)

    In any sculptor's atelier we are apt to find a great many chips of marble and be ankle-deep in marble dust. The VISION of the sculptor is what is left of the rough block of marble he started with.

    If he'd had no ViSION, all his chipping away would have resulted in NOTHING BUT marble chips and marble dust.

    There have always been more weeds than flowers, and MOST seeds never germinate and eventually rot away. Nature seems to be predicated on large amounts of WASTE. And so it is with human endeavor. Very few of us will ever leave a mark" behind when we depart. Our lives rarely-if-ever makes a difference, but that POTENTIAL is always there, so it's foolish to say that Existence is not worth the bother.

    It always IS -- even with all the foolishness, waste, hardship and cruelty -- because improvement is always possible -- as long as we make a determination to look on the bright side and make a stand to support virtue, positive values, ingenuity, productivity and high achievement.

  25. FT,
    We can actually make ourselves ILL by harboring too much resentment and constantly courting Despair.

    That's why I'm making time to read some books instead of the web all the time.

  26. Much that is worthwhile is temporary.

  27. I've said it before, but since no one else seems to notice, I'll say it again.

    Your illustrations are wonderful, FT. I know you don't draw them yourself, but it's obvious you take a lot of time finding images that are really appropriate to your texts. That takes a lot of talent all by itself.

    And as far as I'm oncerned, your sense of humor is second to none.

    Helen Highwater



We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––


Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.

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