Goodbye to Blogging by Web Wimp
Here's a blog curiosity for you.
Actually, I need to compile a composite collection of such oddities:
* business bloggers who fold and disappear
* the man whose final blog post was the name of the person who murdered him while he was blogging
* the personal bloggers who have had nervous breakdowns
* nations in which people are killed or imprisoned for blogging
* the blogger who got divorced when his wife read his posts about the "other woman"
* the allegedly homeless blogger who demanded money from me for answering a two question email survey, then called me bad names when I told him that multitudes of top tier blogging pros provided brilliant survey responses--without charging me a penny for their valuable insight
* the group blog in which I was a contributing editor, which by my frequent posting got me accused of "taking over the blog and not letting other contributors jump in", so I removed all my posts and left, and then the other contributors still refused to jump in, so the blog has one new post every 14 days or so, and the two founders have abandoned it
* the web design blog that banned me for implying that both political parties are corrupt.
Someday I'll write that book on Blog Curiosities and everyone can be enlightened.
Until then, I'll toss bits and pieces at you sporadically.
Like this one...
Read now some excerpts of a slinking and a slumping into blog-o-blivion.
"One Last Blog and Adieu"
August 18, 2005
It saddens me to see America in its current state. And it takes a great deal to bring about this particular emotion and this singular decision. I have lived a lot of years and seen, firsthand, how a country can be torn apart by a divisive war.
But, this time, the division, I feel, is deeper and more fractious. America, a great people, have been cut apart in a fault line approaching a critical depth and width. I am not sure we will ever be as strong as we once were. That overwhelming feeling of something truly great, forever lost is the reason for this very personal affection.
What troubles me is not that the country simply has differing opinions but that we are beginning that freefall into the unresolvable and unreconcilable chasm we have seen but a few times before. We are being slowly, irretrievably torn apart by our differences.
[STREIGHT: I don't know about you, but I'm weary of all this worrisome drivel about how "deeply divided" America is. I like it that way. It's part of the democratic process.
One extreme counters the other extreme. One fanatic group acts as watchdog on its reversed mirror image, its polar opposite.
People, lacking imagination and independent ideology, line up on one side of the spectrum or the other, never realizing that the spectrum itself is haphazardly contrived. Ho hum. So what?]
I have been reading and occasionally participating on BlogCritics for almost a year now.
During that time, I have found myself - as if anyone else would notice or care - posting fewer and fewer articles on that site.
[STREIGHT: Nope. Nobody noticed and nobody cares.
There are millions upon millions of blogs out there. Millions of voices all self-impressed and floating in formalized fantasy worlds of bloated self-importance. There are too many voices to keep track of, and nobody will notice or care if any one, or one thousand, or one million, of these voices vanishes.
When one blogger disappears, thousands spring up to replace him. Lost in the digital swirls, individuals, including Vaspers the Grate, mean next to nothing. Big deal.]
And it is for a very simple reason: everything - save the occasional innocent movie or CD review - immediately degrades into the most mind-numbing exchange of vitriolic commentary one can imagine.
[STREIGHT: Yeah, it's called hardcore blogocombat. Big deal. "Mind-numbing"? "Vitriolic commentary"? This sounds rather wilting to me. Crybabyish.]
It has become painful, at least to me, to read.
[STREIGHT: "painful...to read"? You mean it's "painful" to read an opposing opinion aggressively stated? Poor little wet noodle, huddled in a cave of cherished conceptions.]
The cycle is completely predictable. A writer posts his or her view of some seemingly benign event and, regardless of the topic being proferred, those of the two polarized and distinct political views - for simplicity, we will fall back to the usual labels of liberal and conservative - begin their venomous exchanges.
Lest you think I am against the informed discourse that makes our country great, I am most certainly not.
Debate and the intelligent exchange of ideas is always enlightening and has been the very lifeblood that has been our country’s strength since its inception.
But, what I am observing, is not debate. What I see is purely disjointed, acerbic, hate-filled writing that is exchanged with deafness and blindness to dissent.
This is not debate. This is a collection of people shouting at each other, in a virtual world, without any actual exchange of information or any chance of middle ground. There is no give-and-take, there is only hate.
[STREIGHT: And he wishes it were...what? Full of love and harmony, everybody patting each other on the back? Extolling each other's wisdom? Nothing but soft cuddly puppies wagging their tails with delight? A mindless utopia of perfect agreement?]
All civility is dispensed with and the only thing that stops the name calling and caustic and, often, incoherent exchange is that a new posting occurs. The two armies break camp and move their raging hoards of hyperbole off to attack on the battleground of a new thread.
The goal, in this game, is not to sway opinion; the goal, in the new reality, is to suffocate and silence. This is not debate. This is pure, unbridled, discordant chaos. I am reminded of a famous definition of a fanatic as “one who will not change his mind nor change the subject.”
[STREIGHT: And a definition of a web wimp is "one who will not face online confrontation, nor engage in vigorous web-enabled discussion". A wuss who wishes the contradictors would shut up so he can continue to blabber about whatever.]
I no longer have the stamina to read fanaticism.
[STREIGHT: Notice how this person repeats that what is "painful" and what he lacks the "stamina" for, is simply READING these aggressive opinions.
Sounds like a weak minded person who cannot tolerate anymore dissent, disagreement, and division.
Does he want to post his thoughts, and see only praise and appreciation in the subsequent comment thread? Pathetic.]
I tire of the tedium. I see no hope for any remedy. I am too old and lack the energy to watch the gulf of savagery into which the commentary inevitably recidivates any longer. It is my weakness and I will live with it as I can.
With this tiny withdrawal, I seek no comments for they, inevitably, will produce more of what I have come to dread most.
[STREIGHT: Aha. The truth comes out. He can't handle, he in fact dreads, dissent, opposing points of view, which he relegates to the seething hell of divided ideologies. Give me deep divisions any day, rather than a heavily sedated uniformity of "correct" opinions.]
I will continue to read what and where I can on BlogCritics but, as the comments drift into mindless bedlam, I will turn away. If I want to read unrestrained malevolence, I will go to a place I hold with less respect.
It is no loss to the content of BC [Blogcritics] and it is I who will be lessened by my aged timidity and cowardice.
[STREIGHT: Well, at least he admits he's a "coward" driven by "aged timidity". I just don't see how age allows one to retreat into timidity. Elderliness is the wrong time to collapse and give into shameful fear.]
The challenge to contribute something enlightening or thought-provoking - that is to say, something that “measured up” - to a place I held in inestimable esteem is what I will miss most.
BlogCritics will continue to thrive because it allows what Americans seem to need most in our current time, namely, a forum to be heard. It’s just that, for me, the right to be heard carries with it the obligation to listen. And I feel that reciprocation is no longer de rigueur. It is a my heartfelt loss.
[STREIGHT: Bring out the violins and Kleenex. How tragic. What a pity. So I'm "obligated" to "listen"? To his opinions? And not say "you idiot" if that's what I feel like saying?]
[COMMENT--with moderated delayed posting--by Streight]
Poor little puppy, can't handle blogocombat anymore.
I have not read any of the "debates" here, but to abandon a forum due to harshing, flaming, lack of "reasoned discussion", to complain of partisan posturing and bickering...this is what made our country great.
So what if it degenerates into name-calling and irrational venom? There are clever responses to such things.
You're "tired" and "aged"? So what? You sound sobbing and hangwringingly: "I'm taking my toys to play somewhere else."
Magnanimous speeches whining about an allegedly "deeply divided America", we don't need such sissified whimpering.
If a blogocombat participant thinks an argument childish or insane, move on to another battle zone. Don't moan and sulk, leaving the lather of overgroan repulse.
Liberal vs. conservative.
Faith vs. disbelief.
Religious vs. secular.
Political vs. psychological.
Mediocre vs. innovative.
No, you won't be missed. Nobody is missed in the digital realm. We are humanufactured, interchangeable cogs in a meaningless machine rushing headlong into nothingness.
Enjoy the ride.
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate