Cutting Through The Crap

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Comment Comment

Okay. Bad idea. Don't know what I was thinking. I'm no Andrew Sullivan.

The thing is, I blog here as a way to deal with frustrations. It's an outlet. When comments just make me feel worse -- not because I can't take criticism, but because the criticism is so vacuous, so confirmatory of my bleak view of our future -- the blog seems to defeat its own purpose, mental-health-wise.

But, as Sarah says, WTF. It's something to do.

21 comments:

Cory said...

Sid- I always tell my daughter that getting wrapped around the axle is counterproductive, unwise and unhealthy. I wouldn't assume to remind anyone else of the same, however, you're bumming me out dude! It’s getting to be consistent on this blog... a dark side, and bleak view of our future may be legitimate, although when one takes a intimate peek at the rest of the world, we as Americans don't have a legitimate right air our shaded moments without weighing heavily, the opportunities, we as Americans have to create and sustain hope. Okay, okay, if I was to tell the same to Twain, Vonnegut, or Carlin, who all purdy much, in their later years, gave up on humanity, they’d likely remind me to mind my own biness and tell me to fuck off. I'd guess it's the conundrum of what is and what could be that keeps us insane, plodding forward, but without optimism and hope, aren't we cheating ourselves and the rest of the world? Give yourself a break, mental-health wise, and smile to us. Please. Despite the moronic RWS™, there is a good side to human nature, it’s there all around us, if we take the time to look… You have a voice, round it a little bit.

Sid Schwab said...

Point taken, Cory, and I'm not unaware. On occasion I've posted just for humor; not enough, though.

To the extent that the future is bright, I'd say it depends on whether or not enough Americans will eventually realize the perfidy of the right wing of the Republican party and return that party to sanity. It's hard to be optimistic, and it seems every day there's more evidence of why that is. Their current house majority is paying most of its attention, in these dire times, to abortion and environmental destruction. To political destruction for its own sake.

I could make the blog about good news. There's no shortage of it, if one looks hard enough. But, I guess, my angle is to call attention to those things which make future good news less likely. It's a bummer, no doubt about it; moreover, this tiny and unpopulated corner of cyberspace is completely incapable of affecting anything.

For the most part, I write what I write in reaction to what I read, and to allay (unsuccessfully) the wrenching of the gut that it causes. Realizing it does no good to anyone but me -- and not much of that, either -- I do it anyway. My intention is not to bum people out, but to have it in writing -- who knows why -- what I perceive of what's happening, politically, to our country. Implicit, one might argue, is the belief that there's still goodness in humankind: pointing out the bad suggests the possibility of good.

Which is all to say: I hear you, I don't disagree with your point. I may or may not be able to do anything about it, but I'll try to try.

Chuck Sigars said...

I'll add one little note to what Cory said -- my only issue with your tone is that I suspect you're mad at the midgets. I'm with you as far as the media in this country goes, if I'm allowed to generalize a little, right there. I have no use for cable news and newspapers are dying ugly.

But Fox and friends got Democratic President demonizing to a fine art these past 2 years (lots of years of practice) and still Obama holds pretty impressive favorable ratings for the mess he's in. I'm not cockeyed here, just saying: The crazies are real loud. Lots of quiet people out there.

OK. Really, I dropped by because I was applauding your comment-less blog and now we're back. Comments can be fun and ideally they provide great discussion, but with your kind of subject matter I'd shut the door, myself. It's not worth it (I'd think) for you and definitely not for me as a reader.

But maybe a heavier hand with the moderation...? Don't be nice here. It's not a fair world and this is your blog. Shut 'em down. Plenty of sites out there where they can be stupid. We know you're fair and are tolerant of an opposing viewpoint; you don't have to prove it to the little brains.

Sid Schwab said...

I think you've hit on it, Chuck.

Sili said...

Just block the obsessive troll.

Pieter B said...

But if you block Doc Drek, what will me and my office-mate do when we want to point and laugh at someone?

Sid Schwab said...

In a comment I chose not to publish, out of respect, Seaspray said, among many other things, (copied and pasted uneditied):

I have to admit ...I feel really bummed most of the time when I read the knocks against conservatives in here.

Such an insult to my intelligence ...and yes I know I just set myself up for more ..if the shoe fits where it, etc.


For the eleven thousandth time: I don't knock conservatives: I knock the people that pass themselves off as conservative nowadays. Over and over, I've said I wish we had a strong and sensible conservative party. I knock Glenn Beck and those who are supportive of his insanity. I knock teabaggers who are so easily bought and paid for, duped, and so clueless. I knock Sarah Palin and her venality and stupidity (although I'll admit it's hard to know what the hell she's saying much of the time, with her word salad dressed with divisiveness.)

I knock the damage Fox "news" is doing to our national dialog, and the way the radio screamers are revered for their bigoted and deliberate lies.

If I thought prayer made any sense, I'd pray hourly, around the clock, for a Republican party that had good ideas, that told the truth, that worked for the common good.

The insult to your intelligence, Seaspray, does not come from here. It comes from those you hold dear, and it couldn't be more obvious. I point it out daily. Unlike those you follow, I don't lie, ever. You may disagree, but I don't lie. Your idols do, all the time, and I call them on it. It's what I do. If they started telling truth, pitching in, and coming up with useful proposals, I'd have nothing more to say.

Which means I may never shut up.

SeaSpray said...

Dr S - You could've printed the comment. It explained my reasoning.

I have never one time ever thought you lie ..past, present or that you would ever. You are expressing your opinions.

I KNOW you believe what you write. You impress me as a man of integrity. Your lying was *never* a consideration for me.

My comment and feelings are based on how I and some other conservative bloggers have made some valid points... cordially, thoughtful in presentation ..and it seemed to me that you dismiss anyone who makes a significant counterpoint. Go back and read some of the things you've said to PT and some others. Blue had said some things that I did not see as rude at all and agreed with him/her.

In your comment post I responded to, you said, "I've decided not to allow comments, at least for a while. The negative ones are predicatable and, with the occasional exception, devoid of interesting perspective, and nearly universally miss or avoid the central point or make such absurd arguments that I simply stare at the screen, numbly, wondering how these people are able to earn a living. In the end, I think I'll be doing them a favor by preventing them from embarrassing themselves. And while it's nice to know there are people out there who agree with me, I don't need the positive reinforcement.

Fortunately, the people who tend to provide interesting and useful content in their comments also communicate with me directly, and I hope that won't end. "

You are talking about your conservative commenters. How should I take that? Condescending ..just a bit? That was just a small sampling of it. Perhaps you just don't realize how you come across in tone ...sometimes? But ..it is your blog.

SeaSpray said...

So,I can change the channel. It is YOUR blog and you SHOULD write as you feel inspired to. Anyone who doesn't agree ..can take a hike. I know you don't see it ..but the tone at times has been almost as though you were gnashing your teeth... and at times, doesn't seem any different than what you accuse rws of. And while you've censored some mean comments directed at conservatives ..you've also let them through. And for the life of me ..that you would sensor anything I would write baffles me. Other then it makes a point ..or is total airhead material in your opinion and you just refuse to post. But ..regardless ..I have not written caustically toward anyone. So,why censor?

And so since I never know when ..it seems to be pointless to comment anyway.

My point was how you talk down to the conservatives in here at times. Yes ..you are respectful too, but it does seem when someone has made a well thought out point that you take issue with ..you blow them off to foxbeckian brainwashing, etc. (Brainwashing my word here since I don't recall verbatim)

Your no comment post was yet another demonstration of your opinion of *your conservative commenters*

I respect you greatly. I disagree with you often. But,I have never thought of you as lying.

Denying the valid points and dismissing ...but not lying.

Sid Schwab said...

One reason I didn't print your whole comment was your conclusion that you were the troll referred to above...

And I'd argue that when I get thoughtful contrary comments, I address them in kind. For a long time, PT was one who provided useful points, and when he did, I not only addressed them respectfully but often agreed, at least in part. It's only lately that he seems to have succumbed to the siren song of the screamers.

It goes without saying that our respective views of what constitute valid points would differ a lot. Blue, for example, was almost entirely of the "I know you are but what am I" variety. And points that miss the point don't score points in my book.

Whether I talk down or in kind is also a matter of perception. I certainly disagree more often than not, and when it seems the commenter actually wants to hear it, I explain why. But I have no more patience for those who repeat the obvious lies of the RWS™ than I do of the ones who plant them in the first place.

You frustrate me at least as much as I frustrate you. You take things personally when they're not meant that way (clearly, Sili was referring to Frank, in the latest example), and you frequently express the sorts of things that I find simply inexplicable (there are lots of problems with evolution; global warming hoax; Beck doesn't advocate violence, he's a wise seer; Sarah is great). I simply can't reconcile those beliefs with thoughtful analysis, and I let it show.

All blogs have a tone. Mine is what it is. I long for a reasonable conservative party, as there once was. I find Fox "news", the tea party and its heroes to be destructive to our democracy and, in fact, the evidence suggests they don't believe in it at all. I criticize Dems in general, and Obama in particular in many things; but unlike their counterparts on the other side, they are trying -- albeit imperfectly -- to right the damage Bush left behind. They're actively working to accomplish things and the current Rs are simply trying to destroy for political gain. They lie as a matter of policy, and neither you nor any other commenter has shown otherwise. That you defend them is indefensible. It's not conservatism. It's some perverted version of it that dishonors the legacy of great conservative legislators that once roamed the halls.

It's obvious, it's depressing, it's destructive. You don't agree. You don't get what I'm trying to say. It is what it is.

SeaSpray said...

It's hard not to think I am being referred to as a troll since there aren't many conservative commenters.I do get what you are trying to say. I just usually disagree.

And I don't agree with everything on the right. I just agree most often with them.

Conversely ..when arguments on the right make so much sense (I'm generalizing now), it might be you that is not getting it.

Between you, me and the world ...I'm becoming jaded and beginning not to trust any politicians. I just trust the conservatives a bit more.

You know ... just as you are looking for good conservatives and not the rws type ...I think that about the liberals. I'd like to see the regular democrats and not the lwl (left wing loons).

Both rws and lwl are on the extremes.

Every time I see your reference to rws (right wing screamers), I'm always thinking right wing swingers. haha! I don't know why. :)

Sid Schwab said...

when arguments on the right make so much sense

Give me examples and I'll respond as respectfully as I can.

SeaSpray said...

No thank you. We're at an impasse for now.

Listening to John Bachelor (wabc talk radio)on the radio now, while blogging.

Interesting radio show. Multiple political topics and some other ones too sometimes. You hear things you just don't get on TV. And interviews with people not usually seen on tv and from around the world. And more in depth. And he covers current political news. I just love his format. 9 - 1 am east coast time.

Sid Schwab said...

Gee. Didn't see that coming.

SeaSpray said...

Because we could go tit for tat all day. :)

Sid Schwab said...

Right. But weren't you calling for respectful dialog on your points? Wasn't it your perceived lack of it that you were complaining about? Or is tit for tat something different from dialog? Do you want me to agree with everything you say, or do you want solid reasons (which I've always given) for my positions? Do you not wish to hear factual and well-reasoned disagreement with your positions?

That's the problem with people who listen to Fox and the rest of the RWS: they want validation, not information. They want their prejudices to be reinforced, not challenged. As I've said, I stopped watching MSNBC long ago, despite the fact that it's way more fact-based than Fox, I don't need the validation, or even want it. I prefer thinking in depth.

You refer to left wing loons, a foxified term if ever there was one. I refer to screamers, which is literally true: does O'Reilly not scream? Have you heard Beck and his "Get off my phone" shriek like a madwoman?

Tell me a position you consider looney, and explain why it's looney. Provide, as I do, facts to support the conclusion. Be willing to discuss it.

Here's me, holding my breath.

SeaSpray said...

I hope you look good in Smurf blue. ;)

SeaSpray said...

DR S ...my reference to left wing loons has nothing to do with Fox.

I coined it in jest ..a response to your rws ..I thought..and I thought ..for not even a minute ..and decided lwl would be apropos. :)

Yet one more example of how quick you are to blame Fox.

My own creation and you are taking it way more seriously then when I first used it in here. I created it with a smile ... not anger.

Sid Schwab said...

Cute. Avoiding the opportunity to state and defend your beliefs, but cute.

I hope you understand, though, that it pretty much puts the lie to, invalidates, all of your comments in which you've complained about content and tone and rejection. And, no offense intended, it's exactly like the current crop of congressional Rs and all the RWS™: complaining, tearing down, making wild claims, while offering nothing substantive.

Which is exactly the point of this blog, and you have confirmed it nicely. So thanks for that.

SeaSpray said...

I'm sorry Dr S ..but I'm just not in the mood to get all factsy right now. Not because I can't. Not because I don't care.

Seriously ..I'm just not in the mood.

And ..."But weren't you calling for respectful dialog on your points? Wasn't it your perceived lack of it that you were complaining about? Or is tit for tat something different from dialog? "

I commented in this post because of *your tone and dismissal of facts when presented* ...*not lack of listening*. Although ..there have been times you have gone right past what I and others said and responded so off the mark, that I wondered how you arrived at your response. This comment began because I responded as the other commenters did ..regarding tone... and then I added the dismissing of valid points.

"Do you want me to agree with everything you say, or do you want solid reasons (which I've always given) for my positions? Do you not wish to hear factual and well-reasoned disagreement with your positions?"

I would loathe that. Shoot (habit saying that), I could go to Fox for that! ;)

You write the way you want in your blog. I expect it. I don't have to come in here. Sometimes I do take a respite away.

I was just saying there are times PT, Blue, myself and perhaps others I've forgotten made valid points and in my opinion they were erroneously dismissed and insults hurled on top. Not vile ones ..but condescending. That's your prerogative. And my opinion.

And seriously ..when I first coined that lwl ..that was done in fun. I think rws is clever and I think lwl is clever. No more ..no less.

But if I was ..in the mood ..of course I could provide material for lwl.

But ..I'm not.

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.