Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Nice things about being a raw amateur …

It is nice when no one pays attention to your ramblings. This is probably a good think for the amateur if you are a sensitive flower who needs approval. This is a bad thing if you don’t know how amateur you are. How can you ever learn and get better? But on the whole good predominates.

Still it’s nice when the trolls can’t be bothered with you because they’re busy making life uncomfortable for the better players who have the skill to attract “readership” and naturally some readers who a) disagree with the writer and b) only know the straw man technique of criticism.

A while ago I declined to get involved in local politics when invited to run for mayor of this fine little town in which I live – population 800. I am a small shopkeeper – let me be clear, I own a small shop. I myself am rather too large and could do with losing 50 or 60 pounds.

Anyway, the lifeblood of any small shop is a steady stream of happy customers. If I ran for mayor and won (a little ego happening there, right?) I would automatically upset half my constituency as soon as elected, because they wanted someone else for mayor. And it would be all downhill from there as anyone who has ever lived or grown up in a small town would know. Half my customers want to chat about what is wrong with the other half and the rest just know they could do it better … sigh. I just want to be friends with everyone and I try not to take sides.

So too in successful blogging, once you are good enough to start upsetting people enough that they feel motivated enough to write you about their upset then you have to deal with the possibility that they might be right. Is that enough? Imagine that. Maybe I AM an idiot and don’t know what I am talking about. On the other hand, maybe that would be a good lesson in learning to control pride.

Bill Whittle and David Warren, to name just a couple of pros, have spent the last decade writing unfashionable truth to legions of fans. But inevitably they also attract another legion of less than stellar followers whose only objective is to tear down anyone who disagrees with what passes for “thought” in our current social stream. The inconvenient truth is that these gutless e-trolls might even be sincere in their beliefs but learned their skills at discussion in the grade school play ground during recess and never progressed from there.

To get a good idea of the caliber of thought these critics indulge in one need look no farther than “Being Liberal” my favorite poster site for today’s main stream social “thinking”. Their header today carries 2 pieces of deep wisdom from one of the greatest social thinkers of the 20th century. I don’t even have a peep to add to this daisy chain of feelings.

I respectfully salute Bill and Dave and all the other thousands of talented writers who continue to have the courage to throw their pearls before swine over and over and over without giving up.

I remember a story/joke I heard 40 years ago while on deployment regarding a PPCLI platoon on a hill somewhere in Korea. As the story goes, some smart-ass private whispers over to the sergeant “Sarge, are you still giving us a buck for every commie we kill?” to which the sergeant replied “Sure kid”  “Oh good” comes the reply “cause I got 2000 bucks crawling up my side of the hill.”  In the same vein, “we got millions swarming all over us!  FIRE ON US! FIRE FOR EFFECT!”




Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately


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