Thursday, April 03, 2008

WAR

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

And then there are a few who just can’t be pleased under any circumstances. Apparently my humble blog has rooted out at least one such individual. To be perfectly fair, it is unlikely that this entity is incapable of pleasure; rather it appears my prose have been the source of personal displeasure. It is almost as if my sole purpose is to be an irritation to a select few who travel here as though they had no will of their own. Of course, that is exactly why I take the time to compose and post my musings. Yes, my secret is out.

Like those who complain about what is on TV or the radio, those who do not like my work are free to go elsewhere. Those who do read my stuff are welcome to criticize it, ridicule it and even take selected bits out of context and spin it any way they see fit. It is a free country. I reserve the right to do the same - the First Amendment is still alive and well, despite the best efforts of the Bush/Cheney machine. The 25 Year Plan has a number of loyal readers - most do not comment, but they return time and time again. Others do comment and for the most part, the feedback is positive.

Sometimes, however, there will be a reader that takes issue with my position on a policy or an argument I have made. These opinions are often valid and have given me pause to consider another point of view. Even if rejected, when made respectfully these comments are never offensive. Then there is the malcontent; the visitor who must lambaste my writing style, the subject matter… even my motorcycle for reasons only he or she can understand. These are absolutely meant to offend and although they do just that, I am more than capable of standing my ground.

It is not about seeking out conflict, but conflict is an unavoidable reality in life. Substantive, intelligent and passionate exchanges are one thing, but when an attack is malicious, petty, juvenile… or personal, expect both barrels. It is and always will be zero to nuclear in nothing flat. I don’t have time for stupid playground skirmishes - there are far more important things going on in my life and the world that deserve my attention. Family, work, the credit and housing crisis and juggling my personal budget to pay for gas at $3.65 per gallon - these are important pursuits.

And then there is Bush’s pet war in Iraq. Somehow this, the most important issue in the world today is now only newsworthy when the number of dead service men and women hits a new "milestone." Only when it is a large round number like 4,000 do we pay attention anymore - as if the 3,999th killed is somehow less significant. Tell that to his family. The upcoming election is of vital importance. We are voting for or against a war that was sold on lies and should never have been started in the first place. The number of lives lost and forever altered is mind-boggling and the money borrowed to pay for it only slightly less so.

If all you have is why my writing sucks - save it. I don’t have time for it.

13 comments:

~Easy said...

The only thing that I find irritating is that whenever I read what you've written, about all I have to say is. "Yes. That's right."

Thought provoking, eh?

Carmi said...

Nicely said. As the other intended target of our common troll, I, too, often wonder why people will take it on themselves to break down the work of others when they can just as simply walk away and say nothing.

When all is said and done, if all these people can add to the collective discussion is an anonymously-penned "you suck" stream of consciousness, then they really aren't adding any value after all. Of course, judging from the traffic that people like this receive, they typically have an audience that would fit comfortably around my parents' first dinner table in the corner of their newlywed apartment. So it's not as if there's any demand for stupidity beyond their own inflated sense of self.

We're all given a finite number of days on this planet, and it is our challenge to use them wisely. Somehow, engaging in infantile "critiques" of the work of others for no other reason than to fan the flames of nastiness seems to represent - to me, at least - an utter waste of that precious time.

Obviously, there's one person out there who believes otherwise. Pauvre petit.

Linda said...

I always say, "your politics are not my politics" and leave it at that. What others believe is of no consequence to me. I live my life and to hell with them.

This is YOUR blog, YOUR little bit of the world. You say what you wish. We can always agree to disagree, correct?

My husband says the same thing about TV and radio...if you don't like what you see or hear, change the channel. Same with blogs...don't like what you're reading, hit the next button or close the window. Simple.

And, having read Carmi's comment as well...anonymous trolls who post nothing more than "you suck" or "your writing sucks" are just jealous folk who only wish they could fill half of your shoe (and Carmi's!)

Michele sent me here to agree wholly with you!

Thumper said...

Ya know, when said critic stated he was starting a Blog War, I thought it was going to be something funny, and tongue-in-cheek. Instead it was mean and stupid and obviously didn't generate the audience intended.

I don't get the point to blogs like that; if you don't like a blog, just don't go back to it. How difficult is that???

Lacey said...

I don't know anything about your particular circumstance. But having experienced some particularly dedicated and juvenile trolls in my time, I have to note that this post is exactly the kind of fodder that fuels them. Trolls love attention, even negative.

"I don't have time for it" seems particularly contradictory, given your long response.

The best thing to do is not to deign to notice the comments in question.

Michael Althouse said...

Lacey,

You are, of course, absolutely right. This particular incident pissed me off for a variety of reason, one of which is the source. I have agreed not to reveal it publicly and I am a man of my word. I am fairly sure this particular "entity" will not darken my door again.

This post was written for me, but your contradiction is duly noted and acknowledged.

Mike

becky68 said...

Wow, that scares me, I've never had a troll yet, I try to fly below the radar, but you just never know what can set people off (I've read some ugly wars on other's blogs)
Thanks for stopping by my blog today via Michele's

kenju said...

+I try to pay no attention to people like that, Mike.

Theoloyia said...

"I'm right, you're wrong!' This phrase chanted from the nursery school playground to the corporate boardroom and supported on a foundation of rationalization and justification is all too common in today's society" a close friend of mine wrote to a Harvard journal. This always seems to be about healthy responses to "life on life's terms" and sometimes we forget that it can be written in small print.

Although you were somewhat nebulous as to the particular issue or topic at hand, I know you well enough to see your fangs when they show. Criticism comes in many different packages and the criticizers come in various stages of spiritual awareness. You can probably see where I am going with this.

I think I now understand and will take a lesson in humility from an oyster, and its reaction to an irritant.

non posse, non pecare.

Melody said...

Gees....Yay to you Mike! Well put...

I too get annoyed when people slam tv shows etc., - it is easy people, change the channel or turn it off. People soooo annoy me. If there is something on someone's blog, it's the same - move on!! *urgh*

Anyway, I'm here via Michele today - have a great weekend and blog about what you want. *heehee*

Ellen said...

I can remember reading a comment on my (now long lost) blog a year back when someone told me that I probably had the worst blog out there. I wondered why they even bothered to finish reading the post and then comment at all. What an utter waste of time for both of us. But then, we suffer fools in our everyday life anyway, eh?

Good for you to make a stand. I applaud your gumption, and the polite way in which you made it known. And if anyone does not see the worth of your words, they are sadly missing one of the better elements of journalism out there.

Keep up the good work, you have a fan in Atlanta.

Sleepypete said...

I had one troll tell me "OMG I'M GONNA KILL MYSELF IF YOU KICK ME" when we were throwing him out of the Warcraft guild. I can't remember exactly what they were doing but it has to be persistent annoyance to earn that as we were far too tolerant.

I had a look at the warmonger's blog during his "war" and to be honest, it really didn't impress me at all. I'd go a little further there and say that it reflected badly not just on him but also on the people who continued to support them.

Too many wars in the world at the moment, we don't need any more of them. Besides, a blog should really be about the blogger's impressions of the world and life, rather than tearing apart how other people view things.

Curiously, our warmonger seems to have deleted the posts on the war. Maybe someone had a word with them ... Their blogroll was still pure mickeytake though at time of writing this comment.

Scary people out there ...

PS Our Warcraft troll is still alive, they exposed me and a few other guild members to some rather putrid abuse via a character called "Dumbmage" a couple of years after we threw them out.

Snaggle Tooth said...

I think those guys are just jealous cuz they can't write well- (so don't even get that you are)

There are tons of bullies in the Human species...