WEEKEND EDITION: Random Thoughts

I thought it would be great to bring back an old title, “Random Thoughts,” that I used to run on my former blog some years back at “The HILL Chronicles.” In the past when I ran these posts I would talk about whatever I chose to. Those topics could range from politics to my personal life, that is what I chose to share. I am going to talk about the “blogosphere” as I remembered it and my disappointment in what it has become, barely recognizable.

When I began blogging in 2006 the blogosphere was exciting. You were blogging with your peers that soon became your friends, and there was unspoken mutual respect. My dear friend, “AOW” whom I met through blogging around that time has consistently been blogging. Her reasons for blogging began due to 9/11, quite different than my reasons, which were “The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.” For those of you who may not be familiar, the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, formerly known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), was a political group (527 groups) of United States Swift boat veterans and former prisoners of war of the Vietnam War, formed during the 2004 presidential election campaign for the purpose of opposing John Kerry’s candidacy for the presidency. Though our reasons for blogging were varied we shared the same morals and beliefs and it was and is with integrity we blogged then and now.

My friend Mustang was still around blogging when I returned in 2021 and that made me happy because I always looked forward to his comments and candor. His integrity always shining through. Lastly, an old friend was still around also that I had greatly missed and that was Z of GeeeZ. I always loved the conversations Z has inspired. So when I came back some of my old staples were still in place. Unlike me, they pushed forward. I quit and admit it. I quit because I was devastated by the Obama win. With all the proof and evidence, I had presented as to why he was not a good fit for our nation – my words were no more than singing to the choir. Things in the blogosphere changed after that and have never been the same.

Today the blogosphere is not a happy place, the camaraderie I remember from the past is just past and the only continuity and comfort I find are with my three original bloggers, the OGs. I have met some new bloggers that were not blogging when I left or I was not aware of them at the time like Bunkerville, which I consider one of the most stellar and professional blogs to date. There are several others I should name but for the sake of not writing a book, I believe you know who you are as I frequent these blogs often.

What is a striking parallel between now and the past blogging experience is how people communicate. Back 15 years ago or so people debated and had words, but they were not flippant or rude. Those two words work synonymously now. Flippant and rude. We could deal with that. However, now, many commenters are just plain insensitive and cold. It is as if they have no humanity in them. There have been times I have posted and some of the comments I have received were purely evil. There is no other word for it than evil. People have changed.

In part, I believe times do change and change our perspective of life, politics, age, and finances. Mostly I believe the pandemic has changed people. While many people were brought together others were distanced and made to feel insignificant or alone. Many are passionate about what happened during the pandemic and their theories about it and the vaccine. Many were villainized for not taking the vaccine while others villanized for taking it. There is no longer that balance that once existed in our society, there is no balance in many cases within relationships, and friendships, and it shows in the comments. Cold, distant, platonic, removed, and void of all feelings.

I blog for myself. I enjoy my collaborations with Mustang. He does not know this but he has kept me motivated to write because there have been times I wondered what did I return to and it is a culture shock for me trying to find where I fit in. I like the fact that we are not all conservatives or liberals that intermingle, which when I began blogging would not have happened. That open dialogue is healthy for a change and to save this nation from a worse fate than it is already facing. What I would like to see is more real comments from the heart – not the rude pithy or flippantly void comments that are left so many times with no regard for how it affects others. Where is the humanity we all once shared? I like conversation and that is what I began here – I write for an open dialogue. I did not sign up for mediocrity.

21 thoughts on “WEEKEND EDITION: Random Thoughts

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  1. Back 15 years ago or so people debated and had words, but they were not flippant or rude.

    What internet were you blogging on? I’ve been blogging since the 90’s and people have always been flippant and rude. Z could tell you, @ David Horowitz’s Frontpage Magazine it could be a real poo flinging chimp fight. There were posters there like mr. ducky (who you may see at AoW’s occasionally) who’s name exemplified their blogging style… mr. ducky was not known for his “engagement” in an argument, but for “ducking” your argument’s points. There were also bloggers like Socrates with multiple identities who did nothing but insult and degrade commentators. We believed he was actually a prison inmate and child molester. And there were liberal blogs like The Drudge Retort that were designed to antagonize conservative commentators and get their accounts suspended and/or banned. It’s always been a nasty place where civility was a rare commodity. I challenge you to go to a liberal blog like Shaw Kenawe’s Progressive Eruptions and have a “meaningful” or “respectful” debate. It won’t happen. It never could happen.

    And I hate to admit this, but the hardest time you’ll have is in keeping your own conservative contributor’s in line and not immediately ripping a “progressive” contributor to pieces with insults and degrading comments.

    Jes’ sayin’…I think that your nostalgia has gotten the better of you.

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    1. It takes hard nosed discipline to run a successful “politically neutral” blog. I give AoW, Warren, and Silver Fiddle credit for their largely successful attempts at doing so and maintaining a stable of progressive commentators. The places you can go to have a semi-respectful and meaningful debate with someone on the other side politically are few and far between.

      I’m a tit-for-tat blogger. I generally dish back whatever I receive. I hope “eventually” to arrive at a position of mutual respect with bloggers from across the aisle, but that generally takes years of trading insults first and slowly gaining their trust and confidence.

      I wish I could be more charitable, but too many others would take advantage and waste my time… and I don’t usually enjoy wasting my time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. btw – I do have meaningful and productive discussions with bloggers who remain “antagonistic” I actually enjoy those conversations the most. You probably don’t know it but Dervish Sanders, who comments frequently at my Political Tea Leaves, is a pretty astute (yet maddening) guy, even if he is often rude and/or flippant.

        And perhaps you should try being a bit more rude/flippant occasionally. Create another blogging account and adopt a rude male personae. I’ve had several ‘female” avatars and learned much about differing social expectations from them. Try it. You may like it.

        I’ve even impersonated (not stealing their identities, just their ideological perspective) several “progressive” bloggers…. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. btw – I learned by looking at his responses and researching them. They were often subject or ideas that I would never have imagined encountering were it not for him.

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  2. Writing is very difficult. Taking it up, whatever your reason, is one of the greatest challenges you can undertake. I believe this because the one thing a writer can count on is rejection and criticism. It makes me wonder why writers even bother. Writing in the blogosphere is even worse than trying to make a living by writing novels or submitting papers to magazines — and the reason for this, I think, is that most of the people who read blogs also write them. There is no worse critic than someone who fancies themselves as a writer or a writer with all the answers.

    Whoever writes anything for publication places their inner core on the line where everyone else can see it. One would think that that kind of exposure would cause someone to think twice about what they say, and more importantly, how they say it. But, as FJ suggests (above), that isn’t always the case. Progressive Eruptions is a good example: that person should not be allowed around crayons much less a computer. So then, back to criticism, why write? I can’t answer for anyone else: I do it because I have something I want to say. What I have to say doesn’t interest everyone; that’s okay. Moreover, what I have to say could be wrong — and if someone brings that to my attention, then I have an opportunity to learn something, or see something through a different set of lenses.

    There are a few bloggers I respect. My longest friend in Never-Never-Land is AOW. I’ve never met the lady, but I think the world of her — and her new husband Warren (she could not have made a better choice). I’m grateful for their friendship, and that of Kid (who welcomed me into his home), and Layla, Bunkerville, and Z.

    I’m glad Layla returned to blogging. It’s fun watching her trying to explode leftist heads with well-chosen words. Note: Does anyone remember the Jack Nicholson film “Mars Attacks?” Recall that the Martian’s heads exploded whenever they were exposed to the song “Indian Love Call.” That’s the same effect conservative writers have on leftist brains. I love it when a plan comes together.

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    1. Slavoj Žižek, “Am I a cake? Come out of here!

      The real freedom is not the freedom to choose one or that from a safe distance, it is not the freedom to choose strawberry cake or chocolate cake; The real freedom overlaps with necessity, indeed in a free choice one has revealed one’s own existence – because if one chooses and does something, “it cannot do it any other way”. When a resistance leader calls you to fight against the invaders while the foreigners have invaded your country, he will not say, “Let’s choose freely now, “Can’t you see there is no other way to protect your dignity?”

      Therefore, a radically free action is only possible if it is predestined: even if we accept and know that we are destined for something, we do not know exactly what we are destined for, that is, we do not know which of our choices are destined; This eerie situation, which requires us to make decisions even though we know that our decision has already been decided, is perhaps the only way to truly freedom, that is the unbearable burden of a truly free choice – we know that we are destined for whatever we are going to do, but we still have to take risks and choose at a subjective level what we are destined for.

      Why do I write/ blog? The Internet represents the collective mind and agora of humanity. It’s not a “choice” whether or not to participate in it. It’s a battlefield of ideas. for the minds of all of humanity. I want mine to be the ones that stand besides those which, in the end, ultimately prevail; and not those born from the “technic” of some shadow-banning algorithm. We have not been turned into and become post-human cyborgs… yet.

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      1. Plato, “Phaedrus”

        SOCRATES: Is there not another kind of word or speech far better than this, and having far greater power—a son of the same family, but lawfully begotten?

        PHAEDRUS: Whom do you mean, and what is his origin?

        SOCRATES: I mean an intelligent word graven in the soul of the learner, which can defend itself, and knows when to speak and when to be silent.

        PHAEDRUS: You mean the living word of knowledge which has a soul, and of which the written word is properly no more than an image?

        SOCRATES: Yes, of course that is what I mean. And now may I be allowed to ask you a question: Would a husbandman, who is a man of sense, take the seeds, which he values and which he wishes to bear fruit, and in sober seriousness plant them during the heat of summer, in some garden of Adonis, that he may rejoice when he sees them in eight days appearing in beauty? at least he would do so, if at all, only for the sake of amusement and pastime. But when he is in earnest he sows in fitting soil, and practises husbandry, and is satisfied if in eight months the seeds which he has sown arrive at perfection?

        PHAEDRUS: Yes, Socrates, that will be his way when he is in earnest; he will do the other, as you say, only in play.

        SOCRATES: And can we suppose that he who knows the just and good and honourable has less understanding, than the husbandman, about his own seeds?

        PHAEDRUS: Certainly not.

        SOCRATES: Then he will not seriously incline to ‘write’ his thoughts ‘in water’ with pen and ink, sowing words which can neither speak for themselves nor teach the truth adequately to others?

        PHAEDRUS: No, that is not likely.

        SOCRATES: No, that is not likely—in the garden of letters he will sow and plant, but only for the sake of recreation and amusement; he will write them down as memorials to be treasured against the forgetfulness of old age, by himself, or by any other old man who is treading the same path. He will rejoice in beholding their tender growth; and while others are refreshing their souls with banqueting and the like, this will be the pastime in which his days are spent.

        PHAEDRUS: A pastime, Socrates, as noble as the other is ignoble, the pastime of a man who can be amused by serious talk, and can discourse merrily about justice and the like.

        SOCRATES: True, Phaedrus. But nobler far is the serious pursuit of the dialectician, who, finding a congenial soul, by the help of science sows and plants therein words which are able to help themselves and him who planted them, and are not unfruitful, but have in them a seed which others brought up in different soils render immortal, making the possessors of it happy to the utmost extent of human happiness.

        PHAEDRUS: Far nobler, certainly.

        I fancy myself a sower of seeds… an internet “Farmer” 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I enjoy your writing, Elizabeth and Mustang. You are both blessed with Plato would call “Right Opinion”. You know the road to Larisa. Not all are so fortunate. And it is with them that I usually choose to wrestle. Ducky was once a project of mine. Gert was another. And Dervy is my current “project”. 🙂

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    3. Mustang,
      Your third paragraph made me blush, then cheer. 🙂

      Maybe we should make it our goal to meet face-to-face after all these years.

      BTW, next Saturday former blogger LA Sunset and his wife are coming to visit Warren and me for the day. We arranged all this via Facebook, which seems to have become a new home for many former bloggers. That’s not why I joined Facebook, but rather because I needed to keep up with some former students, some family members who lived so far away, and with Decorate A Vet, which helped out Mr. AOW and me back in 2013.

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  3. After reading all the comments, I forget what the post was about. 🙂
    We’ve lost a number of bloggers to FB where there seems to be more traffic.
    Also, like FreeThinke, to death.
    I don’t blog as often as I used to because I’m developing thoughts for the radio, another disappearing venue 🙂
    But I enjoy making the rounds when I can. Where I am welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

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