Monday, February 05, 2007

A question for readers

Do you think there is any point in writing about controversial issues as I did in the last two blogs (as well as the many others facing us today)? Personally, I am beginning to feel that everyone has made up their mind, and these discussions end up going round in the same circles. If I don't write about what's going on, will it be saying I don't really care and have given up? But when I write about it, does it really help or just add to the negativity in the world?

So what's your take on it? Do you like to read about such things, comment on them, or would you prefer to stick to more positive topics? I have often thought I'd like to go hide in the hills, but then remember that's where I live and it doesn't help.

15 comments:

Mary Lou said...

Well I haven't read you in a few days, sick computer, but I enjoy the way you stick your neck out there, Yes, I have my own opinions and sometimes they differ quite a bit from yours, but it is YOUR blog, not OURS, and you need to write what YOU feel. I personally like reading what others have to say, and you do it so nicely. I have read others who differ, and when I comment, they strike back as if my opinion is not worth anything.

We are all different. We all have a different way of looking at things, and quite frankly, today As I was driving back from the dog groomers, I was thinking that I might just stick MY neck out there and lay it on the line one day a week. I may lose readers, I may gain readers, but it is something I feel I need to do. I have no idea how it will go yet, and It may be awhile until I get it on line. People may be really surprised at Mary Lou! ;)

You keep on keeping on Rain, THat is why we did not want you stop writing before! We all like a little tobasco on our pablem!

Joy Des Jardins said...

When you write about anything that's controversial...you're going to get feedback Rain....good and bad. It's just the nature of the beast. People have opinions, and they want to express them. I don't see anything wrong with that in any way...but I'm very much against people getting nasty and lashing out to get their point across. I see no reason for that...and never will. You have a nice even manner about you Rain. I've never found you offensive in any way, and you express yourself with considerable thought and compassion. I find it very charming.

I myself hardly ever write about politics, religion and such. It's not that I don't have opinions on some of it; it's just that it's not who I am. I was married to someone who was VERY opinionated about these subjects...and he often got into it with anyone that crossed his path. That was him. His particular approach made me somewhat uncomfortable, and I often stood back and didn't involve myself in it. That could definitely be a big part of why I write about what I write about.

I'll say one thing....when you leave the controversial arena open to you...there's ALWAYS something to say. You always have material for your next post. I think everyone chooses when to play it safe, and when to let it rip at times....and I think there's an audience for both.

Ingineer66 said...

This is funny. I was thinking almost the same thing after our exchange earlier today. I was almost late to a meeting because I was so intent to read and respond. Then I thought that maybe I shouldnt have responded because it obviously irritated you. Sometimes you write things that are very easy for me to write about, it just seems to flow out, which is very rare for me. I know that what often flows out you disagree with vehemently, but I dont take it personally. I just like talking about politics and this is one of the few outlets that I currently have for it.
It did upset me that you would impugn my patriotism because I haven't picked up a rifle and gone to Iraq. I do have a daughter serving in the US Marines so I do have a bit at stake in what happens to our military.
I would never attack you personally no matter how much I disagree with you politically because I know that when the rubber hits the road you are a true American.
Besides if you keep it up, you may even convince me to change my thinking a little. And I got a couple people to think about why we don't have a popular vote for president even if they didn't really agree with me. At least they gave my side some thought and that is all I can ask for.

I say keep writing about controversial issues and I will try to temper my responses to keep from going in the same circles. I know that I am in the minority in here.

Rain said...

As I have said before, I never mind someone disagreeing with what I write. That is what makes a debate. The problem is that for a long time the democrats have been accused of being unpatriotic and not loving their country and yes, the republicans also when we find out the troops are still not adequately equipped and that fact was attempted to be hidden. Even today the Republicans seem to be trying to block real debate on what is going on in Iraq. It is a very upsetting time. But you have always been respectful about how you phrase your arguments and I think thoughtful. I don't want to lose friends over this, but we do have to all think about the fact that those troops over there are real people, not political issues. And stuff you see on the news, about what's going on, about how bad it's getting, it's hard not to be upset about it. The question is really whether it gains anything to be upset? I am reading a book that I will be writing about soon that said sometimes anger needs to be positively channelled and it does serve a purpose.

Terri said...

Hmmm, interesting question, Rain.
Personally...I feel most people tend to stick with the way they feel and truly are not open to changing their minds on a given subject.
With that said, I like to read controversial subjects. Although I may not change my mind in the long run....it allows me to at least see something from a totally different perspective. But I do admit to very seldom changing my initial opinion.
So please keep on with whatever subjects YOU feel are important! Keeping our heads in the sand gets us nowhere...better to be willing to consider a difference of thought, I say. Even if we're the only ONE that feels/thinks that way. Heck...I've always been in the majority, so at this stage of the game, I'm well used to it. (smile)

Terri said...

Gosh........I'm tired! Obviously, I meant to say, "I've always been in the MINORITY"....sorry about that. (good thing I went back and read it....your other readers would think you had a dimwit here)
AND I know I'm tired...because yours is the second blog tonight that I made a mistake on. Say goodnight, Terri......

Alan G said...

I myself don't, as a rule, enter into controversial discussions. I do like hearing what folk's opinions are because we, for the most part, have become acquaintances via our blogs and it is just another way of getting to know who these folks are. I may not agree with you on a point or may not like your taste in music but it is all part of getting to know you. If I decide you are just not my cup of tea I can just simply disappear into Cyberspace.

For the most part I believe the majority of folks have “partisan” opinions. And although it can make for interesting reading, I do think that blogs “do not” tend to lend themselves to “bipartisan” discussions. Especially when it comes to politics and religion. And one of the major issues dealing with discussions of that nature is indeed the knowledge that one possesses on the issue in contention. And as educated and learned as we might be on an issue...we certainly never know it all.

If I am supporting so-and-so on an issue and you another, I would welcome information that could perhaps shed light on my current judgments and error of my choice but it has to come in a bipartisan manner or I will refuse to even consider it because of its method of delivery. That is human nature. And if we are both passionate on our positions but we want to have the discussion, as always you first find your common ground on the issue, share your reasoning’s, and proceed from there. That is all very difficult to do on a personal blog I believe, given the fact that we have to try and write our opinions in some manner of detail and also deal with other input from other visitors who believe their opinions are just as important as the next guys. By the time you have formulated perhaps a well thought-out opinion, the discussion has moved on to another associated issue making your input mute in most cases.

As for opinions....these blogs belong to each of us individuals and they represent who we are. After all, that is the whole purpose of a "personal" blog. When I express an opinion on my blog it is solely mine. I already understand there may be some of my visitors who disagree. Most will say so and let it go at that. Others will agree - just to be nice. But it remains my opinion and I chose to air it publicly. But once it is out there it is fair game for those who perhaps share your passion on the subject. If you don’t want to hear from the other side you should turn your comments off for that post.

If I believe "a woman's place is in the home" and make a comment to that effect....then ask what my visitors think? Well, the ensuing heated discussion is a no-brainer! On these blogs, controversial issues must first be presented in a palatable manner or all hell will immediately ensue. You always seem to make good presentations on your issues. However, as in seen on most blogs with most issues….someone usually wants to air an opinion on the Iraq war or healthcare in twenty-five words or less. That is a fruitless discussion and normally will only lead to bad or hurt feelings. So if it is an important issue…you have to break it down into its components and discuss it point by point. It may take a series of discussions.

Rain….my take on this particular post regarding your personal blog is that you enjoy airing issues and sharing your opinion. You are by far no dummy and you certainly know whether an issue has two sides. And it also seems that you very much enjoy the interaction, whether positive or negative. I see no reason at all why you make some effort to cloak who you are or restrain your passions. And if someone gets way, way, way out of line….that’s why we have the “Delete Comment” button on our blogs.

AlwaysQuestion said...

I think it comes back to why we write, doesn't it?
If we can't write about what we feel passionate about then why aren't we tackling the "to do" list or watching a movie? What would be the point?
p.s. Both of your Senators voted for cloture!

Parapluie said...

Your political debate subjects are all mind expanding to me. I also enjoy the comments you get on both sides of any issue. I wish these discussions were read by many more people. Maybe they could be reviewed by some other media. Like OPB has Oregon Art Beat. It could also have Oregon blog beat. It would be nice to feel that all this passion and thought had a potential for making a difference.

Rain said...

Thanks to all who contributed your opinions on this question. It's something with which I have always wrestled. What is helpful to others? I see blogging as actually rather unique in that we are writing our own ideas, and it is our blog, but blogging is a two way deal. It seems it's more about writer and reader than most writing and the comment section can end up better to read (with many people's blogs) than the original topic. For me, I try to write things that I think will either help someone else or that they will find interesting.

I know from talking to outside friends that many do not want to hear about politics or any of these controversial subjects. We have had lengthy discussions on whether it helps to discuss it. It was nice to bring that debate here and hear some other opinions.

If I had a blog that stayed with a topic, it might be easier for me to decide on such things; but mine has always been a mix of many ideas. I don't want to ambush readers who come here for something about the farm (which will be coming next) and instead get some sort of rant--- and yet with the way I mix it up, that could be how some feel.

I am glad to know how you all felt about it and hope that anybody who comments here, will always feel free to disagree. It does help those, who read and disagree, to see in comments the other side-- and there usually is another side :)

robin andrea said...

Dang, I always seem to be late to the discussion. I think you should keep writing exactly what you write. What ever moves you, inspires you, compells you. Write it. I have to give myself the same advice because I too venture out into politics and commentary every now and then. Say it, rain. I love when you tell us what's on your mind, and in your heart. And, I sincerely thank you for doing it.

Sandy said...

I'm even later adding my two bits worth. You know I don't comment, for the most part, because of where I live. Do your politics have an impact on us? Heck yes! I very much enjoy how you have such a broad range of topics including your views on politics and also like reading the responses. I'd hate to see you quit even some of what you write :)

Winston said...

I am late to the party on this one...

I like what AQ said in his comment about "why you blog." You have continually demonstrated a knack for presenting controversial issues in an informative and non-threatening way. Me... I just rant. But you have the ability to help us learn, perhaps see another side or facet of an issue that we had not previously considered, And you do it with kid gloves and a velvet hammer.

I would never go so far as to suggest anyone should do this or that because they have some obligation to use their "god given talent." You do have the ability and I do sincerely hope that you will continue to strut it out in front of us from time to time for sunshine and exercise.

That last paragraph reminded me of a simple little song we sang as children in Sunday school: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."

Jackie said...

Rainy, as others have noted, it is YOUR blog. To write whatever you want to write on it. I don't usually get involved in discussions on politics or religion, either, but enjoy reading others opinions. At 57, I've learned I'm not really going to change anyone else - and they are probably not going to change what I believe, though I try to keep an open mind.

As for blogging, I mostly do it for my two daughters and my sister, because they blog and because they want me to. Whether or not others are reading it, agreeing, commenting, or whatever -really doesn't matter to me. I guess if I was trying to find a certain audience, I might think about the context of what I was writing. Never gave that much thought.

joared said...

I'm really late for this party, but seems to me the question is best addressed by your answering the question I finally had to ask myself when I was trying to decide about whether or not to even start a blog: For whom would I be writing? I concluded I would be writing for myself and any readers would be a bonus.

The fact that you're taking the pulse of your readers suggests you are writing for them which I think makes figuring out how to write more complicated. While I have no intentional desire to ever offend anyone, I vote for "let the chips fall where they may" kind of approach. Surely as adults, we all know by now to respect another's views if they differ from our own, but that we can still appreciate them for honestly sharing their opinions.