September 26, 2011

The Devil is in the Details

I think I've worked out the inherent problem with blogging now...tone. Having spent only the last few weeks actually doing any blogging I am unpracticed in composing a post in such a way as to convey my proper tone of voice (which any good writer will tell you they spend a great deal of time doing) in the composition. My last post received feedback only in one form: pity.  Now, perhaps I am reading the tone wrong, but so far the only feedback I have gotten comes off as a pat on the head and a hug becausee "the other boys and girls were mean to me".  While I'm deeply touched that people are willing to leap to my defense and give me such sincere reassurances, it was not my intention to draw them. 

Reading it over again with my feedback in mind, the post does read somewhat like a list of personal complaints regarding a perceived social slight directed at me, personally.  And to that end, I see why there would be either pity or "get over yourself" laced throughout the feedback.  This, however, was my failing as the author.  My purpose in these little rants is not to get personal feedback regarding my problems, but rather to draw attention to and begin discussions of larger issues that I find personally important.  I don't need to be reassured that I'm "ok" even though some people think I'm weird.  If I did, I could hardly leave my apartment in the morning, since I do very little to hide my oddities from those around me.  I don't feel ashamed of anything I do or think, nor do I feel personally slighted by the opinions of those who don't subscribe to my particular brand of thinking.  I actually feel the world is better off for it, since an entire planet consisting of people who think and act like myself would be both boring and really, REALLY, obnoxious.  But what this amonts to is that I would prefer not to go down a path of simple reinforcement of my own ideas.  My ego swells quite well all on its own. 

So going forward, I will do my best to compose these posts in a more "clinical" way (with a twist, as I'll discuss momentarily) so as to avoid this kind of coddling.  Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate that so many of you support my "me-ness", but it's not what I want this blog to be about.  Shameless self promotion makes up a good 75-80% of my daily activities anyway.  I want this blog to be a place to voice some concerns and ideas that I have and get some more discussions going about the role of those ideas/concerns in the big picture and at the level of our own lives. 

Which brings me nicely to the reason for the composition of my previous post (and the aforementioned twist): I don't believe it is possible to objectively deliver any statments with meaning.  Since objectivity requires us to be removed emotionally and experientially from the topic, I don't think it's reasonable to expect any complex issue to be truly objective (lookin' at you, TV pundits). So, I used myself as the example of my post to demonstrate this very principle.  The nature of escapist behavior requires us to put a great deal of subjective experience and value into something, so no discussion of escapism is really possible (to my way of thinking anyway) if you try to examine it from the outside.  Oh sure, you'll get a few interesing points about the kinds of behaviors typically associated with escapism, but you won't get to the meat of the issue by trying to remove yourself from the experience.  The whole point of escapism is to experience something outside of "objective reality" as "reality", so I used my own experiences to illustrate those points. 

Where I fell short, however, was in failing to realize that doing so can come off as a cry for help or acceptance on the part of the author.  I don't want to sound like I'm whining and I don't want my readers to feel like they need to console me whenever I talk about a large-scale social issue that affects me personally.  I had hoped to draw commentary related to the relationship other people have with their brand of escapism and to see if others had encountered these issues from other perspectives.  The world of ideas is only as good as its diversity, so I hope that going forward, we can continue this little think-tank discussions in a more academic and yet personal fashion.

As always, your comments are welcome; make 'em count.


  1. Having chewed on this a bit, I do have one suggestion: If you're looking for a certain flavor of response, give us some questions to address.

    Do you want us to share some of our own ridiculously personal means of making meaning out of the world? You may have more luck of that in private conversation, or at least not in the vast searchable "public" record that is the internet. I'm not really sure what you mean by the relationship I have to my own escapism-- are you asking if I do feel embarrassed or guilty about it, or if I've ever run into social censure because of it?

    tl;dr What is it you'd like to hear, then?

  2. Pat's right. The only way to get specific feedback is to ask a specific question.

    Plus, don't knock a pat on the head, or you might get a knock on the head ;)