Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Snowed In vs. Burnout, Part 2

Over the past couple of years (as seen here...), I've grown more and more burned out on the whole world of politics.  This is not because I don't think that my political ideas are important, or worth defending, or whatever, but rather because I just have not had time to properly engage in that world.

As my regular reader* knows, I have a day job and a family.  (I don't just blog full time, or I'd be in serious trouble at this point.)  The job and the family demand and, yes, deserve a lot more of my time than writing a sixth-rate political blog best known for breaking a scandal in Austin almost six years ago.  I just don't have time to write a lot of deep thoughts about political issues, or at least I don't have time to do so in a timely manner.  (The reader is at this point directed to my timely post about the Chick-Fil-A situation in Aug--er, September 2012.)

I mean, good grief, I don't even have the time to put forth the amount of effort required to leave comments on news articles (comments which, I had hoped at one point, I would stop reading owing to the large number of uninformed and/or rude comments that can easily be found on any political post) because, from my observations, there seem to be many people who have nothing better to do than comment on news articles all day.  It doesn't matter if I made a better point then they have; they can simply bury my comment, and others like it, in a heap of other comments supporting their point.  These people don't want to have a discussion; they simply want those who disagree with them to shut up.  Sadly, because they have nothing better to do than comment all day, people like me don't want to take the trouble to engage them in discussion, and thus they get what they want.

And really, does anyone really want to have a discussion anyway?  Someone, and I don't remember who at this point, pointed out online (it might have been on Facebook, but it doesn't really matter) that most of the political tweets or blogs seem to revolve around the outrage of the day.  So much shouting, so much finger-pointing, but not nearly enough real dialogue.  And I'm certainly not going to assert that I've never participated in such a thing...a quick perusal of this blog's Facebook page (which, thankfully, is more active than this blog itself) shows a few links to articles on the topic du jour, but in most cases, I have also expressed hope for a dialogue about whatever it is I'm posting about.**

And so it was that I asked--ten (!!) months ago--on my Facebook page whether it was worth it to continue political blogging.  The answers I got (yes, an actual dialogue, almost!) were a mixed bag.  Some said that blogging on our side of the aisle was necessary simply to continue to get our side's message out.  Others said it wasn't worth it to keep it up and to concentrate on other passions.***  Both sides have a point.

That's another point: in many political discussions (and religious discussions, and even sports discussions, though there are few rational sports discussions), both sides have a point worth consideration.  I am trying not to discount people's opinions too quickly (though I will still discount someone's opinions fairly quickly if that someone cannot make a point without insulting the other side) these days.  Blogging, for too long, at least for me, was about trying to be right and proving the other side wrong.

With all that said, though, I would very much like to restart the sharing of my thoughts on this blog.  However, I am most likely not going to jump into nearly as many of the news-of-the-day stories.  I will, though, strive harder even that I did before to keep my thoughts civil.  I might, for example, scrutinize someone's public record, but I will not make assumptions about that person's character.  (If you're looking for insulting comments about public figures--or worse, pictures--there are plenty of other blogs on either side of the aisle that will accommodate you.)

Will I be able to accomplish my goal of sharing overtly political thoughts in both a civil and timely manner?  Obviously that remains to be seen.  But here's hoping.

*The author here accounts for the possibility that he does have more than one regular reader at this point, although a several-month hiatus has almost certainly done nothing to add to that number.

**There is something to be said, however, for the truth that I do that partly so that Facebook's weird algorithms will cause my posts to be displayed on more people's pages.

***For example, did you know I have a blog about unfairly forgotten songs?  Music has been a constant companion to me for longer than I have had political opinions.