Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't You Know That Blogs Are Scrapple For The Brain?

Sometimes the most difficult part about blogging is not writing a post, but posting the finished product. There have been many a time when I've written a post, only to have second thoughts about posting it or second thoughts about people seeing it after posting it, and reluctantly nuking it because of those second thoughts. Even wrote a post about acting on those second thoughts.

I got to thinking about this the other day when I read a wonderfully rambling post by Joey. One of the topics he touched upon was staying true to one's self. In the comments, I agreed with his premise by saying 'Definitely gotta be true to you. If not, why not?' However, in agreeing with his comment (which I still stand behind 100%), it put me into a bit of a conundrum as it pertains to the post in question, of which the title up above is what it is.

As you know, I have a major disconnect between titles of posts and content of posts. I came up with the title because I became enamored of the meat product called "Scrapple". For those of you who don't know what Scrapple is, it is the ultimate mystery meat. Scrapple is the real version of the running joke of what's in a order of Chinese food or a hot dog. Simplest definition I can come up with is: animal body parts.

Trust me, the post wasn't about Scrapple, it was about blogging. Specifically, commenting on blogs.

As you most of you are aware, I hand write all of my posts before actually posting them on the blog. Makes it easier to shuffle things around when need be and it keeps with my offbeat nature of walking around town or sitting in my backyard with a pen and paper.

Anyways, I wrote a three and quarter page long post about how and why I comment (or not comment) on blogs. A couple of days after I finished writing what I still consider to be a well balanced and thought out piece of prose, I got to thinking about the people who would be reading it. As most of you know, I have no problem blasting/calling out/questioning other bloggers for doing certain things with/to their blogs that I find highly distasteful. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, it becomes harder to admit to doing a lighter version of what you find distasteful in other bloggers.

The one glaring problem I do have with this particular post, is that it contains some fantastic bullet points why I do or don't comment on a given blog. Now, while this list is totally based on my personal whims, in no way does it diminish the fact that I fully enjoy reading all 85+ blogs that I subscribe/follow on a daily basis.

While I don't mind making people think with my writings nor do I mind offending people I don't know or don't like, it's a whole different matter when comes to people I do like and respect. The other glaring problem with this post is that it can be misinterpreted as thinly veiled insult about one's blog. Chances are that if you'd read it, you would walk away thinking that I just insulted you and your blog. Chances are that I would probably feel the same way if I was in your shoes, and probably would have a hard time accepting that person's explanation that my blog wasn't being targeted by that post.

While I do subscribe to the belief of being true to one's self, sometimes one's conscience can dictate otherwise. I mean, do you post something that could and probably would be gravely misconstrued into something that you didn't mean and damn the consequences, or do you not post it and thus while running the risk of not being true to yourself still take comfort in the fact that your friends/readers are still your friends/readers?

I really do want to share this particular post with everyone, but honestly, I'm afraid of the negative reaction that I'm sure to get by sticking this post on my blog.

Having a conscience means having a conundrum when you least expect it.

Or want it.


  1. I think you should post it. Unless it is about me..haha

  2. I try not to post anything that would hurt my real life friends and family. I too have strong opinions and if people don't agree, AWESOME! I LOVE when people can have an opinion and not just agree with everything you (or I) say. I think to actually offend someone, a topic is really very distasteful or they are too sensitive and if they are too sensitive, screw it, help them grow thicker skin!

    Comments: Mine are few and far in between these days, they baby takes up both hands!

  3. Sometimes I have time to comment on a blog. Sometime I do leave a comment but dash away only to realize later that the comment section did a second click and required me to write a silly word or I didn't write the silly word right and it click on again, meanwhile, I'm long gone, having dashed off to do the dishes or talk Murphy outside.
    Sometimes I enjoyed a post and I just didn't have the right words to express what I felt and I have to come back later.
    I usually follow the rule to be nice. But, not hearing from me doesn't always mean I didn't like what I read. Lordy knows my computer gives me fits a lot of the time and freezes up sooooooo.
    That enough from Verona. :)Bea

  4. Well now I hope you post it. I want to read it. :)

  5. Now I'm curious to see what this mystery post is all about! If you do decide to post it, I would preface it with a caveat and follow it with an invitation to further discussion. Some of the most interesting blog posts are the most contentious.

  6. I really don't think this much about posting. I stay true to me by posting what I find to be entertaining but Pulp Writer is to promote BEAT to a PULP and my crime fiction work. If I spend more than twenty minutes constructing a post then I am a blogger first and writer second and I don't want that. But to answer your question I have scrapped posts I thought may offend.

  7. My vote is post it. We're curious now!

  8. Wow, well I'm glad I made you think anyway!

    This is an interesting dilemma that probably many of us have. In my early days of the internet when I was part of a forum I would always speak my mind, get into trouble, and upset people along the way, and in the long run, hurt myself too.

    I try to blog every few days to give myself a chance to make sure my post isn't going to be offensive and the result of a knee jerk reaction from me. Because once it's out there, it's out there forever, even of you delete it.

    I still remain true to myself, but will avoid saying things that could piss people off.

  9. You've piqued our curiosity, G. I think it would be less true to you if you DIDN'T post it. And you've obviously given it a lot of thought and consideration so hopefully your readers would know the spirit in which it is intended.

  10. General comment: as stated in the post, I do have the post in question still sitting on my copyboard patiently waiting for me to do something with it.

    Now on with the show.

    Bearman: OMG! You knew? I didn't think anyone would know! :D

    Seriously, you have no need to fear...or do you?

    T1G: Thanks for stopping by.

    Early on in my blogging life, I really didn't care who I ticked off (then again, I didn't have too many readers), so long as I got my point of view across.

    I've now mellowed out to the point where I do care if I inadvertantly offend someone who took what I said personal. As far as I know, most of my real world friends don't read my blog, but just the same, I watch what I use from the real world for blog material.

    Bea: I agree with what you say because I'm usually the same way with the majority of the blogs I read. It's how I feel and treat the minority of the blogs I still follow that has put me into this conumdrum.

    Extra Ordinary Me: Many thanks for stopping by today. I checked out your blog and I found to be highly unusual, so of course, to my blog roll it was added.

    Sometimes I really do feel that way, especially if I'm going off on a tangent about something that ticks me off.

    Lynn: You never know young lady, you never know. I may just do that. :D

    S.R.: Makes sense. I've often put a disclaimer in the front of those posts that contained either objectionable language or a push button topic.

    And I agree, some of the most contentious topics have often sparked the most interest.

    David: It makes sense that you want to concetrate on being a writer first and foremost and thus using your blog as a promotional tool (and a mighty fine one at that).

    I've often had regrets after posting something highly insulting/offensive, because it usually takes a very long time to undo the damage done.

    It's funny, I escaped the chat rooms because I didn't want to be censored, and now two years later, I find that I'm doing exactly that to myself.

    R.K.: You do know that you left yourself open for...wait for it....

    Curiousity did kill the cat.

    Joe: Your blog will always make me think. I may not comment all the time, but I always walk away with a different viewpoint about something.

    I was much the same way in the chat rooms. It was easier to engage in a flame war and burn a few bridges and not really worry about the consequences, than to play nice and have consideration for others.

    Once I got out of the chat rooms (and dealing with toddlers) and started blogging (and dealing with intelligent adults) it opened up a whole new world for me. One where it doesn't pay to shoot from the lip.

  11. Talon: Good point. I think that with this post, I created the ultimate teaser.

    If I do post it, I would hope that my readers and friends would be able to take it in the spirit that it was intended.

    I usually don't like revealing my thought process as it applies to blogs, only because something like this can be open to so many different interpetations that it can boomerang very badly.

  12. This is a tough one. I think that it's important to be true to yourself by saying what you want to say. But, I think that you are also being true to yourself when you edit yourself for a good reason. After all, presenting yourself falsely is one thing; not posting something for fear that it will be misunderstood is another.

  13. you read over 85 blog? I only get to a few every day, depending on load n read lengths... of course, I don't have access all day until after work an hour or two- longer on Day off, so reading yours today-FGS another day.
    Last time there, lightning shut me off from commenting...! I don't Not Comment except rare occassions like Blogger buggs-

  14. If you want to be a writer who people want to read then controversy (at this early stage) should be limited or nil. If you want to be a blogger who gets a lot of comments-by all means controversy is the way to go and don't censor yourself.

    I've also found spending time fretting over posts takes time away from becoming a better writer.

  15. Mama Z: For better or for worse (and some people would disagree on this), what you see with me is what you get, warts and all.

    I try to stay true to me thru thick and thin. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don't.

    I have never really enjoyed editing/censoring myself, but when I do, I usually put some kind of disclaimer up, telling people ahead of time that what they'll read may be offensive.

    This is the first time that I can remember that I did not want to put up a post because of the potential adverse reaction to the content itself.

    Snaggle: Yeah, about 85+, although about 10% listed in my profile are basically defunct and closed, but I still have them listed and followed just in case they come back and make a post.

    Commenting is a tricky thing to pursue and talk about. Because so many people can and do read between the lines when it comes to the average reader and thier commenting (or lack of commenting) habits, it becomes one of those highly contentious topics that no one really wants to talk about.

    Kind of a catch 22 in all of its gruesome glory.

  16. David: Interesting perspective.

    I think I'm somewhere in the middle. I've already got the controversy factor covered (of which I'm now spending a little bit of time trying overcome), and I originally started blogging to help me with my writing, such as it is.

    I think early on I wanted to that kind of blogger (lots of controversy=lots of comments), but now I've gotten to the point where I do sometimes fret over what I write for blog posts, which when they make it to the blog, have already been gone over a couple times in he process.

    It's part of my nature to be a little OCD on anything I happen to like/love doing, whether its blogging or writing or whatever.

    I enjoy blogging and I enjoy writing, and I think that for me, blogging has helped me to become a much better writer than I was five years ago.

    I have a conscience, and for better or worse, it does influence on what I write and blog about.

  17. Sometimes it does feel like we're doing a little dance here in the blog world. I have different "categories" of blog readers and I do sometimes wonder how a post will sit with one group or another. I come back here over and over because I love your honesty and feel that you don't put on a show. We enjoy the "show," but I think we also feel honored that you just say it like it is. There is a privilege in knowing that you let us get to know what makes you tick through this blog. I wish I had more of your bravery. I think I'm too focused on catering to everyone. I guess that's the mom in me :) LOL.

  18. Kelly: Thanks.

    Sometimes in the cyber world it does feel like a dog and pony show, but overall, I do try to make my readers feel at home with how I am, warts and all.

    Sometimes when you try to cater to everyone, you wind up catering to no one. I am what I am and that's all that I am.

  19. Is it the post from today, the "Eye Candy" one??

    Curious here.

    I'd say as long as it does not hurt anyone, why not?


  20. No.

    That's just one of my weekly shorts.

    The post in question I've decided to post this coming Friday and let everyone take good look at it.

    I'm not saying it will knock your socks off, but it will get you to think.

  21. If the post could be gravely misconstrued, I'd hold back for awhile and let it simmer. I think that eventually you'd find a way to get the message across without misconceptions that might raise readers' hackles unnecessarily. It's the "misconstrued" that would stop me, flagging that my writing isn't as clear as it should be.

  22. Joanne: I'm not so sure that holding it back would make that much of a difference.

    One thing I've been guilty of is of thinking the worst outcome possible for things that I write. It's residual leftovers from when I spent time in the chat rooms that I would get raked over the coals (and then some) wheneven I posted something provocative.

    I believe that people will take it in the same spirit that it's written, but there will always be that small seed of doubt which will bubble to the surface from time to time, causing me to have seconds thoughts about my writing.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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