52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It hurts me when I read the signs

I've been rambling about this on various other people's blogs (here for example) for a few days now, so it's probably about time that I mention it here, as people are starting to talk.

I've been keeping this blog for a little while now (since March originally, and regularly since June) and I'm really starting to get interested now. I try to write for myself and what is interesting to me and not get too carried away with what I think might get me some visitors or perhaps a few comments. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a saint. I originally signed up with Blog Explosion to get a few people to swing by here and see if anyone liked it. Here's the thing though - I now spend hours and hours using Blog Explosion as a way to find new blogs (the idea is that you earn "credits" by surfing around other people's blogs and these credits are used to send traffic to your site).

Somewhere along the line I stopped being interested in getting readers, and became a whole lot more interested in what other people were saying. I think it has politicised me as well. Over the last few weeks I have read so much dreadful, racist shit in blogs (and I'm afraid to say that much of it is in blogs from the USA) that I have been forced to respond. I've started leaving comments on these sites. Nothing inflammatory, I just try and pick them up on what they've said. The kind of thing I'm talking about is where the war in Iraq is being fought against "rag wearing cave dwellers" or where Kerry's French ancestry is picked up as being the reason why he "surrendered" etc. etc. I've even started researching stuff so I can be a more informed commentator (and boy, does that sound pretentious). On the train on the way home tonight, I was reading The Times and a US Election special copy of Newsweek. I actually made some notes, which tells you not only that I am a tragic case, but also that you can expect more US Election related guff on here in the near future....

I've also been discovering what I like to read in a blog, and that's emotional honesty - a blogger who is not afraid to give themselves up totally in their posts, to lay themselves bare for their audience. Cracking examples of this are Ignorance is Bliss and Turtle Diary. Sometimes it's painful to read and sometimes it's wonderful ... I bet both of those entries were hard to write in their own way though. I have also been inspired by I, Brummie and Retro-Boy. Both are prolific and are in turns angry, political, funny but always interesting. I know I hold stuff back. I know that a few people at work read my blog, and C. sometimes tunes in and has a look at what I spend so much of my time doing when I'm at home. I know that I don't always say the things that are on my mind because I worry about what these people will think. I am trying to always be honest though, and I'm looking to you guys to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Shit. This post is turning into a love in, and that's not what I wanted to do. I now feel like I am going to be offending some of the other bloggers I regularly visit and haven't mentioned here. Listen - you know who you are. The reason I keep coming back to your sites and leaving annoying and sometimes totally irrelevant comments is because I like you.

And by the way... I got a couple of emails last week, and both of them were really, really supportive, perhaps even a bit worried. It was a crappy week at work, but I survived, and thanks for caring (it was probably the Justin post that did it, now I think about it). To misquote the great man, some blogs are better than others (and no doubt some blogger's mothers are bigger than other blogger's mothers.....)



  • At 1:09 am, Blogger Mark said…

    Awww. We all love you too Swiss. Personally I feel like I know you, and yet for all I know, you got to work wearing fake mousetache.

  • At 3:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just found you through BlogExplosion and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your site. I think this particular post is very good and applaud you for what you're trying to do.


  • At 6:51 pm, Blogger MaxedOutMama said…

    Hey - I think it's great that you care enough to call people on what you find unacceptable or ignorant. If we don't talk to each other, where will we be? You seem like a thoughtful, nice person, and the world can always use voices like yours!

  • At 8:55 am, Blogger LB said…

    that's the blog equivalent of a gingerbread latte, with whipped cream.

    you soppy so and so. we love you too, though.

  • At 9:26 am, Blogger Soaring said…

    I actually quite enjoy all these political postings, they are quite humerous, as well as scarifying. Thank you for posting on my blog, frivolous and girlie as it is. Good on ya, boyo. Love the tash, by the way. It is comforting. Makes me feel safe.

  • At 11:09 am, Blogger Di Gallagher said…

    Hugs for you!

  • At 11:19 am, Blogger Teresa Bowman said…

    All I know is, it's good to read a "blog" (shudder) that isn't just all "omg im so depressed i need to lose weight maybe i should change my hairstyle lol".

    Keep going, matey. The internet needs more intelligent, articulate people talking about interesting stuff!

    (says the person who mainly writes about cakes, cats, indie bands and what she listens to on her CD player on the bus to work, but we'll let that pass)

  • At 7:18 am, Blogger Aravis said…

    Great post Swiss! I like to read the same sort of blogs, which is what drew me to yours in the first place. :0)

    No, we're not all ignorant and racist in the U.S. I know you didn't say ignorant; I did. I usually stop reading those blogs. It's too infuriating for me otherwise. I love when I catch someone out in RL. I'm part Lebanese, but I have red hair and freckled skin that is roughly fish-belly white (I'm also part Irish, English and German *G*). So imagine people's surprise when they make comments about how "all towel-headed camel jockeys should be deported" to me and I respond by saying that I was born in this country, am a citizen and have never raced a camel in my life! They look at me blankly and I coldly explain that I am part Arab. They turn all shades of red, stammer an apology and quickly change the subject. It's very satisfying, if not very nice of me. But knowing me challenges their prejudices and makes them think about what comes out of their mouth in future. At least in front of me! ;0)


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