I am the last Baby Boomer a.k.a “things I learned while blogging”

In looking back at the posts I have written over the past 2 years, the first thing that comes to mind is that I can’t believe it’s been 2 years.  When I look at the titles and subjects I see a lot of anger.  There have been a lot of people I’ve been mad at over the past 2 years.  I think that finally I’m at a place where either I’ve matured enough not to get angry, or I’m too tired to get angry.  I”m not sure which, yet.

All through the 2008 Presidential campaign I had a lot to say — mostly about right wing republicans with their head up their collective asses.  But I also wrote about family, pop culture, entertainment, baseball and just plain human interest stories.

The second thing I think about is how different my life is today from what it was when I started this blog.  I had just been fired from my job, and didn’t know why.  Finding a new job seemed impossible.  I’m not a writer by trade, as you can tell, but I do have other marketable skills; at least I thought I did.  After 18 long, no, very long months of confidence-crushing job searching with nothing to show for it, I had a lot of time to build up my anger and needed an outlet.  So I took to blogging.  I had way too much time on my hands.

I had no idea what I was doing when I started blogging, still don’t.  I receive a lot of hateful comments from people who troll the internet looking for someone to hate.  I call these people “republicans”.  I receive a lot of  “hate” comments from people who  so afraid of liberal ideas, that they would do, and say, anything based in that fear, in order to squash progessivec ideas.  And I received a lot of “support posts” from people who seek  out opinions of others with whom they can agree.

I don’t believe for one minute that my writing, or anybody else’s writing,  can actually change a readers opinion.  Let’s face it.  It takes years for us, as human beings, to change; change out minds, change our tune, change our outlook, change our opinion, change our politics, etc.  Even if we want to change it doesn’t happen overnight.  So for those of us who don’t even want to change, or don’t think we need to change, reading blog opinion pieces will only inspire the co-conspirators, or anger the detractors.  There’s just not a lot of “re-thinking” going on.

I’ve done my share of reading both mainstream blogs, and personal blogs like mine.  I don’t find there to be much difference between the two.  It’s all just personal opinion, some with agendas, some with butterflies & unicorns.  None if it really matters.

Here are just a few of the things I learned in the last two years.  Some of it I learned about myself, some of it about others:

I hate people who say “at the end of the day”.  It is the most overused, and least meaningful expression in generations.  It is verbal filler, not unlike most of what today’s talkers have to say.  Whether it be a blog or a cable news pundit, it’s all just verbal filler.  What are all these political talk shows but blogs on TV.  It’s white noise that in a week, or a few days, you won’t remember.  And that’s the real problem.  None of it is memorable.

People who don’t like what you have to say will call you every name in the book.  They will write a degrading comment on your blog telling me to stop degrading people.  I don’t get it.  And they don’t understand “hypocrisy”.

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Election Season 2008 Update

I can’t believe how long it has been since I blogged anything substantial.  In some ways I have checked out mentally from this election.  I am so tired of Palin and McCain and the ridiculousness of it all.  I’m tired of Bill Ayers, and irate republican rally attendees, and Sarah Palin’s clothing budget, and Joe the plumber.  Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

And I can just sit back now without guilt anyway.  I’ve done all I can.  I’ve written all I can.  I have already voted.  I’m going to spend some time writing my election night blog post ahead of time; one if Obama wins and one if McCain wins, and I’ll just publish one of them that night.   Unless of course there is a tie and a long drawn out process.  Or god forbid we have another Florida 2000; I don’t think I can handle that again.

In my final analysis, as much as I hate to say it as to jinx it, I believe Obama will win by a landslide.  We have not used that word in the country for politics in quite some time.   But an Obama landslide would make me proud.  Proud of us.  Proud of us Americans.  Proud of America.  Even if Obama were to win by the smallest of margins I would feel that pride.  But for whatever reason, I want the BIG win. 

After 18 months of being unemployed, I finally have a job.  I did not think I would survive the ordeal but somehow I hung in there and things worked out OK.  I have a huge financial hole to dig out of but at least now I can start digging.  It is strange now because I am on a full-time work schedule and have far less time to write about current events, politics, and pop culture.  I spend far fewer hours thinking about and watching TV about politics.  I think this is a good thing because it was becoming all-consuming.  I was watching cable TV News all day and night.  And I would get angry and I would write on my blog.  And when I wasn’t doing that I was worrying day and night about how I was going to survive another day.  Survival at its basic elements is an ugly thing.  How will I eat?  How do I get to an interview now that my car has been repossessed?  How can I afford to buy decent clothing to wear to an interview or a job?  How in the world, with my failing health, am I ever going to even hold down a job?  All of this was on my mind 24 hours a day. 

I am feeling better these days.  Tired, but it’s a good tired.  I really like my new job and its only a few miles from home.  In Maine, that’s almost unheard of.  People here commute long distances.  So even if gas were to go to $4.00 or more a gallon again, a tank of gas will last me more than a week.  My life taking a turn for the better has made my health take a turn for the better as well.

Things are looking up.  After 18 months I actually went to Target to splurge on a pair of jeans, some cargo pants, and a few shirts.  I have changed so much since going through a job loss.  I’ve always known what’s really important in life, but living as I did really brought that point home.  Friends and family are really all there is in the end.  And I was blessed in so many ways by people who reached out to help me during my time of need.  You can’t even make some of this stuff up.  People are truly kind deep down.  There’s so much bitterness and hate in the world and that is what is shown on TV every day.  But in reality, the kindness of strangers has at times amazed me.

That’s it for now.  Eleven days left and unless something major happens, I’m going to lay low until election day.  I should write about what a complete idiot Elisabeth Hasselbeck is and how I’d like to smack her, open-handed, right across her mouth and then back it up with a smack upside the back of her head.  But she’s not worth it.  In my opinion, let her leave and go have her own show on Fox Noise.  It’s only a short step from there to obscurity.  Hey, that would be a great name for her show:  “From here to obscurity”, get it!  And I still get the giggles when Hasselbeck shows up in spell check with a suggestion of “horseback”.

Anyway, Ciao folks.  See ya’ soon.

AND DON’T FORGET:  VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE., VOTE (not more than once, just go vote).

What is blogging? Is there etiquette?

It’s hard to say what blogging is and if there is etiquette because everyone is so intent of getting their point across that they skip over facts, get preachy, or fill the Internet with anger.  While there are a lot of posts on blogs from people who agree with the blogger, the etiquette comes in to play when the visitor disagrees with the blogger.

Blogging is just a way for anyone, or any organization, to express their ideas, called posts.  Usually, built into a blog, is the public’s ability to comment on these posts.

Now, a blogger can choose to make their blog non-public, meaning it would only be available to those who were given explicit rights.  A blogger can also choose to not allow anyone to comment.  I have chosen to keep my blog wide open.

A public blog by an organization, let’s say CNN, may exist to actually solitcit input, sort of an informal polling of opinions.  Some blogs, rather most blogs by individuals, are not normally like that.  Individual bloggers tend to post their own thoughts and opinions and visitors are free to comment.

But don’t think for one minute that if you lambaste somone on their blog that you’re going to actually have any impact.  People who visit blogs have one of two agenda’s.  To find people with similar ideas, or to find people with whom they can disagree and vent.  The latter tends to be non-productive because YOU CAN’T CHANGE AN OPINION WITH ONE CONVERSATION (or in this case, one blog comment). 

A blog is not usually a conversation and therefore does not lend itself to changing people’s mind.  I personally believe that if you visit a blog and would like to post an opposing viewpoint, do it succinctly and gently.  The best way to get your point across is to simply give readers something to think about.  Preaching on a blog comment doesn’t normally go anywhere except get the commentor all worked up.

Keep it light people.  This is blogging.

Blog Etiquette

I must admit that I have no idea if there is actually a set of blog rules in terms of what is proper when visiting blogs.  When I am cruising around the net and notice that someone has taken a lot of time to put together a good blog, regardless of whether or not I agree with all the opinions out there, I try to leave a note that I stopped by and leave a quick thank you.

Sometimes I’m looking for specific information, sometimes for something funny, and sometimes I’m doing research or trying to figure out what’s going on in the minds of the bloggers.  It can be quite interesting; the quantity of blogs and the specific subjects that blogs are written about.  Again I must admit that some of them, I don’t understand at all.  But someone has put a lot of time and energy into that blog.

So if you happen to stop by one of my blogs, please feel free to leave a quick note to say hello.