Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blogging Is A Two Sided Coin

Blogito Ergo Sum"The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after." ~ Newton D. Baker

Writing blogs can be a freeing experience. Not being a public speaker, or even a dynamic conversationalist, blogs allow me to express my ideas/views without having to depend on a publisher. I can take my time, compose & polish my thoughts, and instantly make those thoughts available to anyone who’s interested.

Just like everything else though, there’s a flip side to blogging. Bloggers run the risk of taking themselves too seriously, and looking down on those who disagree with them as being uninformed knuckleheads. This danger is magnified ten fold when the blogger in question does über amounts of research for each piece. We set ourselves up as noble purveyors of truth rather than scribblers of opinion.

I’ve fallen into this trap concerning many issues of late. Perhaps the most ridiculous of these die hard stances concerned the issue of duck liver pâté or foie gras. The few times I’ve had it, I loved it. Thus, I was quick to believe industry insiders such as Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali when they’ve said the reports of animal abuse are falsely overblown by anti-meat activists who spend so much time protesting foie gras that they ignore the real abuse of chickens by KFC. I was fervent in my belief the epicurean insiders were right, and I was arguing passionately with those who disagreed.

Truth be told, while I tend to believe the experts, I have no more idea than the man on the moon about what goes on at those farms. I can have MY OPINION based on research, but selling that opinion as TRUTH is crossing the line of sanity and reason. My stance took on even more ludicrous dimensions when you stop to consider the fact that I can’t even afford the stuff. It makes NO difference in my world whether it’s ethical or not, because it’s never going to appear on my grocery list anyway. I have to check newspaper ads for sales on Cheetos for crying out loud. What am I doing defending foie gras?

Blogs, when written well, can be thought provoking pieces which challenge readers to think about an issue in a new way, or an entertaining peak into the mind and heart of the blogger. The trick is to produce an informative entertaining piece, without standing on top of too tall of a soap box. Of course, I’m still going to have my opinions, and my readers will still know what those opinions are. Nevertheless, I will endeavor, from now on, to treat those opinions as opinions rather than as pieces of truth which are carved in stone.

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