Monday, June 01, 2009

Dangerous Blogging

I have not been blogging as much lately, but it is not due to having nothing to say. I have found myself self censoring a lot lately. There are some things I just don't want to put out there, or think that I will suffer some sort of consequence* if I relate them, especially on some sacrosanct and politically correct topics. There is so much consensus in the world in which I sit that an alternative view seems dangerous, especially related to groups/ issues we are supposed to support, political and theological opinions we are supposed to have and ways we identify ourselves.

It is one thing for me to be controversial on pop culture topics. It is quite another to put myself out there on other things. And I have found myself holding back a lot lately. To be honest, I have held back on many things in the past, especially things that I don't hold dear and that I am ambivalent or agnostic about. But, I feel like I am in bit of a no man's land right now on some things (I could piss off both sides of some issues with my real opinions).

I am sure I am not the only one in this boat. Do you find yourself favoring too much or too little potentially dangerous opinion in your writing? Do you try to walk a middle ground? If so, why? Just making sure I am not crazy:)

* not sure what the real consequences are beyond pissing people off, garnering negative comments, losing readership, becoming a pariah or losing a chance at a position or career option. I am sure there are other consequences, some of which are worse than others.


Mike Stavlund said...

I feel you.

Every once in awhile, I think, "I ought to be able to blog about *this* topic," and so I go ahead and do that. And it really frustrates a friend or family member, and I just decide it's not worth it to push people like that. It happened a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about Gitmo and torture, and I still have a knot in my stomach about the fallout. I also recently found out that my post about the book 'The Family' hurt a good friend of mine.

So yeah, I guess I hold back quite a bit. Which makes me sad, because I think we are all impoverished when any of us holds back our ideas. But I guess some topics are just too charged to handle without hurting someone. Ironically, the stuff I blog about isn't intended to be polished or careful or balanced-- it's just my half-baked thoughts, which I'm glad to have folks disagree with. But it's the pain and frustration that comes which makes me think I should just hold back.

Michael said...

it's your blog, do whatever you want. if it isn't fun for you just stop. if it is fun to say some of the previously censored things, say them. if we don't like it we'll either rip you in the comment section or go elsewhere.

Michael said...

Is a blog supposed to be a diary of personal thought or a platform for publishing personal opinion? Maybe there should be a qualifying word to distinguish types of blogs. I suppose tags can help folks distinguish between posts but that really doesn't speak much to your question. I don't write certain songs that are in my head for some of the same reasons you mentioned you resist some topics on your blog. I think this is something that makes actual contact with friends in conversation a necessity. Our friends can disagree with us but seeing our faces and reading our body language causes them to not lose trust in us.

kristi said...

wow, michael, i really love what you say here, and it speaks volumes to conversations i've been reading lately online about the virtue vs. vice of a "virtual" community.

this makes me even sadder we don't live closer to you guys... :)