Thursday, May 31, 2007

Familiarity Breeds Mediocrity

I really enjoy blogging.

I love the freedom of expression and the validation I get from fellow bloggers who read what I write and leave encouraging comments. It makes me feel like I'm part of a creative community and that's pretty fucking cool.

I've even met some of you in person, exchanged personal e-mails outside of the blogs and gotten to know a bit more about you as real people.

But this newfound intimacy with my blogfriends is hampering my ranting. Seriously.

For instance, I know that one of my regular readers is a Mormon; so I feel skiddish about bagging on Mormons because I really like and respect her and I don't want to alienate her. But there is so much rich material to mine. I'm like a kid peeking through the windows of a closed candy store, wishing I could get in there.

Another regular reader is a Teamster, so I'm hesitant to rant about my hatred of 18 wheelers and how the inconsiderate drivers thereof bog down traffic while taking up both fucking lanes and take 5 hours to get from a dead stop up to highway speed. My daily road rage at 18 wheelers, if properly harnessed, could power a major city for hours.

I have a visitor who is a cyclist, so I no longer want to go off on spandex-clad slow pokes who think they are entitled to just as much space and consideration as the 18 wheelers.

Some of my readers are attorneys. Ah, fuck 'em. I'll still tell lawyer jokes. Not like they haven't heard any before, right? Fucking lawyers!

I have Republicans who read my blog. REPUBLICANS!! And they are not the stereotypical, mindless drones that I see all around me. They are thoughtful, moderate, intelligent people. So I feel bad about taking the easy route and just painting all of them with a broad brush.

To summarize, the more I get to know my readers, the more sensative I am to their hot buttons. Which makes me more sympathetic to their points of view. Which makes me more cautious about what I post because I like my new friends and don't want to be a dick and drive them off with my insensitivity.

If I continue down this touchy-feely path, my average post will consist of "How about this weather?" or "Go Chiefs!" or "I like biscuits. Do you?" In which case everyone will get bored and just stop reading.

On the other hand, if I continue saying whatever the fuck crosses my mind, I will eventually offend enough people and push enough buttons that no one will want to read me because I've offended everybody. I will become a blog-pariah and no one will come here any more.

So, I need your votes.

Do I be nice to my new friends (who I hope will become real live people friends and not just on-line blog friends) by respecting their sensitivities?

Or, do I remain true to the original content that drew people here in the first place, say whatever the fuck I want to say about whatever I want and let the chips fall where they may?


Spyder said...

If we cut your balls off so that you're nice and docile how are you going to run with the big dogs? I'm just hoping to follow your trail.

I loved Pete Nugent(RIP) because he always gave me a ration of shit. But I knew that he cared about me. I LOVE curmudgeons. Can't help myself.

So I say be yourself. That's what got us hooked on you in the first place. Expect some won't like it. Some will call you on it. Some will love it. You are an attention whore so deal with it. And fuck us all if we can't take a joke. If we can't laugh at ourselves then we have bigger problems than someones blog.

satyavati said...

I didn't recognize myself on your list-o-people, so I say hey, say whatever you want.

No, seriously, friends are the people you can rant to regardless. It's never really stopped me, but on the other hand there's very few people who love me anymore.


travelingal said...

Well, let's look at it this way. I also question why I visit certain blogs when I know that I am walking into foreign territory. When I answer my own question, I guess it's because these particular bloggers are very good writers, they're provocative, often make me laugh, offer viewpoints I may not have considered before, I usually learn something and I like the interaction. In short, they have heart and I like that even when I may disagree with them.

I have to admit I am kinda touchy about certain things, like my Christian religion. That presents me with a bit of a problem, but the bottom line is I'm a visitor, not the owner of the blog so the choice is mine...if I can't handle it, then I need to either deal with it, avoid that particular topic, or leave. If I was the owner of a blog, I wouldn't change a very personal opinion and approach because my readers didn't like it. You can't betray yourself because then you are no longer you...

So in the end, it's your blog XO, and a good one. Do your thing.

emawkc said...

XO, don't take this the wrong way but...


One of the fun things about blogs is being able to intereact with people who might not see things the same way I do (yeah, I was as surprised as anyone that such people exist). But they're still cool and the good-natured ribbing doesn't have to turn in to some kind of vindictive jihad.

I think the cool people can disagree (even vociferously) and still be friends. If they can't you probably don't want them around here anyway.

So even though I don't think you were referring to me in your original post, HAVE AT YOU!

Faith said...

Ok, that bit about Mormons that you posted a while ago? Seriously, some of the funniest shit I've read here in a long time!

And I'm not your standard Republican (or Christian, for that matter), so that's probably why the stuff you say doesn't bother me much. I'm willing to bet most of your readers, and the friends you've made, are the same way.

If people can't have an open mind about stuff and realize that we aren't all cookie-cutter repeats of the same boring shit over and over again, then lemme tell you, they will die of cancer. And it will NOT be pretty or comfortable at all. (Ask me about my mom and her beliefs some day, and I'll tell you all you wanna know. She was AWESOME as a mom...unconditional love for her kids out the yin-yang. But when it came to what she believed in? Whoaaah nellie! Closed-minded mess, she was! BAM! Cancer at the age of 52, and died before she reached 53. Not good...)

Red7Eric said...

I'm with Satyavi -- you can rail against Mormons and Teamsters and Republicans all you want, but starting bagging on the gays and I'm totally outta here. :-P

(Which means that you can insult and demean gay people all you want, but if you do, I just won't be back much ... I deal with that $#!t in real life all too often.)

Heather said...

Now, Red7Eric, that's not fair. That's like saying "You can lay prejudice against Jews, Muslims, Black people and Mexicans...but not the Dutch because I am one, and being Dutch everyday is traumatic enough without you dogging me."

Shame! Shame! Shame!

As for you, XO, feel free to wave your hate banner for all to see. As far as bagging on Mormons, go ahead. It's not like I haven't heard the razzing before, and I have been known to toss one into the fray now and then. It's all fair game. It's only when you do it for every single post does it get tedious and boring.

If people get their feelings hurt, they won't come back. Is that really a bad thing?? Just because we've turned into a country of pussies doesn't mean you should muzzle your free speech.

Just don't get mad when I start ripping on old men with no hair. I'm just saying...

And by the way, I like biscuits, too.

Happy In Bag said...

I like biscuits, too!

Spyder said...

Biscuits, no gravy, just honey & butter!

Heather- I think "hate banner" is a bit strong. Dislike, disagree with, poke fun at, point out the stupidity seems more like what XO is into. Seems to me, just saying.

Dan said...

I say be nice all the time, and if you can't say something nice about somebody, remain silent. If you have a criticism about someone or something, remain silent.

That's just the way I am, and I wish the whole world were as nice as I am.

Eolai said...

You have to keep doing what you were doing that brought people here in the first place.

Speaking as a cyclist and an artist I read what Tony says about both groups all the tme, and I won't be stopping or feeling alienated.

And I'd hate it if you weren't you on cycling.

I went through a similar concern with alienating Irish-Americans on my Irish KC site, but I've spoken to them in person and the ones that matter don't have a problem in the world with my stuff. Not that they necessarily agree with it, mind you.

A watered down XO would be a terrible thing.

satyavati said...

I was thinking about this today. I have heard about every Hare Krishna airport joke there is to tell and jokes don't bother me. This is your house and you decorate how you like, but on the other hand, I'm not gonna be afraid to call bullshit on you if I think you start slingin any.


I'd come round anyway cause there ain't nothin quite like a sexy older man :)

Iwanski said...

If you hold back from your true feelings, you might as well go fuck yourself because that's what it amounts to.

Xavier Onassis said...

Okay. I get it. THANKS! I appreciate the feedback.

I really do have a personal Code of Ethics around what is fair game and what is going too far.

Of course, I can't tell you what it is, because as soon as I put it in writing, one of you will go fish out posts where I have violated my own Code (which I have). And who needs that?

spyder - "If we cut your balls off so that you're nice and docile how are you going to run with the big dogs?" That fucking ship sailed 2 marriages ago! The Carnival Cruise Ship Cajones. I remember standing on the dock waving goodbye to them as I said "I do".

Spyder said...

XO- You make me laugh! And then I read what you wrote to the Hubby & you make him laugh. "The Carnival Cruise Ship Cajones". The visual! Hairy balls laying on deck chairs.
It's good to hear that you have a code, very chivalrous.

Joe said...

Quit being such a pussy and let er rip! Hell, X, I badmouth Teamsters all the time here at work and I am one. You'll have to try a lot harder than that to piss me off.
Now, on the other hand, I've found myself wondering if I've pissed my couple of regular readers off too. But I decided that its my blog and I'll write whatever in the hell I feel like. I have a personal "stop" meter and I'll just trust in that.
Again, and to copy emawkc, don't be such a pussy!

crse said...

Ok i realize im very late checking in here and im not adding anything new but i know exactly what you mean. Some of my favorite blogreaders are christian, right wing followers of the dominant paradigm. My blog is a different focus, pure self effacing drivel but still, when i feel strongly about something, i get extremely nervous posting. Even going on record as pro-choice was scary. People like you give me the courage to post when i need to. So please keep being you.