Mixed blessings

Re-arranging my blogroll has been a mixed blessing. The good part of it has been that several new-ish bloggers have been induced to post comments, and I’ve discovered their existence as a result. All have been added to the Troppo blogroll, because that’s my policy: – I want it to be as inclusive and complete as I can reasonably make it, in the hope of promoting free, open and civil discussion between people of good will with different (and even strongly opposing) ideas.

The best result of all has been my discovery just now of a new blog called Beelzebublog (it’s ironic), written by a woman of around 40 living in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales who calls herself Carolinkus. Her blog is simply delightful, the best thing I’ve read in ages. Read her introductory post; or this belated obituary to her father; or this one called “What use is a soul to an atheist?“; or just browse around, look at the lovely images and engage with Carolinkus’s mind and soul. You won’t be sorry.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

I agree about Carolinkus except that she seems more leftish than centrish.

All the fuss got me to look at some more of the RWDB blogs and I discovered another RWDB you could add: Blithering Bunny.

Julian O'Dea
2022 years ago

If you are still adding Australian blogs, please add mine, “The Julian Calendar”. It is fairly eclectic (religion, sport, science, politics, sociology). If you want a political category it is probably moderately right, shading into death beastery on religious topics.

Julian

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

You won’t be sorry? I’m very sorry. Sorry enough to give up on blogging altogether. I’ll keep the sports blog going but that reading that blog filled me with enough despair that I just do not see the point anymore. At least from the point of a ‘moderate left’ I can not talk to people that take a left point of view- I just can not understand the moral bearings at all, or if they even have any. Civil debate? I’m wasting my time.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

Sorry, I meant a ‘moderate right’ pov. The gulf is just too great.

Rex
Rex
2022 years ago

Gummo Alert: It looks like there’s some new(ish) recipes to learn.

I’ve just discovered them anyway!

Rex
Rex
2022 years ago

Hmmm.. what happened to that link?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Scott

I don’t understand. Can you explain your reaction to me? I simply didn’t get any such vibe, and so your reaction seems quite alien and inexplicable (eve though I suspect my general political and general orientation isn’t all that much different from yours).

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

It’s the post about the link to the Leunig cartoon that made me snap. I’m sorry, there’s shitloads of nasty stuff going on in my life, as well (I wont explain here) and.. I might explain one day. But it’s best if I avoid blogging for a while now.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Ken, did you read this?

I find these views naive to say the least.

I know, I know. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it.

Like Scott, I’ve had a rough weekend. I’m finding parenting to be a tad too challenging at the moment, and am just not in the mood for such challenging points of view.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Yep, it’s been that sort of day, alright.

The failed link above was meant to point to this link:

http://beelzebublog.blogspot.com/2004/07/appeasing-terrorists.html

I dunno what happened.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Al

Your hyperlink contains no URL at all. You haven’t been on the piss again, have you Al? I guess in part, like Scott, I gravitated towards Carolinkus because of immediate stuff that’s going on in my own life right now. Sixteen year olds who behave selfishly and insensitively because they’re hurting, and separated spouses who do the same in a much more calculating way. Carolinkus’s view is so clean and delightful and, yes, naive, but is there anything wrong with that?

It makes you wonder just how much of anyone’s public behaviour is actually motivated by a whole range of deep, powerful private events and emotions that others can’t begin to imagine or compute. For Scott, the answer may be to stop blogging. At the moment, for me it’s not that. I work things out by speaking and writing them; it’s almost scientific life blogging, where I test and falsify the fallacies in my own thoughts and feelings by making them concrete on a blog page.

PS This is written after a rapidly consumed bottle of red, but at the moment it seems quite lucid.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

No, not drinking tonight. Still feeling a bit surly from Friday night. I’m out of form.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Tim Lambert’s right. Carolinkus belongs with the left group. So I’ve moved her. Such power!

Graham
2022 years ago

Some of you people take blogging too seriously.

mark
2022 years ago

Leunig seems a lot less subtle and, well, less funny than he used to be. I dunno, maybe I’ve changed.

(While we’re still talking about links, and taking ourselves too seriously ;-), I don’t think Teej belongs in the RWDB category. I’ve been reading her for ages, and I don’t know *what* her political views are. She’s probably a bit rightish, what with her military history and all, but given that she very *very* rarely posts about politics, she’s hardly RWDB material…)

Carolinkus (link)
2022 years ago

Dear Ken,

Thank you very much for your kind words. Writing in a vacuum is demoralising, so blogging has been a boon. I know that I appear naive- I’m a mixture of the darkly cynical and the naive. Sometimes being naive allows you to ask the pointy questions.

You’ve given me a spring in step on what is otherwise a cold and grey day.

xxxLink

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Carolinkus certainly writes beautifully. I thought her ‘death of a parrot’ story was exceptional. No-one in the blogosphere writes beautifully about politics. I’m not sure that it’s possible….

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Graham Freeman is no doubt right about taking it too seriously. But, just like Scott, there’s stuff going on in my life that accounts for it. People who write personal diary-style blogs expose that sort of material all the time. I’m quite deliberately writing in a style that combines political and personal diary blogging, and a bit of first draft semi-scholarly (but hopefully populist) writing as well. That makes it inevitable that the personal will sometimes shade into the political. It might mean I’ll sometimes take things more seriously than they deserve, and sometimes vice versa, or that I’ll slag off at people or opinions that deserve to be taken more seriously, or vice versa.

But that’s why I made the point in the previous comment about wondering how often “anyone’s public behaviour is actually motivated by a whole range of deep, powerful private events and emotions that others can’t begin to imagine or compute”. What about that god-botherer politician bloke Cameron confessing to adultery? Was it just a pre-emptive confession because he was about to be exposed? Or is there more to it? Chris Sheil outlined Cameron’s background in this post, and it certainly helps to give an insight into him, and possibly (as one commenter observed) even feel just a bit of empathy instead of just labelling his revelation “tacky”.

I think another part of it is that political bloggers seem to feel uncomfortable with the personal and emotional. Anything that I (or Jen) post in those sorts of areas tends to fall on fallow ground comment-wise. Maybe it’s because lots of readers just aren’t interested and think it’s bullshit (and they might be right). Maybe it’s also partly because some readers aren’t sure of what etiquette requires when they don’t know anything about the person they’re engaging in relatively intimate dialogue. But maybe it’s also partly because many bloggers are fairly introverted people who, as I said, don’t feel comfortable with personal and emotional stuff, and so stay in their comfort zone with nice dry political discussion.

I suspect the dominant reason why personal posts tend not to elicit much discussion is that many think it’s stuff best discussed only in private and only with close friends (not least because there are likely to be a few insensitive cretins who’ll read and comment). Certainly there are lots of topics I wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) discuss on a blog, but if I’ve elected (however unwisely) to mention a topic on-blog, that means I’m prepared to have it discussed (albeit civilly). I really do think that using a blog in part to acknowledge and explore the interconnectedness of the personal and political could yield interesting results.

Rex
Rex
2022 years ago

Don’t forget Ken that with personal posts its possible that the reader doesn’t feel qualified to comment, and simply can’t add anything useful.

You’ll notice that the most popular posts are ones where the experience is shared. ie politics, music, film, the media, and whatever makes the news.

More arcane areas such as legal decisions, economics, greenhouse are less well attended, while the intimate and personal, is just that. (unless of course its sex, then we’re back to the first category)

jen
jen
2022 years ago

Brings me back to my first impressions of blogging – who are these people? or are they not people are they the characters, the personas of the blog?
I think the bunyip has the most developed blogging character and he comes to us complete with a set the waterhole and a well articulated and titillating fantasy world.

Kay
Kay
2022 years ago

On the issue of commenting or not: I tend to be more likely to comment on ‘public’ issues – like politics – than on personal posts, not because I am uncomfortable with the emotional per se, but because I don’t know the person writing and therefore don’t necessarily feel qualified to offer an opinion.

Only after I’ve commented a few times on their other posts, maybe had an email conversation or two, basically feel that I’ve been introduced, do I tend to comment on the more personal stuff.

In my own blog/journal I recently divided the two up – http://www.kayoz.com (the original site) being personal/journal posts while kayozview.blogspot.com is more current events oriented. I’m rethinking that, however, think I might move services and use categories instead.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Carolinkus is naughty about atheists though it is not worth arguing about her imputations.

Leunig has given up being funny, and has entered what Douglas Adams calls “the long dark tea-time of the soul”. Artistically very exposing and a long way from traditional cartooning.

Commenting on personal blogging can easily be pompous or sentimental, and is v. hard if you don’t know the people in the meatware universe.

Chris Fryer
2022 years ago

I think Melbourne lefty belongs in the left-ish blogs catagory, Jeremy is a lawyer but his site mainly focuses on political issues. I’ve also got another site to add to the list, mine http://www.chrisfryer.com/ (that is if you think it is worthy, haha). I think my site belongs in the left-ish group. This catagorising thing is a great idea(as long as people dont take it too seriously) as you know what your going to get. It also allows leftys to contact leftys and vice versa.

Tony.T
2022 years ago

Yeah. I’ve had that kind of day too. Absolute toiler. Eight hours spent listening to my students talk about porn actors and “Sirrrr? Tony, Sir? When’s Sexpo on?” as if they think I’m Larry Flint.

For some reason EVERY — no bullshit — EVERY class wanted to talk about Brianna Banks, Peter North, Savanna, Ron Jeremy, John Holmes, PJ Sparxx, Someone Saint, Nina Hartley, Jenna Jameson. Others too. I’m not too familiar with the topic.

Used to be porn was sleazy. Now it’s more respectable than Neighbours. It’s certainly more respectable than A Current Affair.

I’ve had enough. In the spirit of giving-up I’d give up smokes if I hadn’t already done it. I’d give up booze if I hadn’t already given that up too.

What’s left to give up?

I never liked tomatoes. I could give them up. Is that enough of a statement?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

I’d take them all up again Tony, and porn too. I mean you’re probably only here once, so you might as well enjoy it. And how come the kids all assume you know about that sort of stuff anyway??? Hmmm.

jen
jen
2022 years ago

please answer – what are you teaching? I teach secondary and am pretty good at derailing curriculum – but I’ve never discussed porn with kids in the public or the private system – if you are I really want to know more!

Tony.T
2022 years ago

I teach maths, science and computery stuff to 16 and 17 year olds, but I don’t discuss porn with them as such. They just keep talking about it and try to draw me into the conversation whilst I pretend all serious and giggle to myself.

All in all, they must have ample access to the internet because it’s THE major topic of conversation and they seem to love it.

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2022 years ago

I know those porn stars. Those names are all familiar to me from listening to the conversations of young school leavers.

I read an interesting comment about porn stars somewhere. The thesis is that we have become desensitised to celebrities in the rock/movie/sports star mileu (spelled some other way). Not just because of the intrusive nature of modern media – also because they have been around for a generation or three. We know too much about them and the sense of the mystery of a world not like ours peopled by superhumans not like us has withered away. We are left with porn stars because they are alien to us. Their lives are edgy. I don’t doubt that Peter North’s real live is highly banal but I don’t know it for sure. Like a real artist, he is known only by his work, and it’s impressive.

In the case of school kids, I am drawing a long bow, but, apart from the fact that hormones are raging and pornstars are after all dealing in sex, could knowledge of the porn stars themselves amongst youth indicate that porn is the coming thing. [Sorry}. How does this tie in with the plans for legislation to limit internet exposure? Make it look more pointless?

Could it be that in spite of any filtering laws or even in spite of parents taking a stand and making independent decisions about levels of exposure to porn their children experience, it’s all too late and neither the legislators, the lobbyists or the parents actual have control of this?

trackback
2022 years ago

The mind-destroying power of trivia

As the blogosphere occasionally does, it’s thrown up a sterling example of a blogger just not getting it. Jesus Christ, this is someone getting pissy about their description on a blogroll. The way brother Mike goes blithering on you’d think…