Thursday, January 10, 2008

About my "About me" and this blog in general

Until now, my "About me" text was as follows:
"I believe that people are in this world to take care of it. I don't think there is somebody else to do this for us, and I don't think we can find a better "meaning of life". To my Bulgarian readers: I decided to make this blog entirely in English to avoid doubling my work. This is not because I think Bulgarian and other "small" languages have no future. My other site is almost entirely in Bulgarian."
I have just changed the text to a disclaimer that I am not superior in any way (see the right side of this page). Why have I done this? The remark about the English language was outdated after I started a second blog in Bulgarian. However, the real problem was the beginning of the text. It carried an implicit message that I consider myself a good person. So I think it was partly to blame for the habit of some commenters, instead of addressing my actual arguments, to waste energy in attempts to prove me bad or stupid or - fill in another adjective of the same category. The last of these commenters was Nomad (see her comments to my posts about Ilan Halimi and Aqsa Parvez). She helped me realize that my "About me" text was inappropriate and had to be changed. I don't really think that now I am insured against more comments of that type, but at least from now on commenters should know that they are banging on an open door.
Actually, I do attribute some good qualities to myself. The opposite would be a dangerous symptom of depression. However, I do not require or expect from other people to value me as high. And the entire matter is quite irrelevant to blogging. I am neither a lonely soul seeking friends nor a politician fishing for votes, so I am not obsessed with producing favourable impression. Most of my readers are real-life friends who apparently accept me for who I am. As for the others - who actually cares whether an Internet stranger is a good person? When you read a blog, an article, a book or any other text, do you give a damn about the author's personality? I usually don't, it is the text that matters.
An anonymous commenter wrote the following under my first post about Boyko Borisov: "You come across as a pretty fascistic person, but I do find some of your thoughts stimulating and most of them interesting. If I lived in your household I would probably go through spells of not speaking to you, as well! Keep it up."
This is maybe the highest praise this blog will ever receive - especially because its author doesn't like my personality too much. It is almost like receiving the "Thinking Blogger" award. I am writing primarily to stimulate people's thoughts, as well as my own. When I started the blog, I even considered calling it The Light of Reason. However, I feared that I could some day see myself in a funny situation like the blockhead Islamist who named his blog Critical Thoughts. So I just gave the blog my name. This is safe.


Estranged said...

Maya, it is a bad idea to substitute the description of your blog and yourself with a DISCLAIMER... only because of people who can't READ what you have written and rely on personal attacks because they can't think.

Other bloggers have made that mistake too, Карчински comes to mind. After one "Nomad"-ish comment he turned his "about" and blog sub-title into a disclaimer, but after some comments from regular readers he restored the previous "about".

What I liked most about your previous "about" was the thought that we have to take care of our world and no external power can do it for us; and that there is no other meaning of life but this one. This is the essence of secular humanism and I totally liked it.

Finally, if what you say doesn't insult somebody, then you're probably not saying anything...

Maya M said...

Thank you, Estranged! Such a wonderful comment, I'm going to make a post from it.