Some unoriginal and insincere thoughts

While there's plenty of news, there's nothing I feel terribly compelled to write about today. Besides, no one likes to deal with news stories on Fridays, which is why things that are being swept under the rug tend to hit the press on Friday. On Fridays, that initial feeling of "wanting to write" can very quickly become an overwhelming sense that writing about anything is an onerous chore.

The sense of feeling obligated to write is very unhealthy, and IMO the worst aspect of daily blogging. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast. If you have a blog that gets daily visitors, you must put food there for them. Worse yet is the self-imposed demand for originality.

Sometimes, I have nothing to say. Yet the curse of blogging is that having nothing to say is not permitted. The cardinal rule of blogging is that if you have a daily blog, you cannot have nothing to say. Because "content" is expected, you must say something even if you have nothing to say, and compliance with this demand is a form of dishonesty which corrupts the thinking and the writing process. I like to think I can force myself to write under any circumstances, but sometimes it just plain sucks all around, and no one wants to hear that. Taking a break does not work; in my case it only exacerbates the problem, because one break leads to another, and pretty soon that ugly sense of freedom that's always lurking in the background kicks in, and it can be very distracting. Sometimes I even remember that I am not obligated to blog at all, and I have the freedom to stop. Yet I also have the "right" to not do daily exercise, to stop bathing, and to stop a lot of things. The way I have "tricked" myself into daily blogging despite the distractions posed by considerations of the right not to blog is by treating it the same way I treat exercise. ("I will do 120 pushups, because it is good for me.") Because there's nothing "original" or inspired about pushups or running, this analogy has served me well. However, it's hardly a recipe for creativity.

Having said all this, it would not be very nice to link someone's blog post and say that "I agree because blah blah blah." They'd think I was just insincerely cranking stuff out and using their thoughts to fill space. (One step above mindless linking.)

Sincerity. That is the thing most threatened by forced, daily blogging. If you feel obligated to agree with someone just to fill space and feed the readers, sincerity is the first victim. Better to seek out something you disagree with. For reasons which are not entirely clear to me, disagreement always seems more sincere than agreement. Now why would that be? Are there not disagreeable people who just disagree because it is their habit? How do we know they are always being sincerely disagreeable? Of course, my problem with disagreeing is that I find it disagreeable, so I try to find a way to be agreeable in my disagreement. What could be more insincere than that? It's almost like trying to find a polite way to say "f(_)ck you." Yet isn't that thing we call "civilized society" built on finding polite ways to say "f(_)ck you"?

Oh the contradictions. How I love to hate them.

posted by Eric on 05.22.09 at 10:17 AM


"Oh the contradictions. How I love to hate them."

You do! Which is why you are such a fun, yet mind-poking read, eric.

You tickle til it hurts!

Penny   ·  May 23, 2009 2:52 AM

Thanks Penny! (This post was so negative I didn't want to publish it.)

Eric Scheie   ·  May 23, 2009 11:12 AM

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