Wednesday, December 12, 2007

(no subject)

I’ve spent much of the last week debating whether or not to continue our little experiment called TGWNA. Part of it is due to the creative apathy that’s beguiled me most of my life; my chief character flaw is an overarching desire to be lazy. Despite what may come across as a desire to shout my sometimes obnoxious views from the rooftops, I much prefer having the roof over my head and the heat on. Applying that metaphor to writing, which I once foolishly believed was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, I’ve found that it takes much longer to compose in my head and leave it there. The process of elucidating my thoughts through the written word is tiresome and frustrating, because my thoughts are often much less compelling in a physical form than they are in the ether.

However, the main reason for thoughts of pulling the plug is that this virtual space has become somewhat uncomfortable for me of late, and apparently my good friend and co-author shares a similar sentiment. I believe the current situation is endemic to the site’s underlying concept, which could be best summed up by the crude moniker, “argument blog.” At its inception, I never imagined this space would be happened upon — not to mention desirable to — people who didn’t know the site’s principals. This was really just an attempt to combat the post-collegiate diaspora that made personal contact among our group of friends more difficult; I wanted to recapture the bliss of the hyperbolic group arguments we used to impose on almost any space we occupied, often without thought to the mores of the particular environment or innocent bystanders within earshot.

But it’s become readily apparent a few times previous to this one that a virtual argument lacks many of the most endearing aspects of a live one, and amplifies its few regrettable characteristics. Namely, it’s impossible to smile when delivering a barb unless you’re willing to succumb to emoticons, an artifact of the internet age that I despise. There have been numerous intervals where I’ve been convinced that irreparable harm has been done to friendships over exchanges in this space, though thankfully that hasn’t actually been the case yet (I hope). If there is an overarching theme to this blog (besides sports) it is stubbornness. I can’t think of a single occasion where a point, however ancillary, has been conceded. As is often the case with impasses, something eventually breaks, and it’s usually decorum. Insults and aspersions are cast, people get pissed, and everyone begins to question how fun this really is. And if we’re not having fun here, then why the fuck aren’t we spending our internet time looking at Brittney Spears’ twat?

But reflection over the last couple of days has changed my perspective. A staple of my internet chats with friends has become “When are you going to write about this on the blog?” and it reminds me that I am no closer today to most of my friends than I was when I first registered the site on Blogger. This is, still, the easiest way for me to maintain friendships with people I see sporadically. And it’s still the only forum I’ve got to write when inspiration strikes. I may not do it as much as I used to or should, but I shudder to think what will happen to my brain if I ever cease doing it completely.

In short, I’m going to keep writing, though I can’t make any promises about how often.
As for the potential for explosive comments, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to have more dialogue then less, even if that sometimes means I’ll get bent about something written. I’ll only request that everyone — myself included — keep in mind that insults and condescension are the hallmark of the intellectually incompetent. I single no one out, because I have been as guilty of choosing vituperium over testimonium, and it’s unfair to expect others to be respectful if you’re being an asshole.

Sorry about the length. I imagine this was a scintillating read.

p.s. – I may start writing about some non-sports things. Not often, but a recent Camille Paglia column really got me going.

p.p.s. – I also might write about soccer every so often.

p.p.p.s. – XOXOXOXO ☺


J.S. said...

Consider me one reader who is very happy you are continuing to post. I enjoy your discussions and dissertations very much and would miss them if you decided to abandon the site. Thank you again for the culmative hours I have wiled away at work reading your stuff.


Pete Toms said...

I wrote very recently that " anger is a staple of the internet." I don't know why either.

I didn't read that whole Sean Taylor thing here, I scanned it briefly and it was obvious it had gotten pretty nasty. I got involved in a similarly heated - not as bad, but heated for me - web thing over Vick when the shit first hit the fan. The Taylor thing here instantly reminded me of it and I consciously steered clear.

Nice to see you back.

Pat said...

Makes me warm and fuzzy, Doyle.
Now can we focus on the important thing -- David Eckstein eschews the Padres and signs with the Blue Jays!
There's gotta be 1,000 words coming from you, yes?