Tag Archives: philosophy

Fandango No. 5 [FPQ]

It’s like Chanel No. 5, only a lot cheaper and won’t trigger a migraine.

So here’s this week’s provocative question (actually three questions):

“Is there a ‘blogging-you’ who is different from the real-world you? If so, how are the two ‘yous’ different? How has the ‘blogging-you’ evolved since you first started blogging?”

Yes. I am different here, but not just in Blogville.

There is an online-me who is somewhat different from meatspace-me. In the real world, I’m a small, older woman and I’ve been alone for many years. I have no one to back me up, physically, financially, emotionally, etc. So, I’m very careful. Extremely cautious. I am known as kind, sweet, helpful, by most. In fact, when people have met me in person after knowing me online for a while, they said I’m a lot nicer than they thought I’d be.

Online, I feel freer to state my opinions, to make jokes about whatever thing. To diss our horrible POTUS whenever I please, no matter who is around. I dgaf about people’s delicate feelings, nor do mine get hurt easily here. It’s words on a screen. Move on if you don’t like what you read. I do. I block racists on Twitter; I don’t cry over them. I also feel free to say no, to not do things I don’t want to, to simply fucking ignore irritating people, to ghost them, to delete, to mock, to parody… and there were years I used to troll the trolls. I’ve quit that though.

In meatspace, I don’t do most of that ever. I only make jokes when I am comfy with my audience. I did do a few rounds of stand-up comedy at a venue I felt okay about ~ it was tame comedy, relatively speaking. I usually don’t ignore people. I say thank you and no thank you and sorry, even to bums asking for money. If the gross guy dumpster diving at my apartment complex says good morning, I say it back. I try not to make enemies. I try very hard not to make anyone angry or displeased. When I fail, which is rare but it happens, I feel bad. Online, I don’t care.

Sometimes it turns out that characters on the screen and real people occupy the same space in the Venn diagram intersection, which can be tricky for me to deal with. It’s hard to go back and forth, and I haven’t fully mastered that task, since I am also a character of my own creation, continually evolving, except exactly the same person since I was 14 years old. Paradox. I think only one of my readers will possibly be able to grok this paragraph. No, not you. 🙄

That’s two questions answered. As far as the third, I have become much more discreet since I began my first blog. I say waaay fewer personal things now, hard as that may be to believe. But those who were reading Ultrablog know. Plus even this blog had much more daily life type stuff for a while. It’s not that I’m paranoid now, but more that my life has become such a bore there’s simply nothing to say.

I’m not complaining. You can have the “interesting life” fortune c00kie. After the drama I’ve had, I prefer boringness.

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Selfish Opinion Week [SOW]

Poast yours now! Hurry, before the special coupon expires! 😀

It’s interesting how many of us in this corner of Blogville have given opinions in the past few days about the nature of blogging itself, either how they’ll need to cut back a bit because of time constraints (me and a few others) and/or a general statement regarding what they like or dislike about reading blogs. I must apologize in being remiss for not stating some prefs. You know I haz them. 😈

On a side note, this makes me think about how many millions of blogs there are with loosely connected communities, united by various themes, and how they periodically must engage in these discussions also. If there’s life on other planets, maybe they have blogs too… something to ponder. Are they wondering about us, me in particular? I bet they might be…

Anyway, during these meta convos, it’s apparent to me how many bloggers not only don’t use the phone app (which must be available for laptops too), but also are reading poasts via email. I would literally die if all your poasts and notifications poured into my email, even a dedicated email. How could I possibly deal with that deluge? The very idea makes me dizzy.

Before I used the phone app, I read poasts via the WP reader and that was a million times better than emailed poasts (which I never got because eww). But now I’m app-only because of the “save” feature and the ease of reading/writing. I’ve set up a search list for my dozen or so favorite prompters since sometimes there are app gaps. I really recommend that bloggers at least try these newfangled ideas instead of deleting blogs from their followed list for “posting too much.” 🙄

Naturally, that’s only a rec, and everyone is free to ignore it. Now, onto some other preferences that peeps will ignore. Why the hell not? It’s Selfish Opinion Week and I am getting in on the action, so to speak. Er write. Not targeting anyone in particular, just people who do the things. 😂

1. Teaser blogs. You know who you are. You allow only a first line or snippet of your poast to appear in the reader, so we have to click through. Annoying as f*ck. Not only that, but there are a few who even after that require further clickage to another site to read the rest of the article. What site even? Welp, we won’t know until we get there. Omg HATE! It might be another blog or a Buzzfeed article or… whatever. No, I am not opposed to bloggers making money from their writing via ads, but do it in a way that doesn’t inconvenience ME. Cuz when I am reading your poast, at that point it is all about me, not you. (PS, I don’t click through. Will not. Unless it’s about kitties. Maybe. 🐱)

2. Photo mania. I like a couple pics in a poast. I usually put one, maybe two. I no longer do the photo prompts and I’m not talking about those ~ I’m talking about a regular essay, such as this one, but with PHOTOS randomly shoveled in throughout. Whyyy? They make the poast take forever to load and sometimes the app simply crashes. Only a few of you do this, so it’s not an enormous problem, but still. It’s SOW, and I’ve got a double coupon right here. Two for the price of one, neener!

That’s all. As you were.

Sunday Night Ramble

So, it’s been a few weeks since I finished NaNoWriMo (did I mention that I surprised myself and wrote 50,000 words?) and I want to keep the good writing momentum going. You’re actually not supposed to edit what you wrote until January, so I’ve been working on my poetry collection and (of course) noodling around on here.

I’ve also been reading a lot of news. Not gonna jabber on about the political dumpster fires because there’s enough of that elsewhere, but there is one thing that bugs me. I’m sad that the PC police have managed to ruin “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Seems that some folks just can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality. What’s next ~ eliminate the romance novel section at B&N? Plenty of iffy consent scenes in some of those books… I’m surprised there haven’t been boycotts already. Some people can’t stand swear words; others can’t bear gory violence or horror on the screen. To each their own, eh?

Remember the old joke… to some people, kinky means tickling with a feather; to others, it means using the whole chicken. Subjective stuff, a matter of opinion. And in my opinion, opinions should be off-limits to the nannies. Dreamy song lyrics, fantasy art, and fictional novels/plays/films are in the realm of opinion.

I used to enjoy watching beauty pageants when I was a teenager, but now I think they’re boring and dumb. So, I don’t watch them. Wow! What a great solution to the problem of disliking an entertainment offering. Don’t watch it. Don’t read it. Don’t listen to it.

I’m not talking about trolls spewing death threats on the internet or engaging in hate speech. I don’t believe people should be free to engage in this behavior ~ in fact, I think they should be penalized severely.

But as far as fiction and fantasy triggering traumatic memories… there’s no end to that cascade. Some people find it cathartic to recreate a bad memory in fantasy and change the outcome. It’s a form of power. I do this. In fact, most of my writing may be this in one way or another. My NaNo work in progress definitely is.

Back to the writing momentum. Going forward, I’ll probably do fewer blog games and questions and awards because I want to keep my focus on actual writing, such as the prompts and poetry and such. Plus I have to catch up on reading too ~ real books, not just blogs. The games etc. have been a fun break though. Hope everyone understands!

Here’s a cute kitteh to console you.

30-Day Song Challenge [5]

For Day 8, we’re flying solo again for a song about drugs or alcohol. Lots to choose from here! George Thorogood has a bunch of fun booze tunes, but I think we’ll stick to the classic from Jimmy Buffett with the eternal question: “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?”

https://youtu.be/LL9O0B0gzZE

Feeeeeeeelings…

Cue Barry Manilow. I don’t trust feelings and here’s a nice quote from Goodreads for One-Liner Wednesday to sum up why:

In my otter poast today I said I wasn’t a fan of the feelings blurt. I don’t need the brutal truth about your feelings at all times… they’ll probably change anyway. Mine do, especially the most intense ones. Not all of them ~ I always love my children more than anything ~ but I often get angry and that passes. I know not to burst out at folks in the heat of rage. Also, I prefer not getting shot.

Back when I was on dating sites (barf), it had become trendy for men not merely to list “honesty” as one of their traits but to preface it with some adjective such as fierce or fearless or bold. 🙄🙄🙄 Yeah, that’s what I want, some tactless warrior to tell me when I look like crap.

But think about all the declarations of love and passion and forever everness that have been uttered by so many over the centuries only to fade away and die when one of them falls for someone new. Just transitory feelings, not to be trusted… give me some math. Numbers, data, facts. Those I like. Your feelings? Pffft. Clouds in a windy sky.

Does my butt make my blog look fat? [FPQ]

Fernando presents another provocative question for our rumination (moo!)…

“Is it better to know or is it better to not know?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

My answer… it depends! If we’re talking about facts, then it’s better to know. I don’t want data kept from me, do you? Unless it’s a matter of national security, I want the truth out there. Transparency, baby. I don’t want information deleted, redacted, hidden, buried, omitted, glossed over, lied about, etc. Just give me the facts.

But if we’re talking about feelings, then that’s a different thing. I’m not of the school that all feelings need to be expressed ~ that’s a hippy dippy concept and I don’t buy it. My parents believed it, and I witnessed firsthand how destructive it was. No, you will not implode if you don’t blurt out every nasty thought that pops into your head. Have some self-control! I don’t need to know if you think I’m a silly boring vain obsessed cat lady ~ just unfollow me and move on with your life. Easy peasy.

There’s a topical piece of news relevant to our discussion: a substitute teacher in NJ was just fired for telling a bunch of little kids there is no Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. Parents were horrified she spoiled the “magic” of Christmas for their “innocent” children by um telling them the truth, and they had to fix things by doubling down on the lying, I guess.

Personally, I find it hilarious and sad. I think the teacher was wrong and possibly stupid. Why would she do that? Everyone knows how nutty some parents are about this stuff ~ I experienced it myself when I mentioned the Santa “myth” in what I thought was an adults only Usenet group and people freaked out because some of them had little kids peeking in. But a teacher, directly saying it to kids? Weird.

A huge number of parents do begin their children’s lives by promulgating this massive Santa lie (along with those others), and get enraged if anyone spoils it early, while simultaneously insisting on truth as a high value. Eventually the kid finds out the truth about Santa and knows his parents made it all up, etc. I’m not sure how that’s reconciled with “don’t lie to me!” because I wasn’t lied to about magical beings nor did I lie to my kids.

But… to each their own. 🎅

Regarding Twitter

I’ve been thinking about Twitter lately. Unlike Facebook, which I deleted in March (along with Instagram and Messenger), Twitter isn’t a time sink for me. I don’t get heavily involved in threads, conversations, private chats, etc. on Twitter. It’s basically a big nothing burger. I was using it for poetry prompts, but lately I’m not finding them that inspirational, so I’ve been reading more politics there, which is a bore. I can find that anywhere. 🙄

Trying to engage with other “tweeps” has accomplished nothing. I’m too late to the game. I’m not politically witty enough to come up with killer tweets to go viral… and even if I had one, then what? Would that translate into book sales or death threats? Now there’s a interesting question. I’m not anonymous. 😱

Here’s the thing. I’ve lightly promoted my writing on Twitter… to no effect. My promo tweets immediately slid into the giant sea of writers all doing the same. Everyone on the planet has written a book! Yesterday I met a successful writer and she admitted that her success was due to a completely random interview (not even a good one) in a relatively obscure print magazine. She’d done the other traditionally hyped ways of book promotion to almost no sales until the interview.

It’s very discouraging ~ if you’re writing to make money, that is. I have to look at it as a labor of love: the poetry, my romance novels and short stories, and my current WIP, which is a suspense/romance with supernatural elements. Plus I have lots of writing in various stages of drafts to work on as the spirit moves me. I hope to get it all done before I die. 😀

But there’s no reason to delete Twitter. It doesn’t annoy me the way FB did with the fake friends. I know the tweeps aren’t my friends (99% of them anyway), and Twitter doesn’t suck up my time with stupid notifs. But I do think my once a day or so quick check for poetry prompts and such is coming to an end. There’s no point in pretending to stay engaged there when I know it’s not going to do a damn thing to help me market my next book.

I’ll just let my blog poasts flop over as they do, and that’s all my timeline will be filled with eventually. Probably tweeps will unfollow me, or not… if they don’t bother checking Twitter any longer either, which is what I suspect in many cases. 😂

Open/Shut Case [bit ranty]

New prompt from Mindlovemisery. Open or shut…

“What are you open to and what are you shut to?

Some people are open to most things and some are very closed, or shut to anything that challenges their every day.”

This is a good question. I’m loving these thinky prompts, as opposed to the favorite color type ones.

I like to be challenged intellectually. I’m open to new ideas about philosophy, psychology, nutrition, aging, writing, etc. I love new games and quizzes. Enjoy discovering new aspects of my cranky old personality. Now, having said this, I’m not some naive lulu who’s going to soak up the next conspiracy theory that comes along, so don’t bother. 🙄

What I’m not open to. Everything else. No really. I’m old and tired and I’m achy and migrainey. I know what I like and don’t like. I don’t need someone to tell me to try the thing that makes them happy, whatever it is. This is what annoys me so much about people. My cat, in contrast, doesn’t say hey come to the window and watch this ant. He doesn’t give a shit if I see the ant; he’s thrilled out of his mind to have the ant all to himself. 🐱🐜

But people? Omgawd. They have to share things. Taste my pasta! Listen to this song! Watch this vid! Read this book! Worship my gods! Vote for my liars!! Suck my d***! Sorry. Got carried away there. But you get the point. People simply must evangelize at you. Look at that poor guy who was just killed trying to introduce Jesus to some Indians. “No, you go meet him first!” (Stole the joke. I will do that, fair warning.)

To sum up, at this stage in my life: open mind, closed heart.

FPQ3: Morality

Fandango has another provocative question for us:

“Is morality objective or is it subjective? If you believe it’s objective, what is its source? If you believe it’s subjective, how do you know whose concept of morality is correct?”

I believe all morality is subjective. It’s a human construct, something a group of people decide to agree upon. There is no ultimate source for it, other than this agreement, though it does make some people feel better to believe there is. Belief in a higher source also motivates many people to behave in ways that are more beneficial to the survival of the group as a whole, so there’s that. Of course this can be taken too far because people are nutz, but what can you do?

As far as whose view is correct, that assumes a premise that there is a “correct” moral system. I think we just adapt to the culture we’re born into and view that system as more or less the right one, or occasionally we rebel entirely, step outside it, and join a new one. Then we turn into obnoxious zealots, like former smokers*, which is gross. 🤮

Here’s something you can ask yourself about morality and a supreme being. Does it (whatever it is) please God because it is good, or is it good because it is pleasing to God?

Let’s use a real example so we’re not talking in all abstractions like some kinda ivory tower woosicles. I think we can all agree that God must love kittens else he wouldn’t have made them so cute, amirite?

But do kittens please God because they are cute? Or are they cute because they please God? To my mind, it’s the first answer, which means we can then search for other reasons beyond “pleasing to God” that give kittens their cuteness, like their big eyes in their widdle faces, their sweet noses, their triangly ears, their sudden pouncyness, their wiggly tails, their soft soft furs n paws 🐾… and so much more. Maybe that’s why God likes them too, who knows. He made them that way, maaaybe to please himself, but in any case they still have these separate qualities.

Some would take an opposing view and say that all things pleasing to God by definition are good ~ that he only loves things with the best qualities, like kittens ~ so if he tells us, via his handy dandy book written by people, to love a thing (or not, as the case may be), you can just use that as a shortcut and not have to think about it further. But duh then what would we need blogs for? We could just go shitpost stupid things to Facebook. 🙄

*Former smoker right here.

One-Liner Wednesday

Quote via Goodreads. Prompt via Linda.

How true this is. I particularly love this quote because it’s such a nice mixture of science and philosophy. We see (perceive) things because of the biological structure of our eyes and brains. And then we also often infuse what we see with cultural context, layers, and meaning, plus our own lifetime of personal experiences. This is why two people can “see” the same thing very differently.

Forex, most of us have seen the photo of the woman in the “Frozen” tee shirt, holding the hands of her two little girls, as they run from the tear gas the US military has used on the migrants at the Mexican border.

Some of us see a terrified mom, trying to protect her children. We wonder what awful things they must have endured to even get them to this point. We might identify with her, if we also have two daughters. We might wonder what we would do if our town was under constant attack by gangs and such and we felt so unsafe there the only alternative was to flee to an unwelcoming foreign country.

Other people see an invader, a foreigner. She’s a scary “other” who hasn’t followed the rules. We follow rules and she should too. It’s not fair! She hasn’t waited in line like she’s supposed to and if her children get hurt, it’s all her own fault.

Still others don’t think she’s a mom at all. They wonder if she’s some criminal who grabbed random children on her way to sneak into our homeland and do bad things to us. Well, only one person suggests things like this, as far as I know. I think we all know who this is. 🍊🤮🙄