A piece of flash –
Lenny was due on post. Packing his gear instead, he said Cap cut orders putting him on the transport waiting on the apron. I reminded Lenny leaving this hell hole was a good thing. He said it wasn’t and bummed a smoke. His hands shook like Colorado Aspen in Autumn. I figured he couldn’t say but asked where they were sending him. He said, “Home.” We didn’t celebrate. Going home this way wasn’t good. I watched Lenny climb the airstair. “Sorry about your Pop,” I said. Lenny frowned, shrugged, and disappeared inside. That’s the last time I saw Lenny.
So you think you want to blog, huh?
Several gents I follow and I have discussed the difficulty of second-guessing what our audiences – blog readers – want. More accurately, what they will spend time reading. It is a curious question with several perplexing complications.
We don’t have large followings. At present, I rather like this. It’s much easier to maintain two-way banter with others who like you (me) don’t have fifty or sixty reads on a given post. I give and get personal attention. It’s easier to learn from my peers when they know who I am, what I’m about, and I come to some understanding of who they are and what they are about. Aw, that might be a bit like, I dunno, life, maybe?
There are some amazing bloggers with thousands of followers who somehow respond individually to “likes” and comments. Especially to comments. I stand in awe of these folks and hope if ever I have that many followers to be able to treat readers with as much individual care as they do. Admittedly, “discussion” with these professionals is not nearly as personalized as it is with folks with far fewer followers. Still pretty slick.
The men I’m focused on now, those who author blogs, rants, and creative bursts I watch, are mostly like me. We differ some in politics, location, and outside interests. But we’re all older, obviously male, at or near retirement, remember stuff other folks think is science fiction, and we’re outspoken. I scratched my noggin and couldn’t think of a single woman in the group. I suspect that might change, but aside from reigning-in my male tendencies to blue language requiring less intellectual discipline, it’s not necessary. It’d be nice, but not necessary. Women of similar mind and disposition are out there but we’ve not bumped heads. Yet.
Limited variety in my list of followers means I’m not gonna hit funny bones or tear ducts as often as I’d like. Would mean I could focus on curmudgeonry or old-guy-grump or “remember when,” but I am creatively all over the place not entirely determined by my age, past experiences, or the price of gasoline. I don’t care to be limited.
I’m not gonna attempt to write a blog piece about giving birth. I’m not qualified. Odds are that’s not gonna change. I could launch into a tale of how, in the new wave of the time forty years ago, I was in the delivery room. The doctors and nurses attending looked over at me and suggested I leave the room to draw a few deep breaths. So much for coaching essential personnel through breathing exercises.
We, these gents I follow closely and I, agree there’s no predicting what is going to “sell.” I come to realize, that’s not important. I see a picture or two pasted into a post attracts readers like an expressway accident attracts gawkers1, but I came to write, not to post pictures. I admire Walt Kelly and “Pogo,” but I can’t draw and am nowhere near as clinically observant. Some folks consider pictures and art part of their “message.” I don’t, can’t, and would rather not anyway.
I came to this dance to write. The good stuff is not in this blog. Sorry, the blog is showroom fluff. For me. Not for others. Others are good at the way they do it. I’m not.
The nearly unanimous conclusion is that I should write what I want to write and let the chips fall where they will. Yeah. Kinda. It’s the non-blog stuff that I’m all about. But it ain’t selling. Well, no, I’m giving it away and no one wants it. Readers don’t care to look around much. Even when they’re given links. The decision to drop creative pieces has been recorded.
Advertise! Nope. If I have to “sell” my efforts, my efforts are not worth selling. That’s the way I feel about it. I guess I could compromise. Maybe post suggestive pictures just to get people “in the door.” But I’m not much of a Democrat and I consider lying a last resort tactic.2 Then again, the ‘suggestive’ pictures that would draw the most attention would appeal almost exclusively to males, and that’s not the direction I’m headed.
Folks who cruise the blogs just to read, don’t as a rule record they “like” something. Well, that takes time and effort. Can’t fault them. Or, and this is scary, maybe they just don’t like anything. I’d really feel bad, but it’s rare to see a happy number of likes even on posts by senior bloggers in the little group I consider my bloghood.
Worser, it takes even more effort and brainpower to comment. Fortunately, there’s no fast and easy way to dislike a post. No, I take that back. Short of public abuse, I can take criticism and that could be informative. If you’re really peeved about something I did or didn’t (do, say, mean) get unlazy and send me a private email. Chances of that happening are about as good as a legitimate candidate entering the 2020 POTUS race. Still, it’s not easy.
Finally, even on days when enough people are bored, rained-in, or feel like punishing themselves that my “visit” stats go up, seeing what is actually capturing interests, absent likes and comments, is im-poss-ee-bull. Anonymity is swell but it stinks in this case.
Still want to blog?
1 Was going to suggest ‘like manure draws flies,’ but while I have greater affinity for that analogy, many would feel it offensive. In a rare show of deference, I went the with what you see.
2 Which suggest I think Democrats have reached the point of last resort desperation. Well, Bubba, so have the Repullicans.
Here is a link you should investigate.
If (and I seriously doubt it) you have read my “About” and after you visit this link, you will understand why this is of special interest to me. We give so much good and bad lip-service to segments of our (US) society bent on promulgating unrest and outright lawlessness. Do we spend as much time listening to the “other side” of any conflict where police draw heat? Except the “negatives’”? No, I suspect not, instead letting some right- or left-wing interests tell what they feel we “need to know” and therefore assuming that’s the end of it.
Consider healthcare “heroes” championed by press and politics. Stop. Do you not remember any occasional dark story, where one who normally wears the “hero” costume loses his/her/their nut and commits, human or not, innocent or not, mistakes? Poor judgment regarding care and treatment of retirement/convalescent/palliative care residents? Missed diagnoses? Ill-advised treatment plans? Prejudiced denial of service?
Do not lie to me, worse, do not lie to yourself with your answer. Odd, in spite of the fact healthcare “heroes” are known to be human and therefore fallible, we trip all over ourselves to respect them for their sacrifice, their willingness to sacrifice. Why are police different? I suggest, I believe, they are not. They too, are heroes. Human. Heroes.
Read. Think. Come to your own determination. Look elsewhere for corroborative (or contrary) information and opinions. If you are sane and honest, the next time some idiot suggests defunding, call them on it. There are places they can vacation basking in an environment where there are no police; they can try it on for size. See if works as wonderfully as they have been told it will by the puppeteers who pull their strings.
Tell the clowns, if they sincerely believe we should have no police, they should elect officials who support that, initiate, publicize, and pass referendums (California is notorious for such) to abolish a police force that whether you admit it or not does ultimately answer to civilian control. Oh? They can’t muster a majority to pass this much-needed change? Hmmm. You mean, most people are against this new plan? Imagine that.