Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Until I Understand

I'd like to take this opportunity to extend apologies to Reiji, as well as anyone else who may have been offended by "Straining to See", one of my previous posts.

I wrote "Straining to See" after a bout of bloghopping, which brought me into contact with a few new blogs. After almost two years of maintaining this site, I don't know if I've become a jaded, cigar-smoking elitist in the intervening months. I do know, however, that I ended up characterizing these blogs as "shallow", or otherwise without the particular meaningfulness that I like to see in personal entries.

This reaction, however, surprised me. While I certainly can tell the difference between introspective and non-introspective writing, I'm usually accepting of any material regardless of what it is. I'm supposed to hold the idea that any piece of writing will have some redeeming value to it, and that quality or quantity or reputation or other such inconvenient impressions have little or nothing to do with anything. I was surprised by the fact that I had characterized something as "shallow" without giving much thought to the matter, and the question ended up gnawing at my soul for a while.

These thoughts formed the basis of "Straining to See", a disorganized jumble of words that noted how I felt at the moment. I questioned why I was falling back on first impressions; attempted to point out that any person had the right to post anything they wanted; and approached the realization that, to a blog writer, any entry has some meaning in itself to begin with. It is this meaning, for that matter, that may or may not be obvious to the writer's audience.

What I did wrong, I believe, is that I didn't bother trying to look for meaning. I just took the big black stamp that read "Shallow" and pounded it all over the place.

And for that, I'm sorry.

I've been tracing the blogs in question since last night, looking at everything all over again, and giving them the bit of attention that every blog deserves. I was surprised to find that none of them were as "shallow" as I assumed, but then, considering what I've written about so far here, it wasn't much of a surprise.

Now that all that's out in the open, I must reiterate that I'm perfectly open to any comments that anyone might have. I tend to take justified criticism seriously, whether that goes for my writing or for my personality.

If you feel that I need improvement in any departments, feel free to post something. At this point, I'll guarantee that I'll at least give it some serious thought. :)


jeff-reiji said...

No apology needed or even required, actually.

Sean said...

Reiji: Thanks, Reiji.

banzai cat said...

I dunno. Was looking at the two posts and I kinda thought you were even kind with your bandying of the word "shallow" around.

In other words, I don't think you need to apologize.

In Blogworld, everyone writes what they want, even when they feel jaded one day and thinking, "is this there is all to it?", but acknowledging that one could be mistaken in this thought.

There's nothing elitist about that, more like it's just being human. Anything else and I'd suspect you're really an AI writing machine.

In other words, don't take the whole world on your shoulders, man. :-)

Sean said...

Banzai Cat: The issue at hand is that I'd like to be skilled without being elitist. Admittedly, I'm not certain if the two qualities are mutually exclusive at this time, but I'd still like to explore the depths of that exclusivity, and remain open-minded while I'm at it. In a sense, it's probably less about elitism and more about personal failings in this regard.