Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On comments, complaints, rants and other subjects

It is an interesting experience to begin and continue writing a blog. I suppose that unless I was writing about food or something like that, I had every reason to expect very impassioned responses in the form of emails, comments and, in some cases, long letters handed to me in person. One thing I am certain, I had no idea how controversial genealogy could be when I started this process.

I am used to controversy. When you are a trial attorney, almost no one agrees with you; the judge, the jury, opposing clients and counsel, even your own clients. I am well experienced in having people tell me, in detail, why I am totally and entirely wrong and not just wrong, but stupid to boot.

When there are controversial comments posted in response to one of my blog posts, I am more than willing to allow those comments to go public. There are certain exceptions. I have no way to edit commentators' comments, so if the comment contains inappropriate language or private information, such as an email address, I will not publish the comment.

If the comment can be responded to in one or two sentences, I will often post a reply. But if a longer response is warranted, I will frequently address the topic in a subsequent blog post. There are, of course, some topics that I do not feel are appropriate. If you read my blog regularly, you are probably aware of topics that I avoid for a variety of reasons.

I can only write from my own experiences. Your experience might be entirely different than mine. Sometimes I think enough has been said about a certain subject and move on to other topics. I am always open to suggested topics and will also try to answer questions, if that is possible. I do refuse to get into an ongoing discussion (argument) about any given subject or topic. Because of my years in court, I am painfully aware that people sometimes do not either understand or read what I am saying. In court, this usually resulted in motions for rehearing or appeals. In the arena of blog posting, it usually means that I will post a follow-up post that explains or clarifies what I meant to say in the first post. But sometimes, I figure the whole issue is moot and will drop it without comment.

I usually relate to the last verse of the Paul Simon song, The Boxer which says,

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the remainders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains

I often have to remind myself that I am no longer a professional fighter and I don't have to respond to every comment and fight back anymore. 

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