Blogging Insights # 52 — Touchy Topics

I thought this was interesting, so I figured I’d chime in. I’m always good for an opinion when asked and often, even when unasked.

Do you post about touchy or sensitive topics on your blog? If so, what kind of subjects do you like to discuss?

The Trump years have ramped that up politics to an uncomfortable level for everyone. Add a pandemic and lockdown and you wind up with a lot of very touchy people who aren’t always quite this touchy. I’m really hoping that the near future will give us a more peaceful nation and a more rational public.

First, I want to make it clear that being sensitive isn’t the same as soft pedaling anything. It’s just being polite. Civil. Soft pedaling hard issues means “writing around” tough issues. Not confronting real problems or willing to become engaged with difficult subjects. I couldn’t do that if I tried. I’ve always been strongly opinionated, even when I was a lot younger. I also change my mind if I think it needs changing, something that too many people think means you aren’t committed to a “position.” At the risk of annoying people who believe commitment is the same as “never ever under any circumstances changing your opinion,” it doesn’t mean that.

Being unwilling and/or unable to change your opinion doesn’t show commitment. It does show fear of change and it means you’re stuck. Facts and new information are SUPPOSED to help you to change your mind. That’s why we read and aren’t supposed to believe everything we see on the Internet. When you learn new stuff, you should to be open to change. Although I rarely completely “flip” on a position, as more information or facts become available, my view of a subject becomes more nuanced and sometimes, it means that though I believe what I believe, I “get” why other people believe something else.

Film at eleven!

There are subjects I don’t like discussing, usually personal. Maybe it hits too close to a nerve. Regardless, the reasons are personal, have nothing to do with my readers, and everything to do with me.

I hate talking about Israel’s politics. I didn’t like talking about it when I lived there because the politics and religion were permanent hot buttons and everyone — on every side — was irrational. In the US, people know what they read and much of that is nonsense. I don’t want to try to explain the complexities of life in the Middle East. Even when you are living there, the issues are paradoxical and confusing. That’s a polite way of saying it doesn’t make sense.

Do you post about touchy or sensitive topics on your blog? If so, what kind of subjects do you like to discuss?

Politics, climate change, history, life, relationships, movie and book reviews, humor, photography (a lot of birds), health, healthcare. Technical stuff.

I think the politics in this country may have gone around the same bend as Israel’s politics. What IS interesting is that Israel has always been around that political bend since its birth, but they never elected an asshole like Trump and were able to come together in a crisis. Although many might argue that Netanyahu IS exactly that asshole. When I knew the guy, he was minister of education and seemed more or less normal. Times changed, I guess.

Finally, while occasionally whining about my physical problems, I leave out the icky stuff.

Do you respond to sensitive or controversial subjects in the form of prompts?


Do you take part in controversial discussions as part of a comments thread?

Rarely, but sometimes I’ll add a comment or two, but that’s it. I don’t think comments are meant to be flame wars between commenters. I hate it when people try to go to war in comments and usually end up deleting most of them. I think you should try to stick to the subject matter in the post or implied by it.

How do you think sensitive subjects should be handled on the blogosphere?

Without making fun of anyone, without insulting anyone because of who or what they are. Not by religion, race, ethnic background, education or lack thereof, or the place they grew up or went to school. With civility and the recognition that unless there is a factual issue, you’re merely a different opinion. Because you believe it with passion doesn’t make you right. It also doesn’t make you wrong.

We need a higher level of civility nationally and online. We need to learn to not discuss things that are going to turn into battles that divide people forever — unless, of course, you want division. Then, whatever works for you is fine with me.

You can’t cover entire subjects or explain every position. You can’t do it because no one can do it. Moreover, blogs which run 3,000 words rarely get read by enough people to make the effort of writing it worth the time. I break my own rules — but rarely.  I never try to be all things to all people because it’s impossible and from a writer’s perspective would be unrewarding. Blogs need to make a point. Figure out what you want to say, then say it.

Know when to hold’em,
Know when to fold’em

Know when to walk away
Know when to run…

You can be funny, too. Funny sells better than serious. Humor can make a point better than two thousand words with pictures.

Categories: Anecdote, Blogging, Humor, learning, manners & civility, News, perspective, Photography, Politics, Word Prompt, Writing

Tags: , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. This is a brilliant article. The last part is extremely important – knowing when to NOT discuss, learning to just scroll by something you don’t like or agree with.


  2. “Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” – Lau Tzu


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