Saturday, February 20, 2010


Save ER's blog -- or not

I'm wondering if this blog, after five years, has run its course. It seems to do more harm than good nowadays -- that is, the bullshit, garden-variety meanness and bile and vitriol spewed in the comments do harm, not good.

I'm tired of it.

So, tell me what you think. Keep it? Flush it?

If it survives, I'm almost positive I'm going to, for the first time ever, start moderating comments. The Erudite Redneck Roadhouse -- with curtains on the windows.

Because I am SICK of the bullshit, and I no longer want it on my Life Record that I provided a venue for it.

So, vote. Comment. Say your piece. Should ER stay or should he go?


Given the multiple demands on your life right now it would be reasonable to eliminate this one even though it is one of the minor time consumers.

What effect would that have? The cosmos will go on without the ER Roadhouse.

Personally this is the only blog (Other than my own) I comment on regularly, so its absence would be noted.

I know most of your web communication has moved to face book as have many others. For myself Facebook is not an option so long as I am hooked up to this service provider and server.

It is a logical thing to retire your blog at this time.
Logical, yes, but please know that my own intellectual and spiritual meanderings will be lessened.

You do indeed have many things tugging at your time at the present moment of your life. There has, indeed, been an uptick in the nonsensical spewing of vitriol - and I am as guilty of it as anyone! - which, with the exit of so many of the right-wingers over the past couple years, seems to prove a point I was once told, that conflicts over small territory (intellectual, political, what have you) tends to be that much more intense.

The decision is yours, man. If that is the case, could you at least leave it up as an archive reference? I have sentimental reasons, too, for not wanting it to go away; through it, I met you, and was introduced to all sorts of possibilities that I never would have known without it. Your blog, your presence, you, have been an immeasurable blessing in my life. Of course, as Rick noted at the end of Casablanca, we will always have Paris. . .
I second drlobojo. But I would add try moderation first. While I rarely agree, I do enjoy the commontary.
I think you're taking the short and, honestly, skewed view. I say skewed with evidence (and my challenges always begin with evidence or argument rather than sole snark):

Look at the nine posts previous to "Jesus is a Redneck." We were all involved in most of them and they seemed to get along just fine. Reread them, ER. Interesting back-and-forth, expansion, play, your treasured disagreements, etc. Not a problem.

Perhaps, given some time to reflect on the most recent five threads, you can suggest a cause for the turn and recommend a remedy. You've said the blog serves to let off steam and play. Not unimportant.

My suggestion is that people need to put on pads and a helmet. Which one of us, save Dan, served any mercy to our opposites on the other side? And they bear no marks of wanting to deepen knowledge or love. What good does Southern polite reserve do when letting off steam with each other occasionally turns into hot-house issues but half-baked plates are passed? And I say, "half-baked," not because I am a bullshitter. It is because I find valid "disagreements," usually with common and cliched responses, blindnesses, "unthought through" and unexamined patterns. I like disrupting the unexamined patterns in my own life and, kind of a life-stance, in the conversations in which I am engaged. This blog, for all us, is hardly life sustaining. But even in blogs I don't want to offer polite nothings. Now that is a waste of time... unless we're in line at the market.

The unexamined life is not worth living; but I recognize some like to take time off from it. That's not in my constitution. Especially when it comes to the deep stains in American identity which we all share.

So, if this isn't just Saturday morning hangover, and you continue to be irreparably bothered by recent events, I say we vote someone off the island. I'm already packing for Rome.
either way man! i have enjoyed your thoughts and would love to keep hearing more of 'em. my vote is for you to stay but for selfish reasons.
Feodor, what I am bothered by is the ease with which I let you make me so angry. Hey, in the RW, I drop F-bombs all the time, usually in the adjectival or adverbal form. Often the exclamatory. Sometime the interrogatory, WTF? But rarely in the direct personal declarative, and almost never here on this blog. As evidenced by the rare declarative F-bomb I hurled at you in the previous thread. For which I apologize. I'm embarrassed.

As for my alleged drunken, but not, attempt to promote peace, I was, and am, trying to figure out why you say such angry, belittling things to ME and everyone else you encounter here. I will not accept any denial. It *has* to be something else you're pissed about. Whatever the cause, it's hurtful and I weary of it.

One of my Lenten pledges is to let go of any claims or control I pretend to have over time, in an effort to get out of the bad, relatively recent (as in the past two or three years) habit I've developed of incessant impatience, angry outbursts directed toward those who happen to be around me, which means, most of the time, my beloved wife, Dr. ER. I've come quite a ways the past few days, partly because I've been wanting to do something about myself in that regard for a long time, partly because I'm starting each day with a reading from the little book I mentioned in the previous post, as well as from a book about Amish thinking and life -- but mostly because I see that it makes my beloved, longsuffering Dr. ER so happy. As many challenges as she faces, the least I can do for her is try not to be a mean asshole.

Which brings me to this blog. I think that until I, Lord willing, see evidence of a real break in my habit of getting so mad over stupid shit, I might just quit blogging for the rest of Lent -- because what pisses me off here more than anything is stupid shit, and there's been a lot of it lately. I'm going to sleep on it.
I didn't visit the prior thread after leaving my final comment. I said what I felt I needed to say, and anything else would have been spinning my wheels.

Having now read it, including your final comment, ER, I have to say that I feel your pain. I once stopped blogging, for a month, because I realized that drlobojo and I were not communicating properly; I further realized that a typographical error on my part made something I wanted to say mean the exact opposite. I still grieve that hurt.

I learned from that episode, however, that this, whatever-it-is, we do, is inconsequential. It does not bring light. It does not bring hope. The moments of joy are rare indeed.

I do it because, well, I have no other outlet for my writing, for expressing myself. You, on the other hand, do. You do it superbly. Save yourself the aggravation, and pull the plug.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but for me, this blog has been a blessing on so many levels. But, in the covenant prayer in the Wesleyan tradition, there is a line - let me be employed by thee, let me be set aside by thee - that might apply here. When we submit ourselves to God in Christ, the submission may be a lifetime thing, but how that is lived out changes each and every moment. When it stops being something you feel, well, I think it's time to say au revoir.
Ah hell, ER, don't close the damn thing down you selfish self centered bastard. What would I do for enlightenment. Besides you need to feed that masochistic streak of yours somewhere and it might as well be here. Additionally where else but here can you converse safely with a PTSD Psycho, a bi-polar guilt ridden ritualist,etc. not to mention providing entertainment to hundreds of lurkers out there that see this as their daily contact sport program.

Besides this site has been officially endorsed by the John Spruce Society and that in and of itself is a rare privilege that should not be cast aside.

My Religious Continuing Education is also dependent on this site. Take some time off, get some anti-depressants from your Doc and come back mellow.
LOL. You raise valid points!
Sorry, but . . . this . . . "a bi-polar guilt ridden ritualist" . . . I'm laughing as I type this.

Thing is, it kind of violates the spirit of this whole thing. . .

But, it's short, sweet, and to the point.

And I'm still laughing.

And my diagnosis on PTSD is still pending.

On an unrelated note - if you haven't seen Scorcese's The Departed, I'd recommend it to the dude teaching your Jesus/Film class. I mean, if he can have you watch Dirty Harry . . .
I would agree with drlobojo's first post. I think your comment about quit blogging until after lent should be the first step. This will give you time to reflect and allow the gray matter a chance to be receptive to understanding the direction you might want this or another blog to take, if any.

mr bbs
This comment has been removed by the author.
[sorry, needed to correct syntactical errors.]

Heavens, brother, I regret being away so long so soon after you open a vein in front of me and the other children.

I confess to being unsure whether the object of your agony is my "mean" statements or your porosity to irritating presences in your life. I also confess that working that issue out under the guise of a post about the risk/reward of your blog seems, to me, less than direct.

Since your most searching comments are directed toward me, personally, I feel I'm allowed to respond personally. And to add that I do feel badly that you've come to such a complex of feelings over my participation here.

As for "denials" of meanness, I still wish you would review. On the sole case of you and me, I understand that you think I was "mean" to you regarding your posting a question about creeds, offering one indication of your take on creeds, and then shrugging me off with "I'm tired of you" when I ask what at least I take to be a few simple critical questions about your take. Given that the questions did not seem to be especially taxing or empty of content and full of poison, I offered that "I'm tired" was a woosy response since a post carries the intention of asking a serious question and an offer the potential of lending serous answers with give and take.

Now, if "woosy" seems mean to you, it's still a far cry short of "fuck you." WHICH, by the way, I did not take nearly as hard as you seem to feel about giving it, as evidence in my comments to Luke. I find it earthy and communicative, trusting, as I do, your grounded being.

I hesitate to take up the other cases and add to the murkiness, and Craig is not my responsibility; he came in with an attack. But you still argue that I start things. Again, you should review.

And if this seems like upside down reasoning to you, I confess that I am suddenly feeling vertigo at the recent depths of byzantine redneckery.
Naah, this is more about me and my internalizing of barbed rhetoric, I guess, than it is about you.

I'm just not as redneckified as I used to be -- damned civilizing tendencies of middle age.

I confess that what got me most, Feodor, was the bundle of assumptions and leaps underlying this, taken within the the context of your constant denigration of all manners of worship, and church polity, and theology and doctrine and fill-in-the-blank not like your own:

"I sincerely hope you are not going to seminary to affirm and be settled in your own opinions. That would be such a waste of money and an opportunity for tremendous growth. And at your maturity, you should fear change a lot less than younger folks; sadly, the reverse tends to be true of human nature."

Rereading it still leaves me almost gasping at the sheer effrontery.

And this:

"Right now, you're the kind who will order Campari in Aruba and think you've left home."

That's worse than "F--k you." But it so insults and enrages me that all I could do was sputter an F-bomb.

Sign that I need a break from the ER Roadhouse? Or a sign that I need to hang curtains on the windows? Or a sign that I need to close the bar, sell the pool tables and shuffleboard and the washer-pitching pit out back and open up an ice cream stand?

I don't know.
Yeah... I shouldn't have used "Compari." Cheap shot.
Apologies, my brother, I drove too hard and too nastily.
Just take a break... then come back kicking and screaming in the summer
As my mother would say, "Do as you please, you will anyway." :)

Your blog so it's up to you.

For my part I'm likely going to take a bit of a break from these blogs. Funny thing is, I have a pretty large number of blogs I read on a daily basis and comment on, and the only ones where people so regularly treat each other like shit are the supposedly Christian ones. While I'm well aware I can dish it out as well as I take it, I don't start it, and don't actually enjoy it. And I can most definitely live without that for a while.

If that's how Christian bloggers behave, I'd rather not be associated with it, honestly.

Either way you decide, ER, it hasn't all been bad and I have had some fun here, so at least there's that.

Take care!
Stay, but moderate. After the folks who just want a space to spew vitriol run into a closed door a few times they tend to give up and move on to new places to pollute. I don't comment often, but have been enjoying reading the discussions from the sidelines.

I do both Facebook and blogspot. Facebook is like Twitter -- nice for ephemera; a blog is more of a database/archive.
Forgot to note there is another option -- the invitation only blog. You could set up a space where the people you already enjoy discussing and/or debating various topics with would be the only ones allowed in.
Yeah, take a break and reflect on what you want from your blog. From some comments, it sounds as if you have a lot on.
Even I've got bored with kicking creationists in the niuts these days :-)
ER, my friend, If I may:

You are a writer. This is an outlet for writing that doesn't involve your daily grind and pressures from any superiors/coworkers, etc.

You have clearly provided education, thought, and entertainment in your blog to those of us interacting, arguing, or even just trolling.

You have remarked over time that you have (my word choice) grown through your experience and interaction here. (A certain southern-themed throw in the man room comes to mind).

Make no mistake, your blog would be missed.

That being said, a relevant question is:
Do you still have things that you would like to say, and is this still a place where you want to say them?

If it is overloading you spiritually, emotionally, or physically, remember that you don't have to reply to everything, and you can write whenever you darn well please.

No one is keeping score.
Doc, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Your last sentence nails it, I think. In every other venue, someone IS keeping score, including this one: Me. And I need to quit that.

If my entrance into the other thread was an attack, then the threshold for attack much be pretty low here. Having said, that if I am the cause of all of the vitriol here, then I will refrain from commenting in the future so that you guys can rebuild your love covenant, and all will be well.

Seriously; you do write well, and it would be a shame for you to end that because of others. If you do decide to hang it up, good luck.
Take a blog vacation (you've got a good start going already). Having started blogging shortly after you, I can tell you burn-out does occur. After a couple of weeks, maybe a month, you'll get the itch to hit the keyboard again. And when you do, don't just moderate comments - freeze them for awhile. You've got a loyal audience and they'll be patient. You've created a great site, and it would be a shame to pull the plug. Maybe you end up posting just once a week - if so - that's ok, just as long as you're still generous with the insights into Whataburger and your cat's latest adventures.
Many thanks to you all. A hiatus it is. I shall return! :-)
I'm glad you're not deleting your blog, ER. Of all the "baby blogs" that mine spawned, you've remained in there swinging the longest. I would miss you if you were gone.

As for the bitterness and BS that seems to go on in the contents ... as you know, I'm a cheerful deleter on my blog. Rarely do I allow discussions to progress to the name calling stage. Admittedly, my blog is more bland than yours, but it also causes me much less stress. You might seriously consider comment moderation or simply banning some people. There has to be a point where you realize certain people will never budge from their position, and it's better to walk away.

Anyway, once again, I'm glad you're keeping your blog. As always, I remain your friend. :)
I can comment on the technical aspect of the thing. I installed my screen door/drunk catcher thing almost five years ago, right around the time that Blogger saw fit to introduce it. I note now that the spambots have gotten smarter, and at least one of the comments in any thread now is from some Asian porn thing.

Also, I note that even the best and most prolific of my blog pals seems to have abandoned it for the shorter format of social networking sites. I'm gonna go on writing things down even if there's no audience for it because that's what I've always done, and that's generally the way it's always been.

I absented myself from your blog because so often it went into theological territory, where I'm a lot more likely to make an ass out of myself over something I don't know very much about. But all that said, you should keep doing this. Discussion is necessary.

I mean, if you want to see exactly how bad it can get, go to Yahoo! Answers and look at the 'Religion and Spirituality' section under 'Society and Culture'. It'll make you want to take up a strategic position in a clock tower.

So don't go away. But maybe spend less time on the celestial matters: they just seem to bring out the worst in people these days.
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