That's what I'm going to be doing, and looking for, here in Blogovia. That's not to say that I'll never post about, nor comment on, topics of the "What the hell's this all about?" variety. But I'm through getting mired in comment wars. That's not an indictment of anyone other than myself. I've just got much better things to do with my time than following, let alone participating in, the antagonism that surfaces in the comments of some of the blogs I read.
In the real world, I rarely get the kinds of opportunities to hear multiple points of view that I do here in Blogovia. That's what I love about it. I love debate. When it's done with respect, I often learn things. Sometimes it's just learning a new perspective, other times it's learning new facts and developments. And because of that, sometimes my perspective changes. I never understand why so many people are so adverse to changing perspective, because when I do, it feels really good. It's a major accomplishment. Maintaining your position in the face of opposing points of view can often be admirable, proper and even necessary. But it's also pretty easy. Truly listening to and considering an opposing point of view is a phenomenal skill; allowing yourself to admit that the opposing point of view carries more weight than yours takes guts. I appreciate that. And no, I'm not talking about politicians who change their "beliefs" as the tide of public opinion changes. I'm talking about the individual, and what's in the individual's heart.
The problem is that many times, debates in Blogovia are anything but respectful. And once they digress to insults, name-calling and the equivalent of middle-school playground pushing and shoving, I'm no longer going to learn anything. All opportunity for me to get what I want from the conversation -- healthy debate, even enlightenment -- is gone down the shitter. I'm not above reproach; I've gotten wrapped up in some of that shit, only to look at it later and think, why the hell did I waste my time with that trainwreck? I will give myself some credit and say I always try to keep it respectful, even when other participants are not. But even then, my comments are still enabling those creating the cesspool.
I've done a pretty good job of keeping things here at Boiled Dinner relatively civil. But I can't control what happens at other blogs, nor can I control what other people do or say. I can only control Jeff K. And Jeff K just ain't gonna play in the shitbox anymore.
Jeff K also ain't gonna keep referring to himself in the third person, but at the moment, Jeff K feels it's the most powerful way to get his message across.