News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How to write a blog

Which is not the same as writing some form of intelligible communication.

The eminent pyschologist Karl Rogers was troubled by how miscommunication was a factor in most human conflicts. He developed a theory and procedure for rhetoric designed to eliminate much of the conflict. In essence, his procedure was for people involved in a discussion or debate to be sure they had an accurate understanding of what other participants and opponents actually said. This involved a process through which a person would paraphrase another person's statements and ideas, and then that person would, in turn, indicate whether the paraphrase was accurate. Not until each participant felt that their position on a subject was thoroughly and accurately understood by others would the actual debate and discussion of points proceed.

A student, wh0 also was coaching a high school debate team, thought that Rogerian rhetoric offered a solution for what he saw as the basic problem in argumentation and debate, so as a culminating project for the semester he implemented Roger's procedure in his work as a debate coach. His final paper was a detailed account of how his students found the procedures too cumbersome to be of use. They were often so mired down in semantic definitions that they lost sight of the main point of the debates. But the students were also greatly affected by realizing how often people use the "straw man" tactic to make their own points.

The "straw man" tactic involves making representations about what other people believe or profess and then tearing their beliefs and statements to shreds, even though what they are attacking is not an accurate representation of the other people's positions or statments. To fit in the South Dakota Blogosphere, as members of that fraternity like to refer to it, you have to be very adept at using the "straw man" tactic or you won't be able write a blog. A cardinal rule among South Dakota political blogs, especially among the regressives, is to never accurately portray what a person of a differing viewpoint says.

If you are remarkably stupid, the use of this tactic might come naturally. If you have a brain cell or two sparking away in the cranial cavity, you might have to learn the techniques of dishonesty. But a rule of thumb if you want to be a South Dakota political blogger is that intelligence, education, and integrity are obstacles to overcome. There are a few bloggers out there who cherish those attributes and are guided by them, but they are irrelevant to the blogosphere.

Here are some basic rules of the blogosphere:

  • Call your opponents idiots every chance you get.
  • If you think "idiot" is getting overworked, tell them to see a psychiatrist.
  • If you want to be really witty, say they should get back on their medications--in some quarters that line keeps 'em LOL.
  • Use the phrase "we hardly knew ye" as often as possible. For some reason this is regarded as really neat stuff in the blogosphere.
  • Get petulant and whine about how the critics you especially hate are not as nice and upstanding as other critics.
  • Argue about whether the world is 6,000 or 6 billion-billion years old, as if no one actually knows.
  • Attribute AIDS, herpes, genital warts, bad gas, illegal aliens, dead soldiers, and acne to liberalism.
  • Resurrect Rachel Carson so you can tell her what an idiot and stupid bitch she was.
  • Never miss an opportunity to cast a stereotype based on race, gender, or age.
  • Your ego is an erectile organ, so give it all the frictive exercise you can.

And never read Shakespeare or make any attempt to understand what the hell he, or anbody else, is talking about, if you do. Like this line said by Macbeth:

it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States

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