May 3rd, 2017

Decisions, decisions: what’s a blogger to write about?

Being a blogger is a funny thing.

Every day a blogger like me has to decide what to write about. Will it be some long-winded technical and/or reflective piece that attempts to tackle big and complex issues? Do I want to spend that time? How many people will read it? Wouldn’t I do better in terms of traffic if I specialized in short nasty jabs (it’s not really my style or my interest, but it apparently draws the crowds)?

Each day there’s a meme that seems to be the one that everyone’s dealing with, and many of those memes have become more and more tedious and repetitive over time even though each incident within the meme is slightly different. For example, for a while all you heard about was some tip a big spender left for a waitperson, or some insult (mostly fake) towards a waitperson. Now we are hearing about fights on airplanes, some of which have been videotaped.

It’s all become a big yawn, as far as I’m concerned.

Then there’s the celebrity who said some shocking thing, usually an insult towards someone (often Trump these days). The latest in the grouping is from Stephen Colbert, who said (and I quote): “the only thing [Trump’s] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”

And the only thing interesting about that statement is that Colbert is still on TV. There’s a “fire Colbert” campaign from the right, but I doubt it will go anywhere.

What has happened to public discourse? I know the answer: it’s sunk to an abysmally low level. It happened slowly but surely, beginning in the 60s, and during the last decade it’s gone so deep into the gutter that someone like Colbert, fired up by his own self-righteous Trump-hatred, can say something like that on national TV and think it’s going to be perfectly okay. And maybe it will be perfectly okay.

And someone like me has to decide whether or not to write about it.

21 Responses to “Decisions, decisions: what’s a blogger to write about?”

  1. richardaubrey Says:

    I suppose you would write about it if you thought something needed to be done–which is to say more people know about it and something happens.
    I was once invited on Good Men Project to do a piece on Hillary’s observation that women are the primary victims of war, losing sons, husbands, brothers.
    I declined since there didn’t seem to be, couldn’t possibly be, anything necessary.
    The only angle would be to surf the feminists and see if any objected. Figured not, but then anybody would have guessed it.
    So, some things stand by themselves.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    Wrong decision.

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    To write about Colbert, or to write about choosing subjects?

    Or to write the previous post?

    I’m sure you never have any trouble deciding what to write about 🙂 .

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The reaction to Colbert’s vile comment by those who voted for Hillary is indeed significant.

    “A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot…” Robert Anson Heinlein

  5. parker Says:

    Personally, I see no point in discussing the sorry likes of the Colberts of the world. I long ago knew people like Colbert are beyond redemption.


    Heinlein saw it coming.

  6. DNW Says:

    Was just watching the debate.

    Caught one of the France 24 cuts of a Le Pen to Macron retort that I thought was a bit of a gem, purely from a rhetorical standpoint.

    I wondered if they, France 24, realized what a great gibe it was

    Going to the news site, apparently they do.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I was always a fan but the older I get, the deeper my respect for the man.

  8. parker Says:


    Interesting times coming. Looks like Le Pen in a squeaker to me. If that happens la merde frappera le fan de I’EU!

  9. DNW Says:

    On topic.

    I think that conservatives imitating the left on twitter and trying to hoist Colbert on his own presumed liberal-values petard by accusing him of making a homophobic comment when he contemptuously accused Trump of sexually servicing Putin orally, was a mistake.

    It would be better to simply acknowledge that he had thereby authorized a standard of discourse which would inevitably be forever applied to him and to his family.

    It is also pretty obvious that if there is any catemite-like behavior in evidence, it was found in Colbert’s pathetic newbie fist pumping on behalf of the so-called “Tiffany network”. Geek patriotism, or rice-bowl loyalty, obviously.

    Colbert would no doubt claim in rebuttal, that it was a somewhat tongue in cheek reference on his part – done in character, and done for comic effect. The comic effect one asks, of his tongue, in exactly whose cheek … ?

  10. DNW Says:

    ” parker Says:
    May 3rd, 2017 at 5:58 pm


    Interesting times coming. Looks like Le Pen in a squeaker to me. If that happens la merde frappera le fan de I’EU!”

    I don’t think so, but I would not bet much against it. You could well be right.

    She really handed him his ass on a plate, a number of times. You could tell it even though they had an incompetent Brit struggling to translate the French for her, rather than what appeared to be a native French speaker for Macron.

  11. DNW Says:

    Parker, I’ll tell you what I’ve found to be an interesting parallel in this, with our recent election.

    The Macronites, have, as has the Democrat Party has, essentially embraced a social paradigm shift.

    It is one in which the following situation obtains. The people [production workers and the middle class] who they once claimed to speak for and champion, and more importantly whose life interests and prospects they once claimed that the state existed to also secure equally, have now been reduced in their scheme of things to obsolescent social elements. Thus, persons who having served their former political purpose, are now and while deserving of public pity, something of an embarrassment in the new order of things.

    As an American liberal glumly admitted [and noted as such by Neo] with regard to our Democrat Party: these people are seen not as the owners of the country, but as populations which the progressives hope will soon die out; and thus leave them with an unencumbered inheritance.

    It’s rather startling to see progressives, who having successfully climbed into positions of power on the backs of their client groups, now going on to select new favorites: and shrugging ‘C’est la vie, poor souls”, at the slow demise of their former paramours.

    And they call Republicans Social Darwinists.

  12. Yankee Says:

    With that United Airlines incident, there were many bloggers who were absolutely certain that the company’s shareholders would suffer in the long run, as indicated by its stock decline the next day. Yet just today, UAL closed at 74.21, more than 6% above its price in mid-April. That’s a pretty good short-term gain, and now there are no comments about what was a big story just a few weeks ago.

    Coincidentally, just a few days ago, an Asian guy walked into the establishment where I am employed and began to urinate all over the floor, until I chased him out of the building. (I am not making this up.) Sometimes there are customers who don’t get the extra-special “service” that they really deserve.

  13. parker Says:


    I am merely passing along the opinions of our French friends, people from different areas, that we have known for decades. They see a shift ocurring. It may be wishful thinking on their parts, but I trust their wisdom. They live in Paris, La Rochelle, Brest, and the countryside near Agen. They range from the late 50s to mid 80s. Our oldest friend was 8 when the Germans marched into Paris. She has seen many things.

  14. Mac Says:

    Good heavens. For a couple of days I’d been seeing headlines about a rude comment made by Colbert but was not interested enough to find out what it was. I will admit to being shocked. I watched his show a few times some while back, when it was still fairly new, and didn’t think it was that good, apart from the opening, which I thought was funny. But I had the impression that he was a decent sort. Neo’s Catholic readers are probably aware that he’s a practicing Catholic and has been spoken well of by many who disagree with his politics. This certainly puts him in a different light.

    As for the fact that this was said on tv–well, sad to say I don’t find that shocking. Deep in the gutter indeed.

  15. J.J. Says:

    Colbert: “the only thing [Trump’s] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”

    There are times when I think we need to bring back dueling. Such a remark in olden days would certainly bring forth a challenge for a duel. Even as recently as 1948 Harry Truman offered to black the eyes of a music critic that panned his daughter’s singing. To be able to insult or degrade another human being without consequences is not a good thing. IMO, “Them’s fightin’ words.”

  16. Philip Says:

    Don’t do it, Neo! Fight the power!

  17. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It would make perfect sense that C would be a worshipper of the Queen of Heaven, deduced down to Ishtar and other fallen angels or their hybrids in Jeremiah.

  18. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I don’t believe that I have ever watched Colbert – but when I read the transcript of his unfunny, disgusting rant, I admit to being appalled. This is considered acceptable on a late-night main-stream broadcast network program? An extended and degrading riff more suitable for a stand-up monologue at an x-rated after-hours gentleman’s club, in between the strippers?
    I want to see Colbert go down. This is not acceptable.

  19. Big Maq Says:

    “Then there’s the celebrity who said some shocking thing, usually an insult towards someone (often Trump these days). The latest in the grouping is from Stephen Colbert…

    What has happened to public discourse?” – Neo

    Colbert “fights” because that is what his audience wants, a rather uncanny parallel…

    “The real problem is that so many on the left and right demand ever-cruder political discourse.

    Angry progressives demand cathartic mockery, and they shall have it one way or another. … Which is not to say that this phenomenon is unique to the Left. …

    Spend time with core Trump supporters… They glory in his trolling and relish every single liberal tantrum it prompts….

    If you want an explanation for why the Colberts of the world say the things they do, there it is in the adulation of the audience. He is their voice. He’s speaking out their rage. He’s not leading them; he’s riding their wave of progressive scorn, anger, and hate. …

    The problem is that this silent majority is largely irrelevant to the prevailing discourse. Our political and cultural agenda is typically dictated by those who care the most…

    In short, the people who truly care move this country, and the people who truly care are truly angry. Their anger is so all-consuming that it often forecloses the possibility of a debate about ideas. – David French

    It all circles back to each of us and what we choose.

    Do we consume “conservative” talk radio (as one example) that debates the topics of the day / explores in some depth the issues, or do we consume those programs that serve out more anger, blame, with a hefty helping of ad hominem and mockery of the left, and “victimifies” our side?

    The people who “care the most” are very probably those who consume this media the most, and set the “terms” of the “public discourse” along with it.

  20. Alan F Says:

    I just donated $250 to encourage you to just keep on.

    I love your choice of topics and how you write about them. Although I am especially interested in the critical issues and your analysis and opinions, I am also very interested in your research and and analysis of almost everything you choose to write about.

    May 3rd’s Pre-existing Conditions was about how I had been perceiving the issue and seeing no one else address in the way you did. Correctly, I think. Then, very surprisingly, the Passenger Pigeon’s history is also a topic I learned of just a year ago; your report was very interesting. I even like your writing about ballet.

    Even though your non-political posts don’t inspire so many comments, I greatly appreciate them. Now, I recall your Crater Lake post, which really resonated with the mountaineer in me.

    I have not commented much lately, but that is not because I am not reading almost every post, with great interest.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Alan F:

    Thanks so much for both the generous donation and your generous praise!!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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