Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The tenor of our discourse

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I look at several blogs each day. For one thing, I enjoy reading blogs by other writers. Some writers have really interesting things to say about the craft of writing.

I also look at two or three religious blogs. I've always formed my own beliefs by writing them down and forming them almost as I write.

So that leads me to the subject for today. Sometimes blogging distorts the tenor of our discourse. People become way more negative than they need to be. They think sarcastic is cute.

I'm not talking about what is happening here. So few people read this blog (at least that's my sense of it) that there is little discourse. But some of the blogs I read are taken over by people who, almost before you read what they write, you know what they are going to say. And sometimes it will be quite cutting or negative.

That's one thing I like about Barack Obama. He has brought more civil discourse back into politics. He speaks hope, not hate.

There is one blog in particular that I don't read anymore. All the responses are so angry and negative.

In my world, angry and negative often leads to violence. My characters are trying, in their own weak ways, to bring peace to something terrible.

The world is filled with enough terrible things without us adding to it with our angry discourse. I read just this morning that many single suburban mothers are homeless. These are people who were middle class and something awful happened.

I myself write about such things as child abuse and murder. My characters even have to overcome those things.

We have enough terminal cancer, senseless war, and brutal abuse that we don't need to add to it. We need more civil discourse, especially in our written responses to strangers. We need to pay attention to the tenor of our discourse in everything we do.


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