Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Blogging in an Angry World

Blogging in an angry world is hard, especially if you aren’t all that angry.

Angry nerd businessman with boxing gloves

Your audience is angry, or at least touchy. About politics, religion, terrorism, neighbors, noise, congestion and loathsome TV ads. You are as apt to be slammed for trying to be politically correct as when you actually are politically incorrect.

Anger is everywhere. On social media. In coffee shops. Over back fences. Some people are angry they have gotten off the sofa, stood in line and voted. In Arizona, they camped in line to vote.

No topic is exempt from anger. Every topic is toxic. The job market. The stock market. The housing market. Even the supermarket.

No one is spared anger. Muslims. Mexicans. Gays. Women. Insensitive employers. Wealthy tax evaders. Creepy Uber drivers.

angry-personIt’s as if the world has divided itself up into camps – socialists, sycophants and sociopaths.

Bloggers need a map – and maybe a face mask.

Metadata analysis shows my gentler, whimsical blogs attract fewer eyeballs than posts that rant and rave. People are not only angry; they demand a regular diet of anger.

This reality has caused me to rethink my approach to blogs about edible insects, human composting and Malala. I could I have channeled anger through these topics? Why waste a good insect for human consumption? Are dead people good enough to fertilize plants? How could a teenage girl be this unbelievably wise and noble?

Blogging about presidential candidates provokes more smirks than smacks. Candidates who can’t articulate their views on abortion or who denigrate New York values without realizing they will be campaigning in New York. Or candidates who can’t describe how to break up big banks or who can’t extricate themselves from a scandal over email. It’s more pathetic than provocative.

The only thing that incites more than words are pictures. Videos can spark revolutions or endless tirades. A woman shouting at Florida Governor Rick Scott about health care cuts evoked angry outbursts from the left and right. She was ticked off. The Governor was miffed. Everyone else was incensed.

bpunderwear-661x441If you blog in this environment, you better wear bullet-proof underwear. My post about the Senate GOP refusal to consider an Obama Supreme Court nominee drew praise and tomatoes. One critic said I was ignoring the legacy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and bowing in front of the altar of “case law” and “judicial precedence.” You can’t get angrier than that.

What it boils down to is that if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Personally, I’ve written some of my best stuff in the kitchen, so I’m not inclined to desert it. The pleasant colors, familiar surroundings and furry presence of of our dog make it hard to stir anger. But if I want readership, I need to feed the beast.

All I have to do is figure out how to assume the role of madman and make the misuse of hyphens seem like a national disgrace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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