A Message For Filosofa’s Readers And Friends

Dear Friends …

In recent days, I have received some feedback about some of my posts that has given me pause. I take all feedback seriously, and these have left me in a quandary.  I value all who read my blog, and those who have said my writing is becoming too dark, are long-time, loyal readers whom I consider friends, and I do not want to lose them as either readers or friends.

However, the entire purpose of my blog is to speak out against the things I see as social injustice, threats against our nation, and humanitarian issues both in the U.S. and around the globe.  If I did not write about those things, then I could not write, as those are the things that matter to me.  I simply cannot write about relationships, cooking, or fashion, and I have no small children at home whose antics I can share.  I absolutely cannot write either poetry or fiction, as the results come out flatter than a piece of cardboard. I write about politics and global issues … it is who I am and what I do.  I do write my Monday Morning Politic-free posts once a week, usually on Sunday evening, and while I have a lot of fun with those, they are also a struggle, as I am usually thinking about some issue that I really need to be researching and writing about.

I have lived in this country all my life, was raised on both the East and West coasts, by extremely liberal parents, during the Civil Rights era, so my interest in politics and humanitarian issues dates back to around age four, nearest I can figure.  I do remember the 1956 presidential election between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson … I sat on the floor and kept track of the results with marbles (yes, those same marbles I recently lost!).  Even though I have always cared deeply about issues such as I write about, I spent my adult life busy with a career as an accountant, raising three children, one severely disabled, driving a school bus, serving as an advocate on the local school board, and earning various degrees … all of which left little time to pursue creative efforts or use my voice to support my interests and beliefs.  It is only since I retired from the corporate world that I have been able to do this, and I find it to be both rewarding and, at times, stressful.

On the flip side, I do understand the grievances of some readers.  Many live outside the U.S., and I’m sure are getting tired of hearing and reading of the darkness that is descending here, when they have their own worries at home.  Others tell me my posts just add too much stress to their already stressful lives.  I hear you all and am trying to figure out what to do about it …

confused-3So, you can see my quandary … I absolutely do not want to disappoint my reader-friends, but I feel compelled to keep on taking a stand and making my voice heard.  My friend Herb frequently tells me that I over-think things … he is probably right … but that is also part of who I am. I can see that I must try to lighten up a bit, perhaps write more about that which takes place in other parts of the world as well, and perhaps try to inject more good news (when I can find it) into my posts.  But there is much going on in this nation and around the world that is deeply disturbing and I cannot remain silent on those issues, because I foresee some very real dangers on the horizon.

So, I am asking you, dear friends, to help me out a bit with my quandary.  Let me know what you like and don’t like about my posts, give me some suggestions for improving this blog and making it one that you look forward to reading, one that you learn from, and one that makes you think but not too hard!  And please, stick with me here … I value you all, love reading your comments, and think of you as friends.

43 thoughts on “A Message For Filosofa’s Readers And Friends

  1. I say keep doing your thing. The way I see it, there are thousands upon thousands of blogs on WordPress. People can search for any topic they’re into at any time and get hundreds of results. If someone isn’t feeling up for the seriousness of your blog on a given day, then they can scroll past and search for something more their taste and pop in later.

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  2. Dear Jill, I hope I didn’t contribute to this with my insincere threat to stop reading?! The world is so turbulent at the moment that I am torn between reading everything I can lay my eyes on and hiding behind the sofa till someone tells me I can come out. But it’s likely, I fear, to be a long wait. I love your blog, even though, sometimes, it’s telling me that things that I vainly hoped were exaggerated, misreported, sensationalised, are actually truths … I’m sure I’m not the only one, so, isn’t that reason enough to continue? I’m not in the US but my husband’s a dual citizen, having opted to become British 2 years ago after living here for more than two decades. His siblings – 4 of them and their families – all live in the States as does his elderly mother. We have more than a passing interest in what goes on – and since Brexit here have felt more and more uncertain of our world. I may not read all you write every day but I do catch up – I have to write myself and sometimes need to be in a different mental state from that induced by exposure to more news of the Trump’s doings. Keep on keeping on – if I need cheering up don’t worry, I can go do a search for baby pandas 😉

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    • My friend … yours was, in fact, one of the comments that made me stop and think, as was Hugh’s, but it was a good thing, so please do not feel badly. I gave much consideration to my posts, the direction of my blog, and why I write as I do. Two great benefits came from the process. First, I stepped back for a moment and questioned myself, which is something we should all do from time to time. It is easy to take a path and stay on it just because it is the simplest solution, without questioning whether what we are doing has value. Second, I was blessed with an enormous response that I never would have predicted of people saying my blog helps them understand, they like my blog, and with each comment I read, I was both humbled and gratified. In the long run, I decided that I must keep doing what I do because it is what I believe in, because it is the only way I know to fight the horrors that I am seeing. I fully understand yours, Hugh’s and Jack’s (he is also in the UK) feelings … there are some blogs I often pass over for that very reason. I was serious when I said I consider you more than just a reader, but a friend also, and I understand that some of my posts will go unread, but I am happy to hear you say you love my blog and that you will stick with me! These are hard times … the hardest in my 65 years at least … and having friends is what keeps me sane (if, in fact, it can be said that I am sane 🙂 ) Thanks so much for your support. And yes, baby pandas are always good for a smile! And koalas … don’t forget the koalas! 🙂

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  3. Dear Jill! Just stay true to yourself! Your posts are great – full of insight and thought, well researched … and funny even in dark times! My only concern would also be your own peace of mind. If it is too stressful to dwell on the dark things happening these days, take a break. We don’t want you to become ill because of worrying! But as long as you feel strong, just go on! I always enjoy your blog, and I quote it in real life a lot to my friends and family. Some even started asking me “what does your blogging friend in the US say about this?” 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, dear friend! I had a huge smile when I read your last sentence! Thank you so much for your support and kind words … it means a lot. And I will be writing the same as always … after some soul-searching and reading these positive comments, I believe it is what’s right for me.

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  4. I, for one,look forward to your blog every day. It gives me insight and is a barometer of my own feelings. Believe it or not, I’m a lifelong Republican, but I am disgruntled with my party’s leadership and choice as president. People who are unhappy with your message can do what I do with both Fox News and CNN, they can choose not to view it. I do believe, however, that the number of people that will come over to your point of view from ‘the Dark Side’ will increase over time. Feedback with disagreement is better than no feedback. I guarantee you that those who are argumentative with your message will read your blog every day just to feed their opposition. I see the truth in your message and I hope you stay the course. Those that live in other countries are kidding themselves if they don’t think the actions of our current administration won’t affect them in some way.

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    • Don, your words brought a HUGE smile to my face. I had already figured out that I will keep doing what I do … couldn’t really do otherwise … but your words reinforced that decision. I’m not sure about people from “the Dark Side” ever coming around, but I shall keep trying, for to do otherwise would be a silent assent, and I cannot do that. Thank you for your comment … it made my day!

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  5. What quandary? What is the purpose of your effort? Essential truth, or popularity? Americans live a fantasy world created by people who shirk their duty in calling a compulsive, pathological ‘spade’ a spade, and you’re wilting that way due to a few sensibilities! Andrew Jackson was a genocidal mass murderer and hardly anyone knows, he’s remembered as a celebrity: choose that path and please your ‘friends/readers, or stick with truth. Or start a 2nd blog for alternative facts.

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    • You are so right. My purpose? Essential truth … trying to convince those who wear blinders to remove them and wake up! Nope … there will be no alternative blog and no alternative facts … I’m going to keep on trying to pull back that curtain, show people what is happening under our very noses, fight for what is right, and hope that people care enough to listen. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

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  6. Hi! I don’t know the people of whom you speak, but I do know that if we don’t let/make ourselves hear the truth, it is all to easy to avoid it. Avoiding the truth in the past is one of the reasons we have a Holocaust Remembrance Day today. One always has the choice to NOT read a post (like changing the channel), but the world is not a pretty place these days, and NOT writing the truth about it does not make that untrue. I will keep reading whatever you post, but I hope you find a way to remain true to your own convictions. Thanks for telling it like it is!!

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    • Thank you for your supportive words, my friend. No worries … after much soul-searching and many supportive posts like yours, I have found my way. No, I cannot do it differently than I do … perhaps on occasion I might try to not be quite so snarky … but heck, snarky is FUN! So thanks, and all is well. 🙂 Keep that basement room open for me, though, in case I get run out of the country by da trumpeter! 🙂

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  7. I agree with David: “My worry is that you’re investing yourself with so much of the frustrations and emotion of the time that you might make yourself ill.” But as for me, if I find the blogs too stressful, I will simply skim them or stop reading them. It’s my problem. You should keep writing (with David’s concern in mind) because you do it so well.

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    • Thank you, my friend. You are one that I most do not want to lose … I always look forward to your comments, and you often make me think about things from a different point of view. 🙂 And yes, I will keep yours and David’s concerns in mind … I’d rather like to live another year or two 🙂

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  8. I enjoy reading your articles. Not only that, they are informative and pretty level-headed considering recent events. It also comforts me that I’m not alone in my recognition, alarm, or foreboding. There are some conservative pockets and friends around here that sometimes make me question my sanity or hearing. No, it’s good to know that I heard what I heard and read what I read and your posts deal in the facts and repercussions. I enjoy that.

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  9. While it is good to listen to what others say, it is also good to then determine if the comments are good advice. They may be perfectly valid statements, observations and comments, but that doesn’t mean you have to act on them. This is your space for doing what you want, unless you’re getting paid by some over-boss? Are you? If so, can I get in on the gig?

    I would assume that most who are filing by here are adults, and as adults we can pick and choose. I have mentioned several times (like here: https://wtfaioa.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/white-chocolate-kittens/ ) that for my own sanity (and I mean that literally), I do have to monitor my news reading. I have chosen not to routinely read op/ed blogs that are devoted to political subjects. I prefer to go as directly as I can to the source and so read major news outlets for that, and even then, I do so judiciously and in a metered way. So, while I still follow your blog, the post highlights come to my email, I scan the headlines, and if it is political, I’ll probably not read it. Mondays and other things? I read.

    Does that mean that I think you should change your writing preferences to match my current reading preferences? No.

    You can’t please everyone. You usually can’t please anyone on the Internet. This is your place, write it loud and proud.

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    • Thank you! I appreciate your perspective …and you are right … we all have to decide what is right for our own space. I don’t mind those who disagree, even those who call me an idiot, but serious comments telling me I might be getting too dark made me stop and think. And sometimes it IS good to stop and think, assess what you’re doing. Thanks again … I appreciate your input!

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      • It is one thing to disagree, another to call someone an idiot. As blog owners we have the really cool advantage about being able to select what comments we allow, and if we allow them (sometimes it is nice to let trolls look like trolls), we can control the way the conversation goes. I’m thinking a lot about trolls these days…

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    • Thanks Eddie! I appreciate your positive feedback, and you are right. To do anything less would take the joy out of what I do. Well, okay … some days there is joy, other days not so much … but I feel good when I have made a stand for something I believe in. Thanks again!

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  10. well Jill, these are what might be called the New Dark Ages. It is difficult to write about things such as the atrocious carryings-on coming out of Trump’s pen by the stack. The key to writing about this kind of stuff without kicking oneself in the slats every day is to try not to take it so personally. I know, the happenings are outrageous…I know that, and agree with your distaste and despair. and the frustration at trying to make sure readers are informed of what is going on…this happens to me all the time. It really makes me ill thinking about it…every time I switch to CNN (I refuse to watch Fox or some of the others) there is a new horror.

    I have been accused of “hating my country…” which is disturbing to me, because nothing is farther from the truth…I acquaint it with having a close relative that I love very much spending their life in prison for some serious crime…I would love that person no less, but would hate the bad things they do. Same with my country…I love the land where I was born, the ideals to which we adhere (or are supposed to,) and the thing that disturbs me is the terrible crimes our country has perpetrated and the fact that a huge segment of the population either doesn’t know about it, or….worse…doesn’t care, and/or if they do know…or care…they think its just fine to do terrible things.

    I wouldn’t say your posts are “dark,” so much as they are “intense,” and “painful.” I know from experience that researching and writing about “bad” things that our country does in the name of….well, whatever: anti-communism, patriotism, feigned outrage at things other countries do….such as invade their neighbors, send in undercover entities to create havoc…in my case as a Latin American Historian, this … unease, distaste, regret, abhorrance… is chock full of atrocities against those who—as has been said by one of our own leaders—“are so far from God and so close to the United States.”

    It is very, very hard to remain cool and calm while being emersed in History and Politics. And I’m not so sure that is even a good idea….what Evil would be perpretated without the leveling hand of writers (such as you) writing about and publishing this kind of truth. When someone tells me I “can’t do anything about it” when I complain about politics, I tell them “oh yes…writing, talking, remarking about these issues serves the purpose of dispensing information…”

    So…by all means…keep up the good work, Jill! When you hit a nerve, then you know its all worthwhile. 🙂

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    • Thank you … you gave me a different perspective on it, with the same results and conclusions … that I shall keep doing as I have been and hope that it has some value. From the comments I have received this evening, I think it must have some value … and I am feeling … I guess fulfilled is the right word, by all the positive things everybody has said. I needed to think about it all, but in the end, I think this is my niche and my style, and I am doing what I believe is right. Thanks again!

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      • You do a great job of dispensing information, a valuable asset. It is difficult to convince negative-thinkers just by telling them things…but once they are armed with the “true facts” the burden of understanding is upon them. The Donnie is not unsuitable because I say so…but the key is in providing information and hoping it falls on receptive or open ears.

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        • Agreed! Even as thoroughly as I research and check the credibility of my sources, I have sometimes gotten it wrong. But when people simply eschew the facts, or say “it doesn’t matter”, I am rather at a loss as to how to proceed … both of those are conversation stoppers.

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  11. I’m really sorry you’ve received such worrying feedback on your posts. As you know I live in the UK and knowing you’re in a position to get much closer to the truth than I, I’ve come rather to rely on your posts for the current position and for facts. Yes your posts are fairly dark but I find that to be representative of the times and of course the flow of news is continuous as Trump tests Democracy to it’s limits so that frequency may have given your friends cause for concern.
    My worry is that you’re investing yourself with so much of the frustrations and emotion of the time that you might make yourself ill. I know only too well how easy it is to forget to sleep as things run over and over in your mind. At the end of the say only you will know what you can cope with and what kind of compromise will please your worried friends. I’ll accept whatever decision you make.
    xxx Cwtch mawr xxx

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    • Thank you, David! You are a treasure! The comments were not cruel or of mal intent at all … they just started me wondering if I was, in fact, taking things too far, especially as they were from readers that are also friends in the virtual world. But after much thought and the outpouring of positive comments, I realize that, while I may try not to rant quite so loudly, I must keep doing what I do, for it is what I believe is right. Still, it was good to think it through and assess what I’ve been doing and prioritize a bit. And yes, I have had trouble sleeping and often forget to eat, but … I am aware of it and trying to do better. I don’t think you sleep either, do you? Thanks again for your kind words and support! Cwtch mawr!

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  12. Hi Jill.

    Though I don’t comment a whole lot on your blog, I enjoy your posts. As an artist myself, though mostly in sound, I too find that political art isn’t as popular as other works that I create that have no particular theme or a relatively neutral one, like space for instance, but still, I have to go where my vision takes me and if that’s into some very dark corners, so be it, as one of my inspirations John Zorn, said in an interview some time ago.

    I hear my cat playing with something in the hallway that sounds like a marble and I’ll leave you with this musical track that I stumbled upon the other day in reference to the man of orange himself. You may get a chuckle out of how the artist put trumps own words together, I know it gave me a bit of a laugh and that’s something we all can certainly use these days.

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  13. Dear Jill,
    These are dark times. I feel that everything that is special about this country is under attack. How can you not write about this? Someone has to deal with reality.

    We have a duty to care about the next person. I even care about those who voted for DT, because eventually, they’ll figure out DT is full of hot air and then what? For once in my life, I really, really want to be wrong, but I am afraid that this is just wishful thinking.

    Hugs, Gronda

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    • Thanks Gronda! You are much like me, and I knew you would understand why I write as I do. Just needed to do a bit of self-analysis, but I think you’re right … I cannot change how I write anymore than I couldn’t change the number of toes on my feet. 😀 Hugs!

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