Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Closing of the Rogers Park Mind?

Some know me. Others question why I try to maintain my anonymity. The reasons are practical. I don’t want to be a public figure nor derive notoriety or pleasure from my political position; it changes over time. I am not looking for attention, just communication. I don’t want to be the neighborhood blog bully or the most read blog about Rogers Park. I don't want to take pot shots to a private audience. All that I want to do is occasionally point out my pet peeves, preferences and positive thoughts to create constructive, and objective dialogue in Rogers Park.

A flurry of inconsistent but ongoing insults and pessimism won't improve the community. If someone goes inward and limits comments, then they create a one sided dialogue limited to an inner circle of like minded 'yes men.'

I appreciate compliments, but want to know whether I'm missing something, even from those who disagree. It happens. If I digress or criticize people who want notoriety, then I don’t take pleasure in the anxiety and frustration, but the outcome. I want change, but micro-managing a community doesn't work, nor fixating on national issues.

I try to steer people in a positive and less pessimistic direction, but am not a member of some sort of optimist's club. Perhaps, we need an Optimists Club in Rogers Park. Sometimes, I fail to communicate or miss the mark. We live among a few folks who occasionally ‘appear’ to thrive on attention at the emotional and public expense of others. Perhaps, we all have our moments. Perpetual criticism or kvetching is a concern.

It is okay to thrive on attention and criticize, when some good is accomplished. Yet, it seems unjust to me to nauseate the public. Also, focusing on what is going wrong, rather than what is going well in Rogers Park misses the mark. It is okay to report on the Police Blotter. It is okay to challenge politicians. Good faith attempts at political humor are appreciated.

However, calling someone a “slime ball” or personally attacking them simply for taking a political position that may open an intellectual dialogue are the marks of a blog bully. I am seeing some change and change is good. I have to complement some recent posts by Mr. Mannis as well as his report on the asbestos. I guess that I have never stepped into Moore's office to appreciate the money talks allegations, but regret the reports of those who feel that way.

Unfortunately, our media, whether it be ABC, CNN, NBS, or Fox cater to a broad series of niches and viewers. Networks now look for people who are not as cunning or concise as the Ed Bradleys’, Dick Cavetts’, and William Safires.’ In an effort to annoy and nauseate moderates, some abuse those who take a position by writing or attempting to help. The idea of just ‘hearing someone out’ has become a nuisance in the age of sound bites and insensitivity, not sensibility.

This is not an ode to the politically correct. It is acceptable to incorporate 'clever humor' in any public debate, but humor that comes at the expense of others may bring anger and hostility. Some focus on the issues and others on the individuals. Therefore, there are those who don’t know me, who will attack me for not coming out of the relative privacy of my closet. I have entrusted those who are either part of the media or simply neighbors with the option of knowing.

Some may recognize me by what I write or because I thought that what I wrote was worth their attention. Whether I think that the most prolific appreciate how to express themselves to Rogers Park in the midst of these challenges depends upon the moment. I think that we have a few Rebel’s without a Cause.


Al Iverson said...

Good post!

Linda Jackson said...

Hi there, The Rogers Park community would benefit greatly from an Optimist Club! Check in with your friends at the Evanston Optimist Club to learn how to get one started: or contact Optimist International at (800) 500-8130 and ask to speak to Brian.

twestgard said...

Interesting thoughts. Blogging in Rogers Park will really test your boundaries, and sometimes you see things that go past them.

lafew said...

Thanks for your thoughts Linda, I wish that we could encourage a few from Memphis to come up north and be charter members. However, my wife insists that I am a pessimist. I don't believe her, but can always improve my manners.

Fargo said...

Thank you! We would all be better off with a bit more civility in our world.

Angela said...

Thanks for this a post. I'm avid lurker at here and really enjoy your optimism. Blogs like broken heart may serve a purpose but its hard to get past the continuous negativity it puts forth. I live here, its not all good, I acknowledge that, but its defintely not all bad and it IS improving.