Death of a Dictator

A few days ago I blogged about the demise of Fidel Castro and how my Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, praised him in a speech. Here’s a well balanced and interesting post I found that I think you might enjoy.

Sharp and Pointed

Fidel Castro

by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

It’s time to speak ill of the dead.  It’s been time for nearly a century. Since 1919, the left in both the U.S. and Europe has had a dictator-worship problem. First it was Lenin; then it was (yes) Stalin; then Mao; most recently the dictator of choice has been Fidel Castro.

To illustrate the depth and nature of this problem, let me recount an incident from Cuba in the 1960s. In the 1970s, a maoist friend told me about his experiences there as part of a Venceremos Brigade a decade earlier. (Venceremos Brigades were bands of American leftists who traveled to Cuba to work in the cane fields in support of “the revolution.”) At one point, Fidel himself showed up where they were working in the fields. My friend told me that the reaction of his fellow brigadistas was like that of 14-year-olds at a Beatles concert.

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Don’t Be a Testicle

Was reading a post earlier about language we use that marginalizes groups of people, especially minorities or vulnerable populations.

It reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my partner. 

We were discussing how some people (mostly men) call others a ‘pussy’, implying that they are being girl-like and weak like a female.

The funny thing is that my partner’s lady bits are far more resiliant than my man bits. Hers are capable of giving birth to a fairly large human being. 

Even the thought of small trauma to my testicles makes me cringe. A kick or even a brush of that sensitive area hurts like hell and is likely to cause vomiting or curling into a ball.

If anything, my partner explained, we shouldn’t be weak and sensitive like a testicle. Being a pussy should be a sign of resilience. 

Funny but true. 

PS: Typed this on my phone. Sorry for any mistakes ahead of time. 

Getting Back To The Things That Bring Me Joy

 

20160619_181846

My daughter trying to snap pictures of me while I resist. It was nice to see her smile.

It very much seems like I took a year long sabbatical from life. I just went through the motions and left behind many of the things that had previously brought me joy.

I stopped anything I was doing on social media. I stopped blogging. I stopped working on my YouTube channel.

Yesterday I received an email from a follower of my YouTube channel that asked me to come back. It filled me with a kind of wonder that someone (a stranger) would take the time to write me and tell me that my channel brought them happiness.

While I still read periodically, for that year I didn’t devour books at a ferocious pace like I usually do.

I worked. I slept. I read a little. I looked after Dex and tried to find my place in the world.

After receiving that email, I decided to get back to YT. I’ve already begun working on this blog again.Now it’s time to get back to working on my channel as well, so I went and got a video editing software that will help me do that. I’m currently watching tutorials that will help me navigate the software.

My partner thinks I’m crazy watching boring tutorials and ‘arguing with people online’ but those are things that make me happy.

Slowly but surely I seem to be coming awake again and doing the things that brought me joy.

Thank you to those who have stuck with this blog. It’s nice to see your comments once again.

Loving Your Readers – Even The Ones That Disagree With You

In my last post, ‘When Do You Call It Quits in a Relationship‘, I took quite a bit of flak from a few readers.

One reader (you can view all the comments by following the link above) said, “Actually, I didn’t know if I could be quite this blunt with GC, since I haven’t commented that much over here.”

This made me feel good. It’s what I strive for with this blog. I want this to be a safe haven for people to voice their views. I’m all about free-speech and do not censor people for voicing opinions different from my own.

If you disagree with my post, feel free to say so.

Does my post anger you?

Tell me why.

I want people to feel comfortable enough to blast me when they think I’m wrong.

I can take it.

And I feel the same way about the comment section. I don’t delete people who say things I disagree with or disallow their comment because it might hurt my feelings. I want people to debate and share ideas. Some people even say things that I find utterly ridiculous, but their comment will still show up in my comment section because I feel they have a right to be heard.

Another reader said, “Sorry for the semi harsh”.

No need to be sorry! Lots of people say that they have thick skin and don’t get offended easily, but then get offended at the first sign of disagreement. I assure you, I am not one of those people. I’m fully capable of being wrong or of being a schmuck and in an attempt to be fully honest on this blog, I throw it out there for people to read.

A place to share uncensored ideas is what I have always envisioned for this blog. I don’t want people to be sorry for taking the time to read my stuff and sharing their own honest opinion.

You are the readers I value most.

So thank you all for reading and having the courage to write what you think and feel. I applaud each and every one of you.

This blog exists and brings me joy because of you.

 

How Often Do You Post?

I mean, dudes cute right?
Not that kind of post, silly!  http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/48140

Not that kind of post, silly!
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/48140

A blog I follow recently (August 19) published a blogging 101 tips post that had some great ideas for bloggers. If you have time, follow the link to read it. It’s well worth the look.

In it she gave her opinion about how often you should post.

She said:

If you’re a serious blogger, you should write at least one article a day. If you only post once a month or once a year, people aren’t going to bother to keep checking your blog for new material (of course, not all bloggers care about visibility and are writing primarily for themselves and that’s okay too, but if you’re that kind of blogger, you have no use for this article anyway).

There will be days you can’t think of anything original or are just too tired to write, so then it’s okay to reblog someone else’s post, post a video you like, a funny or attractive photograph, a joke, a meme, or what have you. But make sure you do post original material often. People will lose interest in a blog that’s nothing but a compendium of other people’s material.

I might be *gasp* a serious blogger, since I try to post once per day.

Oh wait! I don’t usually post on weekends. I’m not a serious blogger yet, ladies and gentlemen!

But I totally get what she’s saying. I think it does help to keep your blog healthy if you’re constantly adding new content. Once a day generally works for me, although I sometimes skip a day because *shrug* life tends to get in the way.

I should probably post ahead when I have time and put it on auto-publish, but I don’t bother doing that. Of course, Lucky Otter has more subscribers (Oh, how I hate the ‘follower’ title!) than I do so I’d listen to her over trying out my lazy blogging method.

*Mesmerizing voice* Do as I say, not as I do.

I’m not going to lie and say I don’t like subscribers or that I don’t care about them. I do. If I didn’t, I’d make this blog private and do my own thing.

However, I try to write once per day more because I find enjoyment in it. Sometimes I’ll post twice and sometimes I won’t post at all. I do try to post (at the very least) every third day so that there is a fairly steady flow of new content for people to read if they so choose. I try to mix up the content between personal posts, interest pieces, religious and non-religious stuff and pictures – mostly of my baby boy, Dexter.

I mean, dudes cute right?

See what they make me do? 

So how often do you post and does it work for you?

Personally, I think if you’re posting just to grow your blog, it might mean you lose interest. It starts to feel like a job, rather than a labor of love. Still, I think if you like to post once or more times per day, you should definitely do so.

So thanks for the tips, Otter, and for anyone reading, feel free to leave your opinions in the comment section.

My Pledge: I Will Never Ban Comments

I-disagree-with-youI like to think this blog encourages open, honest and civil dialogue between people of faith, atheists and everything in between. I try to make sure that I don’t personally attack people who post on this blog, and I welcome people who think differently than I do – or who flat out disagree with me – to post their comments here.

I pledge never to ban comments on my blog for disagreeing with me. Nor will I ban people who disagree with other people who comment on this blog. Challenging comments or even comments I personally disagree with will appear on this blog and that won’t change.

Now, if I find someone abusing other people on this blog, warnings may happen and if those warnings are ignored, then a banning may occur.

However, I’d like to point out that I have never banned someone from this blog or any other one that I’ve owned in the past. The free exchange of ideas and information is part of what I want this blog to stand for. Banning or moderating comments so they don’t appear on this blog will only be done as a last resort…unless you’re an annoying solicitor who just wants to drop a link to the products you’re trying to sell. In that case, to the spam filter for you.

I’ve noticed an increasing amount of blogs that moderate, delete or ban commenting and that’s definitely not the vision I had of this blog when I first started posting on WordPress. I’ll close up shop before I let that happen in my tiny corner of the Internet.

Those of you who do comment, I want to thank you once again. You guys and gals rock!

What Gets You To Follow A Blog?

Unless they're cute pictures of a dog

I tend to follow blogs and tags, and when I find a blog I like I hit the ‘follow’ button. Almost every day, I go to my reader and read posts by the people I follow, then I hit my tags and look for new authors.

But what draws you to a blog? What gets you to hit that ‘follow’ button?

So in no particular order, here’s a few of the top things I look for in a blog before I hit ‘follow’.

  • Content: Obviously, the content has to interest me. But even if the subject doesn’t necessarily interest me, if the author can present it in a way that is entertaining or interesting, that will get me to read on and possibly hit the ‘follow’ button.
  • Switch Up: This kind of relates to the first point, but it’s slightly different. I tend to like blogs that post about different things. Sure, themed blogs are awesome, but it’s nice to read personal posts or see pictures or something different now and then. I also like learning about the author – not in a stalking-like way but in an interested person sort of way. I try to do this in my blog as well, because I find it so important when I’m looking at blogs.
  • Easy to read: I like blogs that are easy to read and navigate. It might be because I’m inherently lazy, but I don’t want to struggle to read your post against a harsh background or have no way to navigate through your content. I’m also beginning to hate the small comment box in some themes. As you’re typing, the box is unbelievably thin and you can’t see what you wrote before the current line you’re typing. Maddening!
  • The author cares: I think you can tell when a blogger cares about their audience. When they write about a topic they provide links, do research and talk to their readers. These little things really draw me in. Sometimes it’s the little things about a blog that I love.

I’ve read through blogs that tell people what they should do to create a great blog, and I’m sorry…but some of their tips I don’t care about.

Here’s two examples:

Pictures: Honestly, if you provide me with food-for-thought, make me laugh, make me think, make me cry (or sniffle…I don’t cry…honest) and there’s no picture, I don’t care. Pictures are over-rated in my opinion. I do like seeing pictures but they’re certainly not what makes me ultimately follow a blog.

Unless they're cute pictures of a dog

Unless they’re cute pictures of a dog

Or dorky pictures of the blog owner

Or dorky pictures of the blog owner

In those cases I’m all for the pictures.

Just saying’.

Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimizing your blog for search engines might be a great tip, but I find it makes many blogs unreadable. I don’t want to see the same search engine catch-phrase sprinkled throughout your blog post. It’s obvious and annoying. Just write what you want and let Google do with it what it will. That’s what I think anyways, although I’m probably 100% wrong.

So what sorts of things get you to hit the ‘follow’ button?