I can’t win, can I?

From “Danny,” re: a recent entry on Cowboy Bebop’s “Jupiter Jazz:”

For better or worse, I was drawn into your blog simply because I love that show (Cowboy Bebop) more than any program on television.
It’s great to me for several reasons.
Regardless of my love for it though, your blog seems a bit sad to me. I wouldn’t use the word “pathetic,” because that’s harsh and unnecessary; but sad because it’s silly.
Of course it’s a very well-written show that’s highly entertaining, but it’s fiction.
It seems that you’re analyzing the fiction and drawing conclusions based on fantasy.
Keep loving the show; I know I will, but blog about something real. I get the feeling you’re talented enough to do so.

I’ll let you guys respond to this – you’ve been my biggest defenders and promoters, and I know you’ll take umbrage at this. One of these days I’ll start blogging the hate mail and “you suck” comments I’ve received publicly and privately. None of it bugs me, but anyone that thinks blogging is easy is an idiot. This is very hard work that allows any number of assholes and ingrates to take their shot at you. I have to call the trolls who say such things out at this point; they demonstrate the attitude which many of us are combating in this world in indirect ways.

Anyone reading this who wonders why I might write that’s “real” should take a look at the following entries:

  • John Keats, “To Autumn” – perhaps the poem analysis I’m proudest of.
  • Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address – despite how much I promote this, it gets virtually no attention.
  • Yeats, “Easter 1916” – one of those things of which I felt after finishing that I didn’t have to write anything else anymore. Everything had been said.
  • William Blake, “The Tyger” – everyone reads it in high school, but why?
  • Xenophon, “Agesilaus” – as good as it gets. I bring up classical texts that few read, let alone write about, make them accessible to a general audience, and give an idea or two that could hold its own in an academic setting, even if refuted. I’m not bragging. When I’ve gotten the opportunity, I’ve done this sort of thing as often as I possibly could.
  • Plato, “Menexenus” – has to be revised, I think, but I stand by most of it. Devin Stauffer and Sue Collins have an excellent little introduction to this dialogue that I read some time ago, and that’s got the key ideas explained clearly.

There’s more of course, but one has to care to look. I’ve been getting a lot of “it’s impossible to find anything on your site” from people, and when I refer them to the Index or search functions, they get pissed. I understand this is not the easiest site to use. But to pretend like as if I’m getting paid to cater to every whim – as if since I’m begging for attention, I don’t deserve any to begin with – that’s not right. If blogging has taught me anything, it’s taught me to be more grateful for those who care, because the defining trait of the world today is its profound ungratefulness.


  1. Your analyses rock.

    My rss is filled with news, finance and other pertinent ‘gotta know right now’ items. Coming here to read your thoughts is a fruit I try to pick every chance I get.

  2. I haven’t spent a lot of time on your blog yet. Just found you because of a comment you made on Half Past Kissin’ Time saying you found her through my blog. (Thanks for the shout out though I’m left wondering when and how you found me in the first place. {smile}) Anyway … this topic speaks to me because I have been wondering lately myself exactly what gives others the right to critique and criticize our blogging. Just because we allow comments does that mean someone has the right to be cruel? It seems that I am seeing more of this lately and I simply do not understand what benefit anyone can gain by being unkind to someone else. I’m sorry you were the victim of such abuse and hope you don’t allow it to stop you from writing what is in your heart!

  3. > but sad because it’s silly.
    > Of course it’s a very well-written show that’s highly entertaining, but it’s fiction.
    It seems that you’re analyzing the fiction and drawing conclusions based on fantasy.

    I don’t think this really needs any reply. He, it seems to me, is denying that there is any utility or truth to be found in fiction. This is a silly position on its own, and has been argued against for millennia. (The Republic, actually, comes to mind for a (half-hearted) defense of fiction.) There’s no point in running over old ground.

    Of course, if I’m wrong and he’s simply denying that anime or CB specifically hold no lessons, then that strikes me as obviously wrong or perhaps simply reflective of snobbery or cultural xenophobia – which are even less worth arguing against.

  4. Writing about deep things is a huge job. It’s much easier to write about things that are futile and I think the person that sent you that email may have never written a truly deep piece in his life.
    I also have gotten this kind of rude remark by email and even in the comment section of my blog. There are plenty of good hearted people that enjoy what I do and I tend to completely ignore those that just want to take a stab at me because they have nothing better to do in their lives.
    I hope you don’t allow this kind of ignorant comment to bother you anymore.
    All the best,

  5. You write deep meaningful analysis of some very complicated topics. Don’t ever take any negative comments to heart. You are an extremely talented writer and I enjoy your work. I am still digging through some older posts. You have a lot of information on this blog.

    You have that right, blogging is not as easy as people think it is. Not if you are publishing meaningful content.

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