Upon losing 22 followers


The issue comes down to the rights of the whole as opposed to the rights of the parts, but in much of the Western world, we’ve concluded that the two are inseparable. But what does this have to do with my last post? 

Sluttiness is a form of destructive individualism. It passes itself off as free speech, but what value does it add to any discourse? It’s instead nihilistic, its particular statement being that I live in the mud, so won’t you join me? It is born of depravity and seeks to make the unthinkable commonplace until there is no place left to descend. Is this what we want for our children? Did all those people who dropped my blog truly believe that the evil lies within me rather than with the women whose photographs I posted? Do they really favor a society whose only standard of decency is tolerance for everyone except those who, like myself, argue that if no limits are placed upon tolerance, the result is a fall to the bottom because nothing is unthinkable once the public gets used to it? In Rome, people were murdered for entertainment; in Europe, they were burned at the stake; in America, indigenous peoples were shot for target practice. Such is the proclivity of our species for evil. Yet, we in the modern West somehow imagine that we’ve outstripped every people of every era in terms of civilized values and behaviors, and so, for us, it’s ever upward and onward, but does such “freedom” as I depicted look “upward” to you? The following words are from the first amendment to the Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…”

Do you imagine that the writers defined freedom as indecency, vulgarity, and profanity, and that their vision for America was that it be a place where people could, without censure, say, do, and look anyway they pleased, and be respected for it in the name of  “women’s right,” “honoring diversity,” and so forth; and that anyone who doesn’t respect them deserves condemnation for being intolerant, intolerance being the only sin that America has left? What most people define as tolerance, I regard as nothing more than a non-standard by which any indecency is acceptable without anyone being held accountable.

Whatever became of words like honor and dignity? Margaret Deland and Phillips Brooks, moral spokespeople for the late 19th century, put a constant emphasis on facing life’s challenges with virtue, and freely embraced such terms as “manly” and “good woman,” manly and good, that is, in the sense of caring for others, being honest even when the cost was high, and bearing life’s hurts with dignity. In short, being honorable. When is the last time you heard anyone speak of honor, and who do you regard as possessing dignity? We have become a society that lives in filth and triviality, but we don’t call it that. Instead, we refer to it with pride as freedom and individuality. Who are the moral spokespeople of today; that is, who represents what you would want yourself or your children to be—Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Caitlin Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Bernie Sanders? Anyone?

After losing those 22 followers, I can but wonder how my standards can be so despised that looking like the women in my last post is presumably acceptable but calling them what I believe them to be is considered that worst sin of all—intolerance, and we all know that a truly tolerant society cannot  tolerate intolerance because to take intolerance seriously would force us to examine our standards and, perhaps, ask ourselves how deep into the mud we want to slide. Oh but the mud is so smooth, so warm, so unresisting. No one need struggle if their goal is to wallow in the mud, except, that is, against those who tell them they’re wrong. 


Label me sexist, and you need not consider what I have to say. No matter that my criticisms of nearly all men were far more scathing than my criticisms of certain women, “hating” men is politically correct, but “hating” women, why that’s like “hating” Moslems or black people, groups that are beyond criticism no matter how much evil they collectively do. Ah, but then there are those other groups—white males, old people, ranchers, loggers, white Southerners, Christians, atheists (most of all atheists) Republicans, and anyone else who can be identified overtly or through “micro-aggressions”*  as reactionaries, intolerant haters, or out of the mainstream. They are wrong simply because they exist; and every tolerant person knows that there can be no tolerance for those who, by their very nature, swim against the current.

*From Wikipedia: "Psychologist Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as 'brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.' Sue describes microaggressions as generally happening below the level of awareness of well-intentioned members of the dominant culture."

33 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Your loss of followers is blogger rather than you. They have decided that only those with a google account can follow. And removed those who didn't.

Snowbrush said...

They're "enhancing the user experience," no doubt. Does this mean I can't revel in self-righteousness over the mass exodus of people who probably didn't read my blog anyway?

Elephant's Child said...

Revel to your heart's content. Myself I think blogger boffins are justifying their continuing employment by being seen to be doing things. Whether they are needed or wanted is a different question.

Stephen Hayes said...

I just lost over twenty followers also. Irritating though it is, I don't believe there's an exodus from my site. Blogger is just eliminating non-active participants. Bummer.

kylie said...

reveling in self righteousness is always fun!

Kranhu said...

You have gained a follower.

kj said...

The photos turned me off and the subject didn't pull me in. That's my reason, snow.

All Consuming said...

"all men were far more scathing than my criticisms of certain women, “hating” men is politically correct, but “hating” women, why that’s like “hating” Moslems or black people, groups that are beyond criticism no matter how much evil they collectively do." - Hating anyone who isn't an evil despot sinks. It's opinion, that's all, and we often find that which others say on certain subjects offensive, or cruel, or basically wrong. If those people have unfollowed you, they don't know you well enough to see past a difference of opinion, because you aren't a sexist horror, not an evil despot. Hopefully it was due to what Sue said has occurred with google being an arse whilst 'improving' everyone's experience. X

G. B. Miller said...

To elaborate on the first commenter's statement, Blogger is tweaking the programing code for its Followers gadget so that in order to follow, you need a Google account. Personally, I lost 16 followers spread out over three blogs. I know of some popular bloggers who lost up to 20% of their followers due to Blogger/Google tweaking the code.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello, greetings and good wishes.

You have a right to express what you feel and think. There is nothing wrong in it. It is your blog and you have the right to write what you want. Why should any one quit following you?

If someone doesn't like your post, all that they have to do is not to write a comment on the post that offends them but to refuse to follow you is an idiocy and a foolish decision. It is their loss because they don't have an open mind. They want every one they follow to write what they like and that is not possible at all. We are all unique human beings with a different views on every subject under the sun. No one can expect everyone to think like they do, act like they do, talk like they do, write like they do, dress like they do and so on.

Instead of quitting they can counter your post by writing their point of view and that is more sensible. Just because some one has quit you are not going to change your line of thinking.

I have been blogging for a long time and then a time came when I decided to stop blogging. After a year two when I started blogging again I had no friends at all. But I was not discouraged. I started visiting blogs and writing comments and managed to get friends to write comments in my blog. It is a frustrating experience not to have comments on our blogs but this can easily be overcome.

I have lost many friends and I have gained many new friends and therefore there is no need to worry about people quitting your blog.

You are a fabulous thinker and your style of writing is wonderful. I enjoy reading your posts packed with information and knowledge which I will not get anywhere in my normal day to day life.

So cheer up. You are a wonderful person and a fantastic thinker. Not many can write like you.

Best wishes

Charles Gramlich said...

I try not to concern myself with what other people do, although I don't always achieve that goal. I will agree that some groups seem to generally be more protected than other groups from criticism, although a lot of that depends on which segment of the population you typically hang around with.

Myrna R. said...

Yes, I lost followers too. But whoever really wants to read you still will. So, keep writing your opinions.

uthman saheed said...

Google did that to force people to create google accounts. I think its their plan to expand their account holders to enable G+ more social.

Personally, I lose non because non of my subscribers is not a through google account.

With regards to your last post, its your right to express yourself in whatever manner that is moral. And I guessed you've done so.

Snowbrush said...

“I don't believe there's an exodus from my site.”

Maybe you’re more inwardly secure, self-confident, and non-paranoid. Either that or you haven’t Googled “Why I Stopped Following Stephen Hayes.”

“You have gained a follower.”

Thank you, my friend. I will visit you.

“The photos turned me off and the subject didn't pull me in. That's my reason, snow.”

I, too, was so repulsed that I quit following my own blog.

“Hating anyone who isn't an evil despot sinks.”

I can easily think of others to add. I put the word “hate” in quotation marks because, here in America, it’s commonly used simply as a sweeping generalization that is used by liberals to dismiss those they don’t agree with. For instance, if you oppose gay marriage, you’re said to “hate” gay people. If you oppose illegal immigration, you’re said to “hate” foreigners. Likewise, if you think a given cop didn’t shoot a black person BECAUSE he was black, you are said to “hate” black people. Oops, that’s supposed to be African Americans.

“Personally, I lost 16 followers spread out over three blogs.”

My first thought when I saw that I had lost 22 followers was that, “Damn, I had no idea that enough people actually read my blog to get THAT mad.” I’ve had experience losing followers because I pissed them off either through my posts or my responses, but never so many at once, so I did wonder if I was overlooking something. Still, at least one person (KJ) who has followed my blog for upwards of a decade did imply (“The photos turned me off and the subject didn't pull me in. That's my reason, snow”) that my last post was the last straw for her. She began to regard me as a bigot over my posts about cross-racial police shootings, and I guess my last post caused her to lose all belief that I have enough good to say to make it worth her while to come here. Yet, I try so hard to write intelligently enough to make my positions understandable if not acceptable.

“It is their loss because they don't have an open mind.”

People who stop following my blog often do so because they think I have a closed mind, yet they seem utterly unaware of any irony in the fact that it is them who left me and not I who left them. It is the very people who pride themselves on their openness who are the most blind to their intolerance.

Snowbrush said...

“Instead of quitting they can counter your post by writing their point of view and that is more sensible.”

But they won’t. You are rare in that you have not only disagreed with me but stated why you disagreed with me. People commonly just get mad and go away. Maybe they lack confidence in their position, or maybe they just don’t want to spend the time it would take to discuss it, or maybe they think I’m not open to changing my views anyway so it’s not worth discussing it. As to the last point, they are probably right because there are only so many arguments for or against a belief, and I’ve probably heard them all. It’s also true that I throw ideas around in my own head for years sometimes (gay marriage being an example) before even I know what I believe, so it’s not like I come to my beliefs easily, and this means that I’m not likely to be argued out of them easily.

“there is no need to worry about people quitting your blog.”

I’m much more impressed by thoughtful participation than by mere numbers of followers or by one line comments. The thing about blogging is that if you visit other people’s blogs, they’ll probably visit yours, but if you don’t, they won’t. I have followers who have been dead for years or who gave up blogging long ago. I (currently) have over 250 followers and maybe twenty commenters per post, so how many actual readers can this come to? Not many, I shouldn’t think.

“So cheer up.”

The worst thing for me is when I feel that I’m casting my thoughts into the void. It’s regrettable how little influence most of us have, and how badly those who do have influence use it. Silliness and superficiality reign supreme in the minds of most people. I think that this is simply because we are animals who are poorly evolved in many ways. I sometimes reflect that no species lasts forever.

“I will agree that some groups seem to generally be more protected than other groups from criticism”

This is why it is politically acceptable to say that black people, for example, suffer in certain ways but not that they, as a race, act in certain ways. The pretense is that we are all exactly alike.

“So, keep writing your opinions.”

I hate writing some of what I write. It takes a lot of effort, and, of late, the subject has been unpleasant. It’s also true that my life’s energy is on the wane due to age, pain, and pills.

“Google did that to force people to create google accounts”

We’re like cattle being herded into a pen. Google gives, and Google can take away. I try to never forge that Google exists for the sake of making money rather than for doing good. I’m not saying they don’t want to do good too, but simply that the priority is on money even if they have to do evil to get it. How ironic that their self-stated guiding principal is, "Do no evil."

BBC said...

We're just fucking around anyway so don't sweat how many followers you think you have. These counters aren't much good anymore there are stealth ways of getting around them, you may get 70 when you think you got 20.

billy pilgrim said...

followers? i don't see the importance or relevance of followers. any feature that google adds to their services is in my opinion just another snippet of information for the google analytic department to be monetized. almost everything we do in our daily lives is tracked, recorded, analyzed, sold etc. i find levity and lunacy as possible ways to throw a little misdirection into big brother's monitoring of my daily life. shit, we have a new computerized bus pass system where we have to tap in and out every time we board or leave public transportation. privacy is history. maybe i'll get plastic surgery to combat facial recognition.

i find the blogging exercise as a source of entertainment and distraction from the real world to hopefully reduce stress, not add to it by stewing over followers and what other people think about my ideas.

i think mr page and mr brin are the most handsome and philanthropic people on the planet. i also love our local police force, believe justice is balanced and will do every thing in my power to cooperate.

hows that for a little misdirection?

Snowbrush said...

“We're just fucking around anyway so don't sweat how many followers you think you have.”

I agree that the number of people on a list isn’t important, but I do care about the number of actual readers because I put too much time and heart into this blog to not care if anyone reads it.

“I think mr page and mr brin are the most handsome and philanthropic people on the planet. i also love our local police force, believe justice is balanced and will do every thing in my power to cooperate……hows that for a little misdirection?”

Maybe you’re just trying to throw us off, and the line where you say it’s misdirection is the REAL misdirection.

All Consuming said...

I'll discuss, but only until I feel both sides have been stated in a variety of ways and then we're just looping, trying to explain in some new way, yet again, but knowing we're not changing our minds by then. In all honesty I'm too physically tired and in pain to debate much, because it drains me so much, and I'm almost cross-eyed with caring for ma too. I did read the post after all. And I'm no closer to agreeing with you *laughs*, but you've read what I think on the subject, hey, I was the catalyst! A fading one at present. I envy your capability to debate like this, to write so very well despite your own pain and fatigue, and I'm proud of you for doing it regardless to whether I agree or not. X

The Tusk said...

Hope to be reading both of your articles soon enough, you've gained one back.

Snowbrush said...

“I'll discuss, but only until I feel both sides have been stated in a variety of ways and then we're just looping, trying to explain in some new way…”

First, in the comment to which you refer, I wasn’t referring to you, although I can see why you would think I was. Secondly, I share your distaste for going over the same ground, but I don’t see myself as doing that. Rather, what I try to do is to go ever deeper and shave points ever more closely, but not in order to convert anyone (I have almost no optimism regarding that because discussion often fortifies a person’s thoughts rather than changing them), but primarily in the interest of self understanding and secondarily in the interest of being understood.

“I was the catalyst!”

Yes, and that’s a great gift to me because I often wouldn’t know enough to question myself, and this was one of those times.

“I envy your capability to debate like this…”

Thank you, only, again, what you see as I debate, I regard quite differently, but I can understand why you would interpret me as you do. Unlike you, perhaps, the way I blog is a bit of an escape for me in that it takes my attention away from myself and puts it on a semi-intellectual topic, but like you, I’m not doing well of late. I’ve been double dosing on Ambien, and I’m still getting very little sleep, and, yesterday, I found that the Ambien (and other drugs) had kicked my ass, perhaps by making the sleep apnea worse. I have therefore scarcely been out of bed for a full 24-hours because I’m too tired to be up, yet staying in bed makes my back pain worse. Sometimes, the drugs can pose a challenge that’s almost as bad as the pain, so I feel screwed if I take them but screwed if I don’t. On this, I’m sure we are alike. When I’m feeling my worse, it worries me that I won’t be able to make sense in my posts and my responses, so I go over and over and over what I say—as I doing now in responding to you—because I so want to get it right. If there’s one thing I want from life, it’s to keep your friendship, and given that you’re a feminist, this makes this topic especially challenging, yet I’m glad it came up because it interests me and because no deep friendship can be built upon avoiding differences. Of course, few friendships are that deep nor need they be, it being very important to gracefully accept whatever it is that people have to offer. Still, you and I have achieved a depth that is very gratifying to me. If I had gotten nothing from blogging except for you, it would have still been worthwhile... P.S. I love your Happy Dog photo.

“Hope to be reading both of your articles soon enough, you've gained one back.”

Tusky! Where have you been? It has been months if not years.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I too lost a bunch of followers which I stupidly took personally but now I see it is some sort of Google maneuver. I hadn't posted anything controversial recently but then I figured maybe people grew tired of pretty pictures, some of them recently of Oregon. I thought of you as I tolled down I-5.

BBC said...

"I too lost a bunch of followers which I stupidly took personally but now I see it is some sort of Google maneuver."

That doesn't make sense to me, I can't think of a way Google can keep some from your site and allow others, nor can I think of why they would want to do that.

Eliot Rosewater said...

It must be a tremendous responsibility leading so many followers. It's been my experience that the man taking point is the first one to get shot.

Sluts, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention

Snowbrush said...

“I thought of you as I tolled down I-5.”

Thank you. For those who don’t know but care, Interstate 5 is a multi-lane highway that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, and that passes through my town of Eugene, Oregon. It is the main road that people use to get between British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Mexico. I hate it because it’s always crowded and encourages aggressive driving, at least between here and Portland, Oregon, which is about the only place I ever use it to get to. I-5 is often on the news because it’s used to move drugs and people forced into prostitution, is the scene of occasional multi-car collisions (as in 50 or 100 cars), road rage incidents, police chases, and it’s the focal point of such natural disasters as fires, floods, and an occasional earthquake. It’s in some ways a metaphor for what’s wrong with America, and without the Interstate highway system, America would come to a standstill.

“I can't think of a way Google can keep some from your site and allow others, nor can I think of why they would want to do that.”

You have much less faith in Goggle’s technical expertise than I! I can but assume that they did something like the following: They automatically selected everyone who followed the Google blog (Blogspot) without themselves having a Google account, and they hit the delete button. I can but assume that they did this because they’re trying to force the entire world to set-up a Google account by making Google products inaccessible without one.

“It must be a tremendous responsibility leading so many followers.”

Many of my followers don’t even blog anymore, and some are actually dead. So, I have 257 followers on paper, as it were, but far, far fewer readers (that I know of, anyway). Besides, I would write the same whether I had ten or 10,000 readers because I’m not being paid to please people so I’m accountable to anyone. This blog isn’t the exact center of my life, but it’s close, and if I didn’t use it to write exactly as I please, it wouldn’t be worth anything, at least to me.

“It's been my experience that the man taking point is the first one to get shot.”

Yes, that’s true in many situations (you didn’t happen to fight in Vietnam, did you?), but again, I’m not being paid to do this, so I can’t be fired, and I’ve actually had very few truly rabid reactions over the years, although I’ve known people with completely inoffensive blogs who did, so there’s no accounting for whom nutty people will latch onto.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. The word "not" got left out of the following: "I’m not being paid to please people so I’m (insert not) accountable to anyone."

Renae said...

Long time reader and I love the way you think and write. I've waited a long time for the opportunity to post a comment on your site. I refuse to have a Google account. Now that you have expanded your sign-on choices I can finally join the discussion! I'm a little late to the party so will await your next post to comment on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the option to sign in. I actually set up an account with Google so I could participate on your blog. I dont have a blog so will use the anon option. Kris

rhymeswithplague said...

If you had read my post of January 28th before publishing this post, you wouldn't have had to wonder about the loss of followers. Actually, Google told us all back in December that this was going to happen, but I guess we weren't paying attention. I know I wasn't.

I read every one of your posts, Snow, but I don't always leave a comment. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I'm funny that way. You absolutely must not conclude that I like the posts I comment on and dislike the ones I don't leave a comment on. Sometimes it's the other way 'round, actually. Keep my friends guessing, yeah, that's the ticket (channeling Jon Lovitz).

I will be 75 on my next birthday and I don't much feel like arguing, debating, whatever you want to call it, these days. I'm a follower of that old John Wesley quote that he apparently never actually said, "Live and let live; think and let think." I would not make a good recruit for I-S-I-S.

Snowbrush said...

“I've waited a long time for the opportunity to post a comment on your site. I refuse to have a Google account.”

I’m honored by your interest, and can appreciate your unwillingness to be herded like a defenseless cow into Google’s stall. It has been years, but my memory of why I stopped accepting anonymous comments was that they got to be nearly all spam. There was also the fact that a lot of them were mean-spirited while lacking anything of redeeming value. I can deal with the spam problem now, but can only hope that enough reasonable Anon-y-mouses make up for the rabid ones, and you and Kris give me hope that they will.

I like Sue in Italia’s idea of asking those who comment anonymously to use a name by which they can be identified. It’s important to me that I have a feel for whom someone is so I can get a sense of building a relationship with that person, but it’s impossible to get this when various people go by only by “Anonymous,” so I do appreciate that you and Kris put names to your comments.

“I actually set up an account with Google so I could participate on your blog. I dont have a blog so will use the anon option. Kris”

Thank you, Kris. I’m glowing from the interest that you and Renae have shown. I have a new follower named Krashnu (https://www.blogger.com/profile/09640625248535967147), whom I went to visit, but when I clicked on the link to his site, I found that his profile is empty and that his blog has no posts. This isn’t uncommon among those who want to comment on blogs without being stymied when the blog owner stipulates “no anonymous comments.”

“Google told us all back in December that this was going to happen, but I guess we weren't paying attention.”

This is true. I probably scanned whatever they wrote, noted that it didn’t sound too awful, and forgot all about it. Google rarely sends good news, its changes being nearly always to its good and our harm.

“I read every one of your posts, Snow, but I don't always leave a comment.”

I knew that this was once true, but I didn’t know if it still was, so I’m glad to hear this.

“I will be 75 on my next birthday and I don't much feel like arguing, debating, whatever you want to call it..”

I had thought that this was always true of you, but I’m not sure if you meant to say that it used to be different or if you’re just emphasizing the fact that age has fortified your unwillingness.

“I'm a follower of that old John Wesley quote that he apparently never actually said, "Live and let live; think and let think."

I would have been surprised as it he had said it. I have the sense that the Wesleys were nowhere close to being as hardcore as most of the reformers, but I should have still thought that they believed that some ways of thinking would land you in hell, which this isn’t a way of thinking that allows for an abundance of tolerance or an appreciation for gray areas.

“I would not make a good recruit for I-S-I-S.”

All you can do is to apply and see what they say. If you really want in, I would suggest that you leave out the part about being a Jewish Christian. Did you ever heard about the half-black guy who hated black people so much that he joined the Klan only to kill himself when an investigative reporter made mention of his racial identify in a newspaper exposé? The Klan members had grown to like this guy enough that they seemed really sorry he had killed himself.

rhymeswithplague said...

Warning: Non-politically-correct joke ahead.

Did you hear about the guy who was half black and half Japanese? Every December 7th he attacked Pearl Bailey.

Not original with me. I heard it many years ago on TV. But it sounds like Henny Youngman or Buddy Hackett or Milton Berle or Shecky Green or ... the list goes on and on.

lotta joy said...

I'm back to blogging IF anyone shows up, and I owe it all to you.

Joe Todd said...

I enjoyed the post, photos, comments. Keep up the good work.
Wife and I are staying home for awhile just snow and cold in Ohio.