Saturday, November 15, 2008

In which MM peeks out of the closet to comment on politics - but I'm not staying out for long.

UPDATE: 11/18: As had always been suggested by the post title (which is unchanged), I'm putting the original version of this post back in the closet, which means it's going offline. (If you're curious about it, just let me know by email.) This is both because I don't really want to write a political blog, but also because the experience of commenting on someone else's blog (which prompted my post in the first place) has taught me something about the problems with online discussions. The lesson I've learned is that, at the end of the day, I wish I hadn't posted what I did on the other blog - or at least that I had presented a more positive perspective in commenting, not because I think it's wrong to have disagreements, but because it's so easy to become divisive in this faceless arena. I love to argue, but I think it's generally more productive done face-to-face. As it happened, I took some shots at someone I don't really know well at all just to make my own points - I should have just made my own points and not gotten into the strawman business.

I meant what I said at the end of my response to some commenters when I said I'd found surprising inspiration in this kooky talk given by Leonard Bernstein. I expect musical inspiration from LB, but he's hardly on my ideological wavelength; yet, I was really moved that he chose to end that talk with a bit of confession and self-reflection, basically admitting that he'd undermined his own ideals by the way in which he'd pursued them. I think I may have done the same, so hopefully I'll learn something from that. However, it's still open season on Haydn and violas on this blog.