Please express criticism in courteous, temperate, and constructive terms.
Does that sentence look familiar? It should, for anyone who has ever left feedback on this site. I am hoping now that the election is over, we can go back to following that disclaimer. Or in the case of some writers, we can start following it.
Much political discussion has occurred on Broowaha in the past few months. I even involved myself in the discourse for a bit, which is quite unlike me. The trouble with discussing politics in a public forum is that far too frequently the discourse degenerates into sophomoric name-calling and mudslinging. A lot of the feedback on the political pieces on this site went something like this:
Respondant #1: lays out a thoughtful opinion that may or may not agree with the author of the piece.
Respondant #2: "These are all the ways you are wrong. This is what I think, and if you don't agree with me, you are stupid."
Respondant #1: "No, you're stupid!"
I'm sure you'll agree it's incredibly fascinating stuff.
This is why I normally abstain from discussing politics in a public forum. This is also why I haven't spent a lot of time on Broowaha recently, and why I choose to write about music.
I don't harbor any illusions that anyone has even noticed my absence from Broowaha. As a writer, you like to think that you will receive some helpful instruction about your writing, whether the reader agrees with you or not. Broowaha offered that when I started writing. In recent months, however, the discourse here has reached the same level as any message board anywhere on the Net. It's a shame, really. I'd like to think we are here to make each other better and not to shred each other's character. Personally, I would rather have comments about my writing than about me.
As for my other point about why I choose to write about music. I write about music, not only because I enjoy experiencing it, but also because it brings people together. People of all ages, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and religious affiliations come together to listen to a favorite band.
At any given music show, we're not Democrats and Republicans. We're just fans. Politics, on the other hand, divides people. Don't believe me? Look at the red-blue map representing electoral votes. Or just go back and look at the political articles posted here in the last few months.
I know in writing this piece, I am opening myself up for some snide comments. After all, that has become fairly standard practice here. All I can do is extend my deepest thanks for proving my point.