Why This Blog Post Sucks.
by Stan Faryna
Pink Floyd, Money
This blog post sucks. Don’t write a blog post like I have done here. There’s no happy place here. That’s going to be your take away.
Because a good blog post gives clear, straightforward answers that are instantly applicable. A great blog post quickly resolves confusions, questions, and unwanted emotions. An honorable reader, such as yourself, expects a quick clarification – even if it is a lie. That’s why lists rock even if they don’t help you. The love for short lists speaks volumes of our naïveté as readers and bloggers.
One problematic is that the illumination does not transfer directly or readily. Not from one to one. Nor one to many. Worse, there is rarely a true illumination to be transferred even if such transfer were possible. Learning is not a sport of indiscriminate consumption that most of us believe it to be. Understanding a thing requires much reflection, comparison, inner struggle, and judgment until we know the thing simply as it is. Until you do the homework for yourself, you can not understand it. Even if that thing is presented to you in all its naked beauty upon a silver platter.
For example, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Wojtyla juggle a seeming infinity of silver platters like few others can. And hardly anyone reads them.
True illumination is rare and yet, ironically, we tend to appreciate true illumination least even when it is presented to us on a silver platter. Because it is so alien to our understanding of things. To our own experience.
The Sermon on the Mount is an excellent example of the alien aspect of true illuminations. The sermon presents us with nine paradoxes. They boldly fly in the face of our own experience in the world and humanity!
Merriam Webster defines a paradox in several ways. I will cite the first two definitions here:
1. a tenet contrary to received opinion
2. a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true
Below is the nine epic blessings that Christ speaks about in his Sermon of the Mount:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
You don’t have to be a Christian or non-Christian to observe the paradox of each blessing above.
But you do have to have some maturity, understanding, and experience as a human person living in our present time and world. There’s actually no point for me explain them to you – if you don’t see the paradoxes in each blessing. In you cannot see the paradoxes, the example will not help you get to the illuminations.
That doesn’t mean you are stupid. Nor does it mean that I am lazy. It’s just like that.
I had wanted to write a blog post about how you can make one million dollars in five years. I’ve done it in less time, myself. But then I considered that you won’t even make ten thousand dollars if I just gave you clear, straightforward instructions via a list.
Actually, you could lose more than twenty thousand dollars – if you could even come up with the money from family, friends, re-financing, cashing out on a retirement plan, etc. Honestly, I couldn’t bear to lead you into such epic misfortune and misery.
If a list would surely mislead you – just as all lists do mislead us in one way or another, then I thought that I should endeavor to write an epic blog post. 10,000 words or more. But how would I overcome the three problematics of an illumination?
In fact, I cannot overcome them without considerable commitment and, yes, charge to do so. They are epic challenges to be sure.
Instead, I present to you the formula for the blog post that should never be written. It is also an epic formula for worst practices in business, friendship, and writing in general.
1. Promise what you can not give- it is easy to give something that you do not own
2. Mislead others – nevermind that your enthusiasm for a thing you do not know will cause someone trouble
3. Quickly get the other to a happy place that makes them feel good but does not help them resolve issues
Often understanding comes from our persistent discovery of our deepest disagreements with what we have learned. As Anthony Hecht, an important American poet, once explained…
A good teacher (who need not be present, or even alive) is one who provokes you to serious, long-term thought.
Those with whom you come to quick agreement in feeling (happy places) do not lead you to those precious few, bitterly battled, and hard won conclusions of inner struggle and dialectical imagination.
If you agree that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to your best blog post.
If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,”"Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to your recent blog post.
AND if you could do me the favor of tweeting out the message below, I would be grateful to you.
12 October 2011
P.S. Your $5 can make a difference. If you can get 10 of your friends to give $5 too, you will make an even bigger difference. Please help Nisha to help others.
1. Blog Soup: 2011.10.06 http://wp.me/pbg0R-r7
2. Blog Soup: 2011.09.22 http://wp.me/pbg0R-pF
3. Blog Soup: 2011:10:10 http://wp.me/pbg0R-rO
1. Why do I blog: http://wp.me/pbg0R-kX
2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day: http://wp.me/pbg0R-la
3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lv
4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lO
5. Are You Ready for Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-lX
6. Reading The Desiderata. http://wp.me/pbg0R-mr
7. What is Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-mw
8. Confessions of a Freak-Geek-Misfit. http://wp.me/pbg0R-nJ
9. Do you love strongly? http://wp.me/pbg0R-nY
10. Empty-handed, Less Traveled Roads. http://wp.me/pbg0R-on
11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU
12. Do Not Be Afraid. http://wp.me/pbg0R-p9