How to Write a Blog Post That Sucks

I finally got to watch The Adjustment Bureau – directed by George Nolfi. Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, this romantic thriller is based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, The Adjustment Team. I liked this movie. And me liking a movie that isn’t carried by special effects and explosions is saying something. It means there’s something more than just a story.

Leonard Cohen, Dance Me to the End of Love

Free Will Is Sublime

I’ve been wanting to see The Adjustment Bureau ever since reading Lori Gosselin’s May blog post on fate and free will. Read it here.

Inspired by the movie, Lori asks if we have free will? And if we do, how do we describe it. The hundred or more comments that follow her post suggest the subject and questions are relevant to us – despite the blogosphere’s apparent and constant preoccupation with how to write a better mouse trap- headlines, seo, etc.

Free will is as real as it is sublime. Furthermore, we underestimate free will as much as we fail to appreciate and exercise it.

Independence Day

But if we reflect briefly on America’s Independence – we can begin to understand how awesome is free will when men, women, and children direct their free will to the common good and course of Freedom.

Even History cannot ignore free will. Because History appears to align itself with human hope when free will moves like a tide in the hearts of those who yearn to recognize the dignity of the human person.

Therefore, as much as it is a celebration of the sacrifice, triumph, and spirit of a nation, the Fourth of July is also a celebration of the effectiveness and efficiency of free will. No other holiday stirs hearts and bold passion like Independence Day – if you haven’t noticed.

Captains and Masters

One comment to Lori’s blog post summons bold words from the poem, Ivictus, by William Ernest Henley:

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul

You can even put on a captain’s hat – if that makes you feel better. <grin>

Captains and masters, however, have no need for self-affirmation. Still, I can appreciate the longings of authors (of the poem and comment) – the longing for such command. And, I do believe, such command is intimately bound to the perfection of our individual will. As much as it is about Love.

Why This Blog Post Sucks

I had hoped to illuminate something awesome and exciting about free will for you. How it is intimately connected to our courage (or lack thereof) to be, who we are, and who we shall become. How free will is fueled by Love. In less than 200 words. Just like this.

Because I believe that such illuminations may help you unlock your potential and destiny.

But I also felt that I had to give you glimpses of free will in its greatness and defeat. For the illusion that we are captains of our souls (in this moment) is as much an illusion of the command of a car accelerating from 0-60 in under 7 seconds.

Such illusions, generally speaking, appeal to me as much as they may appeal to you. But they confuse us. Too often, they lead us astray from our destiny, ourselves, and, yes, even love.

More importantly, I fear that I have thrown these glimpses on the page as recklessly as an artist in pursuit of abstract confusion.

Will you help me save this blog post from sucking hard?

Redeem This Blog Post

Philip K. Dick may also have had some insight. He was an unusual man. That insight may have even translated into the screenplay.

What insights did you get out of the movie?

What insights do you bring from your life?

Stan Faryna
3 July, 2011
Bucharest, Romania


16 Responses to How to Write a Blog Post That Sucks

  1. irmaLAdouce says:

    I used to believe in free will. Now I believe in free won’t. Here’s the man who brought me the light:

    • Stan Faryna says:

      I look forward to reading Deric Bownd’s mindblog. Thanks for recommending it.

      Are there specific posts that illuminated the subject of free will for you?

  2. adrianklein says:

    I love that movie too, and I don’t quite understand your title… because I very much like your blog post

    • Stan Faryna says:

      It sucks for me because I wanted you to walk away from this blog post with excitement about:

      1. how amazing you are,
      2. how you can unleash love and will to beautiful and meaningful outcomes, and
      3. an overwhelming feeling of anticipation

      • lori says:

        Hi Stan,
        That’s a tall order. Seems it might take a book to do all that well!
        “For the illusion that we are captains of our souls” – I have to disagree with this. I don’t believe it’s an illusion but for me to explain why is another book! Suffice it to say that if we are not captains of our souls then we are lost and I don’t believe we are lost. I believe Free Will is much more than Free Choice, as it is commonly understood to be. But what I believe it is and why I believe it is, literally, a book I intend to write one day. Won’t that be fun Stan! LOL
        Thanks for the mention. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie. I think the discussion on Free will has only begun and I agree with Adrian that this blog post doesn’t suck at all

        • Stan Faryna says:

          I am not the captain of my soul. Nor master of my fate. Not today. But I do aspire to such command with some curiosity. But even in such aspiration, I do not pursue the aspiration with enough passion and success. Do you?

          In order to be a captain, I imagine that I must know and understand my soul as a captain knows his ship, ships in general, his crew, the stars, and the sea. And in order to be a master of my fate, I must know and understand at least what decided this outcome or that. And, perhaps, I should know, understand, and obtain certain outcomes that do not cause wider ripple.

          The things we must know and learn about ourselves and the supernatural structure of the world to be captains and masters may not be found in this or that book. If any book might help, I suppose the Summa by Aquinas may be the best place to start. But it is a very, big book. And technical too.

          Do you still think me mistaken?

      • lori says:

        Hey Stan,
        I can’t get my reply beneath your reply to me (you need Livefyre 😉
        Do I aspire to be the Captain of my soul with enough passion – you BET I do! But wait! I thought I already was! LOL Your precise definition of the Captain give me pause…

        “I must know and understand my soul as a captain knows his ship, ” That’s the life-long quest isn’t it? Maybe we’re Captains-in-training; not necessarily getting it all right, but still, Captains none-the-less.
        “in order to be a master of my fate, I must know and understand at least what decided this outcome or that. ” I’m on this one! I think WE did. And if we believe Free Will means we can choose, I believe it means we can choose to change our minds. Nothing else makes sense to me.To subscribe to the idea that I came here with a “mission” that someone else sent me on makes me a puppet. I’m not a fan of that theology.

        I agree it’s not a simple topic, (or is it?) but we need to start somewhere. This is my start. I don’t think you mistaken (but I love the poetic way you ask!) because I believe we can think about it any way we like and still be right. :O LOL

        • Stan Faryna says:


          If allowed me to pay them $50/year to have any comment platform, I’d switch it in an instant to livefyre. And so, I’m (slowly) considering how I can move to a new blogging platform without losing the search traffic.

          For my bachelor’s degree, I wrote a thesis entitled, Finis Humanevitae. It was an epic journey of self-discovery and much inspired by Dante Aligheri. Someone even wrote a book based roughly on my thesis. This is not important, of course. What is important, is that as I wrote Finis Humanevitae, I do remember how I greatly longed to receive the confirmation and blessing that Virgil bestows upon Dante as he rises from Purgatory to Heaven: “Lord of yourself I crown and mitre you.”

          So, yes, it may very well be a life-long quest. And I am much annoyed by that. I am impatient. Just as are you. And I am even more annoyed for all my present lack of self-control, waning will, and- oh- what an inadequate intelligence!

          I so agree with you that we must breakthrough to a bigger picture of ourselves and the world. And I’d like to hope that one of the requirements is not IQ. Especially since I am not Mensa material. My intelligence is quite average, I regret.

          But you have started something, Lori. And we just have to keep pushing it further and further. All of us. Not just me and you. And, maybe, we’ll get somewhere.

  3. Bill Dorman says:

    I haven’t seen the movie but certainly want to.

    I would like to think I am the captain of my soul; but the master of my destiny only as much as I control. This can be slippery as you might think you have a lot more control than you really do.

    Interesting indeed and very thought provoking.

    Thought I’d drop by and say hello since I see you out and about, especially at Lori’s.

    • Stan Faryna says:


      It’s awesome to see your comment, Bill. You often bring a special kind of humility, honesty, and/or humor to your comment and blog post that I have come to admire.

      The Adjustment Bureau is now out on DVD, so you should be able to rent it.

      As you say, we might think we have more control than we really do. And there is the rub!

      I would argue that Dick wrongly creates a world where angels (case workers) are doing all the heavy lifting, I understand why he did. Because, ultimately, he must have felt that he was powerless in his own life. And he saw the same in those around him. Dick’s life was, in fact, difficult to say the least.

      And yet, History seems to work out – despite the horrors, injustices, and our own inhumanity

      I imagine that the ancient Jews may have been the first peoples to figure this out.

  4. TheJackB says:

    Give yourself more credit- there is a lot of fodder here to consider.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jack.

      I’m frustrated most that I have so little to give to the world.

  5. Anna Ellis says:

    Stan, the title’s excellent and the blog post itself is thought-provoking. I certainly clicked on the link to this article with a sense of anticipation. Thanks for a great start to the day.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Thanks for your encouragement, Anna. Slowly, slowly, I’m learning how to write titles from @TheJackB and @dino_dogan. They are masters of the art of writing blog post titles.

      Do you believe in free will?

  6. bonnie67 says:

    I couldn’t have thought it thru like you did. Thanks for helping me understand something like this.

  7. Another Day…

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