Social Savvy: Don’t Blog Like The White Tiger

Social Savvy: Don’t Blog Like The White Tiger a la Aravind Adiga

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Kelly Clarkson, Mr. Know It All

A dear friend has been nagging me forever; he’s been wanting me to read the 2008 winner of the Man Booker: Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. He even gave me a paperback copy of the book. After many months, love and duty to friendship has prevailed upon me to read The White Tiger.

Reading it, I have to say The White Tiger, hands down, is the best guide ever… on how you should not blog.

The first chapter ends on page 42. I’m telling you the page number so that you can be sure that I actually read the first chapter. I do this because, often, I read a book review by a blogger and I am not convinced they have actually read a single chapter from start to finish.

However, you may suspect that I haven’t read the first chapter. You may suspect that I just flipped through the pages of The White Tiger and found the page number on which the first chapter ends. Therefore, I shall provide you with further evidence that I have, in fact, read the first chapter of Aravind Adiga’s angry, ugly book about being Indian.

The evidence comes in the form of my own humble, pseudo-intellectual observation that there is only one sentence in all 42 pages that is interesting, worthwhile, and up-lifting. Ironically, Aravind Adiga, the author, did not write this sentence. Supposedly, the author quotes the Urdu poet Iqbal:

They remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in this world.

The only other thing that may be interesting (not up-lifting) about these 42 pages of The White Tiger also has to do with that supposed quotation of the poet Iqbal. What is interesting, I propose, is the paradox that the author, himself, does not see what is beautiful in this world. At least, the author has not convinced me, a half-baked reader, that either the author or the protagonist is even capable of knowing and recognizing the beautiful, the good, and the true – at least not in the first 42 pages.

How do these insights bear upon the blogger?

I’m not going to make allusions that the Forbes Top Bloggers List resembles The Man Booker Prize-winners List in terms of inconsistent insight and value. Nevermind too that Forbes and Man Group are all about money.

Instead, I want to emphasize that value has a very precise correlation to word, page, or post count. Value, however, is not multiplied by the sheer volume of irrelevant words, pages, or posts. In fact, value is diminished.

Originality (or plagiarism) or tribute that contributes nothing to our own reflection and insight about who we are, what we may hope, and what we must do… counts for nothing. As Shakespeare’s Macbeth says in Act 5, Scene 5:

… it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. 

Nor am I, myself, innocent of these crimes and misdemeanors.

But I must struggle and endeavor to write and blog about things that are always relevant – not what is only interesting today – or yesterday. And I hope that you might consider it too.

In other words, blog and/or write for us (me and you and the man or woman who may read you in 100 years) – not just for your sake nor for blog count, page visits, or your vanity.

Stan Faryna
19 March 2012
Bucharest, Romania


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8 Responses to Social Savvy: Don’t Blog Like The White Tiger

  1. I want as many of the things I write to be what I call “Evergreens” or writing that touches people now and forever. There are universal truths about relationships, marriage, and parenting – the things I mostly write about – and I try to write them so that I can look back years from now and think, “Yeah, that’s true…still.”

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Yes, you do, Bruce. You speak and write about things that matter. And you make it into a conversation.

      I like what you do, Bruce.

  2. Betsy Cross says:

    Hmm…I write about family history because it interests me, but because it has value for everyone…everyone can relate because everyone has lived a life that will be a tale told by someone someday. And hopefully someone will learn something from that tale…that’s my hope.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      I think there is something else that you can show us. Something that can reach out of family history and shake our hearts. That’s for you to do, Bets.

  3. I always need to read your post to the bottom. Then I reflect on all the hidden messages and fabulous quotes you reference and think…who am I?

  4. Did you know I made the Forbes top 100 bloggers list….oh wait, that might have been the top boogers list; I can’t tell, I was just happy to be on somebody’s list.

    I don’t have much of a rhyme or reason; it’s more about what is in my head at a particular time when I decide to write. Sometimes I wonder if I were to be more purposeful and actually write about something significant would I actually grow or just become more BORING (which my wife thinks I am because I don’t write about anything………..sheesh, everybody thinks they are a critic).

    All I know is you go way deep and you really need to pay attention around here because you have many nuances or twists and turns you might insert into your writings; I don’t want to miss it…..

  5. They remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in this world.

    That quote alone is worth the price of admission to this gathering. There is something special and beautiful in the reminder and admonition to open our eyes to see what is going on around us.

    With busy lives and distractions it is far too easy to miss what is staring us in the face.

Speak from your heart!

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