Sunday, 24 August 2014

Speak to Bert....

We once took some kids to watch Bert, a clown. He did his best, but the 20 or so children there didn't find him engaging. So they didn't respond when he called for participation. Until in desperation he stopped, looked at them, and dropped the persona; he said "speak to Bert...."

(Alas, they didn't. He soldiered on for a bit and then gave up. Probably went for a drink or three, reflecting that kids can be a tough audience.)

I use this blog to work out a few thoughts, and as a storage place for stuff that might also interest other people. It's just great when people leave a comment. I appreciate the effort and time involved; it's silly of Blogger not to have a "like" button because maybe that's all someone might want to do. But it's very rewarding to feel in contact with someone else's views. And although my small readership seems fairly stable in terms of numbers, there seem to be fewer and fewer comments.

There's nowhere else we can do this stuff. Facebook is useless for anything of any length, and Twitter is even briefer, of course.

So if you read something here that provokes a thought, do share it please.

"Speak to Gloria..."


  1. Gloria, I've just seen this, having popped in for a periodic catch-up. I have commented in the past and here I go again. I've been quiet for a while because a lot of your stuff has been about meditation -- all of it excellent but not absolutely my thing because I tend to live on my nerves and think I'll get around to sorting out the shambles of my mind when my life is less full.

    I think people comment less and less on blogs. As you say, a Like button is what they'd reach for. Attention spans are getting shorter, no doubt about it. I have a Facebook page for my 'business' and take what I can only describe as a disdainful satisfaction from serving up trifles, the more trivial the better, which are snapped up with alacrity. Anything a bit serious or containing more than 50 words, and people switch off. The lower the common denominator, the better. As you so accurately describe it in your latest post, people are now intensely "distracted from distraction by distraction" and I do not exclude or exonerate myself. I vow to do better. I know how it feels.

    They say that writers should write not for a specific audience but for themselves. That's rationale enough to keep on blogging. You have interesting thoughts and ideas. As they say in seaside towns and other low joints, Get em out!

  2. Charles, you are one of my longest standing and most valued commentators, thank you. Though we should not let "shambles" stand unchallenged! No need for exoneration.

    You are right, this is worth doing because it helps me sort out a few fragments of thoughtesque material. And I also fear you are right about attention spans. I sometimes think I can feel the energy dripping out of some blogs I used to visit regularly (happily not true of the Hearth of Mopsus) nut blogging aside, I find it deeply scary, if it means we are losing the ability to think consistently and step by step through printed material. It leaves us in the hands of slogan-mongers and soundbitists who will hammer at our faculties until we are so blunted we fall for all kinds of crap.

    I will continue to "get 'em out," though I'm not quite sure what you mean, you old rascal you!

  3. Very pleased to hear that about Arfur Mopsus, whom I like very much. I must pop over for a refresher.

    People sleep with their dumbphones beside the bed. They are willingly wrested from anything they have actually started doing. It feels like intensity, I suppose -- richness. Remember when people used to mull over and deliver a considered point of view? Yup, all too rare.

    No wonder there's all this talk about mindfulness these days. Is it accommodating itself to Age of Frenzy? Is there an app I can download?

  4. "It feels like intensity, I suppose." Spot on; it flatters us. In a mass age, it "personalises" us, makes us feel we stand out from the crowd. I think mostly it doesn't, since nearly all of us do roughly the same things, there's just a light salad dressing of personalisation sprinkled - sorry, "drizzled" over the same old familiar lettuce. All too often, it's like that in a field of work that preoccupies you and me.

    Bad news, Charles. Mindfulness is dedicatedly opposed to distraction. It's the counter-revolution. There's no app, you naughty thing.

    Though you can get app aids to meditate. I've found them all fairly peripheral at best. You just do it, is all. Couldn't be simpler. Unplug the phone, don't answer the door; the great world out there can do without you for thirty minutes. Just breathe, and be.

    Doing it regularly takes a certain "work" attitude. The thing itself is the reverse of striving.

    Mopsus truly outstanding on the implicastions of the Gaza strife. Should be read from every pulpit/school assembly Bet he stops to think things through!.