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Friday, February 22, 2008

Sh*tting Diamonds

I once got the following comment on one of my political rants:


I read your site almost everyday, and generally it is true that you are moderate and interesting. However, these past two posts were fairly bothersome, if not annoying. I really enjoy your thoughtful and witty posts, but these past two posts seem more like a spoiled child complaining to his mom about how mean his teacher is.

They are far from moderate, and they are far from thought provoking.

I understand that this is YOUR outlet, and this is a blog about your life and opinions, but come on. These posts seem strictly reactionary.

I find it incredibly boring to read the long rants on blogs about how oppressed the Palestinians are, but on the same note, I find it equally annoying to read about how the poor settlers aren't being included and treated fairly.

To say it tripped most of my fuses would be an understatement... but I quashed my first knee-jerk reaction and instead left the following reply:

Sorry buddy, I can't sh*t diamonds every single try. I am reactionary... I am boring... I am interesting... I am moderate.  I'm all the things that you enjoy and dislike...just not all at the same time. You seem to have caught me on a couple of bad days. Come back some other time and I'll try to scale back the bothersome and annoying quotient.

I then went on later in the comment thread to get into a pissing contest with the guy, and as a result I didn't really stop to think about the kernel of truth in his original comment... or in my reply.

Bottom line, the guy was right in that my posts would be far more enjoyable for people to read if I had the patience to sit on them for a few days and had the wisdom to delete the ones that are beyond redemption.  But I was also right in saying that "I can't sh*t diamonds every single try". 

Nobody can!  Or so I used to think.

Several of the bloggers I read have recently added 'My Shrapnel' to their blogrolls.  I am not that adventuresome but I ended up taking a peek at the site when I noticed that even Zahava was reading her.

The blog is mostly a collection of notes and recollections from the aftermath of the author being seriously wounded in a suicide bombing outside Machane Yehuda.  I fully expected it to be full of self-pity and attention-seeking... but I was shocked to find crystal clear, brutally honest and often laugh-out-loud funny, essays that she has meticulously collected from a period when her life and world were quite literally blown to pieces.

Gila (the blogstress) is an excellent writer without a trace of an agenda.  I've been reading her for weeks and don't have a clue about her politics or her views on religion.  It is an amazing feat to be able to write about one's life, family, friends, experiences, traumas and recovery without relying on religion or politics to explain events or assign blame. 

And unlike yours truly who wakes up and vomits whatever is on his mind into a blog post, most of Gila's essays have been sitting like fine wine in her notebooks and memory for years... waiting to be shared or set aside.  The result is a collection of diamond perfect posts that have been carefully weighed for their relevance and doled out slowly like precious gems.

I know I will never be able to sit on my posts long enough to allow them to mature and crystallize the way Gila has.  I will probably continue to toss up good, workman-like writing on most days and sh*t the occasional diamond on a lucky day.  But rather than try today, I think I'd rather point you over to 'My Shrapnel' and let you see how it's really done.

[Note:  If you have the patience, go to the earliest posts and work your way forward]

Shabbat Shalom. 

Posted by David Bogner on February 22, 2008 | Permalink


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Tracked on Feb 23, 2008 5:24:29 AM


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"And unlike yours truly who wakes up and vomits whatever is on his mind into a blog post...."

Sounds like humble self-abasement, unless you consider that I wake up each morning to sit here with my Pop Tart and coffee each day to read your "vomit." You're better-off not insulting yourself. I don't like to think of myself as one who likes to read vomit.

By the way, I happen to read your blog mostly for the rants.

Posted by: Mark Patterson | Feb 22, 2008 5:18:56 PM

Gila is brillant, no doubt, and I put her on my blogroll after reading everything she wrote obsessively.. and a day later, the bomb in Dimona exploded. It gave me a horribly sharpened feeling of what this means.

However, dear David, you are brilliant as well, in a different way. And I think you probably know that. Your heart is in what you write, whether it's about your family (some of the best blog postings I remember were Bogner family pieces) or the country or whatever. It doesn't disturb me when you disturb me - that's what you are there for.

Posted by: Lila | Feb 22, 2008 6:20:21 PM

Your posts come from the heart and that is what I enjoy so much about your blog. Don't beat yourself up so much. All bloggers are different and have different appeal. I think you have a pretty good following! Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: SaraK | Feb 22, 2008 6:30:29 PM

Thank you so much for the glowing words. :) It is nice to know that my "lack of an agenda" is coming through--that is my intent and I am really glad to know that it is working! It is a very, very fine line to walk.

Please note that you are also on my blogroll, and I read your blog quite religiously and enjoy your blog a great deal.

Even when you are being a crazed right wing fanatic. ;P

Hope you, the family and the new puppy have a wonderful Shabbat.

Posted by: Gila | Feb 22, 2008 6:52:42 PM

David, please don't start curbing yourself -- I am every bit as interested in your political and religious pieces, including the rants, as in your slices of Israeli/family life. They offset and balance one another perfectly. Some people take you with coffee and pop-tarts, I usually take you in the late evening with a glass of wine. Sometimes you want something a little tangy to go with a nice dry Galil Cabernet.

Posted by: Pam | Feb 23, 2008 6:20:03 AM

Think about it Trep, If some of us received the kind of negative feedback you do, we'd bring down our web pages in a jiffy, that is, If we already haven't done it.

*All those in favor, say “Aye.” :) *

Posted by: Rami | Feb 23, 2008 9:21:31 AM

I check both of your blogs daily (actually more than once). Two of the best bloggers in the 'sphere.

Posted by: Baila | Feb 23, 2008 10:39:26 PM

I pretty much don't care what this person thinks. This is the only blog I read daily and it works for me. I like the variety. The only thing I'd like you to do that you haven't yet is try selling honey on the side of the road like the farmers did in New England, without anyone attending the honey or the money, and tell us how it goes :)

Posted by: ItsFullOfStars | Feb 24, 2008 12:51:55 AM

I'm really glad you didn't make this post a Photo Friday...

Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Feb 24, 2008 11:23:17 AM

Mark Patterson... Hi, I'm glad to hear that someone enjoys the political content. Mostly I get either no feedback or mostly negative. Thanks.

Lila... Thank very much, but I reserve words such as brilliant for folks like William Safire. :-)

Sarak... I wasn't beating myself up... just acknowledging my place in the food chain. Trust me, I'm very happy where I am. :-)

Gila... Thanks, the puppy and family are just fine. Oh, and glad to hear you do something religiously :-p

Pam... Don't worry about me 'curbing myself'. Knowing you have a problem isn't the same as being willing to fix it. Right?

Rami... Um, I'm confused. are you taking a vote on whether I should bring down my blog?

Baila... Aw [blushes]

ItsFullOfStars... I don't have enough honey to potentially waste on an experiment like that. Heck, I don't even have permission to sell it. But it would be a neat sociological test to run here just to see what would happen.

Dave (Balashon)... Good point. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 24, 2008 4:42:59 PM

There is a time for forgiveness and a time for outrage. When one has been personally insulted, do be forgiving. When innocents are being abused, be outraged. Anything less is to mock the victim.

Perhaps this wise saying was a bit before your time, but: "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

So perhaps you shouldn't be so hasty to admit personal fault about your outrage at those who promote this sort of child abuse.

Posted by: Bob | Feb 25, 2008 6:25:58 AM

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