Topical Burnout

I enjoy my job reading and highlighting posts for the P & C.  There are times though where I just get burned out on topics: politics, religion bashing (including the reverse), abortion, and secular vs progressive all come to mind.  I’m working through it, developing the ability to scan without internalizing a lot of it

Perhaps what tires me the most are hyperbolic arguments, slippery slopes, even the word ‘strawman.’  I can’t help but notice, and I’m not only referring to the local blogosphere, that the ability to debate is becoming a lost art.  Looking back on my own highschool experience I can only recall one instance per year where persuasive writing was covered.  With the amount of data available to the average person perhaps more focus is needed on critical reading and analysis. Honestly though, would it help? My college courses spent far too much time focusing on remedial grammar.


#1 Mama Grizzly on 02.05.08 at 2:43 pm

I am SOOOOOO with you on this! I’ve seen debate boards and blogs where the “strawman” is used CONSTANTLY and it drive sme insane. You are right – the art of debate is gone. And I’ve especially seen it when it comes to parenting choices – I can talk to you about that offline if you want – but it’s ridiculous. And you see it at the top of political campaigns too. I love to watch political debates and listen to the question, and then listen to the candidate dance around giving an answer…..

#2 Agricola on 02.05.08 at 2:43 pm

Critical reading and analysis… there’s an interesting idea. I’ve come to the conclusion that most bloggers (I’m guilty) write not to debate, but to scream. However, when you finds a good blog, with respectful discussion via the comments, then it goes into the reader, and then the posts and the reading become enjoyable, informing, and allow for the (possible) formulation of a new perspective. We just gotta keep digging for the gold…………and flush the mica!

#3 Chuck Boyd on 02.05.08 at 3:00 pm

The word “debate” brings back a warm memory of my daughter winning a high school debate…. by doing a mime routine!

Yes! She brought home the very large trophy without saying a word. The crowd loved it. The teachers were not amused as I recall.

Today she is a police officer in California and does stand-up comedy.

#4 Patrick on 02.06.08 at 7:07 pm

I couldn’t agree more, and I know how you feel when I do a blogjog as well.

Have you noticed that “strawman” has become so popular now that it’s actually replaced “ad hominem” as the most-quickly thrown-around-even-though-they-probably-don’t-know-what-it-means adjective? And as popular as that one was a couple of years ago, THAT’s an accomplishment.

My particular favorite examples of poor debating are those writers who constantly criticize the media because of some perceived “bias,” then demonstrate that they are completely incapable of the fairness they think they’re not getting. Talk about double standards!

As for remedial grammar, considering the kinds of comments I read from some on websites like the P&C, I think that there are some people who could spend 10 years in remedial grammar and STILL not get it! 🙂

#5 Heidi @ Carolin Dreamz on 02.07.08 at 6:21 am

Afraid to google strawman!

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