Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I try not to write about politics. I can't always not do that but I try.

I have two reasons for this.

First I try to use this blog as a form for creative writing. Politics qualifies as technical writing and that looks too much like work.

Second, I feel that politics is an area that is driven by extremes. That is not necessarily a bad thing. But, it does make political blogs a contentious thing. I'd rather be less contentious.

All of that does not mean I don't have political views that sometimes slip into my postings but it does mean that I have to think about subject to write about.

My father used to say that if you want to start a fight then talk about religion or politics. I think he was 2/3 right. I find that it is generally easier to talk about religious differences than political ones. The one exception is when you are dealing with either people who are members of a cult or splinter group such as Mormons or people who are Muslims. I've had quite pleasant and interesting conversations about religion with Jews, Catholics, Buddhist and Atheist. But, I don't even try to talk rationally with a Muslim or a Mormon. I am going to refrain from commenting upon what I think that says about those groups.

Politics on the other hand is always a dangerous topic. For example, I work with several Canadians who have really strong political views. I can discuss religious issues with them that we have disagreements over. However, if anything is said in even a mild critique of Canadian politics I am brow beaten and called all sorts of unpleasant names. I would not consider these people to be political zealots; and, this problem is not limited to Canadians.

I hate to try and talk to people from the edges of the different camps of US politics. I hate to deal with activist. I feel that the hardliners of any issue have generally moved beyond the scope of discussion because for them "the cause" is more important than facts. I must admit that it has been my experience that the left is much more vile than the right in this respect but neither side is plesant if you try and challenge a position.

It gets worse if you try and talk to Euopeans about the politics in the US. Europeans are not even worth arguing with. They are completely wishy-washy on every issue except that the US is bad. I detest their combination of arrogance and self-loathing. I refuse to admit that their culture is superior. I'll just let the Muslims they've allowed to immigrate into their countries kill them or enslave them. I am, I must admit, in large part, a Europhobe.

The problem with trying to not write about politics is that I actually have to think about topics to write about. Politics provide a ready made vehicle for blog post because it never goes away. It is new everyday. Lots of people do it. If I wrote about politics then I could post everyday. I just thought I'd try something else. That means I'm lucky to come up with two post a week.

I am also sneaky. The fact I try to not openly write about politics does not mean that I do not have political opinions. But, I'd rather slip them in on the sly while talking about something most people would agree with. I think it is a better way to change people's minds.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Not Quite Non-political Blogger

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