I was actually eager this morning to find out what WordPress had selected as the Prompt of the Day. There have been a few easy ones, like yesterday’s “Jolt,” as well as toughies like “Outlier.” So what is today’s word? Opaque. Interesting.

The more I blog, the more I’ve began to settle into writing shorter, condensed pieces, as well as using other people’s works as springboards to action; a point to uphold, mull, or disagree with. And today, there’s plenty to consider, with political crusaders of all colours suddenly claiming their fair share of territory on WordPress.

I feel compelled to say that I use the phrase “fair share” here without sarcasm, as I do think it’s important for everyone to have the avenue for freedom of speech, even if it is disagreeable. I do, however, have a problem with written constructs fashioned on unstable footings (browse some of today’s posts, and I think you’ll understand what I mean). The hiss of anger is strong in the prose of some of them.

As a Canadian, who at best can only dip his toe in the choppy American Sea of Politik and go no deeper … note that my concern here is more on the structure and validity of blogs, not a criticism of their actual content

Anger is a great motivator, but as well as prompting the need to soap-box, it should as much drive today’s political bloggers to proofread and try upholding their points with a few citations.* Don’t, for example, make spurious claims about a particular social movement being purportedly responsible for demonizing war veterans, while hyperlinking to a dictionary definition of that movement rather than the actual news story triggering the discourse. It’s like your opinion is printing a resume on $20 cardstock but forgetting to list any actual experiences; it misses the point entirely, and isn’t so much incredible as it’s literally incredible. Not extraordinary, but rather impossible to believe, the other definition of the word.

As a Canadian, who at best can only dip his toe in the choppy American Sea of Politik and go no deeper, simply on the basis of not being an actual citizen, note that my concern here is more on the structure and validity of blogs, not a criticism of their actual content — I could go down that route, but that’s not my point today. Mainly, what I find to be an interesting thought, is that opaque, a word signifying solidity and a lack of transparency, has such immediate connotations for ideology.

Basing my opinion on a passing browse through WordPress this afternoon, movements that might identify themselves as liberal, conservative, or even centrist, seem to believe that panes of opaque glass insulate each other, or to paraphrase a blogger I’ll leave anonymous, a kind of dark malevolence exists between the left and right of American political camps, kind of like a metaphorical demilitarized zone peppered with Twitter landmines (Tweetbombs?). While the former suggests this opacity is preventing dialogue between parties (not necessarily untrue), the latter seems content at saying the opacity is why these opposing ideals are evil, full stop, and leaving it at that (just before invoking scripture). To quote a cheesy Range Rover commercial from the nineties, please, go further!

let’s remember as we go out there on the net — vast and infinite — to blog responsibly.

At risk of being politely Canadian (also at risk of sounding patronizing, but I assure you that’s not my intent), my two cents also focuses on opacity as well, but more the importance of reducing it, even if just to a level of compromise. We’re probably never going to end up with complete political transparency in our lifetimes, but if we could just lighten up the tint on our ideological partitions, perhaps then we’d be able to see the outline of what alien lives on the other side (and, no, before scrolling down to leave me a nasty comment, I’m not referring to any party as alien in nature; I’m making a simile to the fantastic 2016 movie Arrival, directed by fellow Canuck, Denis Villeneuve).

Simple comparisons are usually the best. Let’s just say that the plot of Arrival revolves around the suddenly imposition of beings with unclear intent into our familiar world, whom we can only peer at through frosted glass partitions in their various spacecrafts. Without clear sight nor speech, a seeming apocalypse teeters on a wedge, until the importance of contextual, written communication forms the basis for level cohabitation.

Trade the word alien for the name of your opposing political flavor, and hopefully you understand what I’m getting at here. Without proper dialogue, it’s easy to mistake a difference for a threat.

Peppering my ideal with a re-purposed quote from the original Ghost in the Shell, let’s remember as we go out there on the net — vast and infinite — to blog responsibly.


*(Footnote – I acknowledge that while I’m calling out other blog posts for not citing sources, seemingly ironic, I don’t cite these actual posts in my own work. Here’s why: I don’t want to cloud your opinion with mine, which might happen if you were clicking on things I personally find half-baked. Go discover them yourself, and come to your own findings. If I were naming people by names, that would be different.)

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