Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The dangers of commenting

Weird, a little post written almost as an afterthought last night and I get eight comments, including some pissed with me for giving ice dance a hard time. Which is fine...I stand by my comments, but obviously I expect there is a healthy number of people out there who disagree with me. And hey, I'm not a complete idiot. I know many people have problems with curling.

However, one of the interesting comments came from Bruce, who rightly pointed out the growing disconnect happening between me and Newfoundland politics. I knew it was going to happen when I first moved up here and I suspect it's only going to continue over the coming years. It's not a bad thing, really. It's like I was banging my head against a wall for a couple of decades. Why do you do that? Because it feels so good when you stop. And really, having wanted to strangle every premier since Peckford with my bare hands at some point, it's probably a good thing to stop because there was always the risk I might actually try it at some point. Although I can't resist the urge to go back every now and then to hit my head a few more times, closet masochist that I am.

(This is the pause for a friend to come and point out that I am far from in the closet on that).

Anyway, Bruce suggested I tackle a few issues in Nunavut. You know, low key stuff like the environment, entrepreneurship, race relations and booze. Just as a change of pace to liven things up.

I do appreciate the suggestion but, um, no.

This isn't a spur of the moment decision. There is logic here. I have two very specific reasons why.

1. An interesting comment flashed across my Twitter feed the other day...and it basically said something like this: "I enjoy how living in the arctic for only a couple of years means you can now write the 'definite' book about the north."

Which is how I kind of feel about commenting on hot button issues of the north. I haven't been here five years yet and there are still a lot of things about Nunavut that I don't understand or that I can speak with intelligence on. And really, the world has enough opinionated assholes who don't know what they're talking about. I try very hard not to add to the mix, although I know I don't always succeed.

I just don't know about some of those issues...if Jim Bell wants to speak about them, hell, he has the right to. He's lived here for decades, has been immersed in local issues and can speak intelligently on them. I don't think at this point in my northern experience I can, so I'm very reluctant to do so.

2. It's also different discussing controversial issues up here. If you blog about something in Toronto, or even Newfoundland, then you can still do it and preserve a degree of anonymity. That's not really the case in Nunavut. You start heavily criticizing the way things are done in Nunavut, people will pay attention.

Which is fine, lovely and grand if you're a reporter. Or if you have a super understanding and supportive boss. Or if you're an MLA. However, if you're a government employee, or working for a company that does a lot of business with the government, well, then you might have some issues. I've written many times before that Nunavut bloggers have gotten in trouble with their bosses for things they've put on their blogs. I can think of at least four cases of that happening.

Is that right? Perhaps not. However, as I have no desire to become a martyr to this blog just to prove a point.

So, for now, the blog will stumble a little bit. This is the 1,600 post on the blog. This isn't the first dry spell I've had, nor will it be the last. But thanks for the suggestions. They are always welcome, even if I don't always heed the advice.

Last Five
1. Romeo and Juliet (live) - Dire Straits*
2. End of the innocence - Don Henley
3. Yesterday - The Beatles
4. Make it rain (live) - Tom Waits
5. Reason to believe (live) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band


SRD said...

well, if you're not going to write about things we're interested in, can you at least stop whinging about your lack of ideas? (sorry that sounds a bit harsher than it was meant to, but no one is forcing you to write if you've got nothing to always appreciated though)

In Iqaluit said...

You can't make fun of any other sport (including ice dancing) if you like curling and think THAT is an olympic sport.

Seamus said...

"well, if you're not going to write about things we're interested in, can you at least stop whinging about your lack of ideas?"

Yeah, Craig. Sort yourself out. It's not like there's anywhere else on the internet for us to go find stuff we're interested in.

Way Way Up said...

oI'll just say that I think democracy is in a poor state when government does not allow for free and fair comment on its role and function.

As for curling in the Olympics, I suppose it depends on how you want to define "sport" and "leisure activity" and where the boundary lies between the two. I think it should most definitely be in the Olympics. I'm a very sad curler myself but I do appreciate the sport. I'm hopeful my daughter will pick it up as we had a good conversation about it last time we were in McMurray and she she was very keen to see the ice sheets and the rocks.

The Perfect Storm said...

Excellent post and well reasoned (as was yesterday's actually - stealthy way to touch upon something without lighting the match to the power keg).


rohodster said...

Hey, just recently discovered your blog (can't even remember how, just stumbled here, maybe while looking for Republic of Doyle info, oddly enough) and I am enjoying it. I am wondering what the significance of the asterisk that appears next to one song of each of your "last five" is.

Apologies for the off topic comment, but I figured the most recent post would be a good spot to pose the question.

towniebastard said...

No worries...I get that question every now and then. Simply, it's my favourite of those last five songs. Sometimes I forget to add one, sometimes I can't pick just one and sometimes there isn't one I really love. But yeah, the asterisk means that's my favourite of the bunch.

SRD said...

what about inviting some guest blogs you know 'put money wheere mouth' and 'pot, kettle, black' etc

Anonymous said...

Townie, Your reasons for writing what you do are sound. In your situation it is wise not to open a hornets nest. I am a patient reader and enjoy all your posts. Even readers have dry spells. It just happens.

tanker belle said...

you could always run for a seat in the NU gov't...that would be interesting. you could blog from the house!

and I'm with Sara, if you're struggling to find something to say, bring on the photos!