The art of commentary

What does this picture have to do with what follows?
Nothing! But it was too good to waste. So now to business…

Here’s something unusual…
Amerika.org is an unusual place, dealing in unusual fare, and, not surprisingly, it has unusual commenters.
If you think about this, is becomes apparent. What sort of people read these posts? Dummies? Dolts? Uninformed Oafs? There may be a few of those, but by and large, our readers are a curious kind of cutting-edge type, eager to both absorb and consider; then intelligently comment. This is well and good. But there is a chance here, that is not to be missed…

The comments, themselves, form a rather large – and vital – part of the entirety of the site. The feedback is, really, what makes the posts. Like a tsunami created by an earthquake. A bang makes the ripples, and the ripples carry the bang far and wide. Every sound, ever made, it is said, will echo into eternity. Fainter and fainter, perhaps, but eternally present. And so:

Commenters all too often treat their own input as throwaway lines, poorly formed, poorly delivered, and ambiguous. I scour the comments, here, searching for meaning, and often I know I miss it, hidden as it is, on so many occasions, behind layers of ambiguity. Double-meanings, misspellings, tumbling grammar and outright carelessness.

Commenters have the right to get it wrong, but also, they have the right to not get it wrong. Maybe even an obligation – a responsibility – to not get it wrong.
Imagine that what you have to say, really is important enough to say well. Because it may be. And even you may not know how important it is. If it is unclear, or garbled, then what may have been the great and history-changing missing-link, may speed by, unrecognized, and be gone, forever.

What a loss!

We live in an age where language has all but failed. How many times per day do you hear people ask: “You know what I mean?” Or: “You know where I’m coming from?”
And the one being asked always says: “Yeah”.
But do they know? Do they understand?
Is communication even happening – at all – any more?

It might be as well, if we are interested in what manner of new society might be born, or fashioned from the ruins – of the ruins – of the one we have, to give some thought to this.
If you have something to say, then say it. Boldly. Clearly. Accurately, so there can be no doubt as to its intended meaning, and purpose.

If you care for this site, then make your contribution. And make that contribution the best contribution you can make. Because the new, improved society we try so hard to imagine and describe, consists, in its entirety, of the sum of each of its individual parts. You, me, they and them. We really should try to get it right.

33 Comments

  1. Joel says:

    Ever since being exposed to your site a few months ago I have read many articles, and recently I’ve read every one that’s posted. This site sincerely fuels my right-wing thinking right now, and I am very grateful for it. Although I consider myself more of a moderate than an ardent right-winger, I can’t think of a website which more eloquently states its views. When I finally found the “Creed” link way down in the bottom right, I was rather blown away.

    I haven’t commented yet because to some degree I’m afraid of attaching my name to this site, but I’ve been inspired by it enough to link it to a few friends and family, and might even start linking it more publicly.

    I want to thank you for maintaining a civil and professional tone which successfully dismisses so much of the criticism of the right as unintellectual oafs. There is a real case to be made here and it needs to be spread. So please keep it up!

    1. crow says:

      You get first prize for best comment. Nice one :)
      This is not actually a “right-wing” site, and you are clearly not a “right winger”. So, probably, you find yourself in a place that fits.
      I’ve spent a great deal of time studying crows, and notice the too-obvious-to-notice fact, that a crow is finely balanced between two wings: neither right nor left, lest it flap round in circles, going nowhere.
      Moderate, and ardent, as you write, are words evoking measured reason and spontaneous passion. The domain of the consciously responsible. The purposefully extant.
      That’s the spirit!

  2. Michael says:

    I think Amerika by itself offers a lot of good commentary in reflecting the contemporary world, actually. Now, I’m personally more of a lurking type, but I suppose if you want more people to comment perhaps you have to be somewhat more provocative?
    Because that’s the thing, most people who found and read this blog will usually agree with its content, regardless of the topic. Then there’s little incentive to actually participate in the debate.

    1. crow says:

      That’s one way of looking at it.
      I see it more like this:
      Being provocative, provokes. Sparks fly and heat is produced. Debates cause similar results. Without a substantial heatsink, one’s keyboard may melt.

      Men are combative, by nature, sometimes at the expense of the very thing combat is initiated to provide: ensuing peace.
      This is why I prefer to discuss, rather than debate.
      And observe, rather than provoke.
      Even though – I fear – a berserker lies within :)

      1. Decimator says:

        Percisely, I do not agree with your fear of the berserker within. I see that our society has forgotten the true meaning of an impass. I see our only option is to impliment deversity as it should have been at the founding of this civilization, as it was ment to be. We segregate by nature. through segrigation and the enteraction of truely intelligent men will we ever has an opritunity of true civilization. Intelligent curiosity is the only diversity we need. That is the only way true respect for differing people will exist. Good people do not need silly rules. The groups that fail to comprehend or accept this concept are at an impass. Those people can not co-exist in opposition to an established society. As I see it, there are two options, they leave or cease existance. That is why nature implanted the berserker. That is why nature made men combative. Controling the emotion prior to combat is intelligence. This all sounds soooo rash, I know. I try to counter these thought every day. A good friend of mine said to me,”but God gave man free will and you would be taking that from him and playing God, wouldn’t you?”. I was silent for atleast 2min. (I’m slow). The only intelligent reply I could musterwas,” God may have Given man free will but darwinism ensure that he uses it correcty.” When the time comes release the berserker.

        1. crow says:

          It’s not exactly fear, Decimator. More like the wariness one might feel toward a domesticated cougar. I am a man. We are all warriors, somewhere inside, as well as being many other things.
          Women love this, but fear it. Their fear has made a mess of things. We must wear camouflage, if we choose to mingle with women. Although, once the right one is attracted, the drab forest hues may then be discarded.
          You say you’re slow? Well: you can’t spell for shit, it’s true, but you know what’s what, without doubt. I enjoyed your comments :)

          1. Decimator says:

            I apologize for my poor spelling. Unfortunately I am plagued with a condition that allows me to see thing reversed and scrambled. I won’t bother trying to spell it for our sake. Any more I find satire as much as frustration with it. This forum allows me to practice my reading and writing. Thank you for the reply and the honest critique.

          2. crow says:

            Welcome to Amerika.
            We all have something wrong with us.
            And we deal with it, whatever it is, along with everything else that goes against the natural order.
            Reading, writing, spelling, fluency, all are useful things. But can they compare to being part of a perfect sunrise, after surviving yet another night?
            Survival is all.
            We’re rich!

  3. Decimator says:

    Rich indeed!

  4. YT says:

    “Clear writing is clear thinking made visible.” I don’t recall who said that but it should be remembered when making comments on the internet, even if they are disposable.

    That said, those at Amerika.org are much better thinkers than your typical internet commenters with their half-assed attempts at english, R U folwng mE i HOP so noe wut iM sayin?

    1. crow says:

      Craftsmanship is something worth cultivating, in any pursuit.
      It took me a long while to appreciate this.
      There was a turning-pint in my life, where, until that time, I would never have embarked upon anything I could not accomplish in an afternoon.
      The answer, for me, was to own a boat. An old, rotting one.
      Suddenly, I had to think in terms of projects that took months, even years, to accomplish, and whose results would either transport me around the ocean, or kill me.
      Well, the results almost killed me, but here I am, not quite dead, yet.
      Really, the results are ancillaries of the actions performed.
      The actions, themselves, are what counts.
      Building one’s life is really not about lying around, enjoying the results. But about the building itself.

      Thus, if write I should, if you should write,
      these thoughts we have, and get them right,
      and lay them out, in black, in white,
      we arm ourselves, we fight this fight.
      And should we fail, we did our best,
      we fought the beast, and fought with zest.
      And should we win, and find success,
      success may be our greatest test.

      1. Nicholas Marville says:

        Nice poem!

  5. Kirill Nenartovich says:

    “the new, improved society we try so hard to imagine and describe”

    I was under impression that this site is rather about “the old, rotten society we try so hard to analyze and reveal”. I’m still reading archives in hope to find anything describing this improved society.

    1. crow says:

      Only leftists wreck what is in place without any thought to what will take its place.
      We know something is very wrong.
      We expend a lot of energy trying to understand exactly what is wrong.
      Any remaining energy we have left, goes into becoming that which is going to be the replacement for what is wrong.
      Us.

      It’s no good trying to find a new, improved society already extant.
      There isn’t one.
      There can only be, by seeding, fertilizing and spreading ideas that mark a return to reality, from the swamp of decaying decadence.
      You’ll find such ideas, here, if you have eyes to see.

      1. Kirill Nenartovich says:

        As Forest suggested, I need to improve my commenting skills. I would never comment without necessity on this site due to my English; but, something essential is missing here, and so I comment.

        My point was that it’s not enough to repeat continuously how bad we are. We need a picture of a better society. I believe, this site is a right place for such a description of the imaginary improved future society, and I was looking for this description in the archives of the site.

        I could make a contribution with a joke about a kindergarten with the democracy implemented in full, where kids got candies for food, guns and bombs for toys, and so on; but Brett had already done with depicting the situation, and he is still doing it.

        Before “seeding, fertilizing and spreading ideas” they need to be elaborated. Goals need to be set first and then the ways of achieving these goals need to be found. Otherwise, there will be one more fruitless revolution, as usual.

        The future improved society model need to be thought over/through/under carefully, all details discussed. Scientific methods of computerized modeling would help. Lessons of the history should not be forgotten. When this model is proved to be stable, it is the right time to start spreading widely the idea.

        The idea should be elaborated in a rational way and then complemented with the emotional layer so that it will be supported by everyone. We need to bear in mind that man is inherently irrational.

        To improve the rationality of men, I would suggest to start new religion, say “United Rational Church”, I will be a pop, people will call me “Your Rationality” :) (For Amerikans: I’m just kidding, I’m joking, I’m not serious about this church)

        1. crow says:

          If this wondrous new society already existed, there would be nothing to talk, or write about, would there?
          Such things do not get invented by inventors.
          They grow, slowly, from ideas and orientations. Outlooks morph into new outlooks. Or not.

          I used to be – for example – a liar. Now I am not a liar. I used to be fearful – for example – yet now I am not fearful. People may change. Society consists of people.
          Nothing pops out complete and finished, when it comes to masses of people interacting with each other.
          Proof of this is clearly apparent, on this very site:
          we have matured from a fragmented, often rude and combative bunch, with little else in common, to a more respectful, community-like gathering, with more in common than before. We discuss more, debate less, forgive more, wage all-out war less…

          What we are constructing, brick by brick, is a stance, an orientation, a way of functioning, that all may subscribe to. Whether or not this is possible, is anybody’s guess, but, to be honest, it looks to me to be going quite well.
          To the regular reader, there will be obvious repetition. To the new reader, there will not be.
          Forbearance is useful here. And patience.
          This is how martial arts are taught: with every new member, a return to the basics becomes necessary.

          If you want to eat that mammoth, you’ll have to wait, have faith, and bring that cumbersome spear with you, while you shiver and shake, frozen and uncomfortable, until The Moment itself arrives.

          Whatever that means.

      2. JooPe says:

        “Only leftists wreck what is in place without any thought to what will take its place.”

        Are you saying the Bush admin were leftists?

  6. Ted Swanson says:

    “Down with this sort of thing!” That’s hilarious. And it gives me an idea:

    What do you think would happen if we were to protest the protesters??? It would, like, blow their freakin’ mind man! It would be so meta, heads would start exploding! hahaha!

    1. crow says:

      You know, Ted, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re even weirder than me :)

      1. Ted Swanson says:

        I keep myself entertained. And now for something completely different…

  7. 1349 says:

    I read random articles on Amerika.org from time to time. From what i see, most articles are very general, based on slogans, despite some vivid examples. I don’t quite understand the purpose of generalities repetition, but hope you know what you’re doing.
    And, well, maybe i’m just missing the more concrete, down to earth material where you implement your ideas. Where you elaborate the branches of your tree.
    For example, in your place i’d write some material against equal temperament in today’s music (which is essentially leftist), or material on the vertical (vedic, indo-european) vs. horizontal (modern) conception of human language, or on the indoeuropean technical tradition and the concept of beauty… But i guess, such things would be out of the format here.

    1. Kirill Nenartovich says:

      I like your idea about equal temperament in music. We can see now that all that equality started at the time of I.S. Bach, and he is responsible for all our problems. :)
      “Say NO to Piano Equal Temperament” will be our slogan; violinists will appreciate it when accompanied by the piano.

      1. 1349 says:

        “all that equality started at the time of J.S. Bach”

        Funny enough, …

        ““Say NO to Piano Equal Temperament” will be our slogan.”

        Wrong slogan. Live for positive goals!

        1. Kirill Nenartovich says:

          It is a positive one. Technically, to make an electric piano with the just intonation for all scales is not a big deal. It would sound better than equal tempered one, and the scale even can be set automatically while playing. The problem is only with a regular stringed piano, it’s too hard to make the temperament switchable.
          I believe the electric piano will eventually win.

          “I don’t quite understand the purpose of generalities repetition” – see a response to my comment above by crow. It is needed to work-out patience, if I understand right. And one more benefit – you can start reading at any point without missing anything important. Good for new readers.

          1. crow says:

            Glad we managed to sort that out :)

          2. 1349 says:

            “Technically, to make an electric piano with the just intonation for all scales is not a big deal.”

            Maybe you can help me? I want to generate just tones on my PC to experiment with them. For that, i think i need the soundcard to produce sounds with up to ~800 (?) harmonics. The keytone frequency must be adjustable with an accuracy of 0,0001 Hz (?).
            What should i do? Have an old Creative SBLive – can it be ok for this?

        2. Kirill Nenartovich says:

          “Maybe you can help me? I want to generate just tones on my PC”
          I feel guilty posting out-of-topic stuff. You can mail me to first letter of my first name followed by my last name without space or anything at gmail.
          I’m not in PC music though and had in mind something like Clavinova (it has recorded sound of a real piano that sounds better than a synthesized one). I meant making recordings of a just tuned piano in all scales in addition to the equal tempered one already recorded.

          1. crow says:

            Feel no guilt. We talk to each other here. Not like in the real world :)

  8. People come to the internet to be seen, not to be honest. It’s all about how many Facebook “Friends” you have. Unless one has a functional brain, which is so rare we shouldn’t mention it.

    1. crow says:

      OMG I haven’t got a single facebook friend :(
      What will I do???
      The only friends I have are raccoons…

      1. Kirill Nenartovich says:

        I don’t have facebook friends, nether single, nor married, and even no facebook account.
        “What will I do???”
        Depends on the definition of friend.
        I have ignored couple of invitations to become friends on youtube with people that hadn’t even said me “Hi”. Raccoons and squirrels have better chance to be my friends: they know more about me.

  9. Brian says:

    Just a hat-tip to Father Ted here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-F2HKLzB6c

  10. JooPe says:

    “Blaming the other is never useful, especially when the attribution is wrong. As pointed out many times on this site, the cause of our downfall in the West is Western liberalism in all of its forms.”

    Way to contradict yourself in one paragraph/two sentences. Hooray for cognitive dissonance!

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