Word of Mouth in Blogdom

Category: Internet Gossip

Note: I rescued this post from the internet archive and I have left the links directed back there. Hope you don’t mind.

I read lots of blogs. I like to dive in and follow-the-links from one site to another, taking in impressions lke a Sunday drive in the country. This morning, at Cranky Chick I was treated to her Quote of the Day. Hmmm…huh?? I clicked on Cranky’s link to Rachel’s site and read there a long rant about how mean and ungrateful the French are / have become, and how, you guessed it, “they hate us”.

I dunno folks - my mother was a small child when her father died in France too. I don’t hate the French, and I haven’t noticed that she does either. Nor do they appear to hate my mother or I. (Let’s be honest here, even if they had hated me in the past, they would not be able to continue doing so in the face of my-actually-liking-them, without revealing a certain unnecessary insecurity, would they?)

I’m not looking for a fight, and apparently Ms. Lucas’ source isn’t either as I found when I followed the link in her rant, now prefaced with:

“WARNING: A lot of bogus information and falsehood is being relayed, based on some serious misuderstanding of the following article. …”

and offers in explanation this link. If I read this correctly, the good Frogman wanted to note that these conditions existed, nothing more, nothing less. He did not say that they had existed before he arrived , nor did he suggest that the condition would persist into all eternity. I am left with the impression that he only wanted to see and share, not draw conclusions about why the condition existed, not make (clever, unsupported, biased, wishful) assumptions.

For this moment, the Frogman offered to be our eyes. He offered us a chance to see what he saw, and question how and why. To wonder and, if it really bothered us, to research the Real Reason Why. In my opinon, this is good blogging.

In reading the comments (after the article) I was sorry to see that he was met by the simplistic stone wall of “they hate us, the ungrateful bastards”. If the symbols of the American nation had been in the Frogman’s three photos would that have been interpreted as “they love us, pass the brie”?

What good can come of expecting to be insulted?

Side note: I would like to offer a plea here for patience with people who are cool enough to blog in a second language! (I’m not, and the Germans tend to be a lot more forgiving about confusion between intent-vs-content than native English speakers.) Hats off to the Dissident Frogman!