Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some Things I've Been Thinking


1. Several of the bloggers I've enjoyed following for years are slowing down, posting less often, possibly losing interest, and/or transferring their energies elsewhere. I'm sure this is true of any activity, and some of my favorites continue as energetically and stimulatingly as ever, but I remember when blogging seemed so new. And now, with so many other ways of communicating and posting and having one's say--Twitter and Trumblr and Instagram and Facebook, and so on--is blogging becoming a bit . . . dowdy?



2. As with so many other "Others," when most of us (me, at least) think of Muslims, we think of some huge, undifferentiated sea of people, and at times, this thinking has some fear attached to it. It turns out, however, that Muslims as a group are as divided as any other group. As noted in the New York Times, "while many non-Muslims are now aware that there is a sectarian divide in Islam between Sunnis and Shiites, it is less commonly known that Syria is ruled largely by members of an esoteric Islamic sect, the Alawites, whose belief in the divinity of Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, is just one of the reasons that they were oppressed as infidels for centuries by other Muslims." These schisms continue to be enormously divisive and, in many places, deadly, leading to civil war and brutality and mayhem of all varieties. Since I was thinking about all this, I just googled to learn that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were/are Sunni. Are they the ones were supposed to be scared of? Is it possible that there are Sunnis who aren't scary? Most likely.


I suppose these could be questions for my pal the Discomfort Czar, who seemed to be unavailable the past couple weeks. Guess there's a lot of activity to take care of in the discomfort department.

6 comments:

Jim Poznak said...

The dreaded Sunnis became allies of the US in the latter stages of the US's adventure in Iraq.

rasirds@cox.net said...

These days it's difficult to define a group because any group is comprised of good and bad people. Despite the choice of Sarah Palin as his 2008 running make, (probably not by Sen. McCain), he still makes apolitical and sensible comments. While he is a ruthless and unfair to undocumented Latinos and prisoners, Sheriff Arpaio is an animal activist. Sean Penn engaged in some immature living, but now uses his fame to help the starving. We can't judge groups. We can judge only the people in them and separate the good from the bad. Because of the world situation, I feel it is important that we judge individually to know there is hope.

Susan Messer said...

Right. Good point. And there are probably multiple other divisions that we don't even know about, as there are in every group.

Susan Messer said...

Thanks, Rasirds. And as you point out, it's hard to even judge a person, as each one you mention has their good and bad aspects. Probably even the words "good" and "bad" are oversimplifications. McCain acted out of a desperation to win and manipulation by others. Arpaio acts out of a rigidness of belief. Sean Penn acted out of wildness and some extreme (though not unusual) reaction to fame.

rasirds@cox.net said...

Since you haven't added a new entry yet, I'll comment on your thoughts of blogging being "dowdy".

Cursive writing is no longer being taught in 44 States. Maybe our generation is dowdy, but having just seen the first doctor's report who attended Pres. Lincoln after he was shot, while keeping the horror in mind, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful cursive writing by the attending physician.

If blogging is losing to texting and the other forms of communication you mention, I feel we are becoming a society of non-communicators, blogging being the best of the new or old, depending on one's attitude or age.

Blog on, please!

Susan Messer said...

Thanks for these thoughts. I was feeling discouraged when I wrote that piece. There is plenty of lively blogging going on, but it is true that all these add-ons and alternates (Digg and Instagram etc.) seem to be cropping up as ways of publishing one's thoughts and promoting them more assertively. Who knows where it will all lead? Even Al Qaeda is now thought of as a "brand."