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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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My Purpose?

Uploaded: Nov 8, 2015
A few weeks ago one of my regular readers who goes by the name Hal Bailey, emailed me to ask what my "purpose" is in my blogs. Hal is in a group that discusses different newspaper columns and blogs and someone in that group asked about my purpose. I'm not sure what was meant by "purpose," but Hal explained that they meant my "focus" or subject area.

"To understand these questions you might understand large audiences that focus on a few subjects such as sports, finance, economics, and politics. These are subjects that are basis for anger in commentary by authors and readers alike."

I thought about the question and emailed him this reply,

"Hal, I don’t have a set purpose. When I started writing the San Ramon Observer in 2002 my purpose was to write about City Council meetings and things going on in San Ramon. I still use that title, but I write about whatever is on my mind now. I try to throw in local happenings, like attending the Wilson Phillips Concert at the San Ramon Performing Arts Center but I don’t always write about San Ramon or local issues.

Blogs are short for Weblog, which originally began as a kind of online diary. I try to make mine a little more focused than that, but it still is a stream of consciousness essay on whatever I’m thinking about at the moment. My purpose is just to be me. I’m planning to write my next blog on Bernie Sanders, except it isn’t really about Bernie Sanders. It’s really about me. It’s always about me. (I posted my blog on Sanders two weeks ago),

Now that you ask that question, maybe I should write about that too." So this blog is once again about me writing about me. Now that the year is wrapping up I may start writing about the end-of-year holidays.

Hal sent me an email about a Hindu holiday I never heard of before. "Diwali, also known as Deepavali, Dipavali, Dewali, Deepawali or the Festival of Lights, marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November) in the Hindu calendar. Diwali celebrations can last for about five days. In Singapore, November 10, 2015 starts the celebration."

I emailed Hal back,

"I’m not familiar with Hindu holidays, but that sounds a lot like the Jewish Chanukah, also called the Festival of Lights and celebrated for 8 days in December. Many of these ancient holidays evolved from other religions, like Jesus’ birth is celebrated in December, for which there is no documented proof, but it corresponds to a similar celebration in another ancient religion.

Ancient people were very superstitious and they noticed things like the days got shorter and the nights got longer in the winter months. It must have been scary until December 20 or so when the sun started hanging around longer after the Winter Solstice. The religion of Astrology evolved into the science of Astronomy over the Centuries, but the fight between the faithful and the factfull still goes on."
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Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 8, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I wrote a regular blog 2011-2012.
During that period I posted approximately 100 blogs. Each blog provided a short bio and a photo.

I was initially taken by surprise with the level of hatred in the online forum. The number of TROLLS, the anonymous posters that spewed their venom on line, the attacks, the disrespect, the uneducated, unsubstantiated and undocumented opinions.

My blogs were about unlicensed contractors, a cold case murder, local politicians, and unelected bureaucracies. a deliberate scuttling of a heritage tree, city streets, sidewalks, traffic, sports, food, and other topics.

In posting those topics, I received many nice and enquiring commentary from readers that subpplanted the above bashers. I was contacted privately by family seeking explanation for the death of a family member. I was contacted by law enforcement and Alameda County prosecutors office seeking answers for their investigations, I was contacted by elected officials to share my research with them.

Despite the forum abusers and their rhetoric, their magniloquent commentary, I occasionally continue to post blogs on the Weekly, Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, and others.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Michael,

Perhaps if you stopped calling anonymous (or in my case half-anonymous) posters "TROLLS" and others "un-educated" you'd get a better response?

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Dan


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 8, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Formerly Dan from BC:

You are the exact response TROLL I expected to this topic.
Be it half TROLL or any other description you have for your self.
Hide behind your TROLL post.
You are what you are.
You, more so, than any other TROLL, openly display your magniloquent rhetoric, anonymously!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by BG Groff , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 7:27 am

Let's say it's your restaurant. Someone disrupts the kitchen, pees in the sink, ruins the food, flings the pots and pans, runs-off both the diners and the other kitchen folk and generally wants to convert it into their own personal gymnasium.

I don't think you need to get out of that kitchen. Heat is not its problem. You throw the bum out. S/he has abused the invitation to remain on the premises. Problem solved.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 7:51 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Michael,

You STILL don't know what a troll is and I've given you the definition at least 2 times!

I don't write for a living, I do tech. If I write something that is politically opposite from my boss, he can fire me. Doesn't matter that I am A1 in my position, make a lot of money for my company, and that what I post doesn't impact my company in the slightest. He can fire me because I wrote something he did not agree with.

I'm pretty sure my boss shares my politics, but I'm not taking any chances just so I can fulfill your desire for control of MY dialog.

This is reality for anyone who isn't a writer and this is precisely why I don't give my full name.
And there is plenty of examples of people getting fired for speaking their mind, look at what's happening at Yale right now with a email that students find "insensitive".

Get off your high horse.




 +   2 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 7:56 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

BG,

I always enjoy when someone wants to negate speech they disagree with. Exposes the thin-skinned control freaks that they are.

Nothing is worse then loosing control eh?


 +   7 people like this
Posted by BG Groff , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:16 am

There's nothing in the metaphor about alternative recipes -- those are always welcome in an open kitchen. This is about abuse of kitchen privileges.

It's about misbehavior, and those who try to dignify their delinquency by cloaking it in free speech. When a monkey flings poo, he knows what he's doing, and doesn't try to call it anything else.

Someday, you might achieve monkeydom. That would be progress.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:20 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

If you cannot write what is on your mind, do not write it.
If you are not prepared to take responsibility for what you write, than do not write it.

Anyone posting anonymously is hiding.
Hiding is a means for children to have refuge.
You are an adult that is hiding.
You seem to be a person of diminished demeanor.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:44 am

Roz: I actually enjoy reading your blog. Unlike a certain other blogger whose purpose seems to be to spew his parties one sided rhetoric and insult others who he does not agree with, along with his hatred of law enforcement, you do not seem to have an agenda other than sharing thoughts and ideas. You seem informed, open and usually respectful to other opinions, and your writing reminds of me Erma Bombeck( I guess I am showing my ancient age). The best classes I had as an undergrad and in law school were taught by professors who did not claim to have all the answers to everything, who learned as much as they taught, and were respectful without having an agenda. Keep up the good work!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"Anyone posting anonymously is hiding.
Hiding is a means for children to have refuge.
You are an adult that is hiding.
You seem to be a person of diminished demeanor."

So sayeth King Michael, eh?

You know absolutely nothing about me, but its not because I am partially anonymous. It's because you do not like when someone questions your writing and approach to dealing with points that disagree with yours. So all you have is name-calling and labeling.

So very typical.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

BG,

Tough! You don't want poo flung at you, get away from the cage.

And where, genius, in any of my postings did I mention "free speech"?

You have a style of writing similar to another blogger on PW. I wonder...?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Okay, I did not address you specifically, you jumped on it.

HO-HUM!

I want to point out, you are the first admitted TROLL, and you have stated as such, and I quote, "or in my case half-anonymous TROLL, and I quote again, "partially anonymous TROLL", all in your previous commentary above.

Not sure how half of you is a TROLL and half of you is not a TROLL.
In my mindset, a half is not less than full, a half is full blown.
Around here, the cup is never half empty, the cup is always half full.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Wow, I was away from this blog for a day communicating with my students at University of Phoenix, all very respectfully, and then I see all Heck (I'm old) breaking loose here.

Dan and Michael take your battles somewhere else. I don't want to bother with them here.

I shall communicate with the other posters in a separate comment.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

American,

Thank you so much. I loved Erma Bombeck. I'm flattered you would compare me to her.

Roz


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"Perhaps if you stopped calling anonymous (or in my case half-anonymous) posters "TROLLS"..."

That's calling myself a troll?

Comprehend much?

Sorry Roz.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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