Public Perception

There’s always been the idea that this thing should be fun. Hasn’t there? Whether that thing is life, art, writing, blogging, or this very blog post here you may be about to read. It should be playful.

And why is that? It’s not written in stone (technically this is written in pixels, or database tables, or binary digits, depending on how you look at it—but that’s just a pointless aside meant to add more words to my monthly word count—doesn’t it though). I could write boring if I wanted to. I could. Watch me… I’m using short simple sentences with basic words and minimal punctuation. This voice is very factual and the voice seems officious and clear, if not brusque. Whether I intend it or not, the style portrays the speaker as having more authority even if there is little if no real information attached and no claims are actually made. Sometimes those reading may not even notice the change. It is the kind of voice people might respect as a superior. This also applies in business, obviously. Dunnit sound good ‘n’ convincing? Oops… knew that couldn’t last.

But then again I spose it shouldn’t. That’s my opinion ‘course, but it doesn’t sound like me and it doesn’t fit the medium. I blame my upbringing. All my parents ever did was teach me that it was important to be happy and learn and do things I liked, and be respectful and interested in other people. Pfft. It’s not my fault if I also apply that to whatever this web-log-thing is.

I guess that’s kinda the problem. See, I care what other people think of me. I know, I know… hard to believe but it’s true. You all know that my parents read this thing? Yeah, they’re my #1 commenters. So there’s some things that, I can politely say, I know they’d rather not know about. But I might need to write about them anyways. What to do? Well, obey Flower the Skunk’s Rule of Courtesy …c’mon. Flower the Skunk? Bambi? Ok, I’ll spell it out: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That goes for everyone, myself included. I’m not gonna say anything mean and I won’t say too much about all the illegal activities I’m planning on participating in (for obvious reasons). I’ll just be myself.

And I’ll try not worry too much about whether the writing “measures up” to the standards of GLΘT-itude.

Pay it, Weegie

Norwegians. So nice, even smug, as long as everything’s going their way. Then the minute the chips go down to eat the dust on the rocks which aren’t as great as they used to be, Norwegians become all… “I vish to speek to the manger.”

Hi. I work at a hostel. It’s my job to tell you you gotta put your stuff in the lockers. It’s two bucks. Even though you think it’s my fault, it’s not. Sorry. No need for rude. No need for manager. It’s not even that much. With a shrug of sympathy and an open-palmed “that’s what you gotta do,” I’ll help you with what you gotta do. Instead, you chose to make me think Norwegians suck.

This is the convergence of customer service with international travel. People like me get to meet everyone in the whole world. It’s like a sampler of national personalities, which, come to think, might be the etymology of “nationality.” And there’s only so many of each. How many Norwegians have I met? Maybe three. And so the picture’s inadequate. I’ve met one Cuban, and I doubt that all Cubans are soft-spoken shrinking violets who just want a nice bottom-bunk, is all. I know the weegies aren’t all unfairly demanding. Yet nonetheless it’s true that when you travel you represent your country. Walking around, in our prosthetically clothing-and-accessory augmented bodies, it’s unavoidable. We each represent the demographic that is us, going down from species, to gender, passing by race and religion and political affiliation and nationality, all the way through education and class and hometown and family and circle of friends. And there’s us.

So dammit… act nice. You put on a face every morning and people can see it. Pay the $2 Weegie.


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