From Chocotto Vampire.

Through no real deliberate intent on my part, I seem to have drifted away from what I suppose could be broadly called "the anime blogging community". I suppose I'm technically still a part of this "community", in that I am blogging anime, and thus I can be considered to be part of the anime blogging community by default. And yet, I don't actually participate in any of the activities that would make me a Part Of The Community beyond that which is conferred merely by existing.

I suspect that a part of it is due to Real Life. The pace has either stepped up, or my brain has stepped down; both possibilities are equally plausible and disturbing. Apart from the obvious side effect of leaving me with less time to enjoy my hobbies, anime watching and blogging being among them, it does mean that I cannot quite eke out the mental fortitude to engage in the spirited volleys that passes for conversation among fandom.

Very few blogs, this one included sometimes, actually want to engage in discussion. Most of the time, it's just a venue to air our viewpoints, however we see fit to do so. In many occasions I've tried to be patient and rational in a debate with someone who is clearly not interested in dialogue, a fact which is borne out when the other party says in effect "actually I don't care what you or anyone else says, I'm just venting". I have no inherent objections against venting if it is made clear that the rant is not a topic to be discussed in depth. Otherwise, the failure in communication just wastes time.

This gets even worse when it comes to the statement of opinions. One thing I learned to do is to make sure that when it comes to touchy topics, it is abundantly clear which parts of what I am saying is fact, and which parts are opinion. The rule of thumb is that if it's not firm enough to be printed as a reputable source (ie "go to press"), then it's opinion. It's a little like that quote about journalists calling murderers "the alleged murderer" and the King of England "the alleged King of England" to avoid defamation suits.

What it all boils down to is that I have the option of Participating In The Anime Blogging Community by sparring with the people involved, or staying out of it all and spending my time watching anime instead. I simply do not have the Copious Free Time or emotional willpower to engage in both activities at once on a regular basis. It's difficult enough to come to terms with my own unpopular opinions, such as with the run of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's "Endless Eight" (summary: I really liked it), but when I see another post bashing it (fine) with incorrect language (not fine), I have to hold my figurative tongue rather than get into an argument I know I cannot finish.

So it goes.

4 Responses to “Gather Round”
  1. Martin says:

    I hear you man. I can't be bothered with the raeg either. Firstly they're often raeging about shows I'm not watching anyway, but secondly I don't have the time or energy to split hairs when actually watching the shows in question is more fun. It makes me feel all smug and superior to say "I have more important things to do than argue. Like watching TV."

    The exception is Endless Eight – I wouldn't have the willpower to sit through all that with my backlog being the way it is, but skimming through what the bloggers have to say about it is surely more entertaining!

  2. Ben says:

    The art of blogging isn't about the debates, it's about the posting of opinions. The blogs I visit regularly either post relevant and interesting (to me) information or just have interesting things to say. A blog that just engages in bandwagon reviews and repetition doesn't interest me. I visit Moe Check! because you make interesting posts.

    My biggest complaint about anime blogging is that most of it is capsule reviews of the current Japanese anime season or anime fandom in general. Not many people actually comment intelligently about watching the shows, and very few people discuss anything older than six months anymore. To be clear, I'm glad people are doing those current reviews…I just wish it wasn't EVERYONE.

    There aren't many sites that I read the comments on any more. Case in point; I've been reading Shamus Young's Twenty Sided for a few years, but I stopped reading the comments not too long ago. I can get the comments anywhere, they're all other people's opinions and just about everyone has a blog. But, Shamus still has interesting opinions so I still read the posts.

    The bottom line is, I guess, write about what interests you. If you don't want to write, don't. Unless you're trying to become a professional, of course. I would much rather read something you thought was interesting than to get your side of an argument that you don't want to devote the energy to. I have to bite my tongue whenever Endless Eight comes up as well, but I realized early on that there wasn't any point to the debate.

    I doubt any of that is clear, but I think what I'm trying to say is to do what makes you happy…although I hope it makes you happy to post something every now and then. :)


  3. ETERNAL says:

    I've never been big on debates or arguments, but I've always liked weighing in on different issues through blog posts and Twitter and the like simply because it's fun. In a sense, watching anime is more fun, but I guess I see this as a social experience so it never bothered me. Saying "do what you find fun" isn't very good advice since that's what everyone says it's probably what you already know, but if a person genuinely stops enjoying being a part of a community or doing a certain activity, they'll probably force themselves to stop anyway. Until then, I think a break is a more appropriate prescription, but hey, I haven't been at it for as long as you so it's your call.

  4. 0rion says:

    I don't bother arguing over the internet anymore. I just post about what I think, and I only bother reading the opinions of others who I respect and/or who write well. If someone disagrees with me, at least then I know it's an honest and well thought opinion and I can engage in dialogue without the flamethrowers coming out.

    In any case, the whole "anime blogging community" thing is a pretty loose concept to begin with. Might as well just have fun with it; this stuff is too trivial to bother getting worked up over. And for what it's worth, I really enjoy reading your posts. :)