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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Silent readers and shots in the dark

I suppose I could say that it takes a lot of courage to post a blog. To put your thoughts and feelings right out there in cyberspace to be read by thousands of unknowns, strangers, thousands of possible readers that don’t know me.  I say thousands because my stat counter is a ways over 15K hits – but lets just for the sake of argument say that only half are actual hits…. the others represent my postings, readers going to the slide shows or other links then coming back to go to another link, one hit being counted many times. A good percentage of these 7k or so readers are unfamiliar to me. They read and move on, looking for who knows what, rarely leaving anything behind to mark their passing except a number on the stat counter and a place in line on the live feed.

The majority of the comments I received are from regular visitors and when they do leave a comment it is positive, encouraging, and you can follow their link back to their blog and see who it is that is making a comment, say something to them in the way of thanks – sort of a blog world courtesy stop. I always post the comments I receive, (well they are positive so why not) except when from a commercial blog site, or there is no open link to tell me who is commenting.

Today I received one of the later types. Before going to lunch I read the comment which caused a slight lurch in my stomach because I so hate to be disliked by even a stranger, I tried to follow the link to see who this was – a blank profile page was all I found – so I deleted the comment and went  to lunch with family (Brazilians all, that I love and admire). During lunch I brought this up for discussion – we wont go into that – it is beside the point. But this gave me opportunity to think out loud about the content of the comment, and what I said that offended him so greatly.

In Response to my ‘My Town’ post on February 18, this shot in the dark was made …..”Picture a Brazilian visiting New York, and in the subway he noticed that the station name is Franklin D. Roosevelt. He never heard of this guy, and after some research he finds out that Roosevelt, as US President, declared war to Japan. He concluded that Americans must be dumb to elect and honor a war loving guy. Your "research" on Getulio Vargas lead you to as absurd conclusions as of the Brazilian in New York…..”

So here I am putting my thought and feelings back out into cyberspace, risking further humiliation and ridicule because I have something to say about my blogging.

  1. I do not profess to be an intellectual - As I explain in my profile, I am someone far from home. I have limited ability to share my thoughts in the town in which I live. So I write my thoughts out for strangers. This is the sad truth.
  2. I do not make my living nor am I in any way a research guru – add one and two together and you are likely to get surface information only – if you want to know more do your own research.  I will say here that I sited the page for this ‘research’ so if anyone wanted to read the whole thing it was easily available – this site was pretty basic. It has 1 or two paragraphs on the election history and also a small paragraph or two about the social good – the train system for one and the unions to protect labor for another, that Vargas pushed through.
  3. From the mouth of a Brazilian, “Brazilians have a love - hate relationship with this President. Some love him for the good he did and some hate his methods”
  4. From Camillo who loves Brazil unconditionally says - (and I think him right and would go into this with a 50 page fully sited dissertation if I weren’t just writing a blog) – he says that this is no different than those that vote for Chaves, or Silvio Berlusconi or for GW Bush…. or many, many of our political leaders of today (ours’ as in the world’s) whose true character is there, staring us in the face before the election and that let us down, kicking us in the teeth with the truth, once elected.
  5. And not to prolong this argument but FDR – Kept the American people out of the war from 1939 until we were attached by Japan in late ‘41 – the comments made are by the shot in the dark reader are valid but to equate FDR or Vargas is a stretch – Maybe using GW or Nixon would have worked better.

To be really fair though – I normally talk about my feeling – in this there can be no right or wrong – I don’t write about religion, or abortion or other culturally sensitive issues and if I were going to change this, to make any political type statement, I should have taken the time to write one more line in the fun-loving FSO and given a list of good Vargas did in his years in power. So after a day of thought and reflection I don’t have any problem with the comment and am now sorry I deleted it…. but do still feel that if a reader feels strongly about something I’ve said and wants to add to, or contradict, to help me in understanding my new home, then I would like very much to be given their name and an email address so I can respond….. not just feel I’ve been - shot in the dark.


  1. It's your blog and you get to say what you think. The commenter had a responsibility to defend his/her position by sharing the positive qualities of Vargas.

  2. Kerry you are so right, and I changed my verbage a little bit to make it clearer that I was trying to say this.... thanks for your comment.

  3. Ginger, I'm with you on this one. I think it is important that the people who make comments on our blogs identify themselves in some way, even if it is a pseudo-identity in the form of their blog.

    I am wary of so-called anonymous comments. In the blogoshere there is a certain level of trust, however illusory, in other people's good will that is breached every time some one, whether an organisation, an individual or a spammer, makes a comment from the 'hidey' hole of anonymity.

    I do not think this is fair play. Thanks for your thoughts here. I think it's good to clear these things up.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Thank You Marco -
    "Dear GingerV

    I`m the shot in the dark reader that sent a comment on your post about Getulio Vargas, which one offended you. I regret this, it was not my intent. I will try to explain. First, I am not a blogger, I have never post any comment in any blog, and I used my wife´s Gmail account to login and be able to send it. So, I did not know I have to identify myself in order to post, but as I used my wife´s account I thought it would appear somewhere. As a matter of fact, I don´t know what means to identify myself, do I need to give my full name and address? I will ask some expert how to do this in a more safe way. Secondly, I was not defending Getulio Vargas, I am not his fan. What I meant, and that is why I mentioned FDR, is that he was very important to Brazilian history, even nowadays his influence is felt in several aspects of Brazilian life, and your post treated him as a banana republic dictator that must be forgotten. By now I am sure that you have more information about him, a contradictory man, as is our country. So why I post my first ever comment to a blog? It was not the first time I browsed your blog, which I find nice and interesting. I do recognize the difficulties of being an expat, I spent 2 years abroad. But your comments on GV were so naïve and out of place, showing certain lack of understanding about the country, that in some way spoiled to me the whole blog. But I am glad that now you have no problem with my commentary; I will continue to browse your blog. Please feel free to contact me.
    By the way, I would never vote for GWB "

    Sorry but the first time I published, I forgot to remove the email you gave me so had to delete - then blogger wouldn't let me rebublish - I sent you an email...