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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I belong to a couple of mailing lists -- I don't especially like them -- they sort of hover somewhere between blogs (which are okay) and forums (which are better). But, sometimes a mailing list is the only option so I have joined one or two. Right now, the ones I belong to are all about a certain historical king who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty.

I have a couple of problems with these mailing lists. One is that the folks who populate them tend to have vast knowledge of the subject. Now, this is really a great thing -- because those who are well-versed in a subject are a godsend to those of us who are trying to learn. However, I've noticed that these folks don't always tolerate the unlearned very well. They complain about having to rehash subjects which have already been discussed (and, honestly, which haven't?) or, if the topic strays the tiniest bit off subject, then knuckles will be rapped. Now, I understand they don't want to talk about your aunt's brother's redneck cousin (or is that sister?) but, hell, if talking about previous history can help form a better understanding of later history, then why not?

The thing is, though, if these folks want to promote learning, then they are going about it the wrong way. I don't post very often on the mailing list because I don't feel that I have much to impart -- and, when I've asked questions, I've almost heard the "sniff" in the air -- or, for the most part, I've been ignored. But how are people supposed to learn if they can't ask questions in an open and communicative atmosphere? It's always been my experience that you learn from the bottom up -- which means the simplest questions and answers are the foundation for future education.

There will be a gathering of some of these folks later in the year -- a yearly event which takes place in different cities -- this year, it's in reasonable distance to where I live. But I'm not sure I want to attend. Not only do I not know enough but I'm sure my lack of seriousness and intellect -- and a decided fun-filled shallowness which I express on occasion -- wouldn't bode well.

No wonder some people run from history as fast as they can.

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