Monday, December 14, 2009

Self - Assessment (With Humour in his eyes and laughter in his heart)

As most of blogging is a sort of queer form of self-aggrandizement [oops, sorry, that's IMO! heh], or some sort of quasi-public introspection, like a reality tv-show in type . . .

I thought it befitting to conduct a brief self-assessment of this blog and recent posts.

1. The last post resulted in a single comment which appears to be an advert from a conservative R.C.C., which incidentally also showed up on the same day on the Ochlophobist's site;

2. Speaking of Ochlophobists, it has gotten so crowded with comments over on some posts at Owen's site that I wonder whether he wished he were somewhere else.

3. I have one regular reader, who is hands-down the kindest Orthodox blogger I know. I appreciate those visits, dear reader, more than you know! I have two "followers" of the which only one is "known" in the sense that I've seen his postings around the Orthodox blogosphere here and there. I have been kindly included on a couple of (otherwise) highly worthy blogrolls.

4. There have been a grand total of 36 comments left since July, 2009. Some blogs seem to get that in less than 36 minutes. The most significant comment day was related to a nice mention from Owen on his blog about my note that I had lost 1/2 my job and was worried about the farm. There were 7 (count em!), 7 whole comments!!

5. Blog posts varied from notes about the agrarian life, comments on the Antiochian struggles, personal reflections on the Christian life and scripture, and miscellaneous poetry and song. There seems to be no correlation between topics I choose to write about and the comments left here.

In conclusion I am either:

a. extremely boring;

b. too conventional in my thinking;

c. far, far from the mainstream, or any stream, of what passes for interesting stuff on the blogscape; or

d. all of the above.

Well - I suspect "d" is the likeliest candidate. And really, that is good news to me. I couldn't stomach dealing with 50 or 100 comments from passersby.

Anyway, I have animals to get into the barn now for the night. And they don't mind boring, so long as food and shelter are regular as rain West of the Cascades.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe I am your other follower.

Keep up the good work!



10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it is me. :)

By the way, "2. Speaking of Ochlophobists, it has gotten so crowded with comments over on some posts at Owen's site that I wonder whether he wished he were somewhere else." is probably the funniest thing I've read in a long time. I actually had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from waking my 9 month old.

I can tell you this, as a guy who writes an Orthodox poetry blog, I believe I've found the narrowest possible audience on the planet (perhaps if I wrote the poems in Swahili that would be more bizarre).

I didn't have a blog roll until recently, but I'll most definitely add you (you did link to one of my poems a while back). Such a move might increase your traffic by 50%! :)

7:05 AM  
Blogger Hilarius said...


I think you just did increase traffic by 50% by commenting here! Ha!

Seriously, no need to add me to your roll - this was entirely toungue in cheek. If I really wanted to increase traffic I think I just need to put "cute kitty video" in the title of a few posts (or so I hear). Tee hee.

I know the thrice worthy Romanos enjoys your work and regularly reposts it so that it reaches the far
corners of the blogscape.

Xenia - ah, honored. I believe we are almost neighbors if I am not mistaken

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just did you a huge disservice. I quoted you with a link over at Owen's blog. :)

I am a trouble-maker today :)

8:34 AM  
Blogger The Ochlophobist said...

It was a very funny observation.

I do miss a smaller audience.

Having blogged on two blogs for six or so years now, most of that time spent with my rarified ragtag group of a few readers, I now find myself in a most unfortunate situation.

Honestly, since I started I have never had as many thoughts about quitting as I do now. Quitting for good or quitting and beginning another blog under a pseudonym. I don't know. I used to write for the enjoyment of writing, for the enjoyment of debate among mostly friends, and as a means to clarify my own thoughts.

I would encourage you both to keep at it as you have time. I have read things here which have been good for my soul, which gave me a glimpse of hope in an otherwise gloomy day. There will come a time when we will be considered not for what we have done for the many, but for those individual instances of the craft of love. The act of giving one cup of cold water to one stranger is a holier act than giving thousands of boxes of rice to a refugee camp. I suppose both must be done at times, but the one is definitely a better thing than the other.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you do resign, as it were, Owen, please let your last post be a good booklist. So I might continue your instruction absentee.

But I don't think you realize the valuable service you provide other bloggers by keeping me occupied and therefore not irritating them.

Someone will take up your mantle, someone always does. Though I'm sure a few like Richard and Christopher can't be all that far behind you in burnout.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Hilarius said...

Och, you just have to stop being so damned controversial!

[note: "damn, damned" from the Latin "to suffer loss" as in damnum absque injuria, to suffer loss or damages without injury, as in the case of a trespass to land; - please don't go puritanical on me folks for using the word here!]

Now, what I would really ask of you is that you provide me some help on my decidedly poor musings about the idea that what we take for granted now (let me call it a "Brothers Karamozovian Orthodoxy") may have been seen as nearly heretical innovation in the 19th century, and that we must be very careful about thinking that Brothers Karamozovian Orthodoxy is, without doubt, fully consistent with the Faith once delivered.

Some would seem to hold up what I'll call a Brothers Karamozovian Orthodoxy as the lamplight of true Orthodoxy, and it may well be. But I have some doubts that it is a romanticized view of Orthodoxy. Here I am not talking about the actual pictures drawn by Dostoyevski of the Orthodoxy of Russia in the late 19th century, but rather the romanticization of that world and some of the viewpoints into a particular view of Orthodoxy which is at odds, say, with the idea of a Saint punching somebody in the face and yet being a Saint, or the Byzantine army cutting a swath of destruction in Persia and yet being deemed good sons of the Church engaged in "lawful" warfare.

Anyway - if you'd care to comment or discuss such things under my post entitled "Authentic Orthdoxy(tm)" I'd really appreciate the help and critical eye.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I greatly enjoy your varied notes, and loved the subtle humor of this post.

And, I'm touched. Thank you.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Maxim said...

I got the Irish ad on my blog, too. My blog is pretty much defunct, though I still add a post, from time to time. The only comments I've gotten over the last couple of months have been ads of some kind or another. A few months ago I did have someone e-mail me about the blog, so apparently a few people do still wander through. I started the blog with the hope that I could get some sustained conversations going on some ideas I found intriguing, but after an initial flurry of comments saying essentially "Welcome to Blogdom!" the comments pretty much dried up, and, as you say, when they did come, they were usually off topic; I must be even more boring than you!

The best thing that has happened as a result of my blog is that I have made some real friends. The Internet world is pseudo-community, but these shadows of real human discourse can occasionally turn into real community, as real people come striding out of the cyber-mists in all of their glorious complexity. Most comments on blog posts are disappointing, but I have on occasion taken part in blog discussions that were truly stimulating. It's a little like panning for gold; you have to wash out a lot of dross to come at the nuggets. The level of discourse in ordinary conversation isn't uniformly high, either.

I think one should refrain from commenting on a blog unless he considers himself a friend; that is, not that everyone has to have met personally, but that one considers oneself entering into a convivial atmosphere, argumentative conviviality at times, to be sure, but still convivial. It might help to picture a pot of tea being brewed in the background. I have had my heart warmed during the many happy hours spent in Owen's electronic living room, though we have never met. The problem with Owen's blog lately is that there are too many strangers passing through the house for the sole purpose of hurling a few words of abuse before disappearing forever. A Blog at its best is a shadow of the rowdy argumentative controversies of a Chesterton or a Dr. Johnson, and shadows of human things are generally the best things available to contemporary Man.

5:03 PM  
Blogger John said...

I love your blog. Boring? Far from it. I have followed your blog for several years now. But it does seem that I was more in the habit of doing so back in its earlier format, before you shut it down for a while. So, it seems I just need to reacquire the habit I once had. Will gladly become a follower. How do I do that, exactly?

5:42 PM  
Blogger Lotar said...

I read your blog. Where else can I find another blog by an Orthodox small holder with sheep?

Boring? I think not.

7:25 AM  
Blogger John said...

I don't have any sheep, but wish I did. I am, however, the son of an old-time sheep raiser. I remember that as a know-it-all 10-year old, I had an argument with my dad over a sheep-shearing picture in the World Book Encyclopedia. The photo showed a sheep being sheared standing up. My dad, who had sheared more sheep than he cared to remember, assured me that was NOT the way it was done.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Hilarius said...

I think folks do shear sheep for show (say that three times!) using a stand and head-stall.

But for collecting the fleece this is a more common position:

Picture of sheep shearing

3:57 PM  
Blogger s-p said...

Hilarius, This is a blog I drop in on every few days to see if there's anything new. One of the things I've found in the "Ortho-blogosphere" (and believe me there are some Orthographs coming) is that number of comments is proportional to "touchy issues". I've been blogging for over 5 years and when I started it I decided it wouldn't be an "Ortho-blog" but a blog by an Orthodox Christian and I've avoided controversy but do some introspection and sometimes take a grinning backhand swipe at convert goofiness only because I've been there/done that. The past few months I've been posting more and reading more blogs because I have way too much time on my hands and a cool turtle, this is my hobby. My fingers are too arthritic to play the blues anymore. Anyway, what was the point?....Oh, yeah. Don't take "low comment count" as "insignificance". I used to have comment envy of other blogs, but I know I read a lot of blogs and like the content but don't always leave comments either even though I know the writer would like to see one. And frankly I like to see them too, but comments seem to have little correlation to hit counts. Anyway, don't give up the blog. If anything post more, even if it is a few sentences, they don't always have to be deep and wide. A glimpse of a soul is a blessing and an privilege to share.

10:33 PM  

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