Should I Do More Research?

(by the way, you’re welcome for not taking the bait of bitching exclusively about Valentine’s Day today, and clogging up your Reader with more stock reactions to that meaningless holiday. That would be so obvious)

Often, my decision to write an ‘intelligent’ or ‘filler’ post is one based on time; it takes me longer to write about society in a meaningful sense, and I have a life to get on with, so if I have other commitments, I’ll just fall back on discussing paperclips or something.

However, this division isn’t because writing intelligently takes substantially more time – maybe five or so minutes to draw up a loose plan to collect my ideas – but the necessary research does. I hardly put hours into trawling through JSTOR or an actual library to find information, but I’ll often like to look up examples of news stories I’ve heard of, or clips of YouTube videos to illustrate a point, because I feel an argument surrounding a society-wide issue is less convincing if my only evidence is my own measly existence.

This ‘research’ takes many forms: YouTube clips, Economist articles and world health stats have been used on this blog to present and support ideas, both for amusing ways to show irritation like a clip of Katee Sackhoff struggling to scratch her nose in a Pilot’s helmet, and for more serious issues about Premiership viewing stats. Based on this range, I could probably stand to include a few more GIFs and Reddit threads to illustrate my arguments, but I probably won’t.

And this lack of desire for exemplification has been bugging me recently; I stray away from interesting topics, because I don’t want to research them. A part of this is fear, that the impulsive note I took on my iPod to discuss a certain theme may not be as societally applicable, and in finding evidence for this I will have to scrap the idea. Another part of it is laziness, that I blog for fun, and ‘fun’ doesn’t always entail precise exemplification and coherently-constructed arguments.

But the biggest deterrent is you.

I don’t mean this in a negative or egotistical sense, but I feel that you folks read these posts to see what I have to say about things; the blog is named after me, and I use the word ‘I’ approximately 456,235 times per post, and I’ve had no-one call me an egomaniacal bastard yet, so I’d assume that the ratio of me : not me is pretty balanced.

And I fear upsetting this. I fear that writing exclusively reactionary pieces to specific stimuli will mean my posts are accessible to fewer people and, these posts are many things, but they are at least relevant to a lot of people: you guys know what Flappy Bird is, and what pockets are, and what Christmas is. And while exemplifying my reactions to these things would add weight to these arguments, it would compromise the individuality of them, and I don’t have anything to prove by constructing a watertight argument; this isn’t a debate, and I have no reason to lie to you – the advantages of examples, in strengthening an argument, are pointless, and the disadvantages, as dilution in the amount of me on this blog, are apparent.

This is why I wrote a post about Flappy Bird that focused on the style in which I play it; everyone in the world knows its annoying and silly, so you don’t need to hear it from me as well as everyone else.

I am aware that my idealistic desire for individuality will inevitably lead to weaker arguments, and my fear is probably unfounded, given the fact that everything on this URL will be very closely linked to me as my name’s in the damn header, but its something I’ve been thinking about. As readers, and the apparent cause of my indecision, I’d appreciate some feedback on this: would you like to see me give (potentially amusing) examples of things in filler posts, and would you not care if an ‘intelligent’ topic has no examples, as you just want to hear my take on it?

Also, Happy Valentine’s Day; I’m celebrating by literally stealing the heart of a person I know, Mola Ram style.


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