Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Point of Clarification

Recently, one of my esteemed readers posted a comment in reaction to my September 29, 2006 post under the title “Lipumbas: Exactly Why the Opposition Sucks”. I would just like to quote, so that I give the commenter a respectable and deserved voice:

I would say that I was a bit impressed by your comments on 'Lipumbas: Exactly Why the Oppostion Sucks". However, I did not like the way you choose your words particularly when it comes to describe a person.If I were in your position I would not have used such words/phrases as 'stupid comment', 'childish', LiPUMBA and others.If you want to be critical of somebody, you have to stick to arguments, you should not cross borders and enter into criticizing one's personality and integrity.I think you should also have taken sufficient time to ponder over the arguments raised by Prof. Lipumba. You would have discovered more than you did

Let me start by expressing my sincere appreciation for the observation. It would be meaningless if I write and nobody reads, except may be for a few members of my household (if they really care for my thoughts that I express on the internet in the first place). So Simbadeo thanks a lot.

That being said, lets get to it.

Writing is about expression of one’s thoughts or feelings. If I were writing for Daily News or Uhuru, I am sure that my thoughts or feelings would have been censored to fit into the editor’s liking. But given the fact that I am the writer and the editor at the same time through my own blog, I play into that freedom. I don't have to get anybody's approval to tell what I see.

That being said, I am not intending to just cross boundaries in the name of freedom and liberty. I have a writing objective and I try to fulfill that. In case it has not been clear, my objective is to challenge the status quo, particularly with reference to our thinking and attitudes. In connection to that, I deliberately choose certain words that would evoke certain responses. Furthermore, I choose certain words to hit my points home. Why not call a spade a spade? If Professor Lipumba gives a stupid comment, I would say that.

I am trying to imagine how it would be like calling a stupid comment something like "a comment that was short of logical sense". That is being too politically correct, and I don't think political correctness will ever help our folks grow. So I try to deliberately defy the norm to get folks out of their routine. I don't want to be another Uhuru newspaper. Folks have had plenty of that.

Does that mean that I should just go out and blah blah? I don't think so. I try in all my articles to provided facts and rationale to support my assessment.

I am not sure where Ms./Mr./Mrs. Simbadeo got the impression that I was getting personal, for instance, in my criticism of Professor Lipumba. If you read the whole article, in no place I said, “Professor Lipumba is stupid or childish”. I think there is a clear distinction between someone being stupid and someone giving a stupid comment. I believe throughout the article I tried to stick to judging Professor Lipumba’s comments. But what would an American say? Stupid is as stupid does. If Ms/Mr/Mrs Simbadeo was impressed with my comments in that article, then my choice of words is irrelevant to the point I was driving home.

See, life is full of preferences. Ms./Mr./Mrs. Simbadeo’s dislike for my choice of words is a good example of how subjective things could be. Given that fact, why would I switch and be like him or her? Where would my individualism come into play? I like me. I like my writing style. This is who I am. I would be worried if what I write doesn’t make sense. But he or she didn’t say that I don’t make sense. So I am at peace.

With regards to this argument, “I think you should also have taken sufficient time to ponder over the arguments raised by Prof. Lipumba. You would have discovered more than you did”, What can I say? Wasn’t the whole article, which Ms/Mr/Mrs. Simbadeo was impressed with, intended to negate the arguments raised by Professor Lipumba? Honestly, I would appreciate getting what I missed from Mr.Lipumba’s comments. That is that whole point of growing.

My point is, I have a writing voice and a writing objective. Some will like that, some will not. Such is life. It would not be fair for me to stop others from having their own preferences. SoI would like to stick with me.


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