To Readers: "I double dog dare you!"

A reader had the following comment regarding my April blog about Filipino ego:
  • “From my 3 year experience here in the Philippines, I completely agree with you. I’m surprised you were [not] flooded with hate mail. Because that always happens to me if I speak up about certain issues.”
The ego article link is here.
The comment caused me to muse about why that might be, that I do not get a lot of hate mail.
Now when I was commenting on Get Real Post, the GRP thugs would come at me relentlessly, like bees from a hive I had knocked about. And way back on Filipino Voices, I’d be told to go back  to America. One attorney repeated the call often. 
Yet, on my own site, the criticism is fairly thin and isolated. Mostly people agree or reinforce my ideas with observations of their own. Certainly very, very few people come at me with the venom of those GRP thugs, Parallelaxe, trosp, dude and a few others.
So I got to thinking about the matter of courage and numbers. Like, when I pass one guy on the sidewalk, he ignores me. If I pass two, one may mutter something to the other. If I pass three, one is very likely to yell “Hey Joe”, or crack a joke to his buddies about my height (6’4″). If I pass four or more, I can be assured that one in the bunch will turn the monkey, prancing about to amuse his buddies at my expense.
So did I get a lot of crap at GRP because people knew they were in the presence of their supporting thugs? They’d get some help if they  got into a pissing match?
And are readers silent or polite here at the Society of Honorbecause it is one on one? Or are they simply not that confident of their English and don’t want to mix it up with a guy who wields his words like a finely honed stiletto? Or are they polite visitors to my “house”, refraining from tracking mud onto the tiles?
I’d like to think my readership is not shy or humble or fearful. Some of my articles get good readership but few comments. Even when the articles are shrill and certainly open to criticism. So I have no idea what mental mischief is going on in the silence. I can’t help thinking I am missing some good ideas, even if they are opposed to my own.
And if someone doesn’t do English well, how hard is it to type:“You’re full of it on this one, JoeAm”? Or they can read me the riot act in Tagalog and I’ll get my sweet translator to unwind it for me.
Well, I don’t know why people aren’t harder on me here, but I do have a “self-improvement” exercise for you. To prove to yourself and me that this is not a matter of “courage”, but a matter of choice.
Sometime during the month of July, I’d like you to read what I write, find something you think is not accurate or could be stated better, and tell me so.
Yes, I’m asking for criticism.
Let it fly.
It is good practice for me, you know, to figure out how to respond constructively to a comment that I might easily take non-constructively. That, too, is choice. When criticized, a person can take the criticism as negative or positive, rejecting it or reflecting on it.
And it will be good for you to be frank, forward, direct. Don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Kick one now and then. Be a man!
Unless, of course, you are a woman.
And if I respond badly, the ball is in your court. You can take my remark and try to wend it down a constructive path instead of embark on one of those win/lose esteem battles you see so much of hereabouts.
We can both practice being direct and constructive , yet considerate, instead of defensive and emotional.
That’s my idea. That’s the reason I issue this challenge:
I double dog dare you to pick my writing apart. To tell me I’m wrong, to tell me I only have a small part of a big picture, to tell me my thinkin’ is stinkin’. Whatever.
July is “Jaw at Joe” Month.
Let’er rip!
23 Responses to “To Readers: "I double dog dare you!"”
  1. Anonymous says:

    From: Island Jim-eSubject: Support for "free speech"!1. Thanks for the invitation ….I hope to beable to contriute to solutions…!2. Notice: for some time I have been confused, doubt my sanity, preplexed and then upset to thepoint of breathing fire on the folks at PHYahoo! I have now tested a few more "comment"reponse news-releases..the latest is one about the PH Pres and his off-island trips to secure good will and economic gain…two comments werenegative against the President, I chirp in witha very favorable comment….checked back about15 minutes later and found out my remarks hadbeen cut out by the yahoo censorship person once again…! What to do?3. I only have soooo much time and steam todevote to doing "good things"…I do not knowhow my participation in other PH blogs wouldbe taken….As none of my pony express mail to the island media or governmental authorities seem to be ignored (no response to questions,comments and complaiuts)…I now feel/know that the deck is stacked tooo high…and it now wellpast time for the "double-deckers" to be fired/fryed/roasted and tosted….and theants go marching down…to the ground….boom…boom…!Ouch!

  2. brianitus says:

    Um, inviting people for a bashing party, eh?I'll read along the sidelines this July and hope to see interesting comments from your other readers.

  3. Yes, editorial prerogative, the kind that sees an intelligent opposing point of view and ditches it because it is dangerous. Others might catch on. I know the feeling well.What to do? I decided to do my own blog. Tossing my peaces of sand into the ocean.To be frank, you are an intelligent eccentric, in style. So only literate, quirky types are likely to appreciate what's there. The conservatives hereabouts are likely to resist it. They can't respond to what they don't understand.Like, I never respond to Tagalog comments.

  4. No, no. Not bashing. Constructive and candid disagreement. The invitation wasn't to you, I think, because you do that anyhow (disagree candidly and constructively). And I'd be disappointed if you remained on the sidelines and allowed me to write even a line of trash.

  5. gadzooks, erratum, "pieces"; stupid Chinese keyboard.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i'll join brianitus waiting in the rafters. can't wait to see the sh*t hit the fan. i have popcorn.Andy

  7. Well, if you guys keep diving for the sidelines, no shit will hit any fan. And one should not have popcorn close to the fan, I think.If you find you agree with my stuff, you can always play the "devil's advocate", you know, like doing debate competitions in school where you have to argue both sides of an issue, one week to the next.It will be good practice for you to lay waste to an (arrogant)American's thinking. I somehow think you could do that very effectively.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Joe,Be careful of what you wish for, you might as well get it, haha…I want to make a point where many people and other kind of "faces" already knew that GRP and Joe's blog is a day and night comparison.You are the daylight, so that we could see.Yours is fair, and well-balanced although provocative, but is the truth coupled with some humur which makes it a very interesting read. You remind me of Peter Jennigs who said that: "Civility doesnt just promote decency, it also leads to a fairer exchange of ideas and a greater chance of finding a workable solution to the kinds of problems we face."Joe, you dont give too much leverage to disagree. However, I will take your three D's (Double-dog dare) in mind.Its Jack

  9. Anonymous says:

    actually, now that you say that, it reminds me to brush up on my debate skills. have a few tournaments coming up. a sort of argument between oneselfAndy

  10. Damn, Jack, I ask for criticism and you give me commendation. What are you, a troublemaker? Or independent thinker?(ps, thanks! I think Peter Jennings has an excellent point, exactly the one I was trying for in that other blog about Face. Civility is important in solving problems.)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Joe,Alhough I want to see more comments, constructive criticisms, and you are full of shit attitude, I like to assure you that you are doing fine. Err except with the Peaces and pieces thingy and horribly blamed the keyboard. Not to worry; I do that all the time too. Make a typo error and its the keyboard's fault.I ventured to GRP last month, and your best friend in the bloggospher, Benign0 consistently get zero comments, Yeah Joe, Zelch, Nada, Wala… You should feel better now eh?Speaking of picking your writing apart. Here's what you wrote: "You can take my remark and try to wend it down a constructive path instead of embark on one of those win/lose esteem battles you see so much of hereabouts."I actually like it until you typo "wend it down," which I am sure you meant wind it down. You are becoming too emotional lately. I dont see these errors earlier. You are losing it Joe, take a break hahaha easy for me to say, but take a hike and get some SanMig. You need one.Its Jack

  12. Anonymous says:

    The hell Joe, I take that commendation back and give it to Benign0. ;)Yeah I think I am a troublemaker; I like to go out and steal back the tires of all the expensive cars of the corrupt Generals, Judges, and politicians.Hey, not a bad idea, why not come with me? We will be taking back part of what they have stolen from the tax payer.Is that independent thinking? I dont know about you, but I think that is a brilliant idea. Can you imagine those corrupt generals, judges, politician scratching their heads on why on earth they will steal all their tires. A hell of a way to send a message huh? Its Jack

  13. Those are rather hard to win sometimes. ;>

  14. benigno is an irrelevancy to me these days."wend" actually is correct. It means "to proceed on or along; go: as in "wend one's way home". Heh. I could and should have just said "go". Overly-literary is overly stupid.But where you DO hit the mark is my emotionalism. That has always been a weakness. It is the Darth Vader side of the "sensitive" card that allows my perception generally to be keen. Kind of the ugly sister. I DO need to watch getting overly emotional, take a hike, take a swig. Thanks for that constructive criticism.Glad you are participating in the July celebration.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Happy July 4th Joe and lets celebrate. Have a great American picnic in the Philippines.Would that be possible? Seriously doubt it; picnic area is almost none existent in my community. Got to do it in my backyard.By the way, why is it that there is no public picnic areas in the Philippines? This is a question not only for Joe, but for all the fun living Filipino faces.I guess I am busted with the "wend down" huh?

  16. You get a freebie on "wend" because I used "symbol" in talking about a gong instead of "cymbal"; so I have no platform to stand on to bust anyone.Thanks for the holiday wishes. I often complain to my now nearly deaf wife about the lack of "rest stops" or "view points" along the long mountain road here. Such gorgeous views but no way to easily get to them to enjoy one of the best things about the Philippines. Stunning scenery. And no place to picnic or pee (without being razzed by passing motorcyclists). But it is minor grousing, compared to, say, education.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Joe,Good morning! Yeah I read that piece about the gongs and someone say cymbals, but I thought gong was the right word. Nice you didnt bust me. Thanks…You are right, those rest stops and picnic areas are nice to have compared to education. By the, Do you know what is MOOE (Maintenance, Operation and other expenses)?Why are you ignoring my post on troublemaker and independent thinker. You ask the question, I responded, and I am still waiting for your answer.Are you going to let me wait until the next July 4th 2013? Got you this time, didnt I?Its Jack

  18. That is the clear sign of a quality troublemaker, persistence. I think stealing tires of the corrupt generals, judges and politicians is a great idea; make it a national fad like Noynoying. I'm too busy at the time . . . watching our bamboo grow a foot a day . . . but I'm sure many others would like to pitch in.Your independent thinking is of great quality. Make sure you post hidden cameras to get reactions of the big shots when they arrive to see their denuded cars.

  19. Anonymous says:

    From: Island jim-eRe: Your help requested/storm-flood control issues!Okay….OK…so like how about taking a "time-out" and we all getour poncho (umbrella/boats/am-phibs,submarines, etc.) and go help the MMDA find out what happened to it's 700 +/- manhole drains,covers, etc….! According to a vip-news release on Yahoo ourgovernment has just learned/discovered that the "ghost" donestole some "holes"….!Poor Mr. "T" just "discovered" that while hewas visiting "sleepy hollow" that someone stole, lifted, disguised, covered up his "holes" (wish someone would fill all of holes in the heads of our elected and appointed govern-mental authorities)…..!Maybe when Mr. "T" finds his holes we can drain the swampand eat the gators….what a wonderful 4th of July picnictable item to give to the Metro Manila community!Ooops…gotto go…have to find my yellow rubber duck andget back on my rocking chair!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Nice come back with the bamboo growing a foot a day, but I was surprisingly disappointed no one pitched in with my outrageous tire stealing crap. I guess they think I am insane.Yeah Joe, make the tire stealing gang a national fad and send the video clips to ABS-CBN nighly news and see what comes of it. When I was new in your blog, I was reluctant to post comment on any poster's comment because I was not sure If I was allowed. With your three D's challenge can your readers respond to anybody's post? I raised the question because I noticed that mostly of the response is coming from you. Unless you want to invite the GRP supporting thugs then we will have a lively blog site."The comment caused me to muse about why that might be, that I do not get a lot of hate mail." Perhaps they are intellectually intimidated or they dont take you seriously. I mean, reflecting back, I have to think twice like what could I possibly say to this guy who seemed to know so much about the Philippines whose subject matter drives right through the heart of the common-man Filipino. Truth hurts, got to think about that sometimes. Of course, they take you seriously; it is like the case of the unspoken thank you. Take care of that bamboo…. I could use some of them; it is stronger than steel.Its Jack

  21. Yes, certainly respond to other comments. It relieves me of work.Interesting, "intellectually intimidated" or "they don't take me seriously"? Could be. Or maybe they don't get my weird humor and linguistics, or just want to reflect on the brilliant truths they read. I'll assume the latter until I learn differently.

  22. A another laugher . . . that hurts . . .

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