Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reading comprehension...

When I first started writing this blog in 2010, I didn't advertise it at all.  I figured I'd let people find it by themselves.  I mostly used it as a place to vent and it worked well in that capacity.

After a couple of years, people started finding my blog and I did start to share links... sparingly at first.  Then I decided to just embrace having people read my thoughts and opened a Facebook page.  By and large, that's worked out okay.  I mostly get a lot of people reading and relatively few comments.  Most people who comment are nice. Sometimes I get angry comments from people, too.  I don't mind angry comments, as long as the people making them are addressing a valid point.  I do get annoyed when I get comments from people who apparently lack reading comprehension skills.

Occasionally, people comment, but don't read very carefully or otherwise seem to miss the point of what I've written.  I realize this issue may be my fault.  It's a challenge to write things that make sense but aren't too wordy.  Most people skim things, come up with a reaction, and respond.  Too many folks are quick to respond without thinking.  Either that, or they only read part of something; they don't take the time to get the whole picture before they comment.

Many times, I am inspired to revisit topics I've written about in the past.  For instance, last July I wrote a post about an unpleasant encounter I had with someone on YouTube.  It was a guy who claimed to be a veteran and felt I should STFU about a video made by Alan Osmond, the self-described awesome soldier/singing star who served his country by being a clerk.

The veteran who commented on YouTube evidently felt I had no right to criticize Mr. Osmond for bragging about his service.  Actually, I think many veterans watching that video would probably be offended by Osmond's blatant bragging about his mad combat skills, which he used for typing instead of fighting.  I guess it was more important for the veteran to put me in my place than take a moment to consider if my comments were valid.  But then, I've never worn a uniform for the U.S. military, so I have no right to voice an opinion, right?  

I got a comment this morning from someone calling themselves "Unknown", informing me that everybody who serves in the military has an important job, even the ones who don't see combat.  To that person, I want to say "No shit, Sherlock." Reading comprehension is clearly not that person's strong suit.  If he or she had taken the time to read carefully and, perhaps, click the link to the initial post I wrote about Alan Osmond, they might have realized that I'm actually firmly on the side of veterans... especially the ones who weren't "important" enough to have family connections who got them out of serving in a war zone.

I realize that many people who stop by this blog only read for a few seconds.  Sometimes they form an opinion, which they share with me... often in a way that indicates that I didn't make myself clear enough for them.  Either that, or something I write gets them so riled up that they feel they have to pop off without taking a few minutes to actually consider what I wrote.

I shouldn't be surprised by this phenomenon.  Most people who make comments on this blog seem moved to do so because I somehow struck a nerve.  I'll bet the person who wanted to school me this morning about how all jobs in the military are important is someone who served and never saw combat.  Either that, or the person has friends or loved ones who served and didn't see combat.  And they feel slighted because I made comments about Alan Osmond not seeing combat-- as if Alan Osmond needs them to defend him.

My main point wasn't really about Alan Osmond's job in the Army.  It was about his boastful attitude and the fact that he did have an easy job, which he got due to who he was at the time.  He didn't have to go to the jungles of Vietnam and face the horrors of war.  He stayed home, did his duty as a typist, and performed with his brothers.  And you know what?  That's fine.  Good for Alan Osmond.  But why brag about your military service when what you did isn't really something worth bragging about?  Alan Osmond simply did what a lot of guys were doing in the 1970s.  I'm glad he wasn't a draft dodger and I do appreciate his military service.  I just think he should feel fortunate that he survived that era a legitimate veteran and wasn't too much worse for wear after he was discharged.

I am truly confused as to why people, especially veterans, are offended by my comments about this.  I can only guess it's because they either don't read carefully or it somehow makes them feel better to anonymously tell other people to shut up.  It's a mystery.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.