The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

J Blogging

Recently, I've allowed myself to get drawn in to a number of hashkafic 'comment wars' on my and other blogs.

I am reminded of the time my older son was in high school. He was, and still is, in general, very gentle and well mannered (he takes after my wife, BH). However, as a member of the school's debate team (and as a top floor hockey player) he showed a another, aggressive side of his personality.

Unlike many schools that actually took debate seriously (like Ramaz where the students would not be allowed back in school if they lost), his school, an all boys school, couldn't have cared less. While the other teams were spending weeks researching the debate topic, my son would usually spend ten minutes on line the night before the debate surfing the web for just enough information to make him dangerous.

My son's tactics included sarcasm, loudness and aggression. Since few judges actually prepared adequately, facts were irrelevant (He would always get a kick out of seeing the 'serious' teams frantically searching their reams of notes checking his 'facts'). He took particular pleasure in debating all girls schools where his level of aggression would be even higher. He lost most of his debates but he had a lot of fun along the way.

It occurred to me that the J Blogging world is not much different. Like my son, there are many bloggers and commentators who do not let facts get in the way of their arguments. You have 19 year olds who have never so much as opened a Chassidishe sefer spending most of their time denegrading Chassidus; porn-meisters waxing on about everything Jewish; unmarried 20 year olds pontificating about raising Jewish children; Single cretins who probably haven't had a date in five years giving dating advice; Self-described whackos who scream and curse about the depravity of eating meat, and people like me, who don't know the difference between a minor key and a major, going on ad nauseum about Jewish Music.

Like my son on the debate team, aggression is key; facts secondary. We may not win the debate but we're having fun along the way.


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