In the previous post, I wrote parenthetically: "(And Isaac, thanks for introducing your new readers to the "Stop Attacking Artists" post in response to one of my tirades. Hey, any publicity is good publicity!)"
Isaac responded: "And hey, if you didn't post provocative stuff worth arguing with, there'd be no point in blogging, now would there?"
This reponse has put me to thinking -- probably along a well-worn path trod by many before me -- but... I have a counter on this site, and I've noticed that the hit count skyrockets whenever we seem to be arguing about something. In fact, the more abusive we seem to get, the faster the hits multiply. I have also noticed that when I post something that is beautiful or thoughtful, but not necessarily provocative (say, Barry Lopez's quoting of the Inuit definition of "storyteller"), rarely does anybody comment.
And it makes me wonder whether, by being "provocative," we are actually participating in thought-as-bloodpsport that we see exemplified on the Sunday morning political shows like "Firing Line," where people simply yell at and over each other for 60 minutes. Is there any room for thoughtfulness and reflectiveness in our culture?
What got me to thinking about his was George's post over at "Superfluities," "What a Playwright Reads." I wonder if anyone has responded to this reflectiveness...