Archive for the 'Rant' Category

I Feel Like Screaming

March 24, 2007

I started too early. There’s no doubt I started blogging years ago at a time when it truly was a fad. Truth be told however, I was an awful writer with little to say. At the time, being a blogger didn’t improve my writing and I didn’t get smarter. True growth came after posting on messageboards and arguing about issues I truly cared for. To me, messageboards are still the superior method for improving one’s ability to synthesize ideas and to present viewpoints in a coherent manner. But there’s a caveat: you have to conciously make attempts at improving. I say this because I have seen one too many unfortunate souls who still sound horribly identical to what they did over a decade ago. So with that in mind, I am back to writing. The reason I feel like screaming is because If I dont write down some of the things that are going through my head these days, they will clog up my cranium until I am forced to regurgitate them all at once on someone not expecting a two hour rant on socio-political realities in the Muslim world.

In the spirit of improving, I am going to lift these gems right off the excellent ‘best blog’ blog.

• Best Bloggers respect their readers. They don’t take you for granted. They respond to your comments. They keep their promises or tell you why they haven’t been able to. (For example: We tried to do a Blog-A-Day every day this December. But we went to too many parties to do one EVERY single day. Still, even falling short of the goal, we gave you more great blogs this month than we have in many months this year.)

• Best Bloggers hook you. They drawn you in from the first sentence. That can happen in as many ways as there are imaginations, but it never, ever means this sort of beginning: Sorry I haven’t blogged in so long, but I’ve been busy. Or Not much to say, but I don’t have anything else to do but blog. A Best Blogger has got something to say, and they make you want to hear it.

• Best Bloggers know how to use the tools at their disposal. Mostly, that means they’re good at the language in which they blog. Their writing is clear and sharp, they can punctuate, they proofread, and they sound like the smart people they are.

• Best Bloggers are generous. They know there’s room for everyone. They know that another great blog in no way diminishes them. They link to people they admire, regardless of whether that other blog is bigger or smaller than they are.

• Best Bloggers never stop learning. They read other blogs and learn from what they discover there. They read books — books that are so well written they feel compelled to try to do the same. They’re curious. They’re not afraid to say, I don’t understand that. They try new things. Maybe they’ll learn to podcast. Or take some pictures. Or try out a new template. Find out what CSS is.

• Best Bloggers know themselves. They don’t try to be other people. They know what they love, even if it’s a little odd, and their enthusiasm and affection for their subject animates their writing.

• Best Bloggers know they’re part of a community. They contribute to forums, help new folks out, welcome people to blogging.

Why we shouldn’t try to be a bunch of McGyvers.

July 24, 2006

One thing that occured to me recently is that if traditional conservative muslims really want to propogate their way of life as mainstream and accessible, they really have to start creating social institutions that embrace those values and provide convenience and a sense of normality to said values. That means more islamic fashion houses that incorporate the notion of ‘modest’ clothing sincerely into their designs, more media elaborating on the nuances of being a traditional conservative muslim living in the ‘west’ etc etc. Anyway you look at it, traditional conservative muslims have to be proud of their lifestyle, proud of being different, proud of sticking out like sore thumbs and most of all, be completely and utterly content with being who they are without raining on other people’s parade. It’s been my continous rant for a while now: create a culture so you dont have to reinvent the wheel by yourself everytime you have a kid! People are hamsters who run in the ferris wheels of culture. So instead of trying to ineffeciently break out, mould the ferris wheel to your wishes. It’s just easier and less of a heartache that way.