Another Reno Blogger’s Response To “Up All Night”

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Sunday November 12, 2006.

In a case of extremely melodramatic irony, I, a blogger, have been accused of stifling free speech. If only I had that power.

I suppose when a local publication writes a story where I am featured pretty prominently, I have no choice but to step out and defend myself. Myrna has rallied the troops, and as I suspected would happen, nobody actually thought about what I said, they responded to the surface of the comments. They seem to think I’m considering myself as all-knowing and them as idiots. Sure makes for fun blog posts to set yourself up as the perfect hostess, doesn’t it? Especially when you pull half quotes out in some spots and bold select parts to distract from the entire thing in others. That’s chickenshit. What I said was the opposite of chickenshit.

I answered the questions before me without pulling punches. I said what I thought and knew that it would get people going. None of what I said is because I feel like I’m not “respected” enough or I don’t have enough comments. I feel like things around here are fine, as long as the Cobbler keeps his feminine trap shut. I’ve been doing this a while, and I’ll be doing it when a lot of others disappear.

One reason I did say a lot of what I said is that there is not nearly enough honesty and openness by bloggers. A huge part of that is anonymity. I get why people choose to be anonymous. You have things to say that you would never want attached to your real self. That’s exactly why I have a problem with it. It shows lack of backbone. If you can’t be attached to a belief or opinion, maybe you should rethink your position. Yes, I get that you don’t want to feel constrained by society or some other hippie stuff. But I am also of the opinion that blogging needs to move beyond the belittled medium it is considered by media outlets. If you don’t use your name, you’re only hurting all the rest of us who aren’t afraid. I happen to think that the advancement of better media is a bigger issue than your scared, fragile psyche. And I say that with my full name on the byline. If you can’t handle that I feel that way, so be it.

Now let’s define “blind partisanship.” Blind partisanship is allegiance to a party. You know – partisanship, party. They sound alike. It’s that simple. Jim Gibbons is probably a blind partisan. George Bush is a blind partisan. Nancy Pelosi is a blind partisan. Anyone advocating voting party-line is a blind partisan. I am not a blind partisan. Feel free to ask me why. In the latest political cycle, Reno had a bunch of blogs emerge that were blindly partisan. Being blindly partisan is also infantile in your self-expression. When I said that blogs and commentators are in the infancy stage of expression, that’s what I meant. You have a set of ideas you adhere to, and you scream them out at anyone who will listen. You don’t care to reason, because reasoning isn’t acceptable. You are right, dammit, and nobody can change that. To those people, I say grow up. Maybe that’s ironic. But I prefer to think that if I’m claiming the high ground by advocating reason, you can’t really argue with that. Care to dispute it? Comment away. But remember that if you argue against reasoning, you’ll look really stupid.

Finally, we come to discourse. Apparently, “honest discourse” does not exist. Not to insult anyone’s “academic background,” but that’s a bullshit thing to say. Honest discourse is engaging in discourse without using false logic and strawmen to win a debate. Pretty simple stuff. Like, for instance, if I say someone is bad for Nevada, and use the “fact” that he was fired from his job as an argument, I might have a point. Discourse can then take place in an honest fashion. Maybe being fired doesn’t matter, but that’s one opinion. Maybe it does, but that’s another opinion. The two sides can debate about it until they give up or one side convinces the other. That’s honest. But if he wasn’t fired at all, then the debate becomes completely moot. A lie was used to set the entire thing up. That’s dishonest discourse. Do you see the difference?

Ultimately, if this article gets the conversation moving, that’ll be a great thing. We’ve got a long way to go. In fact, I’ll say that the very response that was dished out at Discontents speaks volumes in that regard. “Oh my God, he insulted poor little us.” Yup, I guess I did. Step up and take it. I do. With my name out there, too.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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