Sunday, May 15, 2005

1045 Blogging at its Best--The Vietnam Experience

If you want to read blogging at its best, drop by the web page of Neo-Neocon, a 50-something woman (I think) writing about why and how she is no longer a liberal, but isn't sure what to call herself (I can certainly identify). She is doing a series on Vietnam and its aftermath, how the war changed our culture and is affecting us to this day. She has just finished part 4-C of "A Mind is a Difficult Thing to Change." Her own excellent essays are expanded by the comments from her readers, many of whom are Vietnamese-Americans, or Vietnam era vets, or people who now feel betrayed--yet a second time. When I last looked at 4-C she had 58 comments, many of which are long essays themselves.

Neo Neocon writes: "Subsequently, if the press continues to be seen as the truthteller and the government the liar, no number of press releases by the government can ever overrule what the press says about an event. These beliefs have been adopted for a reason--to make sense of a terrible experience, based on the best knowledge available at that time. Part of the "never again" reaction is that it becomes a point of pride to never again let oneself be duped, to never again naively believe. Those who no longer trust in the government are seen as sadder, but infinitely wiser.

But what if, at some time in the future, evidence surfaces that that hard-won knowledge may be wrong? How many people, having lost faith because of a betrayal, and having laboriously reconstructed a new worldview, can revise that worldview again? What if that worldview turns out to have been a house of cards? Who can stand two betrayals--trust having been placed in a rescuer, the press, who is now exposed as having been a liar and a betrayer, also? Who can return to believing that the government--although flawed (there is no returning to the initial state of naive, unquestioning trust)--is now to be trusted more than the press, after all?"

Blog on, Neo Neo. We're all waiting for the next part of the series.

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