"I read your blog," people tell me apologetically. "But I don't usually comment."
Is this what it's come to? People feeling guilty for not expressing their opinion on … everything?
When I was a little kid, I remember my dad expressing disdain for the sports announcer Howard Cosell.
What didn't Dad like about Cosell?
"He's opinionated," Dad said, with a depth of feeling that caused me to turn that term around in my head for years—what was the line between having a point of view and being opinionated?—before the term all but disappeared from the American lexicon.
Now, you get to the end of a news article and there's a thumbnail picture of your face with a blinking cursor and a little box in which you're to answer the question, What do you think?
If The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers today, you'd get to the end and it would say, "What do you think?"
I don't think something about everything!
I think if I'd have asked Dad why he objected so deeply to opinionated people, he'd have said that they're suffocating. They steer every conversation their way, they frame every debate, they don't let other people's personalities breathe and they shatter every sweet silence with yet another one of their "views."
And I think he admired people who expressed opinions only about issues they'd thought a lot about, read a lot about, maybe even done something about. Which meant that they didn't express opinions all that frequently.
So instead of apologizing for not commenting my blog, maybe you should demand an apology from me, for writing so goddamn often.