Fandango’s Provocative Question #35

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to leverage a comment that one of my followers made on one of my posts. He wrote, in response to the lyrics of a song I posted, “You might say that we shouldn’t apply today’s standards to history, but I disagree.”4961E034-9D24-4249-A85C-62E09CA6F6F8This got me thinking about the positions former US Senator, former Vice President, and current Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden took decades ago on issues such as busing, at the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with respect to Anita Hill’s allegation of sexual harassment, on criminal justice laws, etc.

It also called to mind what was just revealed about a telephone conversation that former President Ronald Reagan had with Richard Nixon, in which Reagan said, “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

So the provocative question this week is this:

Do you believe public figures (e.g., politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors) — or anyone, actually — should be judged by today’s standards for their words or actions from decades earlier? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

In Other Words — Random Intents

8D715045-5BC8-414B-9DF9-2361613147BD

Random thoughts

Random words

Random acts

Random deeds

With random intents, good or bad.


Written for the In Other Words prompt from Patricia’s Place. The challenge this week is to write a story or poem of five lines or fewer using the word “random.”

MLMM Photo Challenge — Read Me; See Me

CreativeHe went to the blogger’s contact page, typed in his name, his email address, and his blog’s URL. Then he entered his comment:

I am in love with you. I am mesmerized by your words, your verbs, your nouns, your adjectives, and even your adverbs. Your grammar, punctuation, and usage are exquisite. Your every sentence is so well conceived and constructed, you paragraphs are riveting. Your writer’s voice is exquisite. I image you to be a vision of pure beauty and elegance. I must meet you. Tell me where you live. I will drive, sail, or fly to you, but I cannot go on much longer without being touched by the real, physical you as I have been touched by the abstract, metaphysical, cyber you. I eagerly await your response.

The response came back a few days later:

Thank you for reaching out to me. I was truly touched by your message. But you need to understand that I am not who you believe me to be. I, like you, am merely a blogger who marvels at the majesty of words. But in reality, I am invisible. You have painted an image of me that uses only the metaphoric ink I have poured onto the symbolic pages of my blog. My writing has allowed you to create an ink blot of my visage that can be seen only by your mind’s eye. I am to you who I want you to imagine me to be. So, knowing the impossibility of being able to live up to who you wish me to be, I must decline your request to meet in the real world.

His disappointment upon receiving the response was immense. He would not give up and wrote back:

You are not invisible to me. I see you clearly and I am smitten. Your words show me who you really are, a warm, tender, sensitive, emotive, empathetic individual who has cast a spell upon me, one that can only be broken by meeting the you who exists in the physical world. You have taken my heart and I beg you to not deny me the opportunity to complete the portrait of the person your words have outlined.

A few days later, another email response arrived:

Okay listen up, dude. I know I have a way with words, but let me be real with you. I’m actually a 48 year old, 400 pound guy sitting on my bed in my mother’s basement in her house in New Jersey. So if you still wanna meet me in the real world, sure. We can meet at Newark Airport on the second Tuesday of next week.

The guy from New Jersey was shocked when he got this response:

Works for me. How about this coming Tuesday in Terminal C.


Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Origin Eight.

SoCS — Very Rare

0B29A314-9F64-496D-AE0D-8BF2C27238EEFor this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill, we are tasked to use the word “affirm” in our post.

The word “affirm” is not a word I use very often in my everyday life. And it’s not one that I recall using much in my blog posts, either. But I was curious to know how many times I actually did use the word “affirm” in my blog. So I did a word search on my blog and I discovered that, in the 2,370 posts (not including this post) I’ve published, the word “affirm” appeared in just three posts.

And in those 2,370 posts, I wrote around 564,000 words, only three of which were the word “affirm.”

So I can now affirm that I almost never use the word “affirm” in my blog.

TL;NR

134761B0-AA2B-4B43-9DD6-955C3D55378FWhen I first started this blog, some of my early posts were fairly long, probably ranging from about 700 to more than 1,000 words. On one of my longer posts, someone wrote a comment that simply said, “TL;NR.” I had no idea what that meant. I thought it was a typo. I finally Googled “TL;NR” and found out that it means “too long; no read.”

Interesting. I was writing blog posts that were too long to read, or at least that was the opinion of one blogger. Was he or she right?

In July 2017, just a month and a half into this blog, I wrote a post titled, “A Man of Many Words.” In that post I wrote, “When it comes to the written word, I’m a man of many — not few — words. Maybe even too many words.” I acknowledged that I have a tendency to over explain things and that “my style of writing, verbose though it may occasionally be, adds color and life to what I write.”

I remember reading somewhere that concise writing helps to grab and hold your reader’s attention, to be more memorable, and to make a lasting impact on your reader. So I decided that I really needed to learn how to be more concise in my writing. Especially since I began responding to prompts that imposed word limits ranging from 50 to 300 words.

93A9CCD5-312F-4EDF-B095-8ED9BB59D277But that was hard for me. Removing what some might consider to be unnecessary words from my writing is difficult. I like to think that everything I write is germane to the subject matter. For me, removing words, phrases, and especially entire sentences, is akin to asking a mother to choose which child she’s willing to edit out of her family.

That said, I am clearly making progress in my efforts to be more concise. And I can prove it, too. Below are the average Words Per Post stats from my previously WordPress Blog (July 2009 to April 2015).B02BF791-0D4D-44BA-8994-CA706AF16BBEAnd here are my stats since I started this blog (May 2017 to present).CC4D54A5-23D5-48AD-A508-86A9695335EADamn, I really am concise after all!


Includes the Word of the Day Challenge (learn), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (concise)