Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Thursday, August 20, 2020


I have been dished out some scuttlebutt this week from friends and readers unhappy with the blog in its present state. Yesterday one confided that she really didn't go for the local history angle, another writes that there is too much of the material from my shop on its pages lately and they feel like they are being sold. He wants more politics.

Let me say a few things right off the bat. This blog, now in its thirteenth year, is a labor of love, not a job. I get no money from this ridiculous expenditure of my time. God forbid I should promote my business on occasion, something I have rarely done in its entire tenure.

But honestly I have not used it as a selling machine, more to display merchandise that is unusual and tells a story and that I feel like sharing with you. One of the things that got me into the business was my love of history and antiques and art scratches that itch for me, I was a collector before I was a dealer.

Every thing I own has a story and gives me an opportunity to research, one of my passions. I thought it would be cool to share that passion with you, not to sell, but because I find the material honestly interesting. Now I realize that some of you are not into stuff and I get it.

I mentioned a week ago that I had a bit of a writer's block. And also that I was sick of politics. What is politics today? It basically narrows down to cheerleading, our guy encompasses all that is good, your guy is a complete asshole. No room for nuance in any form and very toxic and needlessly divisive.

It makes me ill. I care about issues and I write about them but politics is ugly, especially in its present form at election time. Might I suggest Facebook? There is plenty of rah rah stuff there.

I have said this many times but I don't believe that there are actually any undecided independents out there at this point and if they are truly in the dark they probably have no business voting. I am not going to be changing anybody's mind with my opinions so what is the point of hammering people with a different pov over the head? My feelings about Donald Trump are clear and have not changed. You are entitled to your own.

I was talking to my friend Jay the other day and he said something interesting. He once asked his parents how they were going to vote and I forget if it was his mother or father but he was remonstrated, told never to ask that question, that it was none of his business.

I think that is very healthy. Too many people automatically take on the politics and religion of their parents rather than thinking for themselves. I did the same thing honestly, my father a centrist democrat, my mother a little further left.

Read or don't read, it is up to you. Sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully there is something I put out that you will enjoy. Art and history are two of the things that I am interested in that I can get into without broaching politics and I sought refuge in them. Will see where things go in the future. I frankly, have no idea.

I was thinking of the covid plague and all of the things it has taught us that we can actually do without. The sports page, dine in restaurants, international and domestic travel, watching sports, handshakes and in some cases smiles, a whole bunch of things.

And hair salons. I found out that my wife is a darn good haircutter. I saw my barber a while back and he complimented my coiffe, said he had fixed a lot worse haircuts that people had paid money for. I'm so cheap I might not ever go back to a hairstylist again, if she is willing.


Anonymous said...

I'm here for whatever you want to present. All good. Birds? None finer than your pictures. Antiques? I love history of old things and family stories are something I love, I'm one of the only people to enjoy other peoples' home movies. Your life experiences are so different from mine I find in your blog a wider world.

Jon Harwood said...

The blog isn't an enterprise it is a creative venture. The way it drifts this way and that is part of the fun. Since I don't have to put a dime in and turn a crank to make it work I am cool with the way it runs. Politics is spice, birds are chicken, local history is beans and antiques wrap the whole burrito up. Ole!

Martin said...

I like and enjoy your blog just the way it is, especially the display of some your 'finds', such as the woodblocks and the prints made from them, complete with your commentary on same. As for it being advertising for things you may have for sale, I say so what and go for it; it is, after all, your blog. If people are turned off by that its their problem. Also, your decision to drop political commentary is refreshing - I can get that elsewhere and I think I know where you stand anyway, though it makes little difference to me.

Anonymous said...

I find rants about Donald Trump pretty boring. The politics I enjoy that I can only seem to find here, are your insightful thoughts regarding social injustice, environmental threats, and our standing in the international arena. We know where you stand, but we can always use more knowledge. Please continue!

wcgypsy said...

I agree.....it's your story to tell and you do so in an interesting way....I always learn something new, which is the major reason that I occasionally listen to other people...lol. If there ae those who don't like what you're offering, perhaps they might want to write their own stories....I might add that I always look forward to what you have to say...thank you...

nystan said...

Everybody’s a fucking critic. Just do what you want. These friends of yours’ might be best served reading Vanity Fair.

Anonymous said...

I dig the "Blast". I find it very entertaining, the photography and music and ideas regarding culture. I've known you for over 40yrs now and I like keeping up with an old chum. Every once in a while Vlad chimes in with a comment and that's cool too. I really appreciate you for all the work you put into this thing. Thanks Robert!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a highlight! As much as I enjoy the content, what I really love is your writing style. You are one of the most interesting, seriously intelligent peeps I've ever met. Your photography is inspiring. I love reading about your collections and all the incredible information you share about history and antiques and cool stuff! And, happily we are politically on the same page for the most part. That's always a plus in our conservative little village and most certainly not something I get from Facebook. LOL. Just keep doing what you do. Stay well.

Sanoguy said...

You did not post my earlier comment:

I think you do a good job of balancing your articles. Can't please all of the people all of the time!

Wilbur Norman said...

I love your blog except for the politics, the music, the photography, the art and the antique stuff.

Oh... wait... wrong blog!

You know, I write these days for the fun and therapy of it. You do the same so... just do what you do, keep on doin'. (I was not aware that you forced anyone to read 100% of what you write!)

There is so much dross out there because many posters seem to think their crappy, uninformed, out-loud thinking/writing is somehow worth sharing and reading.

I always find reading your posts a breath of fresh air, even the local stuff tho I am far away and don't know the area.

Thanks for the tremendous effort, Robert!