How Blogging 101 Heightened the Boycotting Issue

Yesterday was the final day of Blogging 101, a free course offered by the happiness team at WordPressU. I think it’s fair to say I failed. The course is wonderful if you have four-six hours/day for blogging business. That includes reading lots of other peoples’ blogs, responding politely to the blogs of fellow students in Blogging 101, managing widgets, writing your own blog posts that inspire conversations and attending at least one blogging event.

After my initial enthusiasm for Blogging 101, I began to cringe whenever I saw an email from Professor Michelle in my inbox, knowing it would nudge me towards another task and assignment that would take me deeper into the blogosphere, that colorful universe of hard workers, over-crowded like an ant hill. By day five my signs of resistance emerged: I read the assignments, but didn’t do them. By the second week, I didn’t even open the emails. This was ironic, because when I signed up for the course, my first thought was that the group might boycott me: I’m Judy over here in sunny Israel!


Sunny Israel


Instead, I boycotted the group.

I’ve adjusted too well to my isolation in sunny Israel to relate to thousands of bloggers from all the ten corners of the known world. Blogging 101 tired me out. If I’m not asleep by 10:30 PM, my next day has fewer hours of sunshine and I get depressed. Staying online  until 12:30 AM, kindly suggesting to other bloggers that they learn English before writing a blog post, caused severe exhaustion. If I learned anything in Blogging 101, it’s the same lesson I learn each time I try something new: Moderation in all things. Seek Balance.

An isolationist does not a successful blogger make. Try a Vipassana retreat. The blogosphere, where everyone is equal, demands your full attention and involvement. You must link to others (Sue over there at FoundMyFork dot com thinks green beans and onions are the cat’s pajamas!), respond to others (Great post, Chris, but why do you spell tribute with a y?), roll (whatever that means) and link yet again (Tanya in Prague YouCanDoIt dot com has overcome anorexia and she wants to help you now!)

A Carmelite convent might be more appropriate if you are a simple lover of sentences and voice, persona and punctuation.

Maybe I’m a cynic at heart, or I use cynicism to defend myself against the myriad active claws of the blogosphere. I’m certainly not upbeat enough for this busy new digital space. I prefer black and white TV from 1952, where it’s just me sprawled on the living room floor, thumb in my mouth, and I Remember Mama.

Maybe I became more edgy during the  last days of Blogging 101 due to the election results over here in sunny Israel, where a Bibi manipulated his return to the prime minister’s office. He used racial fear tactics: The Arabs (read Other, read Terrorists, read Enemy) are flocking to the ballot box. By appealing to mythic tribal affiliations (Them against Us), he blasted us back to the Stone Age.

This Bibi scares me deeply. He is a brilliant manipulator and therefore dangerous. He will bring ruin to Israel. Need I qualify that sentence?

Occupation Kills Us All

The Occupation Kills Us All

I may have to leave my monthly blogging here at WriteInIsrael dot com to become politically active, in order to remain living here. Maybe I will start a new blog and name it “The Fall of Hava Nagila” or “Armageddon Lunch.”

Maybe I’ll use the new blog as a vehicle to topple the Bibi. Do you think that’s a good idea?

We Have Not Yet Lost Our Hope

We Have Not Yet Lost Our Hope


Have you ever toppled anyone? And while I’m asking questions to further this conversation, do you think my own personal choice of isolation, symbolized by boycotting Blogging 101, is a by-product of the cultural milieu in which I live over here in sunny Israel? Or does my own isolationist temperament contribute to creating this cultural milieu?

I look forward to hearing your response, as Professor Michelle, might say.


About Judy Labensohn

I'm a writer and teacher of writing.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Identity, Israel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to How Blogging 101 Heightened the Boycotting Issue

  1. Whatever the primary impulse for you to boycott Blogging 101, you’ve stated a couple strong possibilities. I understand the desire to write and to share that writing, and to do only (at least mainly) the reading and research that I am interested in verses that which Internet gurus tell me I need to be doing. The former reading and research uplifts me, even with material that is tough to stomach, because my mind expands, as does, sometimes, my heart. But I don’t do well praising someone’s use of green beans, unless we’ve shared the meal that included them. I think “Armageddon Lunch” is a great title, though depressing, as it may be a capitulation to he who should be toppled. What title could you use which would convey the toppling you’re wanting as an already done deal? (Feel free to forego replying to my comment.)


  2. How can I and why would I forgo your comment, Andrew? I accept your critique about Arm. Lunch, though I still like the sound of that title. You’re right in saying that the title should convey the completed toppling. I’ll have to think about this. Thank you.


  3. mickelle says:

    Friend- you have not failed at all. Your voice is the most powerful when you are genuine. I, for one, look forward to your entries- sans links, etc.


  4. Tammy says:

    Judy, it has been said that all artists, writers included, need quiet, solitude, serenity,
    and being a bit seperate in order to create. I imagine that you could do all you want together! Blog and be active socially and politically; mix the arts with the deep feelings about the stae of this State…. Telling others about your inner stae as well.
    I imagine that you could sit outside, looking at the blue painted details, at the magnificent views and write.
    I imagine you imagining your own version of blogging, and I look forward to reading whatever emerges. May the Spring writing muses visit you and inspire you. Tammy Einstein


  5. Jane Arsham says:

    I’ve never toppled anyone– but hope you are successful with every ounce of energy in me! If you go this route, there are many Jews in the US (at least I think there are– I can’t be all alone) who will support you however you want– please ask– and whatever you do, never stop writing and sharing!


    • Thank you, Jane. I think I will continue writing as long as my fingers work and sharing as long as I understand which button to click. Meanwhile, I suggest you support the New Israel Fund, as they support many organizations that defend democracy here in Israel.


  6. Kitty Dubin says:

    I loved this blog or whatever you want to call it. I, too, am an isolationist of sorts and related to what you had to say. I miss you, friend, and reading your words is almost as good as having a conversation with you!


    • Oh, Kitty, it’s so good to hear from you. Why don’t you write a guest blog post here at WriteInIsrael about isolationism in Greater Detroit. It may be the closest you’ll actually get to Israel without having to fly. Miss you. xoxo


  7. Jackie Sand says:

    So glad to have found your posting via Jane Arsham on Facebook. I am with you, Judy!


  8. From the frozen wasteland that is New England (we are just beginning to thaw out!), hello! First, let me say that I enjoyed looking at your blog, and reading your post. I would be sorry to see this blog go dormant after just discovering it. I am one of those who had a hard time doing all of the assignments. I may revisit the ones I missed and try to do make ups. Many of us have this need to express ourselves, concerning our own lives, families, communities, and the world in general. It is an itch that will not go away. So we struggle and write the best we can, when we can. Best of luck.


  9. Judy, since it now Thursday it’s pretty clear I fell behind on my blogging assignments and reading as well. Life happens. For me the benefit of class was the impetus to focus attention on the blog. Week 1 dealt with basics. Had I had just those sessions – Dayeenu. Two weeks of travel tossed off my attention to assignments. I’ve saved some of assignments and hope to view them for ideas over the next month. As I focus on cleaning the kitchen and prepping for Passover, one takeaway from class is that I must post something to keep the momentum up. So before it too late, I’ll be posting on my travels to New York. As in years past, what gets done, gets done. And then it’s a new day.


  10. estherhecht says:

    A blog is a stern mistress (or master, depending on which gender you pick). Blogging 101? I’d probably not get through the first day, let alone the first week. So more power to you for trying. But you seem to have a pretty clear vision of what you want to write, so just carry on doing what you’ve done so well until now.
    As for toppling anyone, I’ve never done it and have no advice. But I’ve just read two fascinating articles by Tomer Persico about the inherent messianism of Zionism, and I’m pretty sure that toppling Bibi wouldn’t change much.


  11. Blogging, apparently, isn’t just about writing. You’re supposed to start conversations, visit other bloggers, be sociable, etc etc. Can you send a link to the Persico articles. Sound interesting.


  12. Laura Moe says:

    Blogging 101 sounds like Fcebook on steroids.
    I grieve for your political issues.


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