An opinion about opinions…

About Opinions
I tried to do a little analysis this morning,about the types of postings on YS (Your Space) of MI (Muse India-a literary magazine,where I frequently post my poems,opinions etc) ( link : )
I excluded messages and fiction postings for the sake of convenience.
I concentrated on poems and opinions just to come to some conclusions as I find that opinions generally fetch lesser responses compared to those received for poems.
This is basically due to the fact that MI is mainly concentrating on poetry and among its contributors,there is a large number of poets and poetesses.
I collected a little statistical data at random for a period again selected at random.
I observed that out of total postings of 167 during the period 16/10/10 to 31/10/10,a large number:138 (82.6%) were poems.These poems fetched 594 responses indicating a massive response rate of 430%.I am of the opinion that my maths is good !
As against this,during the same period,total opinions posted were a mere 8 (a minuscule 4.7%) while the responses to these opinions were 43,indicating a better response rate of 537%, subject to the opinion expressed in the earlier para.
The above percentage response may have been an exception,because the opinions posted during the period might have been popular opinions ,which might have appealed to the readers’ head and heart.
However,I observe that, barring a few stray cases,the response rate to opinions,has generally been poor or, at the most, luke-warm.Why is this so ? 
Here is my unbiased opinion on the subject of opinions.Mind you,I am not trying to stir up a hornet’s nest or doing a Rakhi Sawant act (controversy,I mean).I am also not commenting on the quality of opinions posted by various individuals (including my self,for I confess that poetry in English is a bit tough for me, though I feel comfortable with poetry in Hindi,while I am very comfortable at expressing my opinions in English on various subjects ! Why is it so ? I will try to post an opinion piece about this in near future. ) I submit that I may be somewhere wrong too,in expressing my opinion-for which I most humbly request, to be pardoned.
More over,this piece is an exercise to test my self as to what limits I can stretch my self while expressing an opinion on a subject where I am not on a familiar territory.This is to be taken with a few grams of salt,as per your taste please.
Let me first try to define what an opinion is.In very simple terms,it is a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty.It can also be a message expressing a belief about something.Mind you it is the expression of a belief that is held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.Very often,it may be a belief or sentiment shared by most people or the voice of the people.Often,an opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts.An opinion may be supported by an argument,although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts.Kindly note that I am avoiding the legal definitions part of the subject.
Why are responses to an opinion generally few ? Well,again, I am of the considered opinion that it is so,because generally, each one of us has his/her own individual opinion about a matter or a subject or a topic.If the opinion expressed in the posting is in conformity with ones opinion about the subject,the general tendency of the reader will be to post his/her response to the posting as soon as it is read.Otherwise,he/she will just read it, ignore it and pass on to some other piece of posting of his/her interest or liking.
Further,I am of the opinion that generally, readers feel a  bit uneasy to express an opinion contrary to the opinion expressed by the writer,for fear (?) of being ridiculed,or being hated or being even considered an ignorant fool ( my opinion again).There could be other reasons too-valid or invalid,I opine.Perhaps,my esteemed readers on this forum,can share their opinions-frankly,fearlessly,on this issue or non-issue !
You will be wondering what has gone wrong with me suddenly today, for, I am not in my usually jovial moods (Often I have been labeled as a joker,light hearted banter-er,may be an ‘off-his-rocker’ kind of a person ! That’s the general opinion I gather from my association of a little over 2 years,with this forum !!) 
Well,well, the irritant, or the fly in my vegetarian soup,literally, was my posting dated 16th November 2010. It was titled :” An old story re-told”.I had literally slogged and burnt the midnight tube light and CFL to write that opinion,expecting that it will as usual, and as expected,touch the heads and hearts of quite a few readers who will surely have heard the original version of the story in their childhood and would surely generously respond to the modern version posted there in.However,so far, the post has generated just one response from a very respected,senior and esteemed reader (who cutely calls me a joke factory owner !) on this forum.
This posting is born out of the above experience of mine.I also observe that I am not alone.There are others too,whose opinions posted on 17th November, have so far also fetched just one response.
So,my dear readers,my opinion is that, do not be worried if there are no responses or there are a few responses to your postings.Continue posting your opinions as usual.I hope I am right about this suggestion.Or should we get a second opinion on this opinion ?
Before I wrap up, I would like to compensate you for the heart burn,if any,this posting might have caused you,by quoting a few writers,who have said different things on the subject of opinions ! Here are a few funny ones from my stock : 

1.Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
-Bertrand Russell

2.I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt.I shouldn’t wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.- Bertrand Russell

3.The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible. – Bertrand Russell

4.Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.

-Horace Mann

5.I agree with no ones opinion. I have some of my own.-Ivan Turgenev

6.The most difficult secret for a man to keep is his own opinion of himself.-Marcel Pagnol

7.It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!

-Friedrich Nietzsche.
So,keep smiling…as usual,OK ?

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19 Responses to An opinion about opinions…

  1. pooja says:

    Jitoo Uncle, You took up this task, this was a hard task of taking up of a few postings and analysing. Your write up ends with optimism all the time. I remember my first posting on Muse three years ago, I opened Muse India after 4 hours of my posting and there were two responses. I can’t put it in words how delighted and motivated I was then. I wish to read many more and try to get the best out of every poem. All are equally good. Regards.

    Pooja Bhuyar, Bijapur
    Nov 18, 2010

  2. raja ramachandran says:

    “However, so far, the post has generated just one response from a very respected, senior and esteemed reader (who cutely calls me a joke factory owner!) on this forum.” That is me. This I said for a joke only in exchange for your joke. I am sure, you may not mistake me for that. It is difficult to cut jokes, but you are doing it easily. I enjoy really all your jokes. Even your opinion of opinion column of Muse India is not offensive, but very suggestive. Keep writing and don’t wait for responses.

    Rajaram Ramachandran, Juhu,Mumbai
    Nov 18, 2010

  3. Tandarts says:

    Hmmm thanks for yet another nice and good post. Where do you find your inspiration for all this :|? – Tandarts

  4. J S Broca says:

    Dear Pooja, thanks for your encouraging opinion. GBU.

    Respected Rajaram ji, I did not mean saying that I did not like your calling me a joke factory wallah! I have taken it as a complement. I believe and tell my students too that it appears in our mad race in life we have forgotten to laugh. Perhaps that day is not far off when we will have to put reminders on our mobiles- to laugh at 8.00 AM, next to laugh again after lunch at 3.00 PM and once more at 10.00 PM after dinner! Thanks for your support, Sir ji!

    JS Broca, New Delhi
    Nov 18, 2010

  5. Vimla Ramu says:

    Nice analysis. You are right in that ‘Muse’ itself is Poetry. What goes in other websites as ‘blogs’ are put under opinion, which restricts the scope, I feel and hence the comments too.

    Vimala Ramu, Bangalore
    Nov 18, 2010

  6. Ramabrahmam says:

    A very good and enlightening analysis of “Opinions” posted in Your Space. The usual pleasant and joyful style of JS Broca ji has enlivened the narration and made the point succinctly. Thank you Broca ji for a “food for thought” composition. Regards.

    V Ramabrahmam, Pondicherry
    Nov 18, 2010

  7. kumarendra mallick says:

    In constrast to your conclusion, novels and fictions are the best sellers, and not the the book of verses. However, the poems attract the attention of the readers for they distributes ‘dreams’.
    Your analysis is interesting. Writing a story in 2-3 pages on an e-journal needs a lot of expertise and craft. Some of the stories and fictions are well received on Your Space, though statistics doesn’t say so. Thank you for taking so much interest to provide us a good information.

    Kumarendra Mallick, Hyderabad
    Nov 18, 2010

  8. k chandrika says:

    Very nice analysis, uncle.

    K. Chandrika, Vinukonda.AP
    Nov 19, 2010

  9. seshu chamarty says:

    Broca, Your analysis pleasantly surprised me what with your painstaking statistics. You please take me as the one who had already gone through your works ( I recast your excellent output onto the web, along with Mallick of course).So count me in, as your tacit admirers, if not we recorded the same by way of our comments. Keep writing.We two have a similar background service wise. Kudos.

    Seshu Chamarty, Hyderabad

  10. J S Broca says:

    Dear Vimala ji, Ramabrahmam ji, Mallick ji, Chandrika ji, Seshu ji-a big thank you to all, for reading my opinion and responding to it so whole heartedly. I really appreciate and value your feedback !

    J S BROCA, New Delhi
    Nov 19, 2010

  11. geetashree says:

    Brocaji, I am glad that you devoted so much time in writing this article. I endorse your views wholeheartedly. In fact, it would sound positively cliched if I say now that paucity of time prevented me from “mailing” my views on the subject to Rao Sahib. Regrettably, I have spent much time in mulling over it than expressing my opinion in writing. But I very strongly feel that “opinion” and “fiction” are being grossly overlooked on this site. I hope I will not be criticized as ungrateful after this comment as my writes have often evoked quite a few critiques and views, unexpectedly though. Unexpected because viewers’ response to lengthier writes are not very consistent or predictable. Sometimes when you expect a huge response, you invariably get none or very few. My analysis is a little different. I think poems are mostly short and easy read, taking for granted, that all the readers are very well versed in that particular genre of writing. In fact, I wanted to suggest that there should be a monthly contest for “other writings” as well just to encourage more such contributions and promote wider participation. Many of my acquaintances who are more into prose feel a little left out on YS. And I don’t think muses always follow lyrical rhyming pattern; these can be linear too!! I hope I will not be misunderstood for voicing my “opinion” on the issue. Regards.

    Geetashree Chatterjee, New Delhi
    Nov 19, 2010

  12. chandra mouli says:

    Thanks for nice midweek masala, Jitoo bhai saheb.Cheers.

    TSChandra Mouli, Hyderabad
    Nov 19, 2010

  13. venkata abhinav says:

    Sir, in my opinion, my opinion about your opinion on your analysis on opinions is right, that your opinion on opinions correct. Well, I found this article as one of my most favorites of your creations. Warm Regards.

    D.Venkata Abhinav, IIIT,Nuzvid
    Nov 19, 2010

  14. J S Broca says:

    Dear Geetashree ji,Mouli ji,Abhinav ji–Once again thanks to you all for your avalanche of beautiful, cool-as-November-air responses, to my posting. I am gratified and happy to note that this has more than made up for the lack of responses to my earlier post which was the sole reason for my unseasonal and un-characteristic cloud burst! There is a big smile on my face like the proverbial cat waho has lapped up all the cream! Meow till the next avalanche! GBU all – the cream providers!

    J S BROCA, New Delhi
    Nov 19, 2010

  15. shernaz says:

    Dear Jitoo,
    Can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your write-up and the responses it has evoked…Yes, I could certainly see you with a smug chuckle as you stirred up so many comments. Am having fun myself, reading the interactions and seeing the wave of popularity you are riding on. You surely are a favorite on YS and it makes me very happy. I realised that one of the reasons I don’t respond often to your work is because what I want to write is always biased towards you. Also because I almost can read the thoughts sometimes behind what you are saying…kind of reading between the lines. I am sure all are waiting for the next dose of laughter from you. Take care.GBU

    19th Nov 2010

  16. atreya sarma says:

    Brocaji, An interesting and well-researched story. Poetry is predominant on MI for the probable reason that the very word ‘Muse’ connotes more of that genre. Yet, prose too – if written in equally literary & creative style – would be as engaging. In fact, you’ve more freedom in attempting prose, for you needn’t be too economical in diction, and you needn’t drive the readers to try to read between the lines. And then, ‘Fiction’ is supposed to interest of the readers much better, but most of them on YS/MI are not evoking much appreciation. The reason could be that they lack in raciness, they tend to be too descriptive and ponderous. This said, it doesn’t follow that every poem let loose by us is poetical; in fact some of them tend to be too prosaic and pedantic, as Ambika rightly pointed out the other day in her judge’s remarks. ‘Opinions’ would, therefore, continue to be read & appreciated so long as they are not opinionated and don’t pinion the reader’s interest. Thank you for your excellent ‘Opinion’ and do continue your spree.

    U Atreya Sarma, Secunderabad
    Nov 20, 2010

  17. J S Broca says:

    Dear Atreyaji, thanks a lot for your excellent response, and conveying your views and opinion on the subject matter. Yes I do agree that whether it is prose or poetry, it should have the inherent quality and capacity to engage the reader and carry him/her with the flow!

    J S BROCA, New Delhi
    Nov 20, 2010

  18. Cathy Abdula says:

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this .

  19. Junie Kaster says:

    I have been checking out many of your stories and i can state pretty nice stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

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