Wednesday 13 May 2009

Am I too negative?

It's easy to criticise, I admit. And I criticise a lot.

The negative usually needs less arguments, it looks more self-explaining.

It is more motivating sometimes. The positive side needs more effort, more involvement, better arguments. I might have chosen the easiest solution then.

But I am asking myself: Am I too negative, too critical, too aggressive sometimes?

It is hard to find the right balance between my very positive general attitude towards life, towards people, towards time, and my political self which has a tendency to search conflict.

I often take an argument further than I myself believe in it. Playing the devil's advocat. Because I like a discussion based on counter-arguments that can find to each other somewhere in the middle.

I am picking little details without true importance and make them look relevant, because I am kind of a perfectionist. And it's fun to find these little things. Especially considering chaos theory.

So don't take me too personal, even if I quote you or if I am playing with your favourite baby. It's never against you! A political blog needs to encourage debate, and a European democracy cannot live without an open discourse in which we try to find the best solutions.

Hence, when you see my negative side popping up, take it as an argumentative challenge, show me that I am wrong, because I like the moment when I realise I am wrong or I was imprecise. This little moment of guilt that can ruin a whole day.

Then, the perfectionist in me turns against himself, pointing his finger at me saying: Look, bastard, you're not an inch better than those you criticised!


Eurocentric said...

I don't think you should worry about this too much; after all, bloggers tend to be opinionated (isn't that the nature of blogging?) and I'd say they'd like a good argument (though maybe that's just me).

"I like the moment when I realise I am wrong or I was imprecise."

I wish I could say the same - life would be a lot less stressful!

Ralf Grahn said...


Occasional self-doubt is a good thing, but I think that your open post about this is part of your open and spontaneous personality.

You bring a breath of fresh (Frisch) air to discussions about the European Union and Europe in a larger sense.

If your condemnation of a Council statement or a Commission press release is sometimes sweeping - completely worthless - there is usually more than a grain of truth in them.

The institutions sometimes seem to work at a few removes from humanity, so I see little harm in reminding them that their papers should at least to some extent be fit for human consumption and be relevant for EU citizens.

In my mind you have never come across as a negative person, even when you condemn, so don't cramp your style.

You are doing an excellent job.

Josef Litobarski said...

Never change, Julien!


When you criticise, it is for exactly the right reasons: to stimulate debate. We desperately need debate in the EU, and we absolutely need a critical Julien Frisch in the EU blogosphere, keeping us all on our toes.

I would also say that being critical is not the easiest route. To point out that "the Emperor has no clothes" is often the most difficult thing to do (especially when everyone is loudly admiring his beautiful attire).

A post like this one reminds people that it is never personal.

So keep generating debate, and keep us talking!


Andreas Karsten said...

"Like greed, criticism gets a bad rap, especially when it's presented in large doses. It's impolite. It's unnecessarily obsessive. It's just a bummer. But the truth is, precious little in life gets fixed in the absence of a good understanding of what's wrong with it to begin with."

Writes John Siracusa at Ars Technica

Julien Frisch said...