Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A heresy

I'm not interested in starting a war, not even a minor police act or peacemaking intervention or whatever people ended up calling the thing in Iraq. However, once it appears that one man's consumer right advocate decides becomes tomorrow's whinger or the smug man's George Carlin I'm disinclined to hold fire. Course I didn't actually instruct anyone to stop using any particular word, I was merely enquiring if the use of one word could be avoided by way of a crib or comment; passing comment supposedly being the lifeblood of blogging. There are naturally going to be times when no other word will do but the word that one has chosen with such care and consideration as Billy Connolly so perfectly illustrated in his timeless comparison of "fuck off versus go away - exclamation mark". Yet there is the world of a difference between Billy Connolly swearing and some spotty teenager repeating the same word again and again at the top of their voice for their own amusement . Most of us can tell the difference.

Naturally, when you've built yourself up and been built up by others so that you've got the loudest platform the tempting idea when someone says something that you disagree with is to misrepresent what the other person had to say so as to portray the other person in the worst possible light and then seek to drown out this other viewpoint. This all serves to ensure that you're always going to be the one seen in the right. There is an expectation amongst the hoi polloi that the great and the good don't stoop so low, perhaps in truth it should be less an expectation and more a means to identify the great from the merely well known.

Nanyway, Turns out that in reality once the individual's voice is loud enough it's also a cracking good way to ensure that the voice of other individuals isn't heard. Of course presenting yourself as an advocate of debate but then cutting someone's access mid-stream so as to prevent them from responding is a pretty contrary way to go about such things. But to do so without actually letting on to everyone else involved in the conversation that you've canceled their ticket creates the impression that you've won and they've simply retreated with their tail between their legs. At least in sports everyone else gets to actually see you taking your ball away with you. Not so for the high priest of Irish blogging who nixes your access on the QT and professes himself more than adequate to be the impartial judge of all that it is good or bad in Irish blogs. Could the same person really have said

"... I think that the philosophy of blogging, with everyone allowed to comment on what you write and point to what you write and quote what you write will be assimilated more into mainstream. I'm a big fan of Jeff Jarvis and his ideas of the newsroom of the future are well worth a read. As I said earlier, blogs are a great way of enabling the voice of the individual to be heard." ?

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