Friday, April 15, 2005

It's a different world out there...

I love blogs. I love political blogs and music blogs, philosophical blogs and surreal blogs, corporate blogs, writers blogs and technical blogs. I just love blogs. But most of all I like personal blogs, little slices of people's lives that they've seen fit to type into a web browser and throw onto the internet for all to see.

Amongst my favourite blogs is that of an Autralian writer named Kate Orman - she can on occasion be a little too painfully earnest for my tastes, but in general her blog is full of intelligent, thoughtful posts in which you can sense the genuine and deep hurt she feels at whatever is the latest bit of crappiness she's stumbled across online or in her life (not, I hasten to add, that Ms Orman is some kind of doom and gloom merchant - she's also frequently very funny). Whenever she posts something new my little Sage sidebar lets me know about it and off I go to read. And other people obvoiusly agree with me - her blog attracts lots of readers and a fair whack of comments from other bloggers.

Which brings me to my first point about wandering through the, ahem, blogosphere - you never know what you're going to get. One of Kate's latest posts concerns the recent, untimely death of the feminist writer, Andrea Dworkin. Now, speaking personally, I've seen Ms Dworkin interviewed a few times, but I don't suppose I've ever read anything she directly wrote in my life, so I read the post, skimmed through the attached link to an obituary, and was about to close the browser window when I spotted a rather bizarre comment further down the page.

I've no wish to give the poster of the comment any publicity but in short he said that everyone hated Andrea Dworkin because she said 'sex equals rape'. A little ignorant, I thought, since even I know that that's at best a wild over-simplification and, at worst, utter nonsense, but being the inquistive type I clicked on the poster's name and pottered over to his blog.

And it was vile. Amongst the first posts I read was a beauty equating homosexuality with paedophilia, necrophilia and incest. Amongst other gems were posts about the evil of gay marriage and the need to discriminate against the transgendered in church.

Which brings me to drawback number two. Randomly following links on blogs is something like opening one of those 'Encyclopedia of 20th Century Serial Killers' that seem to cover acres of shelves in every branch of The Works and BookWorld in the United Kingdom. You start off somewhere sane like Kate's blog, follow a comment by a right wing idiot and before you know it you're in Bampot Central, wading through line after line of text written in big fat crayon by that brand of Christian who believes that their God is a vengeful and, frankly, enormously vicious and petty-minded one. Lots of stuff about 'True Love Waits' surrounded by clip-art of pink roses and angel scraps mixed in with the unholy spewings of the religious right about the need to shoot abortion doctors and chemically castrate homsexuals before they molest all our young 'uns.

That could bring me onto a third point - my difficulty as an atheist in understanding how someone can twist the apparently very straight-forward positive message of the New Testament into a handbook of hate and loathing for their fellow man - but J's made me a cup of tea and is now looking seriously pissed off at the amount of time I've been on the computer tonight. Perhaps best not...
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Friday, April 08, 2005

How to Avoid Reviewing TV Programmes

I was considering converting my several unconnected musings regarding 'The End of the World' (the latest episode of the new series of Doctor Who) into a review, but instead have decided just to point anyone who cares to reviews by Phil (in the less high-brow of his two - possibly three - blogs) and Simon, both of whom express themselves considerably better than I, and between whom every point I wanted to make has been covered.

Basically, it's a thing of wonder, so long as you squint just enough to avoid the occasional stupid or insufficiently thought-out bits.
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