Thursday, August 17, 2006

democracy inaction

When I was a kid at school people always seemed to be telling me to get into computers because that was where the jobs explosion seemed to be. I didn't give a loose root about computers, or jobs explosions for that matter. I suppose I expected the world to end or at very least society to crumble and I thought it was a smart move to stay as close to the centre of the city as possible so as to be cleanly vapourised by the a-bomb rather than hang on to useless painful life as you would if you were only on the edge of a nuclear hit. If this didn't happen - though I was pretty sure it was gonna - society would just crumble because what would hold it together? It was all bullshit! So, I didn't get into computers.

Therefore I didn't get into lots of things until I was dragged kicking and screaming, but I did of course get into publishing and I wrote a lot and had it read by a lot of people of various callings and walks of life. And I enjoyed, naturally, the play of broadcasting my opinions (or even just opinions I held for that second in time, as long as it was me speaking and I could imagine them reading) and while I probably would have paid lip service to the idea of everyone having the opportunity to talk back or publish themselves or be published themselves etc, even without the requirements of market forces, I nevertheless loved the power.

That's where blogging trips me up. I don't mind that only 5-10 people read this stuff, I could only ever imagine 5-10 people reading even when I was writing for magazines that claimed monster readership figures (of a million, or whatever). But the instantaneous unmediated feedback still sometimes (very occasionally) sticks in my craw. It's weird isn't it? And now wilting flower has become sufficiently sensitive to institute a block on any comment that hasn't been approved by me. I will probably think better of this and take it off in a couple of days but at the moment I feel happier with it as it is because I really didn't like the tone of some of the comments in recent weeks, particularly those from anonymous (who I imagine is not always the same person).

I don't know. I don't know whether to be democratic. I mean I know the price of vigilance is eternal... you know what I mean, but I also know that people don't have time to read everything here, they read a little bit and then, apparently a la ticking a box to say they've read it, send in some snide comment which ends up making me feel I can never be understood (I am thinking particularly of the comment I deleted last week from anonymous that said I was cynical and had jewish parents. Neither of those things are true. What do you do when there are ten dags of commentary on your blog entry's arse and one of them is just absurd, irrelevant, has missed your point (or assumed erroneously that you had one)?

I'll deal with it.


Ambre Solaire said...

Don't feel bad about this. There are days when being out there in the harsh sunlight can be bad for you, and total blockout is the best option.

Gilmore said...

who's making snarky comments at you? pffffffft! your blog is lovely. pfffffft!

cnwb said...

A scourge on those who diminish Mr. Nichols' enthusiasm for blogging!

Sophie said...

I think it's perfectly reasonable to control comments myself. I don't think it is democracy in action to let people say stupid and offence things to people on blogs. Left Write wrote about this a couple of days ago. In fact I don't have comments on my blog - though am considering getting them.

David said...

Thank you all. I am still in two minds about it. As you might recall my real objection was not that people were saying offensive things, but that they were saying things that I kind of didn't understand or didn't think fairly reflected what I was saying - not that I was saying anything earth shatteringly deep. I am not offended by someone saying I have jewish parents. I am offended by someone misunderstanding and overemphasising the admittedly thoroughly irrelevant and unimportant information that I have a skerrick of jewish ancestry (which hardly sets me aside from a huge proportion of the world's population anyway). So whoever they - anonymous - were, they were just breezing by, probably following their own interests, and they came across my post, and interpreted it their own way. And obviously (?) this blog is in the public domain, and everyone has the right to read it, and of course with the right to read it that doesn't come with the obligation to understand it. I was probably let's face it oversensitive to someone else's offhanded comment.

So I'll demoderate the comments section sometime soon when I can work out how, and democracy will be restored, until my next tanty calculated just to show I am actually ultimately the boss. And of course if anyone else says something I don't agree with I'll just delete their comment. Simple.

David said...

In the spirit of the above I just deleted an anonymous comment left on a posting from October last year. I doubt the person who left said comment will be back again because more likely they were drawn to that spot via googling on a specific individual, so they're not part of the beloved coterie and that's a good thing but who would think this blog, which surely gets picked up by internet mundanity filters it's so freakin' mundane, would be such a hotbed of personal and political and personal political intrigue? Makes me feel quite important, for a second.