Morning, trolls. I bet you think this is about you. Which, in a way, it is…though not, lest you be getting ideas above your ugly trollish station, any single individual troll. Nah. Its not about YOU. Its about all of you, with a dash of serendipity courtesy of a recent exchange with the brilliant blog from feminist (and delightful creative writer) Lorrie Hearts.
Similar issues, similar frustrations – and two posts bubbling up as a result. Here’s the first, which i guyess is mostly about manners.
In chatting, we both touched on issues of censorship and silencing. We both dislike censorship: but equally, we don’t like people turning up and trashing the joint. Because somewhere in there is the idea of blog as an extension of our respective living rooms.
They’re places to sit back and kick back. Draw up a sofa and LOUNGE! Its nice to have friends round: to chat, to potter, and to deliver a virtual cuppa to. Not so nice when, like refugees from late night chucking out, visitors turn up, won’t sit down, speak far too loudly (thereby waking any small and sleeping children), and then plop their muddy boots down in the middle of your favourite armchair. Ugh!
In fact, the more i think about it, the more apposite this metaphor seems to be. A couple of years back, i dabbled in Second Life. Perhaps it was the verisimiltude of the experience that made a difference: the fact that if you rented a “site”, you quickly put a house – or faerie grotto – on it: and when visitors arrived, they abided (abode?) by YOUR house rules or else they’d be ejected.
At which point, they’d be barred from further conversation. But is that censorship? Espesh as they would then almost certainly pop next door where they’d inflict their obnoxious views and character on whoever they found there.
At risk of being outed as a sometime old-fashioned liberal, its not always about the big stuff – like civil liberties or “smashing the patriarchy”. Sometimes – often – its about small stuff, like respect and politeness.
In taking on national newspapers, in place of talking big issues, i often prefer to focus on just how or why individual editors think it appropriate to talk so obnoxiously, so intrusively, so hurtfully about individuals they know next to nothing about.
In the end, its simple. What i publish AS a journalist, as a professional (sometimes on this blog) is out there, for public complaint, criticism, challenge, debate. The rest…my mutterings, dabblings, creative writing, personal musings, poetry, erotica, nit-pickery…is there. But its there to share: an invitation for others to share back.
There’s no call for everyone to agree with every last word: but if you do wish to pop round, play nice. Be polite. Don’t leap in with some imputation of motive or agenda: unlessyou know me, you’ll almost certainly be wrong. Don’t start out by accusing the holder of any particular idea of being an idiot. They almost certainly aren’t.
Don’t have a go at others: they are they, you are you. End of.
Above all, remember: you’re a guest. Be one.