Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 17 July 2005

God, how I loathe arrogant little 'holier than thou' would-be dictators!

I've just been reading an amazing post on A Big Stick and a Small Carrot by CuriousHamster (aka Garry Smith). Garry usually has posts which I find interesting, amusing and sometimes informative, specially because normally written from a political perspective very different to my own.

But just because he and Stuart are setting up a review of Scottish political blogs, a worthwhile and quite possibly useful idea (depending upon its execution) in itself, seems to have gone to his head. Now he is not just criticising what some other blogger is writing, fair enough (that's after all exactly what I'm doing right now with regard to Garry's post), but he is going a lot farther than this, he is actually telling some other blogger (Anything that defies my Sense of Reason, aka 'The Antagonist'):

"I don't mean to sound unkind but this does seem to be the perfect illustration of the TinFoil Hat phenomenon. My friendly advice to the Antagonist would be to stop posting for a few days. Try to relax, go for some long walks, think nice thoughts about those around you, perhaps read some Nosemonkey or Chicken Yoghurt or Bloggerheads posts. These three almost always have something intelligent to say. But please stop posting that particular conspiracy theory. It's clearly a nonsense and it's doing no-one any favours."

In other words, I don't like what you write so stop writing it (that's the inference I take from his rather arrogant-sounding "These three almost always have something intelligent to say," followed by the pretty stark "But please stop posting that particular conspiracy theory.").

Now I, having been directed to 'The Antagonist's' post by Garry, am honour-bound to state plainly my total agreement with his analysis of the merits of what 'The Antagonist' has written. Indeed what Tim writes on the matter:

"I’m glad to be able to announce that the UK now has it’s very own mindless twit. Yes, the Antagonist, continuing to claim that all the bombs were, in fact, set off by the authorities as part of a rehearsal. Or something. Perhaps the phases of the moon. Either that or he’s a damn good satirist."

hits the nail very squarely on the head. But Tim does not proceed arrogantly to suggest that the writer 'cease and desist'.

The internet, and 'webloggiedom' (I think I just coined that word, or perhaps not), remains one of the few areas of human existence that is relatively free from outside interference, even if people sometimes have to live with the legal consequences of what they write, or perhaps so far as their intellectual reputations are concerned. But I would far rather have eccentrics such as 'The Antagonist' continue to write whatever nonsense comes into their heads (or those of the commenters to the post in question, too, who seem equally eccentric), and let their readers make the judgement about the merits of what they write and whether ever to visit such blogs again, except for the purposes of anthropological research. Much to be preferred than having some jumped-up internet self-appointed policeman such as 'CuriousHamster' telling someone else to "please stop posting that particular conspiracy theory".

I daresay I shall be like the uninvited guest in the Bateman cartoon after having written my little tirade - ho, ho. But at least it has got my Libertarian juices flowing.

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