A new thing has come to pass in our brief lives. It is called “blogging,” and this is accomplished by writing or posting something electronically for others to read or view, or whatever, on a computer, a device unknown to Moses, Noah, Julius Caesar, and lots of others. Just imagine, if you even can, someone like Moses with access to a working laptop computer and GPS. Why, he could have saved some 39 and a half years or so of wandering around lost in the desert. And maybe not have wound up in a country with no oil. A computer would have been so out of the realm of anything anyone had known then, that the operation of such a device would have seemed like magic, and the work of either some god or some demon.
If any readers should wish to undertake this recreation of blogging, they should become familiar with a related phenomenon. Readers and viewers are able to post “comments” on one’s blog. And they do. The owner of the blog has the ability to decide if a given reader’s comment should be posted on his/her blog or trashed into electronic nonexistence.
Belief in the right of free speech has usually overcome common sense and I
have let anyone big enough to use a computer say anything they want on my blog. Only completely irrelevant messages, and spam, get deleted from the smorgasbord of electronic verbiage that pours forth on this miracle of communication and learning.
One major speed bump on the electronic highway of knowledge has been the problem of “political correctness.” This is a terror that makes certain words and expressions off limits for proper persons to use in acceptable conversation, electronic or otherwise. “Nigger” and “faggot” are examples of such words that are banned from use by agreement, authority, and good manners. Such speech is not usually unlawful. It is only censored from being used, and condemned when it is used. Never mind the context or the purpose of such use. There is apparently no way certain words, or even thoughts, can be expressed without drawing fire from someone for some reason.
This creates an opportunity for small-souled individuals who, lacking something worthwhile to say on their own, undertake to attack blogs and to attempt to insult and marginalize those who write them.
You know the type. Frequently wrong but never uncertain. Many of their comments are obscene and anonymous. And they are immune from being subject to criticism and correction by the simple fact that they are wrong. One critic could use a number of different names. They could be of Fundangelical persuasion and have created multiple personalities for themselves so they can criticize anything one says on a blog that they don’t like. Their general line of taste is that whatever has been written by anyone is something they do not like.
And they will criticize, it seems, anything anyone writes.
If blog writers must forever bow to the ever-changing nuances of so called “politically correct” speech, then language will lose its meaning. Sigmund Freud spoke of “the narcissism of small differences.” Our struggle is against the might of the Religious Right, not against each other. We are the natural allies of each other. We are in a different line than they. A very different line.
Criticism of written works is certainly valid and appropriate. But certain criticism is neither valid nor appropriate. Written language that is consistently vulgar, mean-spirited, maliciously motivated, and done to deliberately harm others is not only cloddish but also perhaps unlawful and actionable.
There is an old country saying that says, “Never get into a pissing contest with a skunk.” Good advice. In the woods or on the blog.