Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There is too much internet 2: Swineshead revisited

Swineshead’s misdirected attack on the post below illustrates a problem with blogging: although a blog mostly operates as a local pub with regular readers and commenters, literally anyone can drop in to insult you if they happen to find the door.

I’m not intending just to bash Swineshead particularly here – his admission of standing ‘corrected’ is a vanishingly rare thing in blogland and shows he’s basically a decent cove. But he was googling for the Panorama programme with an over-sensitive racism-detector and jumped to conclusions when he found my post (and probably the title of the blog and the name Brit).

That’s the trouble with the internet – nobody’s got an attention span anymore. Twitter worsens the problem tenfold. A whole bunch of Swineshead’s Twits have come to this blog by following a link which says: I'm still reeling from last night's Panorama - then I see this: http://bit.ly/32EUlC . What a turd.

That, of course, was before he realised that, while I might be a turd for many reasons, racism isn’t one of them.

Swineshead’s argument might be that I should have spelled out, as if for a child, that racism is a Bad Thing in the post, and then the gist of the thing would have been clearer to the ‘casual reader’ (ie. the googler who stumbles upon you).

But of course you can’t write every post as if for the casual stumbler or Twit. My regular readers know I know racism is a Bad Thing, it’s taken as read. Life would get very tedious if I had to run through an obvious list of Bad Things every post. Unfortunately this does leave one open to over-sensitive stumblers with no attention span who feel they can call you “a turd” with impunity, but what can you do?

More evidence, then, that there is just too much internet.

27 comments:

Gaw said...

I just hope Swineshead doesn't go sticking his insensitive snout into any Muslim or Jewish blogs. The turd may be on the other foot then.

The Old Batsman said...

Can I just say, with regard to the post below and short attention spans, I misread the headline as 'Paranormal stitch-up'. I had to go a couple of paragraphs before I realised that Derek Akorah wasn't going to be in it.

Sophie King said...

If this is a pub, are you the bloke pulling the pints or the slightly pissed one sitting at the end of the bar accosting passers by?

worm said...

Its always odd when non-local people come bundling like a bird down the chimney into our dusty nook of the web, and proceed to poo on the furniture

Brit said...

Sophie - a little from column A, a little from column B. I'm the Keith Floyd of the pub.

Brit said...

OB: the correct reaction, then, would have been an immediate twitter saying: "Look at this turd having a go at poor old Derek Akorah".

Matt said...

I agree that drive-by commentating is a bad thing-- turds raining down from nowhere. On the other hand, my dentist recently told me that having a bad tooth doesn't make me a bad person, so I've have to find a new way to misbehave...

malty said...

Sophie, or the bloke who says, "'ere, you staring at my turd!)

Hey Skipper said...

It is amazing how many people have such a tenuous grasp on the blindingly obvious, then blame others for that handicap.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Since when did "stumbling" become such a worthwhile activity? It's surely largely people's own fault if they stumble across things they don't like.

martpol said...

Brit:

It works this way throughout the political spectrum, of course. I got wise to the 'drop-in commenter' problem when I attempted to have a sensible, logical discussion with some anti-immigration folk upset about asylum seekers. It couldn't be done because each time I engaged one person in a reasonably interesting, blow-by-blow argument, four others would come along and dismiss me without reading any of what I'd written before. Still, probably my fault for tackling them on their own territory.

(It's a shame I missed out on that whole racism thing, by the way, standing as I do somewhere between you and Swineshead. Perhaps you could see your way clear to a similar post, say, next Monday, when I'll be lounging around at home.)

Brit said...

It's not possible to stand "somewhere between" me and Swineshead, Martpol, since we were at cross-purposes.

martpol said...

You might have been generally: but there was definitely a "Britain isn't particularly racist" versus "yes it bloody is" dynamic going on there as well.

Brit said...

Well that's a different argument, to which the answer is so bland and obvious that it's not really postworthy.

Swineshead said...

Hmmm. Continuing something that had ended... I'd rather you gave up the ghost on that one - and be good if you'd stop using my handle in the posts... just a courtesy thing.

Brit said...

"somthing that had ended" ..."Just a courtesy thing".

I'm still getting visitors from a Twitter which calls me a "turd" and implies that I'm a racist.

Swineshead said...

I can't help being so bloody influential.

*ahem*

Anyhow, let's leave it shall we? I made an assumption, which I shouldn't have, and you slapped my wrist, rightly.

Aside from that, I'm sure there's lots we'd like about one another's sites.

Brit said...

I forgave your comments about a worldview the size of a petit pois etc in the original post almost instantly, but then I got all the turd people. If you Twit that Brit is not a turd but a most interesting blogger, then we're quits.

Swineshead said...

Do you know how Twitter works? That tweet is lost in the ether now. It's even less relevant than it was in the first place.

Besides, I think you've more than had your revenge, mocking me in the headlines of a couple of extra blog posts despite my having a reasonable point in the first place.

Don't make me call you a turd again.

Brit said...

That's a bit lame. Why couldn't you just do it?

Brit said...

You can do it in an ironic way if you want. With a bit of good humour, you know.

Brit said...

And besides, it's not irrelevant to me, the turdee.

Gaw said...

By the way Swineshead, you may want to reconsider your handle. Whilst not implying that this had anything to do with your choice, it does have bad connotations and may be deemed insensitive or in bad taste in certain venues.

I know my Jewish nan, for instance, would be a bit shocked if I introduced her to someone with a name like that.

(Same would apply for Muslims, of course).

Swineshead said...

I am named after a sleepy town near Boston, Lincolnshire. I think the connection you make is a bit too tenuous for me to consider contacting deed poll.

http://twitter.com/Swineshead/status/5076681615

Gaw said...

Context is all, I guess!

Swineshead said...

Well - that was worthwhile...

A response to my courtesy tweet...

@Swineshead I'm not so sure. The comments on the post you (rightly) criticised make for uncomfortable reading. Borderline, I think.

Brit said...

LOL! Well done on the grudging tweet - I think we can say Turdgate is officially resolved.