(Beware, ranting follows)
Lookit, I don’t care how much I agree with your essential argument, or otherwise. You can be saying my exact mindscape in eloquent phraseology to the tune of my favourite album. I don’t give a shit whether I agree with you or not. I am happy to listen all day and all night to people who I disagree with. Just be interesting.
If all you are doing is saying what every other mother-freakin’ person in the blogosphere is vomiting out of their own word-holes, just a little less well-phrased and a little lazier in the logic and a little louder and more angry, then what, just what, is the fucking point?
(I’m not talking to you, gentle regular reader, for you are always erudite, immaculately dressed and pretty)
If I wanted to listen to people back-slapping themselves while spouting opinions that have been through more blogs than I’ve been through candy bars, lazy half-arsed agreeable non-controversial this-is-what-everyone-else-is-already-saying kinda posts that I could have pulled from under my left nostril without having to blow, if I wanted to slowly lower myself into the morass of nothing that is intellectual debate in this country with a fat grin and glazed pupils, losing form as my body becomes indistinguishable from the tepid waste that has flowed from innumerable inseparable public mental orifices, I would just cut myself a slab of greased pig-luncheon and sit down to share my evening with The Shire.
If, in short, your argument contributes nothing to the debate beyond self-satisfied certainty about how fucking right you are, and how clear, countable, calculable, inarguable, undisputed king of the hill kind of blatantly obvious are the flaws of your foes, how their ideology is so unmistakably unshakeably wrong that you don’t even need logic (luckily) to demolish it, just smugness, how all you need to do is slap the wet kipper of your fawning platitudinous verbal self-gratification against the jellied eel hull of their sinking inflatable steamboat and shout “Ha! Brought you down, enemies!” because the unstoppable *rightness* of you is just so overwhelming in its goodness, bigness and moral indignation that their sinking happened ten years ago before their boat was even a glint of moral depravity in a big boat’s yardarm….
If, in shorter, you are just here for a haircut…. then your contribution to our world’s debate and cultural knowledge and understanding counts for naught.
Whatever happened to depth of discussion, debate, what happened to listening, that ancient druid-craft that lies buried in legend from the smoky time before talking went from something you did with people to something you did *at* people. What happened to Benjamin Bunny’s famous exhortation to “brush against the grain”, the notion that we might actually question and find it desirable, even admirable, to stand out from the tide and ask “but what about”, even if, especially if, we are brushing against what we ourselves believe? What the fuck happened to genuine, multi-faceted complexities, to admitting “I don’t know”, to recognising that, just as I have been wrong about seven thousand, eleventy hundred and one seventh of the things I have argued for in my life up to this point, it is *just possible*, just an outside chance, that one day, not today, noooo, but some day, I may even once be wrong again.
Even I’m doing it, right now, with this infernal diatribe from “me”, the enlightened positioned protagonist, made from a puffed up sack of wind with a couple of jelly beans for eyeballs, shouting at the imagined “you”, the incorrect, scandalously transgressive imagined octagonist who if he ever existed as anything other than a crumpled receipt at the bottom of my bag of ideas, would surely have given up reading and lost interest hectares ago. So stop listening to me, in the name of all that is righteous and holy!!
I can only assume that somewhere, sometime when we weren’t looking, weren’t concentrating, the INTERNET GOT IN US. And now it is all through us, poisoning us, forgetting for us, losing those parts of us that used to believe in sharing, in society, in communality, in kindness, in sympathy, in empathy, in attempting, however hamfisted in our gauche paraphrasery, to understand the other. The Internet is in us, and it is all that we are, all that we have left to prop up these empty husks, to keep them running with the wind long enough to stay together.
Don’t listen to me, friends, don’t listen to me. I am ranting, just like any one of you. But if you have the courage, if you have the heart, if you have a small voice deep in your stomach trying to shout up your neck at your brain, then run, run…. there may still be time for you.
Until next time. Have a nice day.