... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Sunday, April 08, 2012

567: Two

Two great opinion pieces in the Guardian/Observer Comment is Free today. Extremely well written and focusing on very important subjects:

What terrifies me is that people are nodding happily all over the country, pleased to see a clampdown on internet trolling at last, as if the exact content of the tweets doesn't matter. It matters enormously. If we're going to send someone to prison for saying something, we damn well ought to know what it is he said. Anyone who's pleased to see a person jailed for a piece of writing, without bothering to seek out the precise words that were deemed illegal, should be ashamed of themselves.
It was quite wrong for the media to report the story without those details. They could use asterisks, bleeps and disclaimers, of course. But it's inappropriate and dangerous for a free press in a free country to inform us that someone has been imprisoned for the words he used, without quoting them. What kind of democracy is this, if we don't demand to know what those words were?
Characters such as Vivienne Westwood take a break from designing boxes for £90 Fortnum and Mason Easter eggs to drool over this profoundly mediocre family with the same brainless fervour with which they once espoused anarchy. And every time I witness such self-abasement, it makes me feel once more that patriotism and monarchism are actually the opposite of each other – or at best a duplicitous marriage of convenience, such as the one the heir apparent inflicted on his innocent first wife, rather than the love match they pertain to be. Monarchists frequently declare that without the royal family, Britain would be "nothing". What a woeful lack of love for one's country such statements express.
Being a monarchist, and fawning over those "above" you, you must naturally despise those "below" or on the same socioeconomic level as yourself, because that is how hierarchy worship works. It's also about despising yourself, for how could anyone with any self-respect look up to someone who holds their position purely by an accident of birth? Being a monarchist – saying that one small group is born more worthy of respect than another – is just as warped and strange as being a racist.

If I were to have quoted all the good bits I would have just copied the whole articles, and I really ought not to do that. Just read the damn articles and then we can all get on with whatever we were doing before I so rudely interrupted. I've got a chicken to stuff, a face to shave and a bowl of carrots to grate.

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