Friday, April 13, 2007

Surfing the blogosphere

Have you ever used the feature at the top of a blogspot page which moves you somewhat randomly across the blogosphere from blog to blog? It's kind of fun because of the variety of themes encountered.

In my latest cyberjourney, I landed on many sites in foreign languages, one gay soft porn site, several business-related blogs, a few techie blogs, and assorted sci-fi sites. It's fascinating to see what's out there!

Sometimes I'll run across something that really bothers me a lot. Usually a porn-ish site startles me with its pictures, but I'm not really offended. What does bother me is when a blogger asserts that some public person has performed some heinous act which offends so badly and is so unethical that he or she deserves to be excoriated, run out of town, and generally horsewhipped for this act. The descriptors of the act are vivid and dramatic but lack much substance in proof. I tend to marvel at the apparent paranoia which seems to fuel such an outburst.

The victim in such a diatribe is often a public figure who has done something the blogger disagrees with because of his or her religious principles or because of some perceived insult. There is a degree of passion that defies reason and makes me wonder why this person needs to express herself or himself in such a way.

I am all for freedom of expression but when such hate is expressed, I worry for the wellbeing of the hater, more than the hatee. And when the hater is an avowedly religious person, I wonder if she or he has paid much attention to the teachings of the prophet, whatever religion he or she espouses.


Joel said...

My reverend aunt is trying to keep from pointing fingers (a kind instinct), but that would be me. I rarely get as angry as I did yesterday, but I did express my anger in a fairly colorful way. I know it's a cliche, but the story of the temple moneychangers seems relevant here.

My phrasing, to be honest, was gentler than most of the political discourse that goes around the blogosphere. I've been called far worse things (by this politician's supporters) simply for commenting politely on posts like this one.

Anyway, I'm sorry it was offensive to you, and I'm sorry you had to see that side of my personality. I can have a pretty sharp tongue sometimes.

Mile High Pixie said...

I can't say I blame you. I have to admit that I frequently vent more than warranted at certain issues and people. I think one of my greatest weaknesses is that I have a hard time listening to people that I disagree with politically or socially. At the least, I have a hard time listening without getting angry. Then I get more hardened in my thinking--not cool on my part.

I mostly worry about the vitriol I read because it makes me think that we as a community and a society may never be able to come together and really try to solve anything. It's too easy, I suppose, to argue over the superficial talking points on both sides than to chew a 'lude and pause and think about the deeper stuff in a hot-button issue. Makes me sad.

Joel said...

MHP, is "chew a 'lude" a metaphor? I don't think I've ever heard that one before.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks to both of you, Joel and Pixie. Civility can be almost impossible when we are angry, but without it, we'll never hear each other.