The silence on this blog, I like to kid myself, has been deafening—but, on the whole, it’s more probably true that it has gone relatively unnoticed.
Nevertheless, I have been quieter than usual, and while thinking about this today I drew a few conclusions, finally deciding that maybe—just maybe—it was time for me to make a more concerted effort and return to “blogging as it used to be”.
So what prompted these “conclusions”? I’ve noticed over recent months that on Twitter (which I use extensively) I have become less inclined to say what I really think. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, with over three thousand followers you can be fairly certain that anything you say is going to reach a few people who don’t agree and who are prepared to let you know. This can be time-consuming and, ultimately, pretty pointless. Yes, I’m fortunate to have had many productive discussions/debates using this medium, but recently they have been fewer and farther between (possibly because others are beginning to share my own concerns?) Secondly, the danger of misunderstanding, when dealing with, in some cases, serious topics, is painfully difficult to avoid while only using 140 characters. Thirdly, while my Twitter stream is very much “mine”, it feels increasingly as if I’m in the middle of a crowded public place shouting rather rudely into the surrounding tumult. A sense of “ownership” of the space around one grants freedoms that I otherwise feel I can’t, or shouldn’t, claim. And finally, the climate is changing—dangerously, to my mind. I am, I like to think, a fairly intelligent guy who is always careful about what he posts. I know what to say and what not to say. But given reactions (in many respects understandable) by the police and judiciary over recent weeks and months to certain, admittedly reprehensible tweets by handful of people, I find myself all too often erring unreasonably on the side of caution—something that concerns me deeply.
And so I am going to at least try to revive my blogging appetite and address certain issues that concern me here. Comments on these posts will, on the whole, remain closed and only under certain circumstances will I open them up for debate (not because I’m anti-debate, as someone will no doubt insist, but rather because I have novels to write). I’ll aim for brevity—keeping the posts as on topic as possible, effectively treating them as an extended tweets. My approach will be very much the approach I used quite extensively at the height of my blogging phase of a few years ago: examining the all too often “accepted” version from as many angles as possible, occasionally playing the contrarian simply because no one else is. I won’t promise to blog every day, but I will promise to try to post honestly when I feel it’s required.
So what can you expect over recent months? Well, I think it’s fairly safe to say that I will definitely be writing about—as I have done in the past—the continuing assault on our right to cause offence. This is something that has an impact on so many aspects of the lives we lead, and I feel it can’t be discussed too much.
As well as this, I think it highly likely that I will be returning quite regularly to the subject of disability identity—how the media and, quite often, charities and activists, are shaping the way people with disabilities are perceived, often with laudable motives but with an almost complete disregard for the implied messages they are sending.
For light relief, you can also expect a little literary commentary, the occasional assault on religion, a liberal amount of disrespectful mooning at passing “psychics”, a general hatred of political entrenchment and binary arguments and … what have I forgotten? Oh, yes, the occasional update on my writing.
So, yes, sporadic it may be. Few and far between could well still be the order of the day. But on those occasions when I do post something, it should hopefully be worth reading—even if you don’t necessarily agree with it (which is perfectly acceptable).
If you consider this a good thing, please make encouraging noises below.
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© 2012 Gary William Murning