We all know about the ‘freedom’ of the internet and I suspect that we have all rejoiced from time to time in the fact that the truly global nature of the Web prevents anyone from controlling it. Two cheers for the international conspiracy and long may it stay that way.
As Robert Frost has cynically noted, a liberal is someone too broadminded to take their own side in a quarrel. Thus it is that – for me – one of the downsides of the Web is that if I demand/expect/hope for some kind of freedom of expression for myself and those who share my views, I also have to give elbow room to those whose views and sentiments do not equate with my own, no matter how noxious I find their standpoint.
Anyway, what happened today is that I got a comment here on the blog from what I can only describe as a politically extreme right-wing website – which I obviously won’t name. The comment didn’t really make any sense, so I clicked on the link to the site from which it originated and found some fairly high-level white supremacist bullshit. I say ‘high-level’ because although I didn’t spend too much time poking around, it was clear from what I did see that these weren’t the hysterical ravings of a bunch of stereotypical good ol’ boys holed up in a bunker in Montana with a few hunting rifles, a hundred cases of Jack Daniels and another hundred of freeze-dried ration packs.
Let’s just say that these people had developed some kind of intellectually cute rationale for their views and seemed to be buying into the whole noble white warrior schtick with overtones of Nazism but none of that untidy stuff about genocide or over-running most of the civilised world.
Not nice, but particularly unpleasant when it marches up your front pathway and takes a dump in your inbox. Worse still, the Stormtroopers have linked to an article about T.E. Lawrence on this site, so I might have to take that down if I get any more mail from them. Apologies for that, but I do object to having the Fourth Reich making a beeline for this blog. Leaves a nasty stink around the place.