Friday, 11 December 2015


"Yeah...I'm lookin' at YOU!"

While we're waiting for the next instalment of U.K. 'TROLLS:
KICKING THE BUTTS (OF BUTT-'EADS), permit me to make
a brief detour.

Sometimes I despair of some of my fellow bloggers.  Presenting
themselves as fair, open-minded enquirers after truth who welcome
all forms of diverse opinion to theirs (in regard to subjects on which
they themselves have invited comment), they then reveal themselves to
be biased, small-minded extremists who don't really want to hear what
others have to say - unless it's to tell them just how right they are on
whatever they happen to be banging on about at the moment.

If someone is going to raise a controversial issue on their blog
 then they should be prepared to receive some controversial replies -
ones they might even be offended by.  However, I've often found that
when a person claims to find a point of view offensive, what they're
actually offended by is the idea of someone having an opinion
contrary to their own.  (How very dare they!)

The fact is, some people just don't like to be disagreed with -
especially when they're simply not very good at defending their
propositions to begin with.  And that's regardless of whether said
proposition is absurd, questionable, or entirely reasonable.  One thing
I've learned from bloggerland is that, very often, when someone asks
a question, the only answer they're interested in hearing is the one
upon which they've already decided.  It seems that everyone else's
purpose is simply to support their fragile and insecure belief
in themselves.

Feel free to agree or disagree - I won't be offended.


(Okay, so hardly a 'klassic', but I gotta post something.) 


Colin Jones said...

Yes, it is a bit silly inviting comments and then calling somebody a troll if they disagree with a certain subject. I've always loved reading letters in comics, magazines, newspapers and now online comments so I'm always interested in different viewpoints even if I don't agree with them. You can't really have a proper discussion if everybody says the same thing :D

Kid said...

Very true, CJ, and as you know, I love a good discussion. Those that don't shouldn't start one. Perhaps they get in above they're heads and just can't deal with what ensues - even if their opponent is polite in expressing his/her disagreement.

TC said...

I've seen it on more than one blog, and so have you.

It's generally easier to cloud the issue by hurling epithets than it is to address the actual substance of the other person's arguments. But the epithets, whether they come from the right ("commie," "pinko," "libtard"), or the left ("racist," "sexist," "war monger," "Islamophobe," "homophobe") usually say more about the people hurling them than they do about the intended target.

And I know that some subjects (politics, religion) are obviously hot button issues, but I never cease to be amazed at how some bloggers and commenters get worked up over the most asinine trivia. Including the fact that comic book sales are much lower than they were in the 1960's, for example.

I think some people just find a heated argument more exciting, and therefore more fun, than a civil discussion. And some may be paranoids who assume that anyone who disagrees with them about anything must have evil motives.

"Observe which side resorts to name-calling, and you have likely identified the side with the weaker argument, and they know it." - Charles R. Anderson

Kid said...

All too true, TC. I'd make one little addition to Anderson's quote by adding the word 'first' after 'name-calling' because I have on occasion 'returned fire'. My only excuse is that the 'other guy started it'. The recent stushie over comic sales is a case in point. I have no trouble accepting that others may prefer to believe that everything in the garden is rosy in regard to the state of today's comics, but when they start accusing folk of 'trying to destroy comics for selfish reasons of their own' then it's descended into absurdity in my view.

As usual, an intelligent, well-expressed comment, TC, so ta much for it.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Some people want to express themselves on a blog, for others that's not enough when there's the desire to seek approval or assert the ascendancy of their own view. Neither of those motives are necessarily a flaw. In circumstances where someone believes they have an important insight to offer, they can be tolerable. If those motives are accompanied by commitment and the diligence to research a topic in detail then put forward the consequent insight coherently, it can be a highly informative exercise. The problems that arise are generally borne through two causes: 1, no such insight is actually on offer, 2. dissenter fatigue. When the first is the case, which according to my view is about 90% of the time, the bluster and rhetoric that follows, is the natural consequence of vacuous posturing. Dissenter fatigue can be though of as the opposite though, when an insight is novel, it's likely to be controversial, even polemical. Controversy prompts aggression from people invested in, or who believe they're invested in (they are most often mistaken in that belief) a topic. It can be difficult to distinguish genuine inquiry in circumstances where a person is inundated with, irrational and aggressive responses. Even if those responses are framed in seemingly acceptable terms, they can conceal a disingenuous intent.

Such a climate naturally promotes division, borne through aggression and misunderstanding but we have a particular problem currently, that exasperates the situation. Some people genuinely believe, that their views occupy a hallowed space and are incontestable by anyone civilised. They believe that because of the ascendency of a particular stance, promoted within the media. They also believe it is acceptable to replicate the intolerance of dissent presented in the media and to employ the same rhetorical devices. Well let me put them right about such notions, the media represents a collective identity, such entities have no consciousness of their own and can only function the most primitive level. By primitive, I mean real primitive, to draw an analogy with a living an organism, it would be below an earthworm, somewhere about amoeba level. So no, it's not okay to employ any of the labels iterated by TC in his post above, as a substitute for presenting a coherent opinion. It's not okay because you're not accentually communicating anything of value, you're just evoking a sound. It might as well be a grunt because it serves the same purpose, not communication but a cry to rally the rest of the apes or the implicit threat that such a sanction represents.

Now you might infer that the preceding para pertains to a particular set of issues and that is true to an extent but that fact is accidental. The thing that's changed, the reason why the attitudes presented by the currently ascendant views represented in the media, are so belligerent and intolerant is because the means by which the media has been rationalised and the rehabilitation of propaganda as a respectable means to enforce opinion. That circumstance is a threat to the liberties of everyone, not just those disgruntled by current media favouritism.

Sorry Kid, digressed a bit there from your initial topic but the themes raised in the comments kicked me off.

Kid said...

I'll sit back for a while and see how others respond to that, DSE. Plenty food for thought there. Tyson Fury is in the news just now because of his comments, and people are saying he shouldn't be considered for 'sportsman of the year' (or whatever it's called). People ganging up to exclude him because of his views (whatever you think of them) is 'mob rule' in my view. The best way to deal with it is to let his name be considered, and if people decide he's not a good 'role model' (although what constitutes a good role model is subjective, I suppose), then they should simply vote for someone else. There are a handful of people who don't like me or my blog, but this ganging up (not that it's a big gang) to spread lies and distortions about me, the following of me onto other blogs to leave disparaging comments about me and stir up trouble, people sending emails to folk with blogs to 'warn' them about me, etc., is crazy. And no, I don't see myself as a victim. Does a lion think he's a victim to fleas? Of course not. (That'll stir them up - although they'd all fit in a small garden shed and there'd still be enough room to have a party.)

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