Wednesday, 3 October 2018

'What am I going to write about next?'

That question has bubbled up in my brain several times a day in the ten years since I started this blog. I haven't been able to answer it for months now. I used to write about what amused, intrigued, moved or incensed me but since February this year, when I was maliciously accused of being a 'fascist' and a person 'I would not want to be taught by' for using the word 'Muslim' instead of 'Islamist' in a social media post, I've hesitated to write anything. I wrote a longish post in July about that whole tempest in a teapot, but was advised by my niece to trash it, because you never know who'll be trawling through your social media posts in search of matter to pretend to be offended by and planning to use it to try to get you fired.

So, just to make it clear, these are my views on the current obsessions of the permanently offended. I'm speaking entirely for myself here.

If you are of any religious persuasion, the chances are I don't like your religion and find your apologetics ridiculous. We will have to agree to differ on this type of thing and I'm quite happy to do so.

If you disapprove, on whatever grounds, of homosexuality, feel free to say so to my face, because as a grown man I know that words cannot hurt me. British railway stations these days are defaced by a poster bearing the ridiculous slogan 'sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can really hurt us', suggesting that station staff  might be more traumatised if a bellicose drunk called them a cunt than if he physically assaulted them. Imagine someone in a hospital bed, all bandaged, plastered and splinted, surrounded by colleagues bearing flowers and grapes, all reassuring him with the words 'at least he didn't call you a faggot.'

If you believe it's a good idea to have 24-hour hotlines at universities to allow people to anonymously report 'hate speech', I think your proposal is cretinous, censorious and dangerous, even if it did get you elected to some students' union committee. Speech is speech and voice may be given to good ideas and to bad: let's hear all ideas and counter the ones we think are bad without fear of being snitched on, called every -ist and -phobe in the book, then fired and blacklisted.

I think your skin colour and sexual orientation are very probably the least interesting things about you. Nor do I care which gender you 'identify' as. Third person pronouns are not yours to choose. If you disagree with that, make your case and I will listen, but I reserve the right to disagree and to say that I do.

Criticism and mockery of a regime are not the same thing as racism, and the fiercest critics and mockers of shitty regimes are usually to be found among the people forced to live under them. Raif Badawi is a true patriot and Muslim, yet his masters have had him banged up for the last six years for criticising the way they run things. Shame on them.

By the way, I lived in Greece for fifteen years, and spoke to people there who had lived through the seven-year fascist police state of 1967 to 1974. The Greeks then had no civil rights and no free press to report on the imprisonment, torture and disappearance of anyone brave enough to oppose the rotten jingoism and cronyism of their masters, who in 1973 put down a student protest by turning the military on their own citizens. So don't be calling me a fascist: if you do, you demonstrate that you don't know what it means. Go and find out, then make sure you save the word for when you really need it.

That's all.

I don't know if I will ever update this blog again. The self-censorship imposed on one by the current climate of grievance and victimhood in education knocks all the pleasure out of writing. It was nice while it lasted.

2 comments:

tildeb said...

This is why the Intellectual Dark Web has come into being, in direct response to the real fascism going on, the real life consequences of imposing a totalitarian ideology of Identity Politics, of Post Modern intersectionalism, what was once clearly identified as Marxist, forcing people into self censorship to avoid the social smearing that is the primary tool of these real life fascists. This is the malignant ideology in action that is sweeping the West championed mostly from the mainstream Left and has turned our culture into a writhing apology for everything Western. It is a direct attack on the fundamental principles of free speech, due process, and now the attention is being turned on the scientific method. Having conquered the university administration and metastasized the Humanities, the Arts, and the Social Sciences into its handmaidens, Identity Politics and Grievance Studies are now shifting the aim to undermine STEM faculties. And the only political ally to stand up for the fundamental principles on which liberal democracies depend ius to be found only on the extreme Right of the political spectrum. And that should be a wake-up call to the populace, that when the centre, the moderate, is considered 'radical' enough for mass social shunning and vilification, something has gone badly wrong. And that error rests with being fooled into thinking the Oppressed and Oppressors, the Victims and Victimizers, the heart and soul of Identity Politics is an accurate description of reality when it is nothing more than an ideology - like a religious belief - imposed on it. And it is wrong.

Ipmilat said...

Ain't it the truth. I've decided not to be cowed, however, and keep on writing when the spirit is upon me.

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