We love the blogosphere; it’s full of great ideas, insights and humour. The boring bits are dull, of course. But there’s a distinct part of it that bugs me. I think I call it the “Blogosphere of Hate”.
A site like Guido is full of new gossip and energy. It’s hugely successful. But there’s something tawdry and oppressive about it – worse than the Daily Mail. This crystallised in my mind when I got drawn (via the Spy Blog I think) to someone called “Not a Sheep” who’d written a post about New Labour and immigration. The post turns into a laundry list of people and things that non-sheep hates.
That’s it. That’s what bugs me. I’m not interested in the things people hate, and I dont think we have much to learn from people who are motivated by hate:
I’d even say there’s a niggle for me in Tom Watson’s blog which is the parts where he seems a priori to hate Tories. If he hates them already, then we’re not going to learn anything from what he says about what they do, are we?
I thought our great Western civilisation was supposed to be founded on the insight that you love your enemies and turn the other cheek. There’s still plenty to get passionate about, and lots to resolve. An enlightened blogoshpere could still be a vibrant one.
It would be depressing, would it not, to look down on the world 2000 years after all that crucifixion and stuff and to spend a few hours reading the Blogosphere of Hate. You really would think “Why did I bother?”
The Quakers – as ever – have some really concise and pertinent advice about what the priority should be (#28):
Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.
That reads to me like high moral authority for taking it easy. I guess we all want, as Spike Lee put it, to “Do the right thing.” This strikes me as a pretty good formula for working out what that is.
Having thought this through I now think I deplore the “Blogosphere of Hate” as a benighted place of childish ranting. It seems to me to have nothing constructive to offer. One can only hope people will emerge from it. Is that right? And, if so, do we do better to ignore it, or to resist it (I have got drawn into a comment thread with the non-sheep entity).