Friday, August 6, 2010

Defending My Petty Little Blogosphere

Blogging is good, Blogging is democratic, Blogging is the debate of ideas and an avenue for self expression. Some may find bloggers desire to write offensive, and that is fine. I’d like to turn their attention to their computers ‘Shutdown’ setting.

If one doesn’t like what my blog or any particular message board they stumble across says, then by all means, don’t participate. Because it is the ability to participate in the debate is what makes the blogosphere democratic and unique.

Blogging, is my right. If I or any other member of the blogosphere decides to express our own opinion, then that should be lauded (I laud myself all the time). It is when one represses the rights of individuals that one spreads terrorism.

There is nothing more important to a society straining to attain a health democracy than diversity of thought and multiple platforms of expression, unless one advocates a ‘controlled democracy’ (read totalitarian society; we’ve tried that, it doesn’t work).

If one finds it acceptable to restrict what people think into their own personal realm of accepted views, then perhaps they prefer the days preceding the internet. However, in this time and age, short of banning the internet, one had better accept the notion that one can’t restrict writers from expressing themselves, in the blogosphere or otherwise.

Here are the primary criticisms of the blogosphere

A: Bloggers are far too young to write intelligibly

It's my generation that taught the um… ‘experienced’ (by experienced I mean Older) generation of writers how to use their fancy 'laat-top' to bang out their artfully crafted pieces, check their gmail and make their own fan pages on book-face (in the vain hope that the government would ban them).

With no offense intended on Pakistan’s glorious veteran truth speaking establishment, I doth do protest (as is my right; I checked). As old as some of these distinguished experienced journalists may be, I imagine that back in the 1800’s some were still in the pinnacle of their youth and attempting to learn their trade, becoming great at journalism or any other field requires time, patience and accountability and most of all, a platform.

Being old doesn't give one a patent on being able to write any more than my chaiwalla is a banker.

B: That Bloggers know nothing, and that only experienced Journalists hold the elixir of truth in their soft hands, hence ought to have the exclusive privilege to spread their message

Ideas matter, and if we’d like to live in a society with actual freedoms, we have to shy away from debating in fear. It is the ideas that pulsate on the blogosphere that reflect what people are thinking.

News will be news, one cycle after another. Journalists will always remain relevant, but it is the response to news items that adds to the realm of debate even more crucially than the original news pieces themselves.

As terrific as the news that emanates from this country of ours, the response is what really matters. If the Hindu community is viciously attacked by fanatics, do we raise our voices or mutter something about ‘them finally accepting Islam’.

C: Bloggers actually care what others think.

We don’t, my own personal writing and thinking fetish aside it may be pertinent to note we all shall pass from the earth at some point, if our legacy is to be our deeds, our ideas fall in that category.

Long after we are gone, our ideas will live on, and does it really matter if one doesn’t like it?

Well, they can write a blog about it.

A version of this piece was published in the Tribune


Mackers said...

Nice. I tried to comment on the article you had published on the Dawn website, but sadly those bastards want no part of me. Something to do with me once (yes only once) using a phrase - which wasn't exactly kosher - in a comment, in response to another which was particularly irksome. How do I get maafi from those grudge-holding tightarses (other than not calling them tightarses; I tried that)

Alpha Za said...

@ Mackers: Haha, glad you enjoyed it. In terms of forgiveness, I have no idea. Or send them a crate of methai. It's Pakistan, bribery has a high probability of success.

SaJ said...

Great writing :D
Laughed all the way to the end. :D:D:D
Why is there a "hungry" label? ;)

Alpha Za said...

@ SaJ: Thanks for the comment, Glad you enjoyed it.

I was really hungry when I wrote it. I always honor my hunger. Usually with food, but I didn't have time for lunch yesterday.

Mackers said...

All right, will try that. Will package some Sindhri mangoes, with the mithai. They seem like the gluttonous sort.

Alpha Za said...

@ Mackers. Worth a shot. God Speed.

Anonymous said...

I guess much of this applies to your home market. Blogging in my neck of the woods is so rampant that criticism has given way to resigned acceptance. Anyway many of the 'veteran writing establishment' likes to adopt a pitying cynical attitude to young bloggers. They affect to think electronic communication a flash in the pan, a here today gone tomorrow sort of activity. In reality they and their accustomed stages - the journals, newspapers, and radio (not tv which is relentlessly trivial) - are sinking unnoticed under a tidal wave of electronic publishing. Love, Alec

Leena Khawaja said...

Haha, interesting piece,everyone is entitled to their opinion. Some are too lazy to write it but quick to contradict and criticize. Live and let live!

Alpha Za said...

@ Alec: Thanks for the comment, I guess we know things that we cannot change. As for the pitying cynical attitude to young bloggers, I hope these veteran writers have unemployment insurance.

@ Leena: Thanks for the comment Leena, making the effort does matter! That said, it's easier to tear something down, rather than build it up.