A roomful of elephants…

20 Jul

Blogging is a funny business.
The whole idea of having a platform that is unpoliced by the arbitrary moderators of taste and.decency who randomly patrol the virtual corridors of Facebook and other social networks is extremely attractive, especially if you’re the type who isn’t too concerned about what others think of your opinion.
The only problem is, after a very short space of time your blog becomes an incredibly personal thing, something to be inordinately proud of, irrespective of technical know-how or literary prowess.
It presents you with a private window on the world, inviting you to lean out and shout words of encouragement or scream abuse at passers by, depending on the view.

And nobody can bang on the wall and tell you to keep the noise down.

However, you do still want people to read it, that’s the thing.

Some writers, (like fellow blogger and ranter extraordinaire, Scorpion Sting) seem to revel in their licence to aggravate, making it perfectly clear from the start that they suffer fools not at all, let alone gladly and will happily join in slanging matches with spammers and offended whiners alike, ensuring a regular audience of like-minded followers who will tune in just to see who the latest target of their invective is.
I’ve always attempted to keep the tone of Diary of an Internet Nobody reasonably light, or at least not too intentionally confrontational, even if my natural instinct to take the piss does occasionally make me unpopular with the odd reader.
And when I do cover a serious or emotive subject I try to be respectful and mindful of the fact that I have readers all over the world (one of the things I still have trouble getting my head round) knowing that flippant remarks made about something I’ve seen from my little cyber peephole may well seem deeply offensive to others with a different perspective on the world.

Having said that, it would be dishonest of me only to write what I thought you, my readers wanted me to say, in case any of you felt included in the general group of people I may have pilloried or berated in a post.
So it’s sometimes a bit like trying not to talk about the bloody great elephant sat on the hearth rug, whilst simultaneously having the uncontrollable urge to poke it with a stick and pick its scabs.

Pachydermatitis if you like.

For example, I was thinking of writing a post inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of a friend on Facebook, which would have begun something like;

“There’s a lot of talk of religious extremism in the world these days and it impacts on our lives in various ways, some of them fairly minor but still unwelcome nonetheless.
I’m thinking of one group in particular who, not content to peacefully worship their chosen deity, must attempt to impose their outmoded and barbaric morals on others.
The complete insistence on unwavering adherence to rules that have no relevance to modern life and beliefs blatantly denying the evidence of scientific discovery is not the way to integrate yourself into society.
It won’t be long before they start to influence the laws of the world, forcing us to conform to their skewed view of the universe, citing theological dogma as justification for inflicting their values on everyone.

You know the ones I’m talking about.

That’s right, Christians.

No, wait! Come back!
I hadn’t finished, let me clarify.

I’m on about the sort of pious, fervent, utterly devout believer who, assuming they don’t try to force their views on me, I have only the greatest respect for.
If they are that devoted to a spiritual path, then it shows a dedication that few of us are capable of, or at least willing to demonstrate.
If however, they decide that I am for some reason “demonic” and need to be “saved” or “delivered” from the ways of Satan before I’m forever doomed to the fiery pits of hell, then we have a problem.

Who are they to decide that I’m risking eternal damnation for…”

And it would have gone on in that vein, ranting about how someone who claims “God created everything, even evolution”, and then used that statement as evidence that some Christians are capable of showing “common sense” is never going to admit they’re in the wrong about anything, or even try to see your point of view, so why bother arguing with them, it’s no fun.

I would have spent ages coming up with smartass, snarky lines that might have made me laugh but wouldn’t really address the subject in a sensible, grown-up way, thereby almost certainly pissing people off.

So it’s lucky I didn’t write that.

There’s no end of topics out there, just waiting to be written about, but I know my, um… “style”, for want of a better word, doesn’t suit every situation. No matter how interested I am in the material, I have realised that sometimes it is best to use social media for making political points and having theological debates.
At least that way, you’ve got a reasonable idea who can see what you write, it’s not automatically, instantly everywhere at once like an open blog, free to gallop around the internet looking for people to be friends with, like some sort of demented puppy with verbal diarrhea.

Take the situation in Israel and Palestine for instance, I’ve had a few good tempered discussions on the current conflict there in recent days, mainly on Facebook and mainly with people who side with the…

Oh no.
I’m not even going to try to tackle that one.
I mean, where would I start?
Two thousand years ago?

So for a lot of reasons I carefully tiptoe around some of the dangling trunks, every so often risking a gentle prod from an irritated tusk, but trying to avoid getting trampled underfoot altogether.
Because if using my own little corner of the blogosphere to poke the elephant every now and then helps to point out the differences between us, it’s only a way of understanding what makes the world tick the way it does.

Sometimes pushing people’s buttons until they react is the only way to learn a new point of view.

And (extremely tenuous link ahoy) speaking of pushing buttons, in an update to a recent post I am very happy to announce that my friend Lisa has finally bowed to the weight of public opinion and started a blog of her very own.
So you should push the relevant buttons on your electronic device of choice and head on over to read her inaugural post on Notes Dropped In A Well.

Coming up…
Another award and a spot of animation.
Stay tuned.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “A roomful of elephants…

  1. anfinsenart

    July 20, 2014 at 18:47

    I do know and understand what you refer to, Dale; but if you’re really looking at “facts” the majority of Christians are very tolerant. Don’t beat the few with a big stick. As to extremists, how about those Muslim extremists. Now there’s an intolerant bunch who would think nothing of ridding the world of your “infidel ass” by cutting off your head. Just look at the turmoil in the Middle East. There are intolerant people in all walks of life. We can never please them all, but we offend many. And still we blog!

    • dalecooper57

      July 20, 2014 at 19:01

      I don’t judge the many by the few, that’s the point. It’s the few who spoil it for everyone else, whatever faith they may follow, they are the only ones who I object to. Anybody has the right to believe whatever they like as far as I’m concerned, as long as they respect my right not to.

  2. Adam Pain

    July 20, 2014 at 20:15

    I don’t suppose you need to know I empathise. But, for posterity’s sake, I do. Goodness me, I empathise…

    Another great little bit of ponderlust, Dale. I’ll be checking Lisa’s blog out too (nice job on the peer pressure front, no doubt!)

  3. jerseylil

    July 20, 2014 at 23:05

    Well, Dale, you’ve done it this time, I hear the elephants running out of the room LOL! Only kidding. 🙂

    As someone who was raised Catholic (even eight years of parochial school with nuns), I have a great deal of experience with the inner workings of Christianity and I totally agree with every word you say here. I have many opinions on current events but I try to keep that off my blog too (although I really like Scorp even if I don’t always agree with him, I am just not that bold.) Occasionally, I do get into it with those on FB though. Agree with your line about pushing buttons to learn a new point of view, most definitely.

    Visited Lisa’s new blog, love it and I am following!

    • dalecooper57

      July 26, 2014 at 18:22

      Hi Lil, sorry I missed replying to your (as usual) thoughtful comment. After I spoke to you on Facebook I’d forgotten to add my thanks here too.

      • jerseylil

        July 26, 2014 at 18:39


  4. Scorpion Sting

    July 22, 2014 at 13:30

    I have found two things over the years that continue to ring true still today. Social media, in today’s society, is relatable to the schoolyard playground, where the more juvenile one acts, the more attention he/she gets. And, no matter what techniques one employs, there is always that single person who can go out of his/her way to be offended just so they can comment on how offended they are.

    You know, I have tried this particular approach once or twice, looking to be offended or looking to get my feelings hurt, and I can’t do it, my sense of sarcasm kicks in, takes over, and begins to rule the day. Why? I think it is because, in life in general, I am pretty easy going, and I don’t need something to make me angry or offend me just to fuel my day. I do, however, find myself asking questions about what I see with my own eyes in person, what I see on social media sites, and how I watch others react. Yea, sure, I get worked up about stuff, but if I choose to write (vent) about it then it plays the part of therapist, and when I am done I get a lollipop and a balloon on my way out, fearing the fact that the grudge I may have held had passed like a bad case of gas.

    I enjoy your blog, your conversations, and your writing, because it proves to me that there are still “thinkers” on Planet Dirt and not just Sheeple being led by their fears. Keep up the good fight, really enjoyed this and all your posts.

    • dalecooper57

      July 22, 2014 at 18:45

      Um,..blimey, thank you Scorp. That could very well be the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day.
      I have to admit to being slightly in awe of you and your blog, you appear to be some sort of linguistic virtual force of nature that the rest of us can only sit back in stunned silence and nod sagely at, wincing occasionally as a body blow finds its mark.
      I do particularly enjoy your Fucktard-baiting posts and also the responses to the various uptight, self-righteous bible thumpers and crusaders for moral sanitation who take the time to read your blog so carefully, to enable them to complain about it more accurately.

      • Scorpion Sting

        July 22, 2014 at 19:06

        I’m honored. I don’t see myself as having any special talents, I just “write” as if the reader was the person sitting next to me talking. Its odd really because I have such a low tolerance for people in general, but my blog is where I share the same thoughts I do off the internet. I poke fun at many “crowds” more often then not because I want to see what others are thinking. Sometimes I bite off note than I can chew.

  5. Scorpion Sting

    July 22, 2014 at 13:38

    Reblogged this on The Sting Of The Scorpion and commented:
    Is our opinion our downfall? Do we react only in silence to be considered a coward? No! We push the buttons that are dusty, rusty, and raw. Why? Because we have an opportunity to voice our opinions, all of us, everyone, even the reserved ones, we speak not to be heard but to let others know we have heard them loud and clear. This post I share is the perfect example. Great job Dale!

    • dalecooper57

      July 22, 2014 at 13:59

      Wow, what a call to arms!
      Thanks Scorp, that means a great deal to me.


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