Leaving well enough alone. #BlogOff


This morning I was over at Guido Fawkes via Pat Nurse and came across this little campaign for a free and unregulated blogosphere. In the opposing corner, there are a bunch of over-hyped luvvies lobbying for regulation and censorship. So long as it isn’t their views being censored of course. Privacy, and the right of voicing opinion is something only they can have, and not for the hoi polloi. So long as it is an opinion they agree with, by their own slippery and shifting standards. These are the people laying foundations for the dystopias I write about. The “Do as I say – not as I do.” pundits. The people who wear their hypocrisies like a second skin, so much so that perhaps they may not realise what they are doing. Or perhaps they do. I can only guess.

Censorship stifles the voices of the many and puts too much power into the hands of a self-selected few. It disenfranchises and opens the way for gross evils that have dumped their ugly ink splodges on the narrative of history. Indeed, history is all the poorer for this. Like the angry Roman Soldier who murdered Archimedes in Syracuse, a voice stifled because “You can’t say that” is a conversation stillborn. Information lost until another mind dares to walk an untrodden path. Culturally, suppression impoverishes. Spam filters notwithstanding.

Free speech may mean the tinfoil hat brigade are let loose, barging into civilised discourse like an infinite number of hypothetical Bulls in an infinite number of Porcelain emporia, spraying virtual spittle on all and sundry, but for all that, they’re mostly harmless. Pat them on the head, smile politely and move on. Conversation is like mining, you have to shift a lot of overburden to get to the real ore. Process tons of Pitchblende to extract an ounce of Radium. So it is with communication. Stifling it serves no purpose apart from protecting the thin skinned and pompous. The least harm would be done if they left well enough alone. Not that my opinion counts, I’m just another voice in the crowd trying to make sense of it all.

For my own part I’ve been busy of late, breaking all my own rules about creative writing; haven’t penned a word in weeks. Mainly because domesticity has been raising its ever present head and saying things like “What about doing your taxes?”, “What about getting a new job?”, “What about buying a plot of land and building?”, “What about booking our trip to England this year?” and “You’re spending too much time researching – it’s time we went out.” What with a shifting shift pattern and everything else, I’ve dried up completely.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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