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Saturday, 04 June 2005


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You haven't replied to Jim's rather apposite comments under Street of Shame 1.

"A palpable hit", Larry.

For those not up with this particular exchange, Jim, an old blog 'opponent', responded to my first 'Street of Shame' by pointing out my apparent hypocrisy in complaining at the violent re-action from bloggers to my "extremely provacative" and "irritating" comments on their sites (my own words in quotes). He asked what else I expected? I failed to reply, thus condemning my self by my silence. How do I plead? Guilty, but only of idleness (for not responding), and perhaps, loose English.

Let me explain the latter. I have a somewhat 'florid' style of writing and that led me to qualify the word "provocative" by adding "extremely". Actually, I think that whilst my remarks do often contain a sting in the tail designed to illicit a response, there is nothing in them that could truly be called 'extreme'. Nothing that could be defined as 'un-parliamentary language'. I never use invective and, despite Jim's complaint, I never attack anyone personally - how could I, I don't know them? (Jim, I should explain, is, in my opinion, an overly sensitive man. For example, words I wrote concerning my relative indifference to the fate of drug users, he took to be an assault on the memory of some of his friends who had died as a result of drug use!) Anyway, 'provocative' I am, precisely because I do, so to speak, want to see the colour of the blogger's opinions. I want a response. But nothing I have ever written deserves the sort of four-letter vituperation of, for example, 'himmler', sorry, sorry, I mean 'lenin'. Nor does anything I have written deserve banning. I can prove this by the Role of Honour which contains a not exclusive list of 'Trot-lot' sites who put up with me, I was going to say, 'happily', but perhaps I'll just leave it as 'put up with me'.

I enjoy debates on the net. It tests my own beliefs in the fire of other people's. The act of writing them down, concentrates the mind wonderfully. How boring it would be if I had to spend all day nodding in unison with everyone else over at Conservative Commentary.

I apologise to Jim for my failure to respond. His was a good point and I was wrong to let it go.

"How boring it would be if I had to spend all day nodding in unison with everyone else over at Conservative Commentary."

How WORRYING it would be you spent all day nodding in unison with everyone at Conservative Commentary. Mr. Cuthbertson is a Tory, and therefore frequently wrong, but not usually offensively right-wing. Some of the commenters though, really raise my hackles.

Take your point, Jez, and actually, whilst I *mostly* agree with Peter, I concede that some of his commenters are a little 'on the wild side'. I wonder though, if you and I would agree on which ones?

You do seem to be a little obsessed with "four letter invective" and "un-parliamentary language". In my view what you say is rather more important than the way you say it. This has two implications here.

First is that if you go trawling round the blogs of people who don't share your hang-ups about swearing, and you deliberately provoke them, and then you get sworn at, you have no-one to blame but yourself.

Secondly, and more importantly, you seem to think that using four-letter words is the only way that you could cause offence or be guilty of extremity. It's far from obvious to me that calling someone a "swivel-eyed kiddy in the creche" or saying that he's "lost the last of his three and a half brain cells" is in any way less insulting than calling them a "f**kwitted moron" (censored out of deference to your sensitivity).

I'm sure that Jim would take issue with your claim that "I never attack anyone personally", (slightly ironic that in your next sentence you say that "Jim... is, in my opinion, an overly sensitive man") but I'll let him fight his own battles.

No, Larry, I'm not "obsessed with four-letter invective". It is my fault for not making myself clear. What I object to is the fact that those who resort to it, almost always do so in lieu of the constructive argument I'm looking for. (For example, Reidski's comments in "Sunday Rumble" up above - say no more!)

If you will allow me to be a touch precious, I also have an aesthetic objection; it is incredibly ugly, to the eye, to the ear and to the mind. I confess now, that after several years in the army and the second-hand car trade, I use it myself all too frequently, but at least I have a slight sense of shame. In speech, of course, it is that much harder to control, but in written English there is no excuse for it - except an extreme paucity of wit and intelligence.

You accuse me of thinking that using foul language is the only way to give offence, and I would be very interested to know how you came to that conclusion. Whatever else I may or may not be, totally stupid I am not. I think you will find that when I use an (invective free) insult it is always a general one, for example, 'the Trot-lot Tendency', or 'the kiddies in the Trot-lot creche', and so on. I only get personal when some individual's blog behaviour verges on the gross, such as 'lenin' using the nom-de-plume of a mass murderer, which in my view comes under the heading of 'asking for it'!

Wow, I'm honoured!

Yes, Doug, I'm sure you are, and I'm sorry for you.

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