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Reflections on the week that was

06 Nov

Top ten report time for the past seven days. Remember these stats, which come from WordPress not Sitemeter, do not count my own visits and only reflect those who have clicked on the individual entry. Sitemeter recorded 1,212 visits and 2,273 page views this past week; WordPress says around 2000 views of the blog as a whole.

1. Does Tim Blair still do global warming jokes? 282 views of this post
2. David Suzuki at the National Press Club 240
3. Looking back on October 84
4. I’ve been Timmed. 33
5. Very revealing view on Islam and homosexualty 28
6. Nice new lit blog link, thanks to Gay Erasmus 23
ABC to move closer to the Ministry of Truth 23
8. Admiring ex-Big Brother star David Graham 20 (61 since this was posted)
Suzuki and Jones trounce Mufti as reader 20
10. Tragic confidence 19

You will note Alan Jones has just about gone off the boil. Last night’s 50 Years of ABC TV nostalgia fest had a snippet from a discussion forum of the late 70s or early 80s on the subject of “poofters” who, according to one audience participant, were out there raping murdering and pillaging… It was a good reminder of how far we have travelled since then and of the climate in which Alan Jones shaped his own personal coping strategies. In Bullies judged by the book in today’s Sydney Morning Herald Paul Sheehan slams Jonestown for innuendo and anonymous sources, and quite properly scoffs at the idea Jones did anything improper sexually while at the King’s School. I can believe that.

However, despite the salacious interest in this side of the Jones biography saga, the real point seems to me to be the influence Jones has had and how and why he has exercised it. I also find it a bit rich when Paul Sheehan rails against “the morality of the hunting pack”. Couldn’t one see the right-wing commentariat as a “hunting pack” who are themselves not above distortions, innuendo and anonymous sources? My recent timming, the big (if modest in blogosphere terms) event here in the past week, provides object lessons in that. But then I am a Stalinist, as you know… (The Red Dragon would still be laughing over that one, I think!)

A commenter has provided a link to David Graham’s Website. It is worth visiting, and it has to be said he is not unattractive, though he appears to be, er, married to someone “tall, muscular, devastatingly handsome (the type of handsome you know you’ll never look sideways from), and as it turned out, honest, faithful, extremely intelligent, multilingual, committed, driven, well travelled, full of values and best of all totally feeling the same way about me.” Sigh! See also Colour Me Crafty Forum, where there are some interesting comments, a reference to this site, and some very distracting pictures of David.

anddavid078.jpg

Jim Belshaw’s personal reflections lately are a must read for anyone like me who is in many respects quite conservative but alienated from what that word seems to mean today. Go there. Unlike many bloggers, Jim is very careful about his facts and tends to confine himself to what he knows. There’s a lesson there for all of us. In Jim’s case, what (and who) he knows is very interesting.

Daniel (Seeking Utopia) has finally pulled out of the public arena by setting up a new invitation only site. I can’t help thinking this defeats the purpose of his blog, but that’s his call after all. He explains it himself on the stump of his old blog, linked at the head of this paragraph. Certainly the debate there over the last week or so on a whole raft of issues around homosexuality became very messy, or so I thought. Perhaps he should have two blogs, one public and one restricted: he already has that, but seems not to be making much use of the open one. Here on WordPress it is possible to password protect individual entries on an otherwise public blog, and it is also possible to terminate comment threads if you so choose, which I did lately on one post. These seem more elegant solutions than those offered by Blog/ger/spot.

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3 responses to “Reflections on the week that was

  1. ninglun

    November 6, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    See Jim’s response to this post: .

    I find the overall response to my writing interesting because my writing seems to be crystallising and perhaps explaining a sense of disconnect that many intelligent people in Australia and elsewhere seem to feel between their own positions and attitudes and the current world around them.

    This group spans political parties, spans or perhaps more correctly does not fit with simple conventional categories of left and right, hold very varying views on individual issues, have a bias towards older people but still span age groups. Within these differences, the key unifying elements appear to be:

    * A sense of discomfort with the apparent harshness of modern society and with current social, political and economic trends, combined to a degree at least with a feeling of isolation and powerlessness so far as their individual views are concerned
    * A belief in the importance of people, combined with a desire to find new directions
    * A belief in the value of conversation and rational discussion, of civilisation.

    I literally couldn’t put that better myself.

     
  2. AV

    November 6, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    Daniel was using Blogger Beta, which does have a facility for terminating comment threads.

    I can’t help thinking this defeats the purpose of his blog

    Yes and no. In spite of our differences, I can acknowledge that Daniel’s blog provided a meeting place for like-minded individuals–and I think such online communities are generally positive (except, as you discovered last week, Ninglun, when they develop Squadristi-like tendencies). Many of Daniel’s readers doubtless feel the same about his blog that you feel about Jim Belshaw’s: “Here is someone who understands things from my point of view.”

    And there is a big difference between this kind of community, and the kind of community for which you are required to know the secret handshake before they let you in the door.

    On the other hand, I can see how “Secretly Seeking Utopia” is very much in keeping with Daniel’s purposes. Given his tendency to take disagreement and criticism of his views very personally, it is hardly surprising that he would see in the blogosphere an opportunity to carve out for himself a niche wherein he could have his own views echoed back to him. (And I don’t mean this in an entirely negative way either: don’t diaries serve a similar purpose?) The public (Blogspot) blog didn’t end up working very well for him; this new private, invitation-only blog of his does seem like quite an interesting experiment. I wonder how many of his readers will follow him there.

    Certainly the debate there over the last week or so on a whole raft of issues around homosexuality became very messy, or so I thought.

    It was actually running smoothly, IMHO, until Dining Philosopher entered the fray. Up to that point commenters were unanimous in their disagreement with Daniel’s views on homosexuality (as he set them out in his post), but everyone was very cordial about it.

    Sincerely,

    ARFAH BRAIN

     
  3. ninglun

    November 6, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    You make some interesting points, Arthur. I must go and explore Blogger Beta — I have converted my Blogspot blogs, but haven’t been into the workings yet.

    Yes, there is a good case for forming a community as Daniel has, but the downside if one is trying as he seems to be to make a difference is that one is restricting one’s readership.

    It is also true that one values blogs that say things one would like to say oneself, except better, or with which one can agree. On the other hand, I find I also gain from blogs with which I might quite frequently disagree, which might challenge my more settled thoughts. I do like blogs to be well-written and intelligent though. And much of Daniel’s blog was. Daniel’s blog also was always good visually; he has quite a talent for finding often telling images.

    I wish him well in his venture.

    Now I am off to look more closely at my Blogger Beta…

     
 
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