Why I Blog (with apologies to George Orwell)

21 Dec

As regular readers may have noticed – and those searching this blog in future may wonder – these have been a quiet two weeks on this blog.

Perhaps these pauses are useful in a number of ways, but one reason has frankly been a sense that there really was nothing that one could usefully say to an age in which those two Australian DJs could say without apparent irony (words to the effect) that ‘No-one can imagine how bad we feel now’ and be put on suicide watch – instead of (say) being given as good a shake as the law allows and told to be silent until they had something useful to say – something useful to say to the grieving children of the nurse to whose death their ‘prank’ had led.

Of course, no such thing has happened. Indeed, their boss was quoted as saying that the nurse’s death was “not reasonably foreseeable” – without so far as we can tell anyone referring him to JB Priestley’s play, An Inspector Calls (1947).

It also allows us to reflect on George Orwell’s essay, Why I Writeperhaps surprisingly available in extenso here (I would have thought it still in copyright).

Ultimately, however, it is as an ancient blogger put it:

‘If I had said – “I will not speak thus” –
I would have betrayed our children’

– or a Roman blogger put it –

‘It would in fact be harder not to blog’

– and we agree. The times call for a critical (in the sense of critique rather than necessarily of criticism in the popular sense) commentary – and those who can provide it must do so, whatever their doubts about their readership.

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