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Old Gutter Politics Still Works on New Technology

January 25, 2011

Old Gutter Politics Still Works on New Technology


The definition of stupidity in my mind is having a power struggle over a Blog site. Blog Sites are fickle little animals that can at any stage be unplugged. The income for this kind of commercial enterprise comes from sponsorships and advertizing spaces. It is very much like a regional sponsored radio station in that regard. If the meager flow of cash slows down the operating budget then it will most likely cut costs and staff. If a recession hits and advertisement budget drops below the profit loss breakpoint then the whole business model based upon sponsorship is under threat. In a matter of weeks the company could be unplugged as a non viable investment and to stop the cash bleed of any larger company that supports it. Like it or not any power struggle in a blogging environment will be a pointless waste of time if the host site is ever switched off.


However despite the instability of this business model, petty power struggles do raise their ugly head from time to time. Volunteers and contributors to any form of open media may have their own agendas and at times not even be aware (or care for that matter) that it is their content that is the marketable commodity. Instead they may see this as nothing more than another megaphone or soap box to propagate a message that is usually unwelcome in better regulated environments. After a day of sucking the existential bong any one can delude themselves that they are on a mission to save the world. The so called alternative view may be so alternative that it is considered fanatical by mainstream society. The narrow mindedness and absolutism of people who cannot tolerate any view but their own suddenly have an unregulated platform. So we have a broad range of spectacularly extreme views that have, at the same time, virtually no public support.


For example: Teaching explicit sex education to 3 year old children may seem great to one individual but it has Buckley’s chance of getting past Mr and Mrs Average Parent with kids who will see it as nothing more than pedophilia by stealth. Thinking that the issue can be sanitized by intellectualizing it won’t do a thing to convince anyone but the most warp obsessive esoteric at the ballot box. Things are very simple in people’s heads: “Dr X wants to pump hardcore porn into the heads of children so that he can corrupt them. Thank you Dr X of the radical loony brigade.” (I make a joke, no?)


However some people are not interested in contesting issues through democratic processes or open debate with the general public. Instead they have already made up their minds about the policy they want implemented. They also know that their plans have next to no public support and many would repulse the vast majority of the average voter. Such people do exist and for better or worse we tolerate them in an open society. Yet there is a vast difference between tolerate and condone. People may tolerate some behavior but it does not mean that they will ever condone it.

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