My name is John and I have lots of opinions. I used to be able to talk about them in the bar with me mates. But all this responsible drinking stuff has forced us all to stay at home a lot more. So I can’t talk out the things that bug me or puzzle me. Thanks. Arch for giving me space here to say what I have to. Just like I used to in the Pub.
I watched Mr. Justice Lord Levenson rabbit on the other night about how dangerous amateur journalists are. As opposed to professional journalists who are bound to write the official story in order to keep their jobs. There are very few Margo Kingstons in the world today.
He made no mention of Commentators, professional or amateur.
I would never claim to be a reporter. I don’t go out and investigate public figures, I don’t gather official documents and analyse them. I’m not a Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein not even a Margo Kingston or a Peter Wilkins. Yet I do read some of what the professionals write. I read what some of the amateurs write have opinions and sometimes I am moved, in an amateur way, to say what I think about things. I guess I am an amateur commentator. Making my mind up from a pile of stuff I read, hear and see.
I am not quite sure what threat I am holding over society with this habit. Perhaps, being amateur, my vocabulary or my parsing is not up to standard. Is it a greater threat than the threat posed by professional commentators, who in perfect journalese, loudly and skilfully trumpet the opinions of their editor or owner. Could it be that Mr Lord Chief Justice Levenson is simply another grammar/spelling nazi beneath his legal gowns?
Or is he suggesting that broadcasting our uninformed opinions is bringing on the end of society as we know it? The Missus can’t gossip over the back fence cos she was working and now we’ve moved we don’t have a back fence. Us blokes used to talk shit in the pub. Was that the acceptable face of democracy. Now, in a world where the backyard fence has become redundant and we are no longer allowed to drink at the pub and drive home, the modern talking places are online. Are they going to destroy our hard won democracy. Blogging, tweeting and Facebooking must be controlled, denigrated and made completely ineffectual!
I’m just the bloke in the pub. My opinions are my own. They may be poor and ill-thought but they are mine. And if the bar I choose to sit at is the long-bar of social media so be it. Any destruction of society this causes is apologised for in advance.
If Arch will let me, after work, I’ll be here most days. With a beer and a thought or two.
John, you are welcome anytime. I know I was supposed to post this last night but got my times messed up. I also know you’re getting hot under the collar today and have something to say so I’ll post it as soon as you give it to me. Well, as soon as I have added some pictures.