Having grown up on the novels of E. Nesbit, where the Psammead/sand fairy grants wishes in a really twisted way, and a magic wishing ring is likely to backfire on you, I always find the internet fantastical. You mean it’s not magical? Well, I can’t explain any of it!
But there are also mechanical glitches. Unless it’s witchcraft!
For instance, I have only sporadically received email alerts lately about comments posted here. Strange. I always got them before. But I am not concerned about it.
And then a reader informs me that his/her comments are not appearing on my blog.
What comments? I wondered. I checked spam and found one. I retrieved a perfectly intelligent comment about Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan and approved it.
I don’t know what triggered the magic spam-sorter, which apparently did not want me to know there is a fourth Titus Groan title!
I welcome most comments.
But I have the right to moderate comments.
Yup. It’s my blog.
Some commenters believe that blogs exist to host contentious debates. I will write something I think is perfectly normal, and then the “trigger alert” types will go mad. What? I don’t wish to fight with them? How dare I not? They WILL be heard.
Fine, okay, just not here.
I welcome comments, but this isn’t a public forum.
People on the internet do occasionally go off on strange tangents. In the pre-internet days before the newspapers and magazines began to die, people wrote letters to the editor. (How quaint!) Some letters are/were published, others are/were not. Do they believe it is their “right” to be published?
In this day and age, you do have to watch out for the “trigger alert”censorship people. They are very “sensitive”: just not to you! It is where the “far left” control-freaks meet the “far right” control-freaks. And that is way too far for most of us.
- Last spring some writers at PEN (not a majority, thank God!) boycotted the dinner in New York at which a special award was given to Charlie Hebdo. All I can say is thank God for Salman Rushdie, who very articulately argued against this disgraceful protest and pointed out that today his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses, would not have been published.
- According to New York Magazine, a theater group at Mount Holyoke College decided not to put on The Vagina Monologues because “the material excludes women without vaginas.” I do have a controversial feminist thought: It is a fact that women have vaginas. People with penises do not have a right to define us.
- Some Christian fundamentalist students at Duke objected when lesbian writer Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, was recommended summer reading. And according to an excellent article at the Atlantic: “some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might “trigger” a recurrence of past trauma.
Oh, God! What a sad state of things! There are many offensive things in the world: reading classic novels is not one of them.
Perhaps they should read Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible.