An interlude. We are caught up in an election frenzy and J’accuse has (in)advertently become a forum of sorts for people from all walks of life, all forms of political belief and, sadly, all forms of political fanatism. I cannot complain it seems. I am not quite sure that the aim of a blog is to have a large readership. The more the hits pile up the more the quality of the debate seems to dissipate… and a priori that does not seem to be a good thing. On the other hand I could take advantage of the larger audience and try to sell my ideas to willing buyers. Therein lies the crunch.
Regular readers of J’accuse – those who hung around when the debate was not so feisty and we were busy asking questions about where the blogosphere would end up – know the particular stamp this blog has. Like many another blog it is a one-man band. It is an exposition of thoughts – some bloggers like Maltagirl would call it ramblings. J’accuse tended to be one of the more political of Maltese blogs but that does not make it any less personal. The blog as a tool is a magnificent platform for one person to express his ideas. The more interaction there is the better. It pays however not to forget that this is not a political party. It is not a campaign as such (although campaigns have formed part of the J’accuse agenda – remember the Lampost Campaign?).
We form part of the ether and until now the only censoring there has been is the one we provided for ourselves. J’accuse had its own style. In its early days a few posts criticising Norman Lowell and Vivamalta attracted some hate messages from the forum. We did not use libel suits or cry foul. We argued like with like without descending to personal attacks or vile media. J’accuse is still blogging. The lone poster from the vivamalta forum came and went and ended up being censored by his own kind. Because sometimes reasonable arguing can work.
The blog is not trying to sell you anything in the end. It tells you how I think. Nothing obliges you to follow my reasoning nor to agree with me. There are no hidden tricks or agendas. You may be surprised that sometimes I change my opinion. You may not find it normal that I change tack. That too is an instinctive reaction that is inbred into our minds by the bipartisan way of thinking. In a real argument and discussion it is actually recommendable to shift from one position to a different one – a synthesis of two previous reasonings. I would consider it presumptious to think otherwise.
Earlier slogans of this blog included “we could cushion the entire earth or just your brain”. It was a tongue in cheek way to tell readers that they could save themselves time by reading an already formed opinion rather than take the trouble to form their own from scratch. I doubt anyone took that seriously. On the other hand the idea of “fresh thinking” is a flag I will gladly wave. A few bloggers got used to thinking outside the box. We shed the knee jerk reaction, the partisan positions and the regurgitation of propaganda. That was as far as substance is concerned. When it came to style we did have a few slips (I recall the earlier blog wars – remember Mark? – which I regret). We learnt from them and became stronger. We have evolved from that and learnt that style is also important.
In our book both “Busli l-bajd” and accusations of ignorance are both non-acceptable. In philosophy the argumentum ad hominem was long denounced as a cheap form used by the most hopeless of debaters. In football parlance we like to play the ball not the man. So yes Sandro I condemn you for using foul language as much as I condemn Daphne for her condescending attitude which does not help the general discussion. And when I don’t vote for Labour I do so because it is my reasoned opinion that that vote was not deserved.
I say “I condemn”. As in me. An individual with ideas and a blog that is open for all to discuss. I am no hero. All I know is that Malta needed open spaces to discuss. J’accuse offers this service at no cost except maybe the time it takes me to let this blog exist. Until now there is no J’accuse party and I do not think there ever will be. When I say how I will vote I say it frankly. I hope that at least one person in each party reads this blog post and takes note. I criticise, not because I want some kind of footballing victory, not out of some hatred of the other half of the population. I criticise because I aspire for better politics. A better world. Romantic and idealistic yes. Presumptious? Not on your life. The first step in this silent revolution will be when everyone realises that the space between their ears is not to be monopolised a priori by any party. The reason why people have votes is because it is assumed that they understand the importance and weight of their prerogative.
Right now this blog is in a weird election mode. Half way between a forum and a personal space. I think it was Keith who commented that someone is overestimating the power of this blog. In a way I understand what he means. In another I say that there is a bit too much underestimating about the power of each individuals’ thought and ideas. Yep. I think too many people have been underestimating the power of the blog.
May the force be with you.