Reaching 2.5 million page views in a little less than five-and-a-half years should have felt like an achievement, but it didn't. Far from it. The reason being that just one of my 2240 posts had been viewed 24,000 times since the weekend. I had tried to take the heat out of it, without success, so in the end I deleted it altogether, because it had created too much of a distraction from what I want to do with this blog. It seemed like the post had been hijacked by people who have allowed their non-functioning brains to become boxed inside computers, so that they themselves operate as mere annexes of the Internet hivemind (and I certainly don't mean collective intelligence).
Interestingly, from 24,000 page views, there were only four comments, none of which were published. Two of those comments alone made me think: What the hell is going on with the world? Have people actually stopped thinking for themselves? Have they locked their brains inside a computer, and let others on the Internet do their thinking for them? Do they retain the capacity to read, but lack the capacity to comprehend? Or are they just too plain stupid to be able to make their own own minds?
I know there are many like me who think the worldwide craze for political correctness has gotten way out of control. What worries me most is that there are people out there, whether simply to be seen to be politically correct or are just too easily led, who are willing to ignore the solid evidence of the truth and allow themselves to believe in a deliberate manipulation of historical facts. It appears to suit their needs to accept lies, so they do. Frankly, if people like this are dominating the worldwide web, I don't want to be part of it. I give up.
The world I grew up in was one in which one was encouraged to listen and to read, to form one's own opinions, but to back up one's ideas and beliefs and opinions by what could be proved to be true. It strikes me that's not happening any more.
The summer edition of Vanity Fair has a wonderful article by James Wolcott about Twitter and its tweetering, mindless masses. Wolcott stresses his concerns about the toxic Twitter - the kangaroo court of social media - by outlining the cases of two non-tweeters, Gay Talese and Calvin Trillin. I stay well clear of Twitter myself, and it concerns me that one doesn't even have to be involved, or have an account, to get bombarded by the baseless indignation of moronic trolls - making relative innocents "cannibal stew", as Wolcott puts it - "So many clapping seals snapping up such puny fish."
Wolcott concludes, "Those who descend the ladder into the average unmoderated comments section will find themselves in a lunatic flophouse of seething illiterates and haters."
All too true, and a horrible reflection on the world today. What right-minded person wouldn't want out?
A week or two ago, this blog became so inundated with constant spambot mail that, reluctantly, I was forced to change the settings so that all comments had to go through the moderation process. I didn't like having to do that. As I have been saying here for years, one always felt safe within the confines of the Typosphere. Step outside it, however- wittingly, willingly or otherwise - and one never knows what one may be getting into.
That's not the real trouble, though. The major distress comes from being made to realise what the world has turned into, to have to deal with the realities of living in a time of mob mentality and hashtag zombies. Whirled back in time by the Internet, we're been returned to the Dark Ages. Instead of the worldwide web taking us further down the path of enlightenment, it has only succeeded in clouding thought and reining-in intellect. In discouraging a dependence on the truth, it frowns on free thinking, free speech, and allows liars, charlatans, cheats and crooks to prosper. So be it. I'm outta here!