April 08, 2005

oh dear, oh dear…

Writing about web page http://www.blogs.warwick.ac.uk/ccarter

(now with added paragraphs!)

…it really doesn't take much to annoy some people, does it? for those of you who aren't aware, my good friend mr chris carter posted on his blog recently a declaration against the apathy which does, unfortunately, characterise a proportion of our university. at high risk of being hit by the barrage of criticism and controversy which was immediately levelled at chris and which resulted in his blog being taken down, i feel i must mention this on my own site.

now, what really astonishes me about this whole situation is the extremism of the general reaction to what was clearly a tongue-in-cheek post not without self-deprecation or a healthy dose of…dare i mention it… irony.
it is precisely this sense of irony which seems to be lacking amongst a great deal of students unable to do anything but take themselves absolutely seriously, and ready at a moment's notice to be outraged by something…anything.
i find it particularly demoralizing that in a university which rightly prides itself on a liberal sentiment, an attitude oppositional to freedom of speech and, it must be said, firmly aligned with the right wing, seems to be springing up, rather retrospectively.
whilst i would not suggest that such attitudes should not be articulated – to do so would negate my own sentiment – i do find it surprising that they exist in the first place; particularly in this supposedly leftist centre of learning. granted, personal attacks or deeply egregious material should not be posted; but it does not seem that chris felt the need to stoop this low; and it does seem ironic (there's that word again) that the responses of those who criticised him for it were not only misinformed, without self-consciousness or a sense of humour; but that they rapidly descended into personal attacks themselves (to whoever commented 'i hope you rot'...oh dear.)

what i also consider worrying is the level of 'nannying' which occurs at this university and which led to complaints against chris' blog which resulted in its being taken down by administrators. not only does this suggest a worrying 'told on you' attitude, but it also reminds me of the age-old response to the needlessly offended: just don't look at it.
if something such as chris' anti-apathy declaration strikes a chord of offence with you, examine why this is; presumably, because you identify with it on some level, and are therefore guilty of that which annoys so many of us in the first place.
yes, everyone (apart from chris, apparently) has the right to exercise their own opinion – and not all of us will be excited by the same things. nevertheless, the tide of apathy at warwick is an astonishingly difficult one to combat; and i do get the impression that those who complained have never tried to do just that. chris and myself have both tried constantly throughout our university careers to generate interest; chris in music, myself in student-written theatre; and, far be it from me to whine, both of us have come up against some very demoralizing opposition from some of the student community.
granted, music and theatre aren't everyone's thing, but the thwarting of many of our attempts to make these accessible to all has been deeply frustrating. this frustration has only been compounded by the events of the last few days; i can only hope it will generate creativity of the sort evinced by chris (albeit a creativity which is often articulated in a rather ascerbic manner) and that it will not cause us, exhausted, to sink into the apathy against which we rail.
in the meantime, let's hope we can all relax a little bit. and let's not forget our senses of humour.

or, to sate the urges of those of you just itching to get het up about something…
your mum.

- 52 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. huzzah!

    ever tried a carridge return? I think my eyes are about to melt ;-)

    09 Apr 2005, 00:14

  2. hehe…yeah…there's no animosity here, but it needed to be said!

    09 Apr 2005, 00:15

  3. Jeesus, paragraphs dude…

    It has to be said though, I was happily baiting Carter into accusing me of the being uncreative whilst simultaneously producing a work of cutting satire. He went one better and defined irony for me. I thought it was all wonderfully delicious.

    09 Apr 2005, 00:18

  4. well, irony can go too far, and you can end up stuck in the RAG-esque irony web. but a healthy dose is necessary! i'll lay out the text a bit better!

    09 Apr 2005, 00:20

  5. I thought it was pretty tame to be honest. I didn't agree with most of it, took offence at none of it, and laughed at bits of it.
    The fact it's been taken down is pretty shocking though, all very strange.

    09 Apr 2005, 00:26

  6. mr jones, that's the healthy attitude we're after!

    09 Apr 2005, 00:28

  7. I merely disagreed with some of what he was saying, what I took offense to was how he singled people out and basically attacked their choices in life. This is what got him banned. There are terms and conditions of use of the blogs that he violated.

    09 Apr 2005, 00:54

  8. well, that's a fair enough point, and sometimes i do consider his writing style to be overly ascerbic. still, the reaction is demoralizing to something which was written with tongue firmly in cheek.

    09 Apr 2005, 00:56

  9. Hear hear, and also link

    09 Apr 2005, 00:57

  10. Is this censorship then? Please say it isn't cos I'm on the verge of losing a lot of faith in the world…

    09 Apr 2005, 02:49

  11. He broke the rules, that's the short of it. He'd probably been warned about it in the past too.

    09 Apr 2005, 03:16

  12. I'd rather have Carter's provocation than the legion of cat-sat-mat boringness that characterises 95% of blogs (which goes for all blogging sites, not just this one).

    09 Apr 2005, 03:20

  13. Taking Carter's Blog down was going too far. It was nice to see something that could provoke healthy arguement on here for once. My apologies to Mr C for the personal attacks – as I mentioned, I really don't know you well enough to judge. Nice to find something that still really gets me worked up tho! Whoever reported him should be ashamed

    09 Apr 2005, 08:40

  14. I missed this! Somebody please email me and tell me what the fuss is about….

    09 Apr 2005, 12:11

  15. Gordon R

    Dearest Mr Leaver
    An email wouldn't be able to start on the sheer scale of everything that happened yesterday. I notice you have been one of the defenders of the N. Warwickshire Diaries. Nick Wake could get no help from IT after people began leaving insulting comments on his blog, impersonating him etc. Being called a duck raping cock and attacking him personally rather than his position caused equal offense to him as some of the people commenting on Carter's entry proclaimed. Whereas Nick thought it best to close down his blog, Carter got his shut down. As Eimear wrote, some of Carter's writing was acerbic but I followed some of the comments left to other people's blogs, read those, read the comments and found a whole trail of entries that probably weren't picked up as they weren't posted as main entries. To single out Carter and shut his site down was a bit unfair as I found a good few entries that could have been viewed as offensive to Mr Carter. I guess it comes back to the blog conditions of having to consider if someone else would find the material offensive, even if you don't. Maybe Carter let's the insults he receives just slide off him like water off a duck's back, but then I find calling someone a duck raping cock offensive but didn't complain (mainly because it wasn't linked to me, but that introduces a whole argument on standing up for others). Carter's entry was dynamic in style perhaps the content was arguable, but Eimear also pointed out that his criticisms weren't overly personal in their attack.

    Sorry Mr Leaver, I tried to summarise the events and guess I ended up standing on a soap box. Thanks for sticking up for Nick and his Diaries, I think that him closing his blog and Carter's being shut down make interesting comparisons. Granted, maybe IT couldn't help Nick as most of the comments were from anonymous people (much like me, yes, but that's because I'm playing guessing games with Miss Ballard). I don't like the thought of people being genuinely upset by anything they read on Carter's blog, but 'over-sensitive' springs into my mind. But how far is this being taken? Is being 'beige' the new black/white/gender politically uncorrect whatsit to refer to. Sorry again to those who got upset yesterday but I found it all interesting to observe (from my safe anonymous posting distance) but some of the responses and back lash have made my gums bleed and my stick on tatoo start to itch.

    09 Apr 2005, 12:55

  16. Gordon R

    oh dear, I think I just pressed add comment instead of Preview. No chance to edit bits out and correct mistakes!! Sorry for the long long post. Think I'll just slink off and go and scratch my tattoo.

    09 Apr 2005, 12:59

  17. Cathy Bev

    Can you imagine how wonderful this place would be if people bothered to distinguish between "criticism" and "personal attacks?"

    To accuse Carter of being malicious or personally vindictive is tantamount to accusing Yogi Bear of grand larceny. Some perspective seriously wouldn't go amiss here. What's the point of being able to comment on another blog if you're not allowed to challenge someone? Life is offensive, get over it.

    Oh and Gordon, the term beige was originally a Billy Connolly reference, used to describe his aversion to anything banal and mediocre, nothing more sinister than that.

    09 Apr 2005, 13:49

  18. You shouldn't use your blog to attack other people in a way which could be considered harrasment. It's perfectly okay to disagree with somebody, it's perfectly okay to try and provoke debate. But if you are attacking a person rather than a position, and in particular if you are essentially name-calling, then this can easily become harrasment, and that's against the Acceptable Use Policy which you signed up to when you received your IT Services account.

    09 Apr 2005, 14:40

  19. Gordon R

    Yeah thanks Cathy, but it's not me you should be telling that to.

    09 Apr 2005, 16:36

  20. Roisin

    Eimear, you should be very careful with your blog mate, your continued use of the word beige might be constituted as a personal attack. I find it inutterably depressing that anyone can be so self-righteous as to censor someone's opinion just because it's not exactly what they see. Mr Ingram, what exactly are you going to do when you leave the Warwick bubble and find that there is no beige police protecting you from feeling insulted? Really now, will you implode with pique if someone says something you apply to yourself as offensive and mother Warwick isn't there to remove it? I suggest that you grow up, because as Cathy B has pointed out, life is offensive, and it is unfair, and mummy won't always be there to make the bogey man go away – stop taking it all so personally, for christ's sake. Get over yourselves!

    09 Apr 2005, 17:12

  21. Roisin, i've found myself under far more fire than anything Carter could deliver, I was one of the first people banned from the blogs. I wasn't personally offended by any comments he directed as me, because I deliberately set myself up for them, I was giggling like a little baby the whole time. What I was annoyed by was how he has repeatedly (this isn't the only case) picked people out of the crowd and announced why they are such losers.

    I also didn't report Carter, I was having far too much fun for that, all i've done is point out why he was banned. I'd happily see him return and continue to insult me.

    09 Apr 2005, 17:37

  22. Mathew Mannion

    I thought it was all pretty tame.

    09 Apr 2005, 17:45

  23. Mathew Mannion

    I actually thought the reaction was even tamer, didn't see anything past little jabs or poking fun, so I have no idea why bannage occurred.

    09 Apr 2005, 17:46

  24. Picking people out and calling them losers provides 86% of the fun to be had on the internet.

    09 Apr 2005, 18:11

  25. Whoops

    That's Ms Casey Leaver. I should be more careful.

    09 Apr 2005, 23:03

  26. I should hope so or that conversation I had with her last night was a bit risque what with it taking place in the ladies' loo and all that.

    10 Apr 2005, 00:21

  27. I'd like to interject at this point in the proceedings. If anyone is going to be telling "your mum" jokes on WarwickBlogs - I'd appreciate it if s/he would first consult me, as Grand High Mother Fucker (Supernal).

    Thankyou. Now, how do I go about having that put into the Rules?

    10 Apr 2005, 01:45

  28. Is there any way to get a copy of this controversial post? I can't form an opinion on the admins' decision without reading it :\

    10 Apr 2005, 13:26

  29. Roisin

    Mr Ingram – sorry dude, my misunderstanding – but the whole anti-beige thing was more rhetoric than heartfelt insult, and it is pretty lame that Carter's page had to be taken down as a result. I do still stand by what I said, although I'll direct it more widely this time, people should stop getting so hung up on the small stuff, it is only the internet, and while you can silence a loudmouth like Carter (sorry man, you know I love you) on the web, you're not going to be able to stop people from having opinions that diverge from your own, and nor should you want to.

    10 Apr 2005, 14:42

  30. I missed it!! By the time I'd heard of the post (from Casper, who said it was rather amusing) the blog everyone loves to hate was gone!! Alas, poor Carter, we shall simply have to track you down in person to hear your rants first hand, neat and uninterrupted. I look forward to it, sir.

    10 Apr 2005, 15:18

  31. Andy C

    Carter's blog must be brought back. Where else can I read the solipsistic ramblings of a pompous drop out that plumbs such depths of self-delusion and vainglory?

    11 Apr 2005, 10:59

  32. hey kids, sorry i haven't been on here for a while…to be honest, this is all making my head hurt a bit. the nannying which occurs at warwick has legitimised a culture of completely misplaced outraged which generally MISSES THE POINT ENTIRELY. i think that the only way for us all to get over this is to insult each other simultaneously and then hopefully we can all just GET ALONG.

    you're all donkey raping shit-eaters.
    i love you guys.

    11 Apr 2005, 11:52

  33. Google's Cache of the Article

    11 Apr 2005, 14:31

  34. made me laugh very much

    11 Apr 2005, 15:19

  35. charles

    for crying out loud! there really are certain people who need to have that rod pulled out of their colons and burnt! Thats right, you there! Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr/Rabbi/Rv/Uncle beige, you know who you are! switch off the marroon 5, burn it, get some spock's beard on then go to a local bands gig and then support some original drama!

    who am I offending? anyone? replaces tounge in cheek to search for that lost lunch time morsle of irony and feed upon its liberating coulor-imparting nutritional goodness

    11 Apr 2005, 15:20

  36. mmmm, irony, the staple food of the warwick student. unfortunately, it is most commonly enjoyed by those dressed as kangaroos singing the 'bodger and badger' theme tune and falling over their own faces on the piazza.
    oh well!

    11 Apr 2005, 15:24

  37. Gordon R

    Wasn't that the YMCA group who were on campus recently??
    Let's just put this thing about Carter to bed now, the bleeding/itching I was experiencing almost got too much to bear. And I'm sure Carter is still down the pub.

    So now it's INSULT WAR (and your mum's a you-know-what).
    But please no more animal reference insults. I just can't stomach it. The duck thing was bad enough and now…... donkeys. The donkey sancturary monitors will close your blog down and you will have to attend Donkey Lovers Anonymous and their step-programme

    1)acknowledge you have a donkey problem
    2) keep away from all places with tempting donkeys – farms, sancturarys, Blackpool sands and Spain.
    3) try and establish what it is about donkeys – the sad eyes, the loud bray, the fact that they buck like billy-o
    4)try and stay on the donkey driven wagon and not slip forward onto the donkey's behind.

    11 Apr 2005, 18:39

  38. Moi

    Get a life you guys!!

    11 Apr 2005, 22:17

  39. From the sounds of it, Eimear seemed to be getting quite fed up of the response from this article. I kinda got carried away with my response, so put it in to my blog, incase anyone was interested.


    12 Apr 2005, 11:10

  40. yes.
    actually, i've got nothing to do with it. i merely sat back with a wry smile upon my superlatively ironic face.

    12 Apr 2005, 11:22

  41. p.s.

    it was all a joke.

    12 Apr 2005, 11:31

  42. resurection services

    the article is still alive: its here!

    Fight for free speech!!


    12 Apr 2005, 11:46

  43. It does indeed survive. There is no way you shut Carter up. Trust me.

    And it's true, he was in the pub, both when I arrived and when I left!

    12 Apr 2005, 11:53

  44. Gordon R

    LEAVE IT!!! 'Tis over now. Carter's down the pub (does no one listen?? yeah yeah, listen to me, I've got the best take on this, I'm sooooooo great)

    12 Apr 2005, 11:55

  45. i can't talk about beige any more. my feelings are summarized on barney's blog thus
    now, a new and positive topic please.

    12 Apr 2005, 11:56

  46. Gordon R

    Wow you're quick Claire. Took the words out of my mouth. Gold star for you.

    12 Apr 2005, 11:56

  47. Gordon R

    And you're quick too Eimear. Another gold star.

    12 Apr 2005, 11:56

  48. it's all true. and trust me, if anyone's going to tell carter to shut up, i certainly will. he does my head in.

    12 Apr 2005, 11:59

  49. i wonder if i can squeeze 50 comments out of this…

    12 Apr 2005, 12:03

  50. yes i can!

    12 Apr 2005, 12:03

  51. Carter

    Here's #51.


    Warwick Blogs's response and my reply are posted on this page, for anyone still interested.

    12 Apr 2005, 14:09

  52. okay…
    my whole point here was about freedom of speech. i've already said this on barney's blog:

    "the only thing i really got het up about was the issue of censorship and freedom of speech. it irritated me very much that carter's entire blog was removed…i've already said all this. and i'll be honest – i wrote my response before i had even read carter's initial post. my favouring of freedom of speech does, by implication, mean that i theoretically must accept a blog criticising irish people, or my haircut, or whatever. and i would do so, although i'd probably get a bit pissy along the way. it also means that other people have the right to blog about the relative merits of stagecoach versus travel coventry buses, or the ginster's slice they ate that morning. but that's the way of things."

    i now must take back my comments about the benefits of irony, and of freedom of speech, because in an absolutely non-ironic way, i'm going to tell everyone to CALM DOWN and SHUT UP about this. we all have it easy here and we should all just stop bitching.

    12 Apr 2005, 14:18

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