Long live the blog!
First up, thanks to the many new readers of this site and your comments. There has been a massive jump in numbers visiting this blog and the amount seems to be increasing every week into the thousands! I think there is a growing realisation that the information we get on our News is incredibly biased and there has to be somewhere the other side of the story can be debated, so welcome one and all.
I wanted to take a quick moment to focus on some of the fascinating comments that many of you are making below each post. In particular a post from T (quick shout out, welcome T, yes I remember you from the ASPA awards, thank you for joining and thank you for your insightful thoughts). T posted a comment I wanted to pull out because I think its implications are very important. You can read his comment in full under The Students 4 Justice in Palestine Day of Protest Blog, but this line summed up his point,
“Bomber. You should disengage from arguments with people like some here on this page, because you're wasting your valuable time.”
Now I must confess I had no idea who Heine or Rick were, had no idea of their connection to the right wing blogosphere, and at first I had a chuckle and a certain amount of sympathy for Ts post, but I also feel that we are at point in Human history where the consequences of not being able to work together outweigh our dislike for one another. I look at the hatred that is shaping the violence and mutilation in the Middle East right now, and God forbid we ever get to the starting point on that circle of destruction by refusing to talk with each other. Beyond the current conflict, I honestly believe the looming oil shock and environmental catastrophe that we are facing, will demand our co-operation with each other if we are to continue as a species.
It seems so odd to me that so much talent exists within each of us, that 99% of our experiences as human beings connect us, yet we focus so much on the 1% difference, the skin color, the religion, the gender, the sexual orientation – these things are the points of difference we spend so much time focused on in order to alienate and not include.
My friendship with Tim Selwyn helps me get my head around this, I’m ‘very’ left wing (I think most of you can pick that) and yet Tim is ‘very’ right wing. But there are so many issues we see eye to eye on, we both marched on the Hikoi over the bridge protesting against what was being done to Maori, he arguing that property rights are essential, me because I saw it as blatant racism – and I think it’s from our willingness to find the common ground that can overcome our differences.
This site should be a fulcrum of ideas, it’s what Tim wanted, and its an idea I am endeavoring to continue while he is in prison, We could all simply remain on the blog sites we agree with, Christ I would live on Z.Net if I could, but it must be our ability to communicate with each other and listen to each other that can guide us if we hope to work together.
I also think that debate is essential for the thousands of visitors to this site now who don’t comment, but who want to read the cut and thrust of ideas, yes sometimes it can get snide, posting comments anonymously on your own computer in the middles of the night always leans to the bitchy, but they are sometimes also some of the funniest. But hugs aside, I believe the strength of your argument should be able to stand up to scrutiny, what is happening in Lebanon right now demands comments from us all as we try to make sense of the situation. I don’t believe there are any rational readers on this site who would condone the bombing of Lebanese civilians who are doing as they have been asked, and flee north, I don’t believe anyone here could condone Lebanese ambulances that have been bombed while trying to bring wounded to hospitals in Tyre.
Yes we will argue, yes it will be bitchy, but much better we debate than fight one another and as NZers, we have a role to play on the international stage to say things that many seem frightened to say. Challenging the status quo is not only our right, it is a responsibility of all members of a democracy.