Should bloggers shut the fuck up (apart from expressing sympathy with the victims) when people are dying from terrorist vileness?
Michael Brooke has a good response to my post against Harry’s Place removing comments on the current Russian disaster, pointing out that really, really, stupid people tend to say really, really obscene things about terrorist outrages on Harry’s site, and that it would be tactful to kick them out (and equally, for the less mad of us to also be quiet for a bit) until the fires are out and the bodies counted.
I’m not sure. The most important thing in a situation like this, as any kind of pundit, is not to be an arsehole to people who are close to the victims. Another September 11th could be directly relevant for bloggers in this context (a September 11th-scale attack on London, for example, would almost certainly involve someone I know dying). But the chances that a relative of someone in a remote bit of Russia would be browsing the English-speaking blogosphere today, unless they were actually trawling for punditry on the attacks, are low.
I also agree with Michael that there are seemlyness issues going on; it *is* tasteless to be punditing while people are still dying. I’ll leave open the question of why this doesn’t apply to Darfur, and move onto what – to me at least – is more fundamental.
The death of about 250 children (I hope to God the toll doesn’t rise any higher, although it is below what I was fearing when the army moved in this morning) isn’t a tactful or tasteful occasion. It’s a fucking disgraceful occasion. We *should* be angry about it. We should be fucking angry with the terrorists, and even though I disapprove of extra-judicial killing, I’m glad at this moment in time that the Red Army slaughtered most of the bastards. We should also be fucking angry with everyone else who created the situation in which this happened, from Stalin through to Putin.
And I win the award for overuse of ‘fucking’.
I don’t know. If I had arseholes like Nazi Rasta Dave visiting my site, maybe I’d delete them. Maybe I’d even close comments. But on some levels, I’d rather keep them there and keep them open: at least that gives us an insight into the whiney, self-justifying, nonsensical mindset of the people who actually commit these outrages.