Thursday, February 15, 2007

No smoke without fire

Sup

Well I've decided to drop my semi-retirement from the blogging scene to talk about an event which has happened recently.

Many of you will remember this which befell a couple of our previous schoolmates not long ago. For those of you who don't basically these two guys who went to our school decieded to set some paper on fire whilst travelling on a local train. Not the most clever idea considering the fire got out of hand and caused substantial damage. Especially not so clever considering the train had cctv too. Basically they went down for three years each.

Now anyway this now contextualised this brings me on to my main point. I was surfing across Facebook (as I do) when I noticed a group was discussing this. I joined in as I found the fact that these two could be so stupid was amusing and discussion worthy.

This being done I later recieved this message from a friend of the pair.

"I noticed you were one of the people to comment on the discussion regarding Gence Emek and Joseph Eales. If you've been on that group recently, you will have seen that the person who started the topic has actually deleted his post. I am one of Gence's friends, and I am very offended by your comment and I ask you kindly to remove your post as well. Thank you very much. Amy Swales. "

Now this was rather silly in my opinion but I removed the comment. I was a bit miffed at having my freedom of speech cut short by the offence of one person but I decided to relent.

Then I decided fuck that and as a responce to her comment in the group (which as you will notice has been cut down due to her complaint) I wrote back

"Well if you play with fire you're going to get burned"

This I felt was rather cheeky but all the same not offensive due to the mere fact that, well, It's the truth in all fairness. These guys played with fire ON A TRAIN! and then paid the price for it and were 'burned' by the justice system.

Imagine my surprise (or lack of really) when I recieved this responce:

"David,

Why delete your post, and then replace it a day later with yet another inappropriate comment?

I am good friends with Gence, and I find your comments very offensive. Who are you to be making remarks about something you quite frankly know nothing about.

I have reported the group to facebook now, and I hope they will remove the discussion. I am going to begin to report indivuals that are making comments too if nothing is done, as it is a breach of facebook to attack an individual which is what this disucssion is quite clearly doing.

I do not want an argument with you, I am simply confused as to the way in which you are acting."

Now excuse me for stating the obvious! I admire this loyalty to her friend, but to expect that no one is going to discuss this matter is naive bordering on stupidity! More to the point this is only offensive to one person (or at max three). I am going to relent due to the threat of being reported to facebook, but as far as I'm concerned I'm in the clear.

My (rather lengthy) reply:

"It is not an attack simply a rather obvious statement of the truth.

I appreciate that you are friends with Gence but I am not trying to attack him.

Rather I am pointing out an obvious truth in an area of free discussion.

It is stupid to set fire to paper on a train which has CCTV and then not expect something bad to happen as events turned out to in this case, not to mention gossip spreading subsequently.

I will remove the comment and please know this is not because I don't like Gence either. I have no problem with the guy and most of this was done as a response to your previous comment, but facebook groups are places of free discussion (hence the fact it is called a discussion) where opinions and gossip are likely to be discussed so don't try to put my comments out of context! I appreciate for you it probably is offensive but to be honest if I spent all my time worrying about offending people then what is the point of having an opinion if you have to fear that one person should dislike your view and subsequently go crying to authority. (this does have its limits but still I don't feel I have really fallen foul of them in this situation)

The comment has been removed I am sorry if my behaviour seemed a little odd and for you seeing a friend go to prison but my opinion remains unchanged. I do however admire your loyalty, but either way good luck to Gence and Joe.

That is all I have to say about that!"

If it is offensive to speak the truth rather obviously (except in some social situations I should add) about a subject such as this, then our criminal justice system would be a laughing stock.

What peeves me more is the fact that I can't speak frankly on a topic, which isn't offensive to any group in that it's not racist sexist or overtly aggresive. I sympathise in that they were as stupid to do something like that but I don't see why discussing it should become an offence because one, yes one, person doesn't like it.

If things keep on like this then practically everything that anyone says could be taken as some offence of some sort and for a society and for the public sphere that is most dangerous.

Then again lets be honest. It's already started really and the fact that someone somewhere maybe can't take a joke or may not like something means that the majority has to suffer is proposterous. The majority should look out for the little guy but should not have to fear the wrath of the system for treading on their toes by accident or by saying something they don't like and then having them cry "OFFENCE!" The offence of one person should NOT drive the majority! Especially in a case such as this where it is not so much an attack but more of a cheeky take on the truth.







Now I know how he feels.





I hate whiners sometimes.

Peace out! (playa)