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Sunday, April 29, 2007

KEEN AS MUSTARD 

Hello folks - I'm still in semi retirement, and it's great. I've taken up several new hobbies, canvassed for the Liberal Democrat party, bought a violin, knitted a jumper and felt the sun on my back for the first time since April 2004. It's great!

In the meantime, possibly inspired by Quinquireme and an article in today's Observer, I'm handing over the reins of the blog to Andrew Keen for this post. Andrew's much talked about book, a critique of Web 2.0, whatever the fuck that is, has driven literally half a dozen Guardian journalists into a frenzy of excitement. The Internet Is Ruining The World That I Grew Up In And I'm Going To Say Something About It, Yes, ME is published by Graber & Graber and costs £38.99.

Andrew Keen: incandescent with rage

Hello, I would like to say without further ado that I think the internet is reversing the evolutionary process.

By allowing the lower orders to express themselves, we are, in effect, heading back to the primordial swamps.

In an ideal world, the great minds of their generations - the likes of Da Vinci, Galileo, Plato and myself - would be revered, celebrated and remembered as great figures of their age. Indeed, this was always the case in the past.

Not any more.

Instead, in a metaphorical sense, we are pelted with slurry by the users of the internet.

The so called "blogging" phemomenon has brought all the scum of the sewers to the fore - the chimney sweeps, the beggars, gangs of lawless boys, orphans, pickpockets, alehouse idlers, liars, illegitimate children, foreigners and women of the night gather there to peddle their filth and abuse the great minds of the generation.

Think about it: why should one care what the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks of the Boer War? Are there not distinguished politicians who are more than capable of deciding when our fine army should return from the Veldt?

Who cares what a washerwoman from the northern counties thinks of the Votes For Women Question?

Who cares what a foulmouthed drunkard thinks of the Poverty Question?

Only the great minds of this generation - such as myself - should be entitled to have their say.

Still, things are looking up. The publishing of my book - The Internet Is Ruining The World That I Grew Up In And I'm Going To Say Something About It, Yes, ME (published by Graber & Graber, priced £38.99, available from discerning bookshops) will undoubtedly lead to a change in thinking and the vetting of everyone who uses the internet. In future it will be a forum for the good and the great, who will make this a golden age, a renaissance, as it were.

Then, people like myself will be accorded respect in the street, and the lower orders will curtsey before us and throw flowers in our path, and we will be carried around in big chairs, and people will sing hosannas in praise of us.

Yes: it will be a golden age.


Andrew Keen, April 28th 2007, Silicone Valley

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Comments:
As that frightful arriviste Mrs Osbourne would say: you've nailed it, missus.
 
I just love the phrase "incandescant with rage". From now on, I'm going to use it more often in conversation.
 
Oh, fantastic - I was just gearing myself up to write some pompous rant about Keen perpetuating a tradition of cultural élitism that started somewhere back in the 1860s* with Matthew Arnold when 'working men' were given the vote (thus, Arnold thought, paving the way for culture to be completely destroyed by an anarchic and unthinking mob), and which I thought had been discredited sometime during the 1960s, but this post says it all much, much better.

* Or so it says here in my Ladybird Book of Cultural Theory
 
I can see his point. It's the equivalent of the Letters column in the Woverhampton Star & Echo.

I can see his point. It's the equivalent of the Letters column in the Woverhampton Star (that's the echo, I'm afraid)
 
FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGISE TO ANYONE WHO READ THIS BEFORE THE TYPOES (...TYPOS??), GRAMMATICAL ERRORS AND SPELLING MISTAKES WERE CORRECTED. WHAT WAS I ON THIS AFTERNOON? IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER MISTAKES LURKING IN THERE, LET ME KNOW.

Mike - well, a few nails banged into Andrew Keen's head may calm him down a bit. Trepanation would help him put things into perspective.

Sky - I've been trying to slip the expression "blue sky thinking" (as seen in your Important Businessman post) into conversation. Lo and behold, it turned up in a report on global warming in the paper yesterday! Wanky businessmen - you can't keep 'em down, eh?

Patroclus - it must take a huge amount of arrogance (sorry, I mean "self belief" of course) to think that your opinions should be taken seriously whereas the opinions of the majority of people shouldn't. Seems to be the case with Andrew Keen anyway. One positive thing about internet access and blogging is that the, ahem, lower orders are able to take the mickey out of pompous, self important types such as AK.
 
Murph - eh up, it's actually the Wolverhampton Express & Star. I used to read it every day until I moved down to London, pathetically enough. I'm sure these days the letters page is full of contributions from people who are annoyed about "these so called hoodies", the NHS and the money wasted by the local council. None of the readers will have heard of blogging.
 
**leaps out of seat to join the standing ovation and, cupping one hand around mouth, shouts 'brava!'**

[of course, you -unlike mr keen - would not be familiar with the ways and language of theatre, being, as you are, from the lower orders]
 
Ooooh this is good. I didn't realise LibDem canvassing jumper-knitters were filled with such wit and bile.
 
UC - well, I'll 'ave you know that I'm a keen fan of the music hall and once threw rotten tomatoes at Marie Lloyd from the cheap seats. Yer can stick yer posh theatre with all them oity toity lords and ladies cavortin' about.

Tim - I'm starting to worry that people really will think that I've been canvassing for the LibDems. IT'S NOT TRUE! I've not been knitting, either.
 
Despite his view of the lower orders, what's the betting that Andrew Keen (yes, Google, that's 'Andrew Keen') is a fervid googler of his own name and is at this very moment trying to force himself to believe that we are proving his very point, while at the same time plucking obsessively at his nipple clamps.
 
Ooh, I love the word 'fervid'.
 
well, I just had to avoid using the word 'keen'
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
feckin html. Try again

this here is an excellent example of a reverse Andrew Keen
 
GSE - Andrew Keen, vanity Googling? Surely not. No doubt he already realises that everyone is against him without checking up. It is the burden of any great and forward thinking man of the age to be an object of ridicule and derision among the masses. We should just be grateful we don't have to bear that burden.
 
Oh how I wish that his observations were false but it's true!It's all trrruuuueeee!Waaa!

The upside is that most Blogs are never viewed and eventually the Internet will overload and collapse like a dying Star.

Until that time I stand shoulder to shoulder with the NRA, the National Ranters Association.

"Sure you can take my Gumption, from my cold, dead hands!"
 
I see he says we're all going to regress into 'digital narcissism'

aren't they foxgloves?

or maybe daffodils come to think, which of course I'd have to stop doing when I'm a plant - I shall look forward to it.
 
HE - very soon, everybody in the world will have a blog, and they'll all be blogging twenty hours a day, and then where will we be? Not only will the internet collapse, the world will go up in a puff of smoke. Only Andrew Keen will survive.

Ziggi - too true about the foxgloves. There's nothing wrong with a bit of photosynthesis. Dying back at the end of the season is better than having to endure winter, and I've always had biennial tendencies, so I won't have any problems adjusting to the change.
 
I was going to comment on what a cracking post that was, but your word verification was too hard.
Is it a test to see who's smart enough to be allowed on the internet?
 
Beth - erm, thank you. As for the word verification, that's only the start of it. Tomorrow, all blog posts will be in Latin, then the next day you will be set a standard A Level Physics exam before being allowed to leave comments. Andrew Keen is getting his way after all.
 
Is there some sort of 'Post of the Year' award? Because I don't care what the rest of 2007 does - the bar is already out of reach.
 
1. FUCKING BRILLIANT
2. i hope like hell such as him keep missing the boat. the longer they do, the longer we can keep flying under their radar and nuking their pompous asses!
 
yes it's a mixed metaphor but i don't have to maintain a high standard. i'm a blogger.
 
Mangonel - thank you, but blimey. It was something I knocked out in a fit of pique which had loads of typographical errors and spelling mistakes in (most of which have been corrected. Hopefully.).

First Nations - yeah, I definitely approve of taking the rise out of the overly serious (rather like those people who throw custard pies at the rich, famous and powerful). Just wish that bloggers had more of a voice in a way to answer back to all this misguided rubbish. Perhaps someone should start a group blog called Why Andrew Keen Is A Self Important Twat!
 
He blogs.

And wtf is up with your wv, Betty? You've dialled it up to eleven, haven't you?
 
He does indeed blog - tackling the enemy from within. How brave!

...

...

... not a very scintillating read, is it?

Word verification looks okay at mine, but, as I said, from tomorrow you'll have to complete an A Level Physics paper before you get to comment on blogs. Make the most of today!
 
I tried my best to look at his, but it nearly sent me into a coma. Unlike your post (and everybody's comments, especially GSE's nipple clamps and Ziggi's foxgloves) which is superb. I love the way people bounce off each other - he is definitely missing out on all the fun.
 
Annie - yes, he is missing out, despite the pleasure he receives because of his nipple clamps. I should imagine his idea of fun is getting a standing ovation at a business conference from an audience that agrees with absolutely everything he says. Still, to each their own, eh?
 
Good lord, look at his post from 1st May about Socratic dialogue. Note how he addresses his female critic as 'my dear' and how he uses ad hominem criticism against a commentator for using ad hominem criticism against him. His paragraph on Socrates is just silly. How old is he by the way? He must be either 80 or 19. Either way, he wears tweed, I am quite sure of it.
 
GSE - "My rebutter asks why there is no Socratic dialogue on the Internet. That's an easy one. It's because Socrates doesn't have a blog." Wonderful! Mind you, I don't think that the fact that Socrates has been dead for around 2400 years should put him off blogging. Perhaps he could raise the bar for the rest of us!
 
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