Being a blogger is like taking all your clothes off and walking starkers down Main Street. It opens you up to all kinds of crazy.
Of course, you’re sharing your personal brand of crazy too. And that’s okay.
When you prepared to let it all hang out, it is worthwhile realising that people do actually read your blog – yep, I know, believe it or not.
If you don’t intend people to read it and want to keep it as a personal odyssey keep it offline.
Instead of being “Just Another Public Holiday” (which in all honesty it is) we are encouraged to take the day to remember what our human and civil rights are, as set out first in the Freedom Charter and then in our terribly progressive, yet utterly useless, constitution.
One of the most important things to remember in South Africa is that unlike in America, my right not to be offended or discriminated against outweighs your right of freedom of speech. This applies to every sphere public and private.
It means you don’t get to call me a bitch or the C-word.
It means you don’t get to use the N-word or the K-word.
It means that racist, homophobic, xenophobic or sexist speech is a criminal offence.
Yes, even on a blog.
I don’t care if you’re a proud white supremacist with a pillow case over your head.
Go wild and have a pillow case party all by yourself in the real world, but spreading your particular brand of poison in the public sphere is not only politically incorrect (we are BIG on political correctness in South Africa), it is criminal.
Blogging is a lot like being Spiderman (or Winston Churchill).
With great power comes great responsibility.
Think about what you’re saying.
Think about the effect it has on other people.
So when Emporer Lubu waxes lyrical on the feminine ideal according to his world which is inhabited entirely by a sex he likes to call the bitches (and not in a friendly “Hey! Bee-atches” kind of way), I wonder if he stopped to think:”Gee, if R. Edneck were to read this and go home to his trailer and beat his wife into a pulp because his beer wasn’t cold, would I in any way feel I was partly to blame for condoning and justifying his actions that were only intended to train her properly, after all he wouldn’t have hit her if the bitch hadn’t talked back in the first place?”
Having a blog is not a licence to trash your ex, find SWF’s you want to cook and eat for dinner, share your sexual fantasies about children and sheep, or let loose a vitriolic stream of hatred.
By all means spark debate, start a conversation, be controversial, but watch out for that line. In simpler words – don’t be an asshole.
And if you feel your loathing of all women, gays, blacks, Jews, Muslims etc. is worthy of sharing with the world, be prepared to deal with those who disagree.
And for heaven’s sake add a little bit of self-deprecating humour so you don’t come off as a total <insert P-word here>.