21 August 2006

Did I say enough?

I think I've decided to restart for real this time, but I need to make a couple of observations first, set out some ground rules.

One of the things that I think is most reprehensible about the internet is my ability to say something and not be held accountable for it. This happened earlier this year when I made a comment about Scott Hodge that was really groundless and silly, but I made it because I thought there would be no consequence and let's face it, without consequences, I'm an asshole. His reply to my comment (or simply his awareness of it) really got me thinking. When I started up again in July, I thought I had gotten over that, when a similar kind of silly, critical comment on my entry appeared and reminded me again why I stopped in the first place.

See here's the problem, we can all say anything we like here and never really address each other. Even if you leave a comment here, on my site, it's really not a comment to me as it's visible for everyone. What we really do when we comment on someone's blog is make a public statement, using someone else's platform. And really, to be honest, that really chaffed my balls last month. Because it's not real. You aren't really talking with anyone. Suddenly, you can say something to me without saying actually saying it. Which really, is unfortunate.

So here I am, back, but you'll have noticed that I have disabled the comments on my site. Stephe-o, you're saying, you're a coward, you can't take any criticism? Well, perhaps, but I guess more importantly, I want you to say something to me if you have something to say to me. I realize that in writing here, I make public statements that people may or may not agree with, and people will think one way or another about me. I realize that there is a lot of exhibitionism involved in blogging, and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with you knowing more about me than me knowing about you. But really, if you disagree with something I've said and you really think you need to talk to me about it, let's use the e-mail.

I think that's all.

I was in Seoul this last, last week, my third time in Korea. This time, I actually had a purpose as I was attending a seminar for my MA studies. A couple of professors came down from Birmingham and lectured for a week. It was really a fabulous time. I don't think I learned a lot so much as got some of the motivation I've been lacking. I felt like a student again and got a good vision of what I need to be doing to finish well in the course and continue in my studies. A Ph.D. on the cards? Well, time can only tell.

Korea, and especially Seoul, is such an interesting contrast to Japan. So much more... well, real I guess. In Korea people shout at each other, hold hands in public, kiss, laugh, fight: all these things that humans do, they do them. The Japanese rarely shout at each other, they rarely fight. They kiss when they have sex and hold hands when they're teenagers. Adulthood here requires a kind of sterilization. There is no conclusion to this paragraph.

The wife and I have finalized plans for the honeymoon, bringing us to Rome and Malta in October. I'm really looking forward to the food and coffee in Rome, in the autumn. I imagine we will come back with all sorts of secrets.