Irritainment

I guess someone, somewhere writes a blog that displays his personal flaws, including his arrogance and stupidity:

The tension between Serin and his so-called haters has led to an unlikely situation: the very people who loathe him the most also rely on him for a daily source of entertainment.

The concept is sometimes called “irritainment,” defined as: “Entertainment and media spectacles that are both annoying and compulsively watchable.”

[CNET News, 14.5.2007]

This phenomenon should be well known to anyone who has surfed the Internet for more than a couple of hours at a time. It runs counter to a prediction of Internet media analysts in the 1990s, who feared that the Internet would tend to create insular virtual communities of boring, like-minded parrots. On the contrary, a lot of Internet traffic is driven by people seeking out alternative opinions, sometimes specifically to argue with them.

I’m in favor of that, although in moderation. Some homeschoolers, however, don’t really get that whole “libertarian” aspect of the Internet, as Dana describes.

You see, a Christian homeschool blog volunteered to host a “carnival” that accepts posts from a wide variety of bloggers, but when one of the posts came from a blogger who elsewhere didn’t follow the carnival host’s rules of propriety, their innocuous carnival post got excised. Because, of course, the Christian witness is all about how to use imputed authority over a public forum to extort proper non-forum behavior from unbelieversNOT.

I’m afraid I’m with the secularists on this one: It shows an attitude that is contrary to principles of minimalist management, which in the public sphere is called conservatism or libertarianism, and leads to public policies which, among other things, allow one to homeschool without direct state supervision. On the other hand, it is not “censorship,” it’s just nosy; and secular homeschoolers who despise opinionated religious homeschoolers should get over their self-righteous whining.

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7 thoughts on “Irritainment

  1. I have to get my 2 cents in here…
    I am the “offending” blogger. It seems one overly sensitive reader demanded that her COH content was cleansed of nasty heretic material. She needs to get over it.

    I started posting on COH, for your info, to contribute to the overall picture of diversity that HOMESCHOOLING should be. We are all NOT religious. My submitted posts were always about resources, experiments or unschooling activites. I had never once contributed anything that could have even been considered to be anti-theist.

    My blog however reflects that I am an atheist.

    Why should I not be offended when I click on a religious bloggers link about one of their school activities and find that they are making prayer rocks?

    You can’t make everybody happy and I am a firm believer that people are not meant to “all just get along.”

    As a warning to all readers: blogs tend to reflect the beliefs and personalities of their authors. If you don’t like something, just CLICK AWAY. You can even block the blog using your internet browser. Go ahead…save yourself.

  2. I think I made my opinion very clear, that the removal was stupid and ill-advised.

    On the other hand, it is very tedious to read reams and reams of atheist tripe promoting phony political activism and whining about the Big Bad American Theocracy and its twisted, evil, vicious, deviant, powermongering minions. You all need to get over yourselves.

  3. Here’s the thing that gets me…why should anyone subject themselves to reading “reams and reams” of atheist opinions? Who is asking anyone to read it?

    If I find something online that annoys me, I do my best to lose it. Everyone blogs about their interests, concerns, obsessions…right?

    America is brimming with religious innuendo and it’s my right to say it sucks.

    It sucks.

  4. Why should I not be offended when I click on a religious bloggers link about one of their school activities and find that they are making prayer rocks?

    As a warning to all readers: blogs tend to reflect the beliefs and personalities of their authors. If you don’t like something, just CLICK AWAY.

    Aren’t you being a hypocrite. Why are you so offended at the idea of following a link to something you don’t like, but tell people not to be offended when they follow a link to something they don’t like?

    Anything put in the public square of ideas is rightfully subject to critique. This “just turn the other channel” idea is the wimp’s method of trying to deflect criticism.

    We all live in this world together, and we all have the right to resist and oppose those things we believe mess this world up, whether we have to read it or not.

    Wimp. Quit complaining about being complained about.

  5. I think it is valuable to distinguish between being annoyed and being bored. In fact, the topic of this post is about reading annoying opinions for their entertainment value. I advocate this recreational activity for everyone, in moderation. That’s why I read Darwinator, PZ Myers, and Twisty, when the mood is right.

    More often, however, I read the opposing opinions of certain people because I wish I could invite them over for a drink on my front porch. In this category I would place Sasha (pagan), Profacero (pagan), John J. Reilly (Catholic), Tatsuya Ishida (Buddhist), Tom Tomorrow (atheist), Nicholas Gurewitch (atheist), Ruben Bolling (atheist), and Crispin Sartwell (atheist).

    I disagree with all of those people substantially, but they are all honest writers who have something interesting to say. They don’t feel sorry for themselves and they have a certain amount of humility, wit, or class. They are not superficial, even when they are political.

    And what about Zapata King? He’s kind of like a little brother, always hanging around and razzing me.

  6. Ah, of course I rambled on without answering your questions.

    why should anyone subject themselves to reading “reams and reams” of atheist opinions? Who is asking anyone to read it?

    It is impossible to read anything scientific, philosophical, or political without hearing about the Big Bad American Theocracy. It’s gonna getcha…boo! What a load of hooey.

    Everyone blogs about their interests, concerns, obsessions…right?

    But, you know, when 10,000 atheists are all repeating the same sing-song victimization trill, it really makes me wonder…whatever happened to “freethinking”?

    America is brimming with religious innuendo and it’s my right to say it sucks.

    Wow…innuendo, huh? How oppressive, that society has not yet been scrubbed clean of all the innuendo that are in opposition to your sensibilities.

    I agree, however, that America is brimming with religious innuendo and very little spiritual authenticity.

    I have personally long been accustomed to this condition of adversity, such that whenever I find myself among too many agreeable people, I start to get nervous. It reminds me of The Truman Show, and I start to wonder if I am trapped within a vast conspiracy.

Instigate some pointless rambling

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