The concept of blogging has thrilled me for well over a decade. I love the internet in all its vainglorious massiveness. So useful and so full of absolute crap. There are now multiple first-hand sources to learn from, and quite frankly sometimes save you from the weight of feeling alone.
I love how services like WordPress.com have helped democratised things so anyone (in most countries) can have a voice, with little-to-no IT experience, for free. I never underestimate that. Look at what this blog has achieved in a week…
Yesterday a great man – Terry Pratchett – died too young. (I saw the news on Twitter.)
I’m not a great reader of fiction and fantasy is not my thing so I’ve not read his books. He has been an influence on me though for his words on Humanism. As with any human experiencing life, let alone pain or loss, I question things… and one time, just when I needed it, I came across this little video that expresses completely how I feel.
I mean completely – I could have said this myself, every word, just not so articulately – google his quotes, or check out this article from The Guardian, everyone could learn a little something from Terry Pratchett:
I am absolutely atheist. I feel a peace and enlightenment about it that feels very akin to how some friends have described their theist awakening/experience.
I try not to be anti-theist although sometimes I wrestle with the difference between that and being atheist – the lines blur occasionally – but when I’m not deeply navel-gazing for me it doesn’t matter: it comes down to how you choose to live. Just try to be good.
Freedom of thought, speech and expression is such an incredible, important, essential thing. I watch with interest the developing world of trolling and the first criminal prosecutions for it, the debates around the censorship of hate speech, where do you draw the line?
How many people need to feel threatened or offended, and how deeply, by someone’s free speech (however pathetic and horrid) that it means they must be stopped?
I read and manually approve all of the comments posted on this blog, out of respect to the person who wrote it and also to screen for the wackos. I have approved/published them all even if they don’t quite resonate with me, bar one.
I saw Terry Pratchett had died, came off Twitter, and looking for something to lift me decided to read the latest comments on this blog… the first comment awaiting review simply had the words “ADD and ADHD” and a link to a WordPress blog, I thought I should check it…
In summary, I believe the commenter is imploring me to have my daughter exorcised. Really? Wow, that seriously hurts me. What hurts me even more is that unlike most visitors to this blog, he has read further than ‘I Stand Quietly’ and put his comment on the post where I shared the email from that beautiful young woman with Aspergers. That really truly SUCKS.
I want to share what he has written but with the traction this blog has, I am not going to link to him and raise his profile on here or in search algorithms, but if you are interested, I have pasted a number of images of the page at the end of this post.
I am pretty angry. On so many levels… as all special needs parents will agree, unkind and ignorant comments always hurt.
He says he has only “spoken to the evil spirit ADD” but assumes ADHD is an evil spirit as well. Then later on adds “I have spoken to the schizophrenic demon as well. This goes for Autism as well, I assume, never spoke to him.” Ignorant prat.
He actually even includes a prayer template, complete with ‘(insert name)’ gaps. I suppose I should credit him that this gave me a little wry laugh.
Whilst ADD and ADHD can be co-morbid with autism, they are not the same, and in my understanding not in the same simplistic bucket as schizophrenia. That is ignorance enough. To further believe that they can be cured by asking Jesus to let a child burn hotter and hotter from head to foot… you know what, if there is a God and he did have a son called Jesus, I honestly think this is an example of when it would be appropriate to use the very crass phrase: Jesus fucking weeps.
He also believes he can cure Gays, end racism and blogs about the Illuminati… one post EXPOSES the satanic Illuminati in the recent Lego movie – a favourite of mine – how silly and naive of me to think it was just a fab fun crazy high speed super colourful romp of a kids movie, eh!?! At worse, you could criticise it as another money-making machine… yep, we bought the Xbox game too.
His ‘About’ page says:
I am a Christian. I love to blog and tell others about Christ in stories that could be shared by all. Occasionally, will shed light on current issues with actions believers should take to help aid in peace and love for all.
I am so angry for all the Christians that he tars by saying shit like the stuff below in their name. The first world media is awash with reports about those scary Islamic militants threatening our lives and freedom… personally, I think he is also dangerous and scary even though he doesn’t actually kill people, he frequently refers to “the battle”.
He just sits back righteously spouting awfulness to his roughly 3,500 followers, safely protected by freedom of speech. Commenting on my blog with a link like that, to me feels like a hateful attack. Sadly, it has affected me, he kept me awake in the night more than Terry Pratchett did. But what can I do? I was briefly tempted to email him a link to this post but I doubt there is any point in engaging with him further.
Maybe I should not have lowered myself to even blog about this, but as I will say again, I am not amazing, I am only human and I can be a hater too, I have added him to my mental ‘People I might exterminate if I could get away with it’ list. His comment is, and has been moved to, Trash.
Aside from being an author, Terry Pratchett is no longer best known for being a Humanist, but for all the amazing awareness he has raised about Dementia. He was a truly great and humble man. His personal accounts as he succumbed to Alzheimer’s made a real poignant difference. A humanist but more importantly a decent human, as I aspire to be.
As for the other fellow: I don’t like to harbour anger so I will publish this, take a deep breath, put him out of my mind and go play with my beautiful daughter and refill my heart with joy.
Anyone interested in a post-breakfast and commute shockfest, here we go, but please also take a moment to learn about Terry Pratchett, a far worthier read: