I know, when is it not a rainy day in Scotland, right? Anyway, I was asked last night why the lack of postings recently. I didn’t really have a good answer at the time, but it got me thinking about it.
Officially, I’ve been busy with readings for my studies. And while that’s true, it’s not the only reason. Quite frankly there hasn’t really been much in the local news that has really grabbed my interest. I’ve been drafting some comments on Ms. Cox’s speech in Cayman, as well as the OBA’s Budget reply, but neither of which have really inspired me. And there really haven’t been anything else, political or other, which has really inspired me to write about it.
Perhaps it’s a malaise of the entire Bermudian blogosphere, as hardly any of the other blogs have really been inspired to write much either. Whether that is a symptom of the blogosphere’s waning influence versus the growing importance of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), the move towards interactive commenting in the news media (especially Bernews and the RG), or a result of the current economic troubles, or just simply a lack of anything ‘interesting’ in a political sense to write about, I just don’t know.
I do think it’s trues that, to grab a theme from Ms. Cox’s prose, the blogs ‘build one another together’ and that with the overall inactivity of the blogs it can somewhat inhibit posting. Why should I post if no-one else is? Is anyone out there? That kind of thing – almost as if a certain degree of ‘competition’ is required to sustain a certain level of activity in the blogs.
Personally, I think it’s partly a cycle of blog inactivity breeding inactivity, but also the rise of the interactive media platforms like Bernews/RG. Quite a few of us started blogging for the sake of critiquing current events, of which the news media were the primary conduit. Once we – and everyone else – could just simply comment on the articles themselves rather than setting up a platform to link to and critique from, well, it’s a lot easier to just comment on the news sites than maintaining our own sites.
The bigger problem though, in my opinion, is the lack of anything to comment about. I think a lot of people are just exhausted with the current political scene, and, sure, the ongoing casualties of the rise in gun-crime and the background of economic austerity, has eroded a lot of people’s civil activity, online or other. People are exhausting themselves at work, and focusing more on family-time or retreating into escapism (television, video games, drugs, etc.) rather than engaging in a lot of political critique.
And beyond that, we’re all in some sort of holding position, treading political water, in the run-up to the election. It’s like the calm before the storm. Eerily quiet and everyone aware that any minute now we’re going to be caught up in the hurricane of electioneering (true, we’ve already had some bands of rain and wind from that, and we can all see it’s dark clouds gathering). I expect a burst of online blogging activity when that thunderclap of the election announcement comes. And immediately after that there’ll be another period of silence while we all survey the resulting damage and get a feeling for the new political environment.
The winning group will give a burst of self-congratulatory yahoos before running silent while they get to grips with the situation. Perhaps there’ll be a short period of election post-mortem, followed shortly after by a propaganda barrage to support their various agenda.
The losing group will give an immediate post-election analysis and then retreat and regroup, running silent for some time until they feel more comfortable speaking out again.
In as much as the anti-PLP groups dominate the blogs (the blogs will almost always be critical and opposed, for the most part, to any incumbent government), they’ll be a period of everyone trying to out-apocalypse each other in a game of doom and gloom. If the PLP loses there’ll be a burst of self-congratulatory yahooing followed by a period of inactivity until people start criticising the new government (which will invariably happen) – the question is how long the new government will have as a honeymoon free from online attacks.
Anyway, just some musings. I’ll try and have another go at those drafts on the budget reply and Ms. Cox’s speech…