Andrew Marr recently characterised bloggers as all those things listed in the title.
Obviously he is wrong - all generalisations must be to some extent. I, for example, am neither single nor young, rather, I'm a grumpy old man.
I am writing this blog, and I reply to online discussion forums, at least in part, because I like the thought that my writing is being published, its good for my ego, even though no-one may ever read it. Here on my blog I can combine authorship with editorial judgement and publish almost everything. There are occasional occasions (few and far between) when I write something and then don't press the "Save" button - but even that restraint makes me feel good. There are occasions (many and close together) when I press the save button and wonder whether I should have - luckily most sites have moderators who can delete the worst excesses. Some of what I write I send to the local paper, and some of that gets published. It surprises me how much doesn't - the editor must have a perverse set of criteria for inclusion to reject so much of my valuable insight.
Marr also accused bloggers of being
angry. Well, why not? There are lots of things in life to make us angry - queues at the post office, money laundering regulations, having to take your shoes off at airports, damn fool data protection rules that stop you knowing your own information, people at check outs who seem surprised they have to pay and can't find their wallets, the ludicrous behaviour and posturing of politicians, bad grammar - and there are some important ones - death, disease, poverty and crime for example.So if angry people write blogs and it makes us less angry, it lets off our steam, it vents our spleen, it stops our heads from exploding, then why not - maybe we'll get to the front of the queue and still smile and be charming to whatever poor sod is there waiting to deal with us, maybe we''ll get a person to talk to at the call centre after all that canned music and still phrase our question politely, maybe we'll be able to face up to death, etcetera more calmly.
The internet is now littered with responses to Marr's rant, this one
has a poll attached, the results of which are so reasonable (45% said "He may be partly right, but cheap shots like this don't help") evenly balanced and willing to see both sides of the argument that I can't help suspecting that far from being young, angry and pimply, respondents to polls on the internet are all Liberal Democrats.