The Cowardice Of The Keyboard Warrior – – Our News, Your Views

The Cowardice Of The Keyboard Warrior


A favourite radio commentator of mine, Phillip Adams, has been diagnosed with cancer. As a youth an unrepentant lefty, and former member of the Australian Communist Party, Phillip Adams later became a leading film director and producer, a successful grazier and a beloved friend of those millions of Australians, especially in rural areas, who grew to love his witty and intellectual evening shows on Australia’s Radio National. Indeed, Phillip has mellowed so much, in the last fifty years, that leading lights of the political right and Catholic Church have hastened to come forward to say their prayers for a man who, they all well knew, to be an avowed atheist. I can hear my friends, in Ireland, already saying Only in Australia. With some justification, I might add!!

Phillip Adams once famously quipped that graffiti was the intellectual equivalent of dogs pi$$ing on trees, in as much as it is anonymous, ugly, achieves nothing and is largely negative and degrading. A furious conversation ensued in which a well known artist defended street art, but conceded that taggers are a pain in the butt, the obligatory historian explained the origins of street art and graffiti and tagging and Phillip maintained his position that people who hide behind anonymity and do no constructive good should be looked down upon. To me it was a stimulating, entertaining and enlightening conversation, and when I heard the news of his serious illness, I remembering saying a quiet prayer, and hoping he pulls through. Because he taught me something, that evening, which I absorbed, benefited from and still helps me navigate through the minefield of the global internet each day: openness and honesty.

What is it with the ever widening number of cowards who post anonymously these days? I know they are not the sort of people who know about the Watergate scandal… in fact, more often than not they mostly think Watergate is a new Butlands franchise out on the west coast. They would not join the Re-Occupy movement, because that would involve showing their faces. They are obviously not undergoing the degrading and horrifying terrors of the Syrian civil war… as least in Aleppo you are well within your rights to complain anonymously! They chase you down and shoot you there! These brave reformers are on the internet… because as soon a woman calls from Aleppo, an anonymous person will tell why the person in Syria is wrong. Really? Who are you? What is it with hidden keyboards, anonymous entries, incomprehensible handles and the constant misery and complaint that comes with such people? I mean, does anyone seriously think that Mr A. Bourke, of 1 Phoenix Street, Dublin Central is anything other than a berk who believes burnt birds can come back to life, and is so insecure his own name has best not attached? Oh, and if there IS an Anthony Burke, of Pheonix Street, Dublin, I do humbly apologise. Please do not sue me, I am not worth it!

The Irish, as the Australians, have a proud history of getting together, when necessary, and voicing their opinions. Dan O’Connell is on record as addressing crowds of over half a million outside of Dublin. Michael Collin’s fame as an orator is legendary regardless, or, despite your opinion of his politics. And so on… great men and women, who, in their own way, encouraged the average person to go away from their daily routine to show their faces in support of those they followed.

There is, of course, something you can do. Now, this very minute, get on the internet, friends, and do a test. Find out if you actually know who you are twittering with, who it actually is that new friendship request came from, who that person on your Facebook actually is and so forth. Then erase all the anonymous ones. Oh, and when you read your articles or messages, ignore anonymous… not worth bothering with. And for all the nasty, snide, sniping and always anonymous critics out there, grow a backbone and speak your mind openly. Not like angry little hamsters caught on the wheel.

Thank you again for bearing with me, yours Marcus MacPherson.

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