I've been exercised over the past couple of days by the idea that a blog that is anything other than anodyne could prevent someone from getting a job - even a blog which is written pseudonymously (is that a word?) I know that theoretically I have all the freedom in the world to write exactly what I please, as I have nothing to lose by it - no job, no prospects, nothing. But how free am I?
Every blogger knows that if they are at all successful someone will read their stuff. So I visualise a readership and write with them in mind. Sometimes I might write specifically so that someone will read what I say and be affected by it in some way; other times I realise I'm avoiding a topic because it'd open a can of worms which I can't be bothered putting back. I wouldn't be lying or exaggerating either - just writing about something which is on my mind. (Like intercessory public prayer, f'rinstance. Really.)
But am I guilty of moral cowardice when I keep quiet? Has living in a smallish community sapped my will? (I feel a bit like Hamlet here: who calls me coward? breaks my pate across?) There was a time when I demonstrated at the Holy Loch, lay down in the road, sang at policemen, went to court as a witness, appeared on telly and radio and spoke my mind - and then suffered the consequences. Golly. I could have had such a good time with my blog then. Back then our most sophisticated form of communication was a telephone tree. But then I didn't stop to think about it - the sight of the Poseidon subs in our loch was enough.
That might be it. Some craven scruple of thinking too precisely on th'event. Shakespeare knew a thing or two. But I'd like to put the question to the bloggers (and lurkers) who read this: if you knew that what you wrote was likely to inflame prejudice in your employers, would you desist? Do you restrain yourself for that reason? Should we always think twice before we hit 'publish'?
And yes: I've just written yet another toothless post when really I might want to bite. Grr.