David Moseley

We need to talk about bloggers

2012-09-11 10:45

David Moseley

After reading Aunty Ferial's (why aunty, why?) weepy, woe-was-me introduction to her column last week (I couldn’t finish because I was crying so damn hard) I thought I’d also relive my first job on the pages of News24 (incidentally, my old man started his working life as a shelf-packer at the evil retailer that’s caused titties to twist so provocatively, until he got fired for putting the frozen chickens in the cereal aisle. This, of course, was after he’d done his "gap" year in Angola, then he worked as a waiter. Sniff sniff).

Right, so where was I? Promise you're not gonna cry here. Because this tale is fucking sad. I mean Christ, it's so miserable I insist that you read something about Syria right after this, just so you can feel better about your life.

I was a teenage shelf packer. There, I said it. I packed cooldrinks and tinned goods at my local supermarket. I was talented. I was the best. I took the warm Cokes and put them at the back of the fridge, pulling the cold Cokes forward so my customers, who sometimes ruffled my hair and pinched my cherubic cheeks, would always get a cold cooldrink. I thought outside the box. I was the Richard Branson of shelf-packing, always innovating, always ahead of the game.

Rise out of my situation

One day I took the tinned tomato and onion mix and I turned the tins so that the labels all faced potential buyers. Sales of braai relish went up by 37% that week. I got a 50c raise.

Shifts were long; from 9am till 1pm on a Saturday. I missed all the best cartoons. My brother, bless him, taped Ninja Turtles every Saturday. He’s gone now. It will never be the same. Little Steven will never tape the Turtles again. I don’t think he gets it on the TV in London. 

But I wanted to rise out of my situation. I couldn’t face a lifetime of walking 300m to work. I wanted traffic. I wanted stress. Angst was my desire. So I scraped into Rhodes, where all these posh black Zimbabweans spoke with plumy English accents. I couldn’t understand a word they said. So posh.

I was too shy to open my mouth. My teeth were so skew from a lifetime of laissez-faire parenting. Two months into my studies my folks called to ask where I was...

When the lecturers asked questions I never answered. Mostly because I was too stupid.

After graduating, my first job paid so poorly that I slept in a drawer in my gran's room, using my socks to blow my nose and grating a lump of coal into my stale milk, to at least give it the appearance of coffee.

Okay, look, I’m just taking the piss.

Unnecessary action and reaction

What we really need to do is talk about bloggers. All this unnecessary action and reaction because some tool with a keyboard and internet connection got his knickers in a twist.

There’s a lesson here people, and the lesson is this; calm down, check the facts and then form an opinion. If you’re not sure of the above steps, repeat and double check the facts.

I know that’s hard for you because you have a twitter account and possibly your own blog and you’re all hoping that one day BMW will see your witty missives on the cons of driving a Merc and promptly hand over the keys to a brand new X6.

In short, bloggers are not to be trusted. Sure, sensitive souls blogging away their latest poems or short story prose, even arbitrary opinions, that’s all cool man. But when you have palookas tapping away with an agenda, masquerading as an expert in something, well, all I’m saying is that a little circumspection is best before proceeding with the "likes", "follows" and other methods of slacktivism.

It’s very simple. You see something that seems totally unbelievable on twitter. Think about it. Think about it again. Find a reputable person to verify the facts. Look into the matter on a news site. That’s taken five minutes out of your "life". Okay, so now you won’t be first. But you also won’t end up looking like a tosser because you’ve retweeted "Pick n Pay hates Christians because they’re open on a Sunday".

There’s a lot of information out there, folks. You’ll get your chance to have the most retweets one day. Just make sure you get your facts straight.

Lovies to all, bloggers included
Uncle David


- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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