Friday, August 11, 2006

Thank you blogathoners

Jamie, Bodda, Per, Robbie, Cyberotter, Chuck Cliff, Ingrid, Mash, Marcella, Kyle, Alexa.

First let me apologise for the delay in getting back to you all. I didn't expect to be away this long, and I have one of those jobs that sometimes requires me to be "flexible" about where I am, when I'm there, and how much notice I get about it. Not that I'm complaining about it (hi boss!).

A few of you joined after I left, so I wanted to say "hi" and thank you for the work you put in for the Blogathon. Thank you to all of you, especially Jamie (Heathlander), who came up with the idea and was first to volunteer to stay up for 24 hours blogging. Quite apart from the amazing amount of money raised, there have been a few things that have made me very pleased that this all happened.

I've been reading through your posts (I'm not all the way through yet!), and I'm struck by what a powerful thing it is to have many people from different backgrounds agreeing on at least this one thing. A few of you have remarked on how revolting it is that the statement "we are anti-torture" even needs to be made; shouldn't that be a given? Yet as I read your work I realised that, before Bloggers Against Torture, I had started to accept this situation as normal.

Working alone, surrounded by Orwellians who try to convince us that "ticking time-bomb" is anything more than a disingenuous sophistry, it is inevitable that the fact that we are torturers would become banal. Being pro-torture has become, if not acceptable, at least expected. Without others around me to remind me that this is not normal, I would have likely concluded that this is the inevitable course of my society and given up trying.

Some like me will only be lost to despair and fatalism, but others face a much worse fate: to bloody their hands by action or omission, to be brutalised further in the process, and to infect others with their illness. Again I'm reminded of the importance of simply speaking out. Your voices are the last defence against society-wide anosognosia, a psychosis that has taken hold of the most powerful, and hence most potentially dangerous, nations on the planet.

I can't comprehend the suffering that will result if this decadence continues unimpeded.

So thank you for using your voice in this way. For raising money, for making friends with one another, and for reminding us all to come back to our senses. Just like a person needs memory and a conscience, a society needs people like you, to remind it of what it is that it truly desires and what it has always strived for.


Blogger Chuck Cliff said...

Uh, Elendil, are we going to close this down or are we going to continue, posting, that is?

The thing doesn't go away, there are items that pop up now and then. For example, I saw a piece on Common Dreams about Victor Jara and how the fellow who oversaw his torture and murder is drawing a pension from the fund set up by the Chilean gov't for victims of the Pinochet regime!!!

Also, there are things which are salient to the use of torture and one is the extra- and il-legal incarceration of people by gov'ts.

It cannot be stressed enough that systemic torture cannot occur without a political will for it and without other structures, such as secret police and secret prisons.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Bob Higgins said...

Sorry to use your comments section for this but I couldn't
find an email.

I have moved Worldwide Sawdust to a new domain:

Please update my link on your blogroll to reflect the new domain.

Let me know by emailing me at

Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Thanks and stop by soon,

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

3:14 AM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

I hope we keep this up. I've been concentrating on illegal immigration lately and editing my novel, but when I'm done expect me to start blogging on torture again.

3:56 AM  
Blogger elendil said...

Chuck: By all means, keep posting if you like. I'm going to be waylaid by work for a few days yet.

bob: Thanks for letting me know. The links have been updated.

robbie: I agree. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for the next campaign.

12:31 AM  
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12:39 AM  

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