Sunday, October 31, 2010


Oh dear, it seems that the blog has now reached that level of popularity where I've been noticed by the cerebrally-challenged. Is this a sign of popularity I should celebrate?

I never insist that people come here and must leave with their initial views transformed, especially if those views are carefully reasoned. But it was always a vague hope that I might add something to the debate, for people to leave here having being prompted into engaging with their own emotions and preconceptions.
Until now, that aspiration seems to have born some fruit, as revealed by the quality of the comments left by readers. For which I thank you all! Some bloggers will doubtless be happy monitoring their traffic for validation but I prefer the old fashioned way - comments.

Now, though, there is an increasing intrusion by people, overwhelmingly anonymous, who just want to pick a select word or line here and there and worry away at it. To what end, just what is the point?

Whatever I read, it is with the hope that it either adds to my sum of knowledge or understanding, or reveals a new perspective that I'd overlooked. Who has the time - and the mentality - just to read in order to pick a pointless fight?

Still, welcome one and all. Even the most narrow-minded and hateful person may eventually leave here having learnt something!


  1. Now, that's just asking for the bar to be lowered. Never mind a single line, I'm going to complain about a single character - why in the title of your blog is the word blog spelt with a zero?

    (I'm genuinely interested, as it's been there a long time to be a typo, so I'm wondering if it's some sort of attempt for search engine optimisation)

  2. Anonymous - How odd...the typo only appears in the first three google results. The rest are spelled correctly with an 'o'.

    Now I'm curious too! haha

  3. Hi

    I would guess that a lot of those reading, like myself, have never commented and so those that do intending to make an arse of themselves seem disproportionate.

    I found my way here only a week or so ago but spent a day reading through all the posts as you provide a valuable window into prison life as it is (rather than as we would wish it to be)

    You've also dispelled a few misconceptions I had and for that I thank you.

    Any blog will get a number of mouth breathers commenting, that is unfortunately the nature of the internet, best not to let it get to you (or perhaps have your human proxy filter out the unhelpful ones if they're depressing you?)

    In any case, I wish you the best of luck with the system, your parole and the many not particularly logical hoops you seem to be expected to jump through.

    And in the words of Fletch: Don't let the bastards grind you down!

  4. As Hideki says Ben, there are lots of people learning and seeing things from a different perspective from reading your blog, but may not necessarily post a comment. Your blog is an extremely positive thing both for you and for people out here following it. Don't let a small minority worry you and remember all the support you have. If they find it that distasteful they needn't read it after all!

    If anyone knows their Bible then you will remember when the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, and they wanted her stoned to death. Jesus said let the person who has never sinned throw the first stone - and they all left one by one.

    Anyone who has ever been angry (that's all of us) has been capable of murder and needs to examine their own heart before condemning others.

  5. You'd do better to ignore the trolls Ben, they're just in it for sport. Some of your regular commenters bite all the time, and now you seem to have bitten too.

    So, now that you've bought it up as a blog in itself, I'd like to raise an issue about your typical commenter. They seem to be divided into 3 varieties, there's the trolls, the 'Anonymous said...'s, who you are discussing today. Then there are the intelligent commentators, sometimes agreeing with you and sometimes dissenting, but generally a well thought out comment that enlivens the debate. And then the third type, the prey and the sustenance of the troll, your loyal worshippers who bite at every anonymous comment. It's this third type I'd like to encourage to show a little more restraint, with an example:

    So, sorry Jules, but I'm going to take issue with you're post above, I have been angry in my life before, it's true, and I am capable of murder, in a purely physical sense I undoubtably am. The difference is that I have never murdered and, knowing myself as I like to think I do, I will never murder out of anger. Ben did a terrible thing; that he is still being punished for a crime he did in a teenage rage is a disgrace, clearly, but to paint Ben's crime up as 'just one of those things' is to cheapen all that he has achieved since. I find Ben's blog by parts interesting, amusing, and heart breaking, and also life affirming, and this is all part and parcel of who Ben is. To deny the profoundness of the actions of his life that brought him to prison detracts from what we can learn from him. So what I'm trying to say is, think of Ben as you will, but lets not canonize him, and lets not rise to the bait every time someone has a petty swipe at him.

  6. Here's a nice positive comment: you can't imagine how happy it made me to notice today that the errant zero in the blog title has been corrected to an "O". Little things and all that...

  7. I've learned from you. I've learned about the system, about prison life and about the reality of lifers which is a fair distance from what I previously thought. Ignore the morons and idiots. With the publicity you have had here on the outside it was inevitable you'd attract their attention and they tend to get bored pretty quickly if you don't engage with them.

  8. "the most narrow-minded and hateful person may leave here having learnt something"

    No... NOOOOOO! They're like that because they desperately need to avoid learning something. They're so dedicated that I'm confident they'll succeed in not learning it.
    Maybe if people are kind and understanding they'll just go away.

  9. Cirrocumulus - i couldn't have put it better myself. Ever wondered why people with a gift of the gob seem to know a little of everything?
    Love thy enemy seems fitting when dealing with narrow-minded people for they are the most hateful people I have ever come across. Sadly, they never seem to have anything to show for their shallowness - from my experience the majority of shallow minded people turn out to be stalkers or trolls. There is only so much one can do in a day and get paid for it.