Thursday, 2 August 2007

The curse of cenxorshxp

"All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging the current conceptions and existing institutions.
All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships."
Zippy.
(1972-1992)

Doncaster-Arthur Krispnagel is an ordinary man, he lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary street with his ordinary wife. In fact, Arthur's most extraordinary facet is his sheer ordinariness.
So what is it about the ordinary Arthur Krispnagel that is drawing an unprecedented level of unwanted attention and constant harassment?

I met Arthur in a pub close to his house and, staring glumly into his half pint glass, Arthur began to tell me how his nightmare began.
"It all started about a year ago really when my wife, Edith, bought me a computer for my birthday. I didn't even know what it was at first and thought she had bought me some kind of huge calculator.
I wish now I would have gone with my first instincts and told her to take it back and get me a toasted sandwich maker, I love those cheese ones."
To try to build some kind of rapport with Arthur I agreed with him and mentioned my liking for cheese and ham toasties.
He looked slowly up from his half finished warm beer "I don't really like exotic foods, plain Cheddar toasties are fine for me, never saw the sense in damaging your taste buds with unusual flavours and fly by night, look at me combinations."

Undaunted by Arthur's damning indictment of the cheese and ham toastie, I pressed on and asked him to continue with his riveting story.
"Well against my better judgment I kept the computer and at my wife's insistence I connected it up to that interwebby thingy. After a few weeks I was quite enjoying it, I would spend hours looking at pictures of man hole covers, you know dreaming that they were mine, like you do."
An over eager barmaid emptied our empty ashtray at this point and I filled the created silence by asking "Man hole covers?"
"Yeah, that's been my hobby for over thirty years now as a kid I'd cycle all over the country just to see a new one, the Hollinger d420g was always my favourite though."
Arthur suddenly became animated and the words just tripped from his usually dour tongue "Oh yeah the Hollinger d420g, now that was a man hole cover, cast iron, raised anti slippage bumps, it had the lot! I think I have a photo in my wallet if you want to see it?"
I politely declined Arthur's offer and asked him to tell me more about the harassment he was suffering.
"Oh you don't want to see it? Suit yourself. So as I said, I was really enjoying searching the web and looking through the myriad of "Holie" sites I found."
"Holie?"
"Yeah that's what we call ourselves. we are all mad! You should see us when we get together, it's like bedlam! One night at a meeting of the Yorkshire and district manhole cover society, we stayed up till half ten looking at Maurice Clapperwaite's video of Bulgarian man hole covers. We are mental!"
I nodded and agreed with Mr Krispnagel's sage diagnosis.
"Anyway, after reading through a lot of these "Knowledgeable" sites, I realised I could do just as well if not better, half these people didn't know the difference between a Tattler 680 and a Moleston 2gf!
So I set up my website UK manholes.com and was immediately flooded with huge amounts traffic, at one point I was getting twenty thousand hits a day, which surprised me as I had believed man holes to be a minority interest at best.
After the first sixteen thousand thousand E mails, I had to add a disclaimer to my site saying that it contained no male nudity and was glad when the traffic dropped to a tolerable level of two visits a week."

I sympathised with him over the intolerable levels of pervosity prevalent upon the world wide web and asked him to explain what happened next.
"Well I was kept busy updating my site you know adding new hole covers and such and everything was going great until I decided to write a feature article on the Gladman 260, which as I'm sure you're aware is a big favourite among the Holie fraternity. The thing is it's a man hole cover I've never liked, far too decorative for my tastes. So anyway, I wrote an article expressing my heartfelt opinions on its unnecessary detailing and, in my opinion, its down right unacceptable showmanship.
If I knew now what a fuss it would cause I would never have wrote that damn article. Almost as soon as I posted the thing I began to be inundated with a deluge of hate.
I was getting up to 3 E mails a month saying what a disgrace I was to the Holie community and if I hated man hole covers so much why didn't I go live in Laos, which I believe uses some sort of bamboo arrangement.
But as bad as this electronic abuse was it was nothing compared to what I have endured from former "friends" the Yorkshire and district man hole cover society immediately barred me from all future meetings and trips and have requested I send back the coveted golden man hole cover badge awarded to senior members.
But worst of all Maurice Clapperwaite wrote an article in the Yorkshire man holes digest castigating me for treachery and what he called "Maverick tendencies unbecoming for a connoisseur of man holes" he even compared me to the Tom Cruise character in Top gun saying that I was "Displaying a dangerous tendency towards unconventional views within a community that prided itself on its total conformity"
It really has been a total nightmare and all because I think the Gladman 260 is the show pony of the man hole cover world."

I commiserated with Arthur and agreed that people don't like to be shaken from the comfort of treasured ideas and will fight tooth and nail to protect what they see as the rightful way.
I then asked Arthur how his world had changed since his heartfelt attack upon the golden calf of the Gladman 260.
"Well for a start I'm persona non grata within the Holie world, I've heard that they will not even use my name and only refer to me as the "Heretic" not everyone has been so judgmental though, I have had a lot of support from the born again Christians who for some strange reason are overjoyed that I have renounced my love of man holes.
Sometimes I wish I had just kept my mouth shut and let them continue to praise something which deep down in my soul I knew was wrong. But as my wife says, you can't live your life with the opinions of a stranger."

My meeting with Arthur Krispnagel left a deep impression upon me and I truly admired the man they now call the "Heretic" for his steadfast refusal to float with the tide of conformity and his magnificent one man fight to show the Gladman 260 for what it really is.

2 comments:

Agnes Mildew said...

This reflects how typical the Ridings Specialist Societies are. When I tried to establish a toad sexing group, I was ousted from the community because I was trying to be something I wasn't...i.e. a toad sexer...We all have to start with small dreams and work up.

Kitten Smitten said...

Amazing story and a blog is worth reading.

Bravo
Kitten Smitten