Ghostposting

Like tons of people out there, I’m irritated at the Blogspot/ Typepad/ Geocities block (Neha has a running update on the situation at Within/Without), chiefly because whoever ordered the ban borrowed his script from Kafka via Monty Python.

Is there an official block on these domains?
Sorry, we can’t tell you.
If there isn’t a block, why can’t we access these sites?
Sorry, you’re not authorised to receive that information.
Is there a government directive that might explain the situation?
Yes. But if we let you read it, we’d have to kill you.
Ah. Moving right along then, a conspiracy theorist said the domains are temporarily down because of suspected terrorist activity using blogs, is that true?
It depends. Are you a terrorist?
No!
We’ll have a Junior Under Deputy Secretary read your blog just to make sure; if you’re still alive tomorrow morning, you have nothing to worry about.
Erk. I’m going to pretend you never said that. Is there any reason why your stupid hypothetical block doesn’t cover Rediff blogs, Blogger.com itself, LiveJournal, MySpace and, well, while you’re at it, how about blocking Google, Yahoo! and MSN?
That is a very useful suggestion, Madam, what were the names of those sites again?
Aargh.

Meanwhile, the Babu is getting used to ghostposting. It’s kind of Dadaesque. I can post, edit posts, publish posts–and then, whoosh, they disappear off my screen. People in India whose ISPs haven’t blocked blogspot can read them. People elsewhere whose countries aren’t stupid enough to block blogspot for no discernible reason can read them. But having written them, I can’t read them, unless I use RSS feeds or other clever tricks.

It’s giving me a Peter Sellerish existential crisis: “There is no me. I do not exist. There used to be a me but I had it surgically removed.”

5 comments

  1. Also saw you mentioned in the New York Times. Sorry to hear about your blog tribulations over there.I hope Mr. Singh doesn’t take any lessons from Mrs. Gandhi’s Emergency in the wake of your latest troubles there…. but this internet censorship shows leanings in that direction.Keep up the fight.

  2. Whooops! Don’t let’s exult too soon! Just this minute, I attempted to access Zigzackly’s site via pkblogs and got a curt message saying the Acess was FORBIDDEN. Yow!!! The midnight knock cometh …

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