Could someone please set up a Shiraz Socialist Watch Site? Harry’s Place has got one. David Aaronovitch has got one, and he’s only one bloke, and not even that prolific a writer. Christopher Hitchens has got one, which I find convenient as it links to his articles. I used to go to the Drink Soaked whatevers for that service, but they are no longer with us. Having a Watch site means you have made it, i.e. you’ve got up a collective nose somewhere.
Watch sites that watch one person or one other site in order to abuse them are strange. There are sites like Searchlight that watch and report back on the malevolent BNP and the far right in general which do really useful work, and respect to them for reading racist filth and idiocy that turn my stomach. A fan site of someone you admire, say a musician or a band, is of course absolutely fine, where you share your pleasure with the like-minded and pay the tribute that is due to talent. But an anti-fanzine site is the equivalent of keeping on going to hear a band that you really dislike so that you can then get together with your cronies and say how terrible they are. What’s the point? Why waste the time?
These sites always come across as barmy and obsessive, set up and maintained by stalkers in rain coats, jotting in scruffy notebooks and then meeting in someone’s room to cackle together over the horribleness of their targets. Or they are like a coven of extremely bitchy schoolgirls rolling their eyes at each other and saying, “Did you see what she was wearing today? I couldn’t believe it. Not even from her!”
Update:- There is a Shiraz Socialist watch site here.
Further update:- Some of the comments below hint that this post is politically biased. It was not meant to be. It is merely that the watch sites for Harry’s Place, Christopher Hitchens and David Aaronovitch are the watch sites I am most familiar with. If there are watch sites for Socialist Unity or Lenin’s Tomb, or even watch sites for HPWatch (HPWatchWatch?) Hitchenswatch or Aaronovitchwatch I should be pleased to add them to my list of sites set up by the crazily obsessive and grossly parochial. In the meantime, I deeply regret the offence I have caused and apologise to the victims and their families for any distress they may have felt.