01 May, 2006

Come Clean

Ok so lets hear it. Why is it that every other UAE based blog I come across disses the living crap out of the UAE and Dubai in particular. If its not the government, then its the educational system, or how people drive in Dubai, or the media and wasta and contradictions and double-standards in the UAE. Yes yes yes, we are all aware of that, but I am just wondering, why ? Are we really going to change anything ? You are all sitting in your comfort zones, clicking away. But get off that chair, and walk out of that door and into the real world .. do you actually walk it like you talk it ?

I think a lot here in Blog world, misunderstood the world "blog". Not only that, but just like any other forum, or cyber community .. there are always groups that clot together and plot against those that are 'different'. Just check out the people some bloggers link to, and read comments .. you will quickly find a trend.

I am actually VERY interested in finding a useful (UAE based) blog thats not really biased, nor does it spew negative energy in every line posted.

Cheers =)



grapeshisha said...

I think the term blog means more now than when it was first coined. Blogs have a wide variety of uses these days as highlighted the other day (http://uaecommunity.blogspot.com/2006/04/blogs-essential-to-good-career-boston.html). However, each blogger as a single entity can entertain whatever subject he/she chooses, and it is up to the reader whether or not they wish to read it.

I like to think that I try to tow the line of objectivity on my blog, whether or not it gets to the mundane. In all fairness though, it is easier to have a criticism or rant about daily issues than to tread the bore line of constant praise.

One of the issues that we face here is that many of us are not born here, so we have comparisons against what may be acceptable to our cultural norms, and thus when something appears completely alien to that psyche, it strikes a chord with us and we voice our opinion (within reason). Coupled with that, with the UAE in a period of constant change/transition/rejevenation/whatever you want to call it/ there are going to be issues that we all face that are all part of that growing pain that exists at any stage in a growing society. Furthermore, throw in complexity of multi-culture and you're in for a heaty debate on rights and wrongs.

I believe that there are a number of bloggers who are not biased (but maybe niched), but at the end of the day it is all about choice and who or what you decide to read.


Grapeshisha (trying to walk it and talk it)

archer14 said...

Well put, grapeshisha. A blog is a diary of your thoughts, your expressions. Hardly anyone tries to make his blog look like a tourist brochure.

Now who would want to read such brochures when the newspapers/advertisements/hoardings are chock full of it? If you have walked around in the real world, you know what I'm talking about. However, as soon as you visit a few blogs, a pattern emerges. What you choose to deduct from this pattern is entirely subjective. 'Grouping and plotting' in the blog world, is simply put, to entice you to feel that the subjects blog is 'creative' and thinks 'different'. However, try commenting there with the reality that permeates our daily lives, and then you end up fighting fire with fire.

The bottom line is 'freedom of expression'. Real life doesn't allow us to exercise this right, for obvious reasons. What you see on blogs here, could just maybe, be the real thing.

adevents said...

for examble my site is not disses the living here at all and it is useful :)

samuraisam said...

A blog can be about anything; it's simply a web journal, with individual posts; no limitations whatsoever on what the content can be, there is no guideline to what a blog is and what a blog isn't. It's a weblog. writing on the web.

If you think there are a few too many negative blogs and everyone is negative it is because that's how people really are here, they're just saying all the stuff they couldn't get away with saying in real life... or are they?

The fact that there are no positive blogs is because no one is feeling positive. Aside from a few local bloggers that choose to criticize the critics, you can't really find any positive blogs because there isn't much positive to be found.

People are writing it because it is what they feel; why do people insist on trying to govern what others are writing, I can't understand it, either you agree, disagree, or keep your opinion to yourself, if you're reading a blog you're reading IT, not what you WANT to read. If you WANT to read something go the fuck ahead and write it.

Seabee said...

Everywhere in the world people complain about things that need improving. Why do you think Dubai should be any different?

An example you raised - we have the third most dangerous roads in the world, the research tells us, with almost one person a day being killed from a tiny population of about 1.2 million. Totally needless, preventable deaths. Should we not comment on that? Should we not blog our thoughts and disgust, write to the press, agitate for an improvement?

there are always groups that clot together and plot against those that are 'different'. Just check out the people some bloggers link to, and read comments .. you will quickly find a trend. That sounds like conspiracy theory paranoia to me. I see no "plot", I see people with interests in common discussing them, some agreeing others disagreeing. I see other people using their blogs as diaries.

I don't know what you mean by "useful (UAE Based) blog" -. Useful in what way? What is it you want to know?

secretdubai said...

Why do you assume all the blogs are "biased" just because they express some negative views?

Masses of people here post about positive things as well. In recent months if there's been less light than shade it's probably a reflection of the change in people's lives here. I don't know many people here who are happier now than they were six months ago, or two years ago. Most are earning less, paying out more, spending time in traffic which cuts into their family and leisure time, and are considerably less happy.

I'm confused as to what you want. If you just want to read nice, happy stories about the UAE then go and read http://www.uaeinteract.com

For useful blogs (in terms of UAE and Dubai info) I recommend Grapeshisha - in particular his actual website (http://www.grapeshisha.com) and for business news try The Emirates Economist (http://emirateseconomist.blogspot.com).

alwiese said...

I'm really impressed by the open dialog on the comments. Being an American, I think that many people see the Middle East, and even the UAE as backward. Obviously they're ignorant if that is their belief, but I would oppose anyone who would say that American's are mentally invested overseas, just their wallets.

I see open dialog as a great opportunity for people to truly express themselves, no matter what the entails. No matter what UAE blogs are saying, it is helping Americans like myself become more aware of the issues your country is facing, the good and the bad alike. So I thank you all for helping open my eyes.

GMJ said...

Why are you all getting defensive now ? Is it because what I said applies to all of you :P Somebody said "freedom of speech", and here I am telling you what I think. Many blogs are just a replica of one another; same topic, just different bitching style. Theres an accident in Shk Zayed Road and every blogger writes about that; theres not much originality.

No, I dont want to hear nice things about the UAE, if I did I can just turn on Dubai TV. I dont think theres anybody thats disses her own country better than I do.

Im not asking anybody to change their style, or start writing about rosey stories that take place in the clouds. I was simply mentioning something I noticed (as someone that just joined the blogging scene) and I suddenly got attacked..geez

samuraisam: rest at east, I couldnt care less what you write in your damn blog. I was simply "writing on the web" as you put it :)

cheers !... and hows about we all loosen up a notch ^_^

samuraisam said...

I was going to give you a long winded ownage ceremony, but I really can't be bothered.

Seabee said...

You make a point, ask questions...then when you get a response it's 'getting defensive'
and you 'suddenly got attacked'.
You sure have a unique way of seeing things.

Now you've changed your point to not liking the fact that bloggers write about the same subject. Of course we do, we don't check with each other first and agree which one of us will write about the subject!

If something happens people will write about it, that's what blogging is all about. If it happens to be a hot topic then more than one person will obviously write it up.

samuraisam said...

seabee I suggest you save your breath, this sort of argument tactic is very common around here;
majestic UAE defendseabee I suggest you save your breath, this sort of argument tactic is very common around here;
Majestic UAE defender attacks everyone by either…
ß Titling them as racists
ß Trying to point out some deeply rooted conspiracy to badmouth the UAE government, people and various other shit no one cares about
ß Titling them as jobless/having too much time/etc (generally referred to as a personal attack)
ß Titling them as plagiarists because they reference a news article while also linking to it
ß Titling them as an elitist or a narcissist or whatever
ß Trying to title people as idiots whilst making numerous spelling mistakes to simple words themselves

Then after obviously trying to push buttons in either a subtle way, or in much harsher words, they get a response, at which time they try and get everyone to “chill out” or ”rest at east” because they are trying to instigate personal attacks while not taking any themselves.

Please learn how to construct your fucking arguments. I’m sick of reading these moronic posts + comments obviously being personal attacks against people and what they write; in this case gmj is trying to point out the futility in peoples blogs while failing to realize the futility of their own argument.

secretdubai said...

Many blogs are just a replica of one another; same topic, just different bitching style.

I think it's because the same issues affect us all. Chances are several bloggers were caught in the same traffic jam on SZR, suffered the same rent rises, live near similar construction disruption. Most people read GN and are struck by the same articles.

When I first started blogging there were less UAE blogs (at least that I was aware of). Now there are loads, some repetition is inevitable. In the vast majority of incidences it's just coincidence: you blog something that annoyed you or amused you in the Kretin, and lo and behold five other bloggers chuckled over the same article in their blogs. If a bomb goes off or another bangla shags a camel, you're looking at pretty much every single blogger here doing the same story.

There just isn't enough new and original stuff to go round, unless we rationed it out! So the critical differentiator is style and slant, and I think most UAE bloggers are quite individual in their voices.

GMJ said...

first of all samuraisam, you are obviously paranoid. I didnt accuse you of any of the stuff you mentioned, but it seems you get that all the time from other people. You over-analyzed my post, thinking it was a personal attack. It wasnt.
you think my arguement is weak ? What about yours ? Picking on my typos.
You totally missed the point of my post. It was a mere observation. Im surprised why everybody got sensitive about it. At the end of the day I will say whatever it is I feel like saying, just like you bloggers do and NOBODY has to like it. You can just agree, or disagree or SIMPLY IGNORE IT .Didnt you say that ? You are just as bad as those "insist on trying to govern what others are writing".

GMJ said...

secretdubai, yeah what your saying makes sense.my point was, i've only started browsing blogs a few weeks ago and that was my own observation. i dont know where you guys thought i was asking you to start writing nice stuff about the uae .. i was only wondering why every blog disses the same thing. so maybe you are right, maybe its just a phase and people want to vent.

nzm said...

gmj - come over to our blog and rest a while.

And when you've overdosed on the sugar, you'll be begging to go back to the spice! :-)

nick said...

I try to keep my Dubai-based posts on my blog to a minimum, simply because for me, writing about how bad an accident was or how the stock market sucks isn't blogging material. Blogging is a platform for me to say almost whatever I want to. Don't like what you're reading or feeling deja-vu? Just click to another site...simple.
I agree with some of the previous posts...many people are often affected by the same events here in Dubai. E.g, if a meteor hits the earth today, there will be countless people blogging about it. That doesn't mean that they've run out of things to blog about or are just copy-pasting from another blog. They're affected by the event as well, so naturally they're going to write about it on their own personal space.

samuraisam said...

"You totally missed the point of my post. It was a mere observation."

Observations do not contain question marks.

Harsha said...

gmj, there a lot of personal blogs fromppl in UAE, they usually write about their dady to day life stories or post pictures of their family and work life. holiday snaps. kids snaps and stories of their surroundings, more on a personal front. you could read those.

John B. Chilton said...

Dear blogging compatriots:

Sorry I missed the morning conference call on what we all will blog and winge about today.

How's the weather? Is it the same in Dubai as it is here in Sharjah? I thought so.

But don't you think we're being a bit too obvious in the coordination of our propaganda campaign? No one's actually pointed fingers, but there are people making broad hints that there is a hidden coordination amongs a certain unstated group of UAE bloggers. Only the defamation law seemss to be preventing these folks from naming names. Perhaps each of us should go back to just blogging whatever strikes her or his fancy?

This virtual community building thing is rubbish. Who thought up this UAE community blog thing anyway? It was so much better when we were all blogging in splendid isolation and not engaging each other in conversation.

At same time, I must congratulate many of you for some of your posts that depart from the party line. These throw up a haze that masks the existence of our cabal. Sometimes I find myself disagreeing with something you've written and then I realize you're just trying to throw outsiders of the scent.

Confidentially and tacitly yours,

John B. Chilton

cc: Secret Dubai, nzm, SamuraiSam, Moryarti, grapeshisha, Keefieboy, Dubai Bigus, BD, Tim Newman, AEThoughts and all other UAE-based blogs I read at least weekly because they have things to say that interest me.

Seabee said...

JB, yep, they're onto us, the conspiracy's been uncovered. Prepare for the 2am knock on the door.

GMJ said...

so what .. do you guys feel good about urselves when you think there is some conspiracy theory revolving around you ? you just refuse to understand my point and you go on with your ignorant remarks. just as u assumed i was putting u all in the same boat (which i was not), you all huddled together to defend your blogs. please read my replies thoroughly before you make a fool out of yourself.

samuraisam said...


GMJ said...

does it give u a bigger erection when you separate westerners from easterners? it only makes you the racist here. i dont have issues with the western world.

you dont even know me to pass judgements..

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