I am thinking seriously of giving up Blogging as I am beginning to find it too depressing. Every time I read a newspaper or watch the news or see a video I am reminded of just how irredeemably sordid so much of the world is, from individual stories to more massive horrors. For example a young girl enjoys a night out and finds in the early hours of the morning she is just twenty pence short of her bus fare. Is the driver sympathetic? No, he refuses to let her on the bus. Do any of the passengers come to her rescue, after all who cannot afford twenty pence? No, they sit tight on their bums and their wallets. What is the result? The girl is forced to start walking and along the way is brutally raped and beaten up.
The internet is an extremely useful tool but, alas, it is also a forum for shysters, fraudsters, bullies, and the emotionally disturbed.
Attention seeking on the internet takes many forms, but the people who hoax online forums with tales of sick children are among the most painful, writes a certain Jolyon Jenkins.
Little Charly Johns was a trouper.
She was only six years old and had cancer - but she fought it with determination. She was in and out of hospital as the disease advanced and retreated.
It was tough too for her mother Anna. She joined the Macmillan online cancer forum.
There she found support and help from people who knew exactly what she was going through.
For two years, Anna kept them updated on Charly's progress.
"On the whole she is doing great," she wrote. "She is happy, lively, giggly and very easily excitable. She is always the first to laugh at anything and the last to stop. Nobody could look at Charly now and have any idea of the things she has endured these past 14 months."
But in November last year, Charly lost her fight for life. On the Macmillan forum there was an outpouring of grief. People wrote poems in Charly's memory. They painted their fingernails pink in accordance with her last wishes - even men.
But it was all a lie. Charly did not exist. Neither did Anna.
The whole thing was a hoax, discovered when the church in Paris where Charly's funeral was to be held turned out to have no record of her. The perpetrator, it transpired, was a teenage girl suffering Munchhausen syndrome. The pictures of "Charly" were the girl herself when younger. But she is far from being the only bone. There have been too many cases in which people fabricate illnesses to gain attention and sympathy.
BBC Radio 5 live presenter Richard Bacon has revealed that he has suffered two years of anonymous abuse directed at him, his wife and his baby son. Bacon has complained to the police, and tried to track down his abuser for a BBC Three documentary on abusive "trolls": The Anti-Social Network He said he wanted to know how criticism of his work "could go to contacting my family and tweeting about my baby.” Bacon, 36, said the line had been crossed when criticism about his radio show turned into abuse about his wife, his mother and five-month-old son Arthur. Much more disturbing, he said, were the actions of "RIP trolls" who posted offensive messages on tribute sites. "They see these nice tributes, then they also see these weird sexual, violent comments and imagery," he said.” For people who don't even understand Facebook in the first place, as well as being upsetting and prolonging their grief, it's confusing.” Once upon a time it used to be anonymous letters but it is so much easier just to use the computer.
Young girls in England are being gang-raped by young boys. This isn’t necessarily happening only on sink estates. A girl is cornered by two or three boys who then phone their friends with the message, “come and join us!” and jolly good fun is had by all – except the girl of course. I seem to remember when I was growing up in South Africa that the penalty for rape was so many strokes of the cane and the incidence of rape (reported rape anyway) was very low. Only masochists relish physical pain. Today in South Africa rape is evidently endemic.
But on to a broader canvas - Imams ranting from their pulpits, ‘Death to Israel, kill the Jews,’ and Muslim children as young as five being brainwashed on mass with the some hysterical slogans of hate to provide a new generation of killers and suicide bombers, already being taught how to use weapons they can hardly hold up. And, as Alfred Jingle in Pickwick Papers says when asked if he has any more stories to tell replies, hundreds more. But let’s leave it there shall we?