Greg Bray.
Greg Bray. Brenda Strong GLA170212GREG

The bitter world of online opinion

FOLKS, I may not agree with what you say, but I'll fight for your right to say it.

Of course, as far as some of you are concerned I might not be fighting quite as hard as I possibly could.

Each week I spend a bit of time reading various newspapers and websites because, somewhere, between the slant of the Weekly Leftist and the bias of the Far-Right Bugle, lies the truth.

One of my regular reads is an online paper I've dubbed The Daily Outrage. Its most popular columnist is a bitter person I've nicknamed Mr Happy.

Each week, Mr Happy scribbles stuff which I disagree with 99.9% of the time.

And he's so eye-poppingly infuriated by the screaming injustice of, well, everything that it must be a real delight living with him.

Yet, in spite of being a bigoted, fear-mongering, one-eyed toady who's a bit casual with facts, Mr Happy is a beacon of fair-mindedness, reason and moderation when compared to the spittle-flecked maniacs, from both sides of the political divide, who comment on his articles.

Even Mr Happy's most humdrum columns can send their blood pressure to Krakatoa levels as they vent their spleens about wanting to vent his, someone else's or each other's spleens.

It's all very entertaining but, honestly, I don't know how they manage to calm down enough to sleep at night.

Those who don't worship him would love it if Mr Happy resigned, got fired, banned, arrested, horsewhipped, tarred and feathered etc, but frankly I don't want him banished. I want him right where I can see him.

He has a right to spew his bile (within the confines of the law) and, to Mr Happy's credit, at least he has the guts to attach his real name, and a heavily touched-up old photo, to his column. Unlike his extremely vocal, but anonymous, commenters.

I mightn't agree with him, but I read his columns, and recently when Mr Happy finally wrote something that I actually agreed with I was shocked speechless.

A temporary condition which would have made Mr Happy very happy indeed.

Greg Bray blogs at