Fourteen days ago on the Iron Outlaw Facebook Page it was announced that the IO Website would be 20 years old in “exactly two weeks” – which is Today! Its a remarkable achievement for any Internet site to have lasted that long – and it has become an extensive and useful repository – some might suggest suppository – of Kelly-related information, links, discussion and commentary. An enormous amount of work and time has been invested in it. I wonder how the Kelly fanatics would feel if I was able to have it removed from Cyberspace for ever? – they might like to think about that when they wonder what it is that motivates me – but thats an aside.
Brads celebratory note on their FB Page includes a plea for more people to contribute but all they have managed so far is the usual lazy Facebook “Likes” from 74 people and a meager total of 18 who were prepared to do more than just click their Mouse and actually Congratulate him. If I were him, after all that effort I would be pretty pissed off if that’s all my “Supporters” could manage: 18 die hard Kelly Fanatics out of 22 million people for whom Kelly is supposed to be a National Icon! That’s an awful lot fewer than were claimed for Ned when he was alive so the trend is ominous! And I am more than happy that it continue, though I suspect they are down to the irreducible hard core.
The IO site owner Bradley Webb says hes looking forward to the next 20 years, but clearly, what we should be celebrating right now is the Death of the Legend, the death of Kelly fanaticism and the end of the Kelly Myth, because that’s whats evidently happening, if Internet interest in Ned Kelly is anything to go by:
- In the last three months there have been ZERO letters published on IO : either none are complementary enough for Brad to risk publishing them, or else there are none.
- The madman with the Anti book Facebook Page last posted that when he had new information to post about those Letters, he would put it up but that was two months ago. NOTHING at all has happened.
- The NKF seems to have had one new member join, but NOBODY wants to talk to him about Peter Fitzsimons Kelly book, or about anything else, so that Forum is dead.
- NONE of them can be bothered defending their Kelly beliefs on this Blog – and I think Ive given them plenty to respond to.
The irony of the demise of IO Website, and Kelly Fanaticism generally is that the thing that made IO possible, the World Wide Web, is also turning out to be its undoing, in the form of the pernicious Facebook. By giving the uninformed out there the option of just clicking and Liking , and looking at selfies and links, they think they are participating and learning but its an illusion- they are reducing the whole Kelly thing to a flim-flam of superficial back-slapping and ignorant remarks that couldn’t even be described as Comment.
And yet, in the last couple of years there have been some really important developments in the Kelly story, publications especially, that ought to have created huge interest and discussion. Instead the lightweights and the sympathisers in the Kelly Fanatic Fraternity have dismissed them as “anti-Kelly”, censored any attempts to debate them and instead concentrated on media reports of trivia like a Ned Kelly Musical, or a coin with a Kelly helmet on it.
Brad also discussed what he calls “Haters”, a term like “Anti-Kelly” which is used to characterize and dismiss inconvenient people and ideas rather than debate and discuss them. These terms and tactics are often found in the Comments and Posts of Kelly Fanatics, though their preferred response to alternative opinion is to delete censor ban and block such voices wherever possible – hence their destruction of numerous Forums, – two of which were mine – banning of members they took a dislike to, deletion of comments and banning from Facebook Pages, – but it isn’t always possible to do this – so then they resort to the mature tactic of name calling: “haters” and “anti-kelly” among others.
Brad Webb promised to “list the best of the worst hate sites below, for you to view at your leisure”. This got my hopes up, thinking he might mention this Blog, but he didn’t so maybe he doesn’t regard this as a Hate Site; more likely hes terrified of providing a Link to it! In the end he listed only one so called Hate Site, a place I had visited months ago that is well worth a visit, because it perfectly illustrates the fondness Kelly Fanatics have for bullying and for suppression of alternative points of view, something of which I too have first hand experience.
This so called Hate site is called “Ned Kelly Australian Ironoutlaw .com”. It’s a few posts made in 2011 and nothing more, its Author it would seem sensibly got on with his life and forgot about Ned Kelly and the bullies on IO. But now, four years later the issues are just the same : the bullying, censorship and personal attacks by Brad Webb and other Kelly Fanatics. Another favourite of theirs, which they persist with despite repeated embarrassing failures that leave them with egg all over their faces time and again, is to publicly expose my “true identity” : at the moment Brad Webb says I am Bills daughter and another nutter says these Posts are all written by Ian and I post them for him. I have no idea why they cant simply accept the truth that I have explained numerous times to them, which is that I am just another person all-together writing my own Blog and protecting my identity from bullies and nut jobs on the Internet. These fanatics will do anything but discuss serious issues.
Frankly I hope they keep it up because as long as they continue with their mad behaviour, to be so publically intolerant of other points of view and so dismissive of genuine enthusiasts like Bill, serious published Authors like Ian MacFarlane and Craig Cormick – both of whom Brad Webb described as “clowns” – and at the same time so approving of bullying – even within their own ranks – of censorship, and of abusive anti-Police sentiment, the accelerating loss of interest in Kelly fanaticism by the Australian public will also continue. This decline has been greatly boosted and reinforced by Ian MacFarlanes book The Kelly Gang Unmasked, and the more recent Morrissey book Ned Kelly A Lawless Life, as well as by Greg Cormicks one. Nowdays when the curious investigate the truth about Ned Kelly these resources which were not available till recently, now expose the nonsense of the Kelly Fanatics like Brad Webb, and the myths and untruths they peddle. Couple that with their on-line behaviours and the demise of Kelly sympathy is too easy to predict unless something changes radically. But nothing will. Curiously, Brad says he is looking forward to the next 20 years : well so am I, and I expect by then Kelly fanaticism, which already has one foot in the grave will be “dead buried and cremated.” Australia will have grown up and moved on.
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