Friday, April 15, 2005

Blogging Crisis!

I had a bit of a shock today - I went to add some photos onto my blog using the school computer and was unexpectedly treated to a message from the internet administrator. Apparently my blog contains "Adult/Sex" content, and is therefore being blocked by the internet nanny. Which came as a bit of a surprise to me, as you can imagine. Maybe I shouldn't have posted that photo of me with my top off on the beach...

It's not just my blog though - the administrator is, for some reason, blocking every single "blogspot" blog, giving the same reason of "Adult/Sex" content, and I've absolutely no idea why. The school network is administrated by the prefectural government office in Fukui city, so I contacted Jazz, our lovely JET representative, to see if she could find out what's going on, and she's going to get back to me next week.

I really hope they can unblock my website, otherwise I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I don't have a computer at home, so in the future my posts could be a lot fewer and farther between. At the moment I'm using Laura's computer to write this post, but she lives a half hour drive away...

There's always the internet cafe I suppose, but how will I post photos? I suppose I could buy a computer, but it could take a while to save up. And even if I did get one I'd have to organise an internet connection for my house, which could prove difficult judging by the state of the ancient bundles of wiring that constitute the phone line.

This is a dark day for An Englishman in Nyu-Gun.

Starting this weblog was one of the best decisions I ever made. It began because I was tired of sending out massive emails to everyone I know, telling them everything that I'd seen on my travels in Japan, then getting half of them bounced back because the recipients' accounts were full. Having the blog means that people I know can just log in when they feel like it and see what I've been up to, plus I can stick up loads of photos without fear of overloading anyone's inbox.

The blog has become more and more important as the months have gone on. For one thing, I've met loads of other bloggers who've had similar experiences, and it's been fascinating to read other people's accounts of Japan (check out the links on the left hand column to see what I mean). The blog has also changed my attitude towards Japan. Since I've started doing it I've become a lot more aware of my surroundings - I'm constantly on the lookout for things that interest me, and things that other people might want to read about. The blog has made me question the things around me and learn to appreciate them more. That might sound a bit pretentious, but it's true.

Plus it's got me writing, and I've really enjoyed it. When I left uni I was dead set on getting into journalism, but after a few knockbacks and disappointments I changed my mind. But I've been enjoying writing this blog so much that it's made me seriously consider getting back into it again when I return to England.

I'm definitely not going to stop writing An Englishman in Nyu-Gun, even if I can't access it at school anymore. The posts may be fewer and farther between from now on, but I'll make sure they keep coming. ("Jerusalem" starts playing in the background, Union Jacks drop down from the balcony, cut to a bulldog wearing a top hat and an England football shirt). In the name of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, I vow to keep this Garden of England flourishing in foreign soil. The wolves may be at the door, but in true Dunkirk spirit I will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!!!

(The Union Jack, fluttering in an April breeze, rises to the top of the mast, as local bobbies dance with grannies and children in the streets below. The camera pans upwards to the glorious spring sky as the fiery sun sets behind the spires of Westminster. The final bars of Jerusalem play out, and calm descends on this green and pleasant land. God Save The Queen!!!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It can be done mate. I bike 20 minutes to the internet cafe most days, and painfully hand over the 450 yen, but i will not cease. Blogging always wins through, as we all know, life finds a way! I hope you find one slightly more convenient slightly better than mine. Gl.

8:26 pm  
Blogger Phoenix said...

I may have a partial solution, the Anonymous Browsing Quick-Start Page. Anonymizer blocks blogspot, but Guardster works. I haven't tested the others yet. Bear in mind, it's really ugly and slow.

This is only for HTTP/Browser stuff, so if you use a separate program to post pictures, it probably won't work. However, not knowing which program you use, I can't make any suggestions. :-(

Also, you might want to check out the Big Daikon blocked site FAQ.

If it still doesn't work, let me know. I love a challenge. :-D

9:55 am  
Blogger Chris C said...

Argh! I've heard tales of such things in my areas since the towns merged, but no solutions. I am admiring your war time spirit (just remember to drink lots of tea) and hoping this doesn't happen to me.


10:07 pm  
Blogger The Funky Drummer said...

Yo Lew,

I have feared this for a long time. So far the crack down has yet to make it out east, but I worry that one day it will.

Fight the power.

9:02 am  
Blogger Paul Hewitt said...

This cannot be allowed to pass. I am most relieved to see that there is some new material on your blog today, we were holding our breath all weekend!

If there is any influence we can bring to bear from over here in England please let me know. After all it is an election year, perhaps we could convince the PM that he would win two more votes by putting some pressure Japan to allow you freedom of speach? He may be a bit busy, but you know it might just work if things start looking tight on 4th May!

8:51 pm  
Blogger lemaiz said...

Judging by the whopping number of hits this page is getting, I reckon we have power in numbers. We could form a pressure group. If thousands of us bombarded the administrators in pidgin Japanese to unblock the sites, would that work?

Viva la resistance! (I don't know how to say that in Japanese.)

1:41 am  
Blogger Lewis said...

Thanks for your support guys, it's nice to know I have such a devoted following!

I looked into the anonymous browser thing, but the sites I checked out seemed particularly dodgy - mostly just ways to download porn. I've decided it's not worth the risk to have obscene pop-up ads appearing on my school computer!

Luckily, I can still post pictures using the school computer, so I'm going to settle for twice (or thrice) weekly trips down to the internet cafe for updates, and to check the blogs you lot have been beavering away on.

Thanks again for the support!

8:40 pm  

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