Thank you all for gathering here today, I’m sure Blogger Tom would have really appreciated you being here. I have wondered for the last 5mins or so how I might approach this daunting task, you see, I’ve never done anything like this before, a eulogy I mean. But then it hit me, why not just say it how he would have liked it: exactly how it is, and then dramatised tenfold. So here we go.
Blogger Tom may have only been with us for 6 weeks, but wasn’t it an action-packed 6 week! When he was born into this cyber world his first words may have been a bit forced and artificial, “My name is Thomas Fogarty. I am 18 years old”, but he would quickly learn to embrace this place and make the most of the short time that he would have here. And so soon he was dancing around the web, jumping from site to site and source to source in search of all kinds of weird and wonderful treasures. The dehumanisation of asylum seekers in Australia, the media effects model, the rise of neo-Nazism in the USA, semiotics and the different denotations and connotations in images and texts, the power of those who own and control media, moral panic in the media, the horrific popularity of online snuff films, the sexualisation of children, the influence of the media on children and the supposed cuteness of little, fluffy rabbit dicks were just some of the jewels that he discovered and learned about on this exploration into the deep and dark world of BCM 110.
However, it wasn’t all Nazi-decorated sunsets and treasure troves of overly political questions and debates on this expedition. No, Blogger Tom did face his fair share of adversity on his voyage into the belly of the media beast. There was the feared Writer’s Block that haunted his path along the way, the brooding Political Tom, a sort of Mr Hyde to the Dr Jekyll, who persevered in his attempt to steer the journey in his own hideous and tangental direction, and there was the puzzling Mediated Public Sphere, an opponent more ambiguous and perplexing than any other faced on this journey. But none of these even compared to Blogger Tom’s greatest enemy, the tyrannical Word Limit. With an absurdly small size of only 500 words, this monster would loom before Blogger Tom on each of his adventures, bleeding him of his freedom to romp in the content of BCM 110 like a glaucoma slowly diminishing the beautiful world before him and leaving him stranded in darkness.
But Blogger Tom always managed to overcome each of these enemies throughout his great quest for wealths of knowledge, and in doing so learned much more than he ever could have guessed about the media, its influence on him and all of its effects and impacts on society. And that leads me to how I am going to end this eulogy. Despite the fatal nature of this digital odyssey that Blogger Tom embarked on and despite the rocky and sceptical first steps of this journey, if he were here with us today I am certain that he would say for himself how much he enjoyed and learned from this experience and that if possible he would do it all over again. Thank you.