A boy called Sean

by seaneeboy

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This House Believes that We Are Not Afraid

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OK, so I've been asked to write a "Petition" on any subject matter on the planet. It had to be in at 5pm yesterday, so naturally I started it yesterday (despite a good months notice!)

Anyway, It hit me that WNA was a good one to go it about, so dropped alfie a line for some stats (thanks dude, lifesaver). This got me thinking, and I went off on a bit of a tangent, ending with the post yesterday lunchtime - thanks for the responses!

Anyway, I thought as you lot ended up being a part of it I'd share it with you. And hopefully everyone else has had theirs in so this won't be nicked :)

This House Believes that We Are Not Afraid

On the 19th of July, at about 9am, I'll admit, I was nervous.

I was on the underground at Kings Cross for the first time since arriving back from holiday to find a very different Britain from the one I left.

One of the reasons the world was different was because London had suffered some horrific and shocking terrorist attacks.

Another one of the reasons the world was different was because of my mate Alfie. He made a wee website called "We're not afraid" and had kind of shot to international stardom. He had unwittingly tapped into a very strong feeling that the rest of the UK was waiting to say. The message is one of defiance, one of solidarity and one of not letting terrorists dictate the way we live our life. If terrorists can't spread terror, they have failed.

The idea is fairly simple - people take pictures of themselves holding signs saying "We're not Afraid", and email them in for publication on the site. Forty thousand submissions have been made so far. They've had nearly thirty million hits from every country in the world, and coverage from just about every news agency going.

But I want to show that the world is not afraid. To me, the success of one website isn't convincing enough to sum up the world's opinion. I needed a bit more convincing, and knew by this point I would have to do a bit more searching. So, I used everyone's first port of call. Google. It's fantastic, 8 Trillion pages, pretty much the authority on published work, and the starting point for pretty much every research project in recent years.

I started by typing in "We're not afraid" - and got 50 Million hits. Pretty impressive - nearly one percent of all pages on the internet has the term somewhere on there. Now the moment of truth, typing in "We are afraid". I was worried. If it turned out that "We are afraid" had more references on the internet then I would pretty much be back at square one. Tentatively, I hit the "Google Search" button.

Result! Only 47 million pages had "We are afraid" on them! Fantastic! 3 million less than the "We're not afraid" search! With complete free will, no prompting whatsoever and verifiable methods, the online population of the world have edged in favour of not being afraid.

I treated myself to a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, safe in the knowledge that the population of the world, or at least those connected to the internet, were unafraid. Or at least they said they were. It's easy to SAY you're not scared, even as an act of defiance in itself - did this mean the people on the internet had lied to me? I was starting to panic - perhaps this whole idea is flawed and everyone is, actually, really jittery. But how can you get an honest reaction from a group of people without creeping up behind them and shouting "Boo!" ?

Well, that seemed like a good plan, so back to the computer I went. I typed "boo!" into Google, and got 13 million hits - not bad. But what's the opposite of "Boo" Perhaps a nice big hug? Why not! "Hug" has 14 million hits - one million more than "Boo", and we're back on track. But I'm still not satisfied.

In one final attempt, I wanted to see if something scary would show the people of the internet as real fraidy-cats, people that had duped me into thinking were really hard rather than yeller-bellies. I posted a picture of myself growling on my blog, and ask simply, and honestly, "go on, did I scare you". Magnificently, confirming all I had been trying to do, the overwhelming response from the random visitors to my blog was a resounding NO!

Combining all I'd learned that day, that was proof enough for me. From the success of Alfie's website, through to Google acting as a summary for the worlds feelings, through to actually trying to scare people myself, I can, without doubt, say that we are most certainly not afraid. And I should know, I've checked.

Thank you
13th Sep 2005, 14:27   | tags:,,,,

anonymous says:

Seaneeboy, I salute you! Well done!

13th Sep 2005, 15:02

Euphro says:

OK, found it :) Cool!

13th Sep 2005, 15:05

Gael says:

: )

13th Sep 2005, 15:08

Gael says:

What does a "scared" emoticon look like?

13th Sep 2005, 15:08

onceupon says:

Absolutely fabulous.

13th Sep 2005, 15:08

kostika says:

Kool Sean :o)

13th Sep 2005, 15:09

Joe says:

8-0 ?

13th Sep 2005, 15:09

Euphro says:


13th Sep 2005, 15:11

Dhamaka (NLI) says:

nic e one!

13th Sep 2005, 15:14

Gael says:

{ ;

13th Sep 2005, 15:15

seaneeboy says:

Cheers all, amazing what the pressures of deadlines can do!

I think


Is scared. Or constipated.

13th Sep 2005, 15:15

Joe says:

just took the time to read it properly instead of skimming it....great stuff Sean :D

13th Sep 2005, 15:16

alfie says:

:D good job mate, nice conversational writing there :)

13th Sep 2005, 15:20

seaneeboy says:

Glad you both like it... High praise indeed :)

I present it at a week long... er... thing... called the "Young England and Wales Programme 2005-06" in a couple of weeks. Eep!

13th Sep 2005, 15:23

I love you SEan *hugs* And that's a 100% sober statement! Rock on dude!

Bit late to this, but for what it's worth, I'm not afraid, and have a t shirt that says so too!

13th Sep 2005, 19:14

seaneeboy says:

Bless ya dave :)

13th Sep 2005, 19:37

seaneeboy says:

Thank you Koz, very kind of you. I hope you could understand it - I know there's a lot of translation for you there!

20th Oct 2005, 14:40