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I mean, what's going on?

We realise that many of you will be wondering why there are no exploding sheep on this site. The question is, frankly, a good one. Exploding sheep bring so much to a website that the idea of one without them seemed, at first, to be totally absurd. But as I pondered the concept, I gradually began to realise the truth: we don't need exploding sheep.

The arguments for...

The first step on my journey to this enlightenment was to consider why we incorporate exploding sheep into web pages in the first place. I came up with several supposed 'reasons':
  • Interest: In this modern age of television and goldfish attention spans, we no longer trust in our race's ability to read simple text: the only way to keep them focused is by throwing the occasional exploding sheep in their direction (which certainly holds the interest for a long time, possibly until the arrival of the next exploding sheep).
  • Competition: We can be sure that if we're not giving our customers the exploding sheep experience, our nearest rivals will be doing so, and doing so in a big way; the only way we can keep up with the Joneses is to give in to the flow of contemporary culture, even if it goes against our vegetarian tendencies.
  • Technology: Let's face it, the technology we have nowadays is pretty cool, isn't it? The ability to throw an exploding sheep over the thousands of conceptual miles that constitute the Internet, and still have it arrive in one (loosely-defined) piece, is not something to be sniffed at. Given that kind of technology to play with, who can blame us for occasionally venturing into the realm of the ovine?

...and against

Then, following these seemingly watertight arguments, I began to contemplate the flip side of the coin. I cannot describe to you the rebellious guilt that seethed in my soul as I first set out on this path, but eventually I found the following counter-arguments:
  • Compatibility: Not everyone is capable of receiving these exploding sheep. For example, there are some countries in the world (including, I presume, Antarctica) where sheep do not naturally live. Were a native of one of these countries to receive an exploding sheep over the Internet, they might not know what it was nor what to do with it (or, more specifically, the large number of things it is important not to do with it, viz.: eat it, keep it as a pet, etc.); the consequences could be hideous.[1]
  • Security: There is one particularly strong concern here: viruses. It seems pathetic of me to mention it, but the average sheep, once exploded, quickly becomes a veritable minefield of viruses and bacteria (inasmuchas minefields can be said to contain the above). I don't wish to be a stick-in-the-mud, but I myself felt deeply uneasy about exposing visitors to my website to these dangers.
  • Boredom: It is fair to say that, with broadband, all but the most feebly-wired exploding sheep arrive at their intended destination almost instantaneously. However, all too few people spare a thought in their page design for those poor souls who are still stuck with dialup and 56k (or, horrors, 28.8k) modem? For these miserable creatures (no offence intended, etc. etc.), the arrival of their sheeply entertainment can be piteously slow, and in some cases even fail entirely to make it (and that certainly doesn't reflect well on the website).

A startling conclusion

As I looked at the arguments I had just formulated, I felt my brain ticking its way slowly but inexorably to a very surprising result: exploding sheep were not only unnecessary, but at times even positively detrimental to the surfer's online experience. I didn't hesitate to put my plan into motion; I withdrew all the exploding sheep from the website I'd planned to put up, and quickly penned this rationale in the hope that some readers, at least, would understand my logic. To the rest of you, I'm sorry. I hope that one day you'll come round to my point of view.

Footnote: regarding words beginning with 'xin'

It was also mentioned on the homepage that there was also a conscious lack of words beginning with 'xin'. This too is true, and I have my reasons; but I fear that an attempt to justify this decision as well might be just one step too far for the moment. I do not wish to alienate my entire audience. I must just wait and hope that the majority of the site's readers can accept the sheep issue with good grace; maybe then I will feel able to lay out my feelings about this other situation.

[1]Of course, we should also remember those whose computers simply aren't highly specced enough to deal out the sheepish destruction that we crave. In many cases, they simply don't have enough RAM to deal with it.

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