Archive for November 18th, 2008


On the front of Saturday’s Guardian there was an announcement for Malcolm Gladwell’s new book as the ‘most anticipated book of the year’. Gladwell’s book is titled ‘Outliers’, about geniuses, apparently. I don’t know what makes a genius in the mould that interests the people who buy Malcolm Gladwell books, but whatever it is I bet it doesn’t involve reading Malcolm Gladwell books. Anyway my joke was that if Gladwell’s book was indeed the most anticipated of the year, it was down to the fact of a group of outliers engaged in massive anticipation, while the rest of us longed for the latest John Francome and Paolo Coelho.

Re: Ducks

I’m back, but not in an I’m ba-aack! way or even in an I’m back! way. In fact, I have no idea why I should even bother announcing it.

Yes, so I might have given the impression that I would be returning with a feast of many items insightful and coruscating. But that’s not the way that not writing stuff here works. If you stop, your brain just droops and the more you leave it the more you think, sweet jeezis I have to come up with a thunderously mighty return, otherwise I will sound like a feckless liar. And then you need to expand your subject matter to reflect the enormity of your return, and before you know it there is no subject big enough and no free time ample enough for whatever it is you were planning on writing about. In my case it was…well, I’ll try not to be too much of a snivelling bore.

And so I was thinking that maybe I should adopt a new approach to writing here – that (as I have threatened many times in the past) I should change the dreadful name, and write in a more serious tone about more serious matters, and maybe post a photo of myself in a shirt and tie. Problem is I would never achieve this, for the reasons hinted in the previous paragraph.

All of which redounds to a dreadful form of limbo, where these pages will continue to vacillate from waspishly opportunistic pedantry to baffled laments. One difference, and one that gives no cause for delight, is that I appear to have lost taste for reading newspapers. Gone are the days when I could read through an article and think that it offered opportunity for an attempt at a sly riposte. If, in the salad days of the ‘blogosphere’, responding to clowns in print delivered some sort of mild satisfaction, feeling as it did like you were arrogating a right of reply long denied, these days it feels like you can empathise with the lifer who writes regular reviews of prison food in the hope that an improvement is just round the corner.

So I have no idea where this weblog is going anymore. In the last couple of weeks I have thought long and hard about giving up, but I overheard myself thinking about it, and since it felt like I was weighing up a decision of some consequence, I figured that for the moment, it is simply a matter of continuing.

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November 2008
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