Who says that Weetos are just for breakfast?
I have no idea. I’ve never heard anyone express an opinion on the right time to eat Weetos, one way or the other.
But advertisers love these sort of challenges. They appeal to the rebel in people (hey, no one tells me when to eat my breakfast). More than that though, they want to make you part of the debate. Advertisers validate the thing they are trying to sell by tricking you into having an opinion on it one way or another, because once you have an opinion on something it becomes important. That’s why the adverts want you to believe that you have to either love or hate Marmite, they want you to believe that indifference is not an option.
Well, yes it is. Indifference is a vital thing. I have no opinion on many things. I haven’t got time to have an opinion on everything, because if I were to try it would stop me concentrating on the things that are really important.
This is the politician’s trick. Concentrate on the fact that it’s important to vote and you validate the people you are voting for, the politicians themselves. Keep telling people that they have to vote or the wrong party will get in, and they’ll forget to check if the right party has anything going for it.
The Internet is full of people with opinions, many of them keen to get you involved in their debates. That’s how they validate themselves. That’s how they promote themselves. They want to drag you into the argument, they’ll tell you that you have to be involved, that if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem.
Well, no. You’ll just have to excuse my indifference.
Years ago I read a passage in a book about an ancient Japanese party.
During the day the snow had fallen amongst the cherry trees. On the night of the party, someone commanded that snow be brought into the room, and a bough of cherry blossom placed upon it. The lanterns were dimmed so that the scene could be viewed by moonlight.
A poet was present, no doubt the greatest of Japanese poets, for that would make the story better. The poet was asked to write a poem about the scene. He replied
The snow, the blossom, the moonlight. Sometimes things do not need to be improved upon.
Or words to that effect. I’m sure he put it a lot better. I’ve hunted through my books for the passage many times and never found the original passage.
Then again, as the sense of the passage has stayed with me, perhaps it doesn’t matter.
Something to read on a Sunday morning…
I often think about this poem when people ask me about a novel I’ve written. Usually people are being polite: they’re making small talk. I ask them about how their weekend went, if they had a successful fishing trip, and they ask me about the family and how the book is going.
But occasionally someone is genuinely asking the question, they really want me to distill 100 000 words down into a couple of sentences. That’s when I think of this poem…
I’ve only just resisted the temptation to write a theme for this blog. I’ve looked at the documentation, I’ve downloaded a couple of themes and had a look around inside, but I’ve managed to summon the self control to say "no".
It was difficult. I hand coded the first websites I published, I dabbled in Dreamweaver, I wrote my own WordPress themes… I’m really tempted to get under the bonnet of Ghost, but over the years I’ve come to realise that whatever I do will never be as good as something done by a proper designer – by which I mean someone with a flair for design. I’m a writer first and foremost. I like Ghost because it allows me to concentrate on what I’m good at. It’s the mark of the amateur to think they can do everything. It’s the Dunning-Kruger effect: the less you know, the more you think you know.
So, I’m sticking to writing for the moment, and I’m keeping this blog on the basic Casper theme. No comments, no menus – nothing but blogging and a real sense of freedom. I’ll wait for someone else to make it look good.
Nearly every book I’ve read over the past two years has been read on my Kindle. It constantly surprises me that there are people who still prefer paper books. Still, each to their own. Here, as far as I can see, are the arguments for eBooks v Paper Books
- Lighter and more convenient than a hardback
- More convenient than most paperbacks
- Carry all your books with you, never stuck for something to read on holiday
- Switch between books whilst you’re reading (I always have three books on the go, Fiction, Non Fiction and Short Story Collection)
- Read in the dark without disturbing others
- Look up words using the dictionary
- Buy and begin reading new books straight away
- Saves cutting down trees
- There’s something about holding a real book in your hand.
- The smell. Oh yes, the smell.
- Ah, you just don’t understand