The theme was the accusation that Nigella Lawson had been treated in court as if she were “a druggie on a council estate”, and the overt class bias of the statement annoyed me so much that I dashed off 500 words about the nature of master and servant, laws which “forbid rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges”, and the ways in which the ruling class bond in such circumstances, noting that, amongst others, David Cameron had claimed to be part of “Team Nigella” during the trial.
I did not delete the post because of any second thoughts about the points I made, but rather because of the tone of the piece. It was angry and bitter and mean-spirited. The argument deserved better.
Subsequently, today, with the year end in sight, I have been musing on the nature of these weekly rants, now in their fourth year, and the responses they provoke. I do not moderate the comments on the blog, and I have on occasion been the subject of some inaccurate and unpleasant observations, but not that many. In fact, scrolling through the fifty or so blogs in 2013, it would appear that I and my readers and commentators share very similar prejudices and bigotries as well as what I hope is a reasonable and reasoned manner of expression.
It is fascinating to identify the subjects which interest you. Dylan is on the decline; baseball is booming (which pretty much reflects my own priorities). Descriptions of la vie Française in the Lettres d’Uzès have their own niche market, and my concerns about the changing face of Leamington and the machinations of Warwick District Council attracted more response, though not more readers, than any other topic. My occasional forays into the worlds of art criticism and book reviewing were welcomed, which is gratifying, as were my political and philosophical rants. Even my personal and family stuff was ok.
But I'm guessing that the guys at Google would not wish to allocate significant advertising to this blog, whatever it happens to discuss. To please Google Analytics, a blog must be focused. It should concentrate on a single subject with a specific audience in mind.
Not Dark Yet is too diverse, too eclectic, too random.
Regulars will never know what the next one will be about. I don’t either. When I started this one ten minutes ago, I had no idea it was going to take this direction. Its germ was to explain to one of my regular commentators why Friday’s blog and his comment had disappeared. It has now morphed into the nature of blogging itself, which is perhaps a tad self-indulgent and risks parallels with “a painting about the nature of painting itself”, “a novel about writing a novel”, concepts I dislike.
So I will continue to post during 2014, addressing … whatever I’m thinking at the moment I find a half hour to spare.
Which will probably mean more of the same: going weakly through the year.
So my very best wishes for a peaceful, prosperous and happy new year. I will be here in 2014 and hope you will be too.
Today from the everysmith vault: In preparation for tonight’s New Year celebrations in Wilde's, the theme of which is Cabaret, I’m listening to Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and assorted chanteuses.