Why do I dislike that form of words? Thank you for not smoking, parking here, et cetera. It's simultaneously coercive and conciliatory. We're giving you an order, but we're scared of what you might think of us if we actually did give you an order. Something like that. We need you to like us, but don't step out of line. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I wonder: are the words "Apologies for any inconvenience caused" ever written by somebody who feels sorry?
Before the internet, there was the present day.
Or rather, there were times when people thought they were in the present day. They didn’t realise that they were in our past, and it never occurred to them that actually, we are the ones who are in the present day. Watch an episode of a TV drama called Millennium. The star of the show was Lance Henriksen and it was created by the bloke who created The X Files, Chris Carter. Remember The X Files? Of course you do.
Anyway – Millennium. The show was made in the nineties, and as the title tells you, these were the end times and everything was doomy and gloomy with shadows, deaths and (come to think of it, rather good) atmospheric music. The millennium itself was getting closer and the music was getting darker.
Like the Mayan Prophecy, Millennium started from the premise that we were all doomed and the portents were all around us. It wasn’t just the “millennium bug” that was going to screw us up when the digital clocks clicked round from 19- to 20-, but all manner of cults and nasties (soundtrack included).
Watch it today, and the thing that really gets you is that Lance Henriksen is always being called to the phone. He doesn’t have a mobile. How could he not have understood that he was in the past?
What happens here
This site is updated weekly, usually on a Friday although I might change that (again). I write it because (1) I like writing it and (2) I like having a deadline. More often than not, it works out as a commentary on the week just passed*.
There are no ads, no pop-ups and no tricky business with cookies. I don't take money for my own opinions. [Except when they come out in book form.] I write this for myself, without a set agenda, on any subject that catches my attention. If you're interested enough, it's not hard to work out my interests. Not impossible, anyway.
*Although I seem to have gone away from that recently. Normal service may or may not be resumed.
No data is kept on this website overnight. Blog posts are usually shared to my Facebook page. We can discuss them there if you feel so inclined.
Where are we now? We're hurtling round the sun, held to the ground by a weak force that we don’t begin to understand, arguing about trade deals between the land masses on a planet mostly covered by water.
The dolphins must think us ridiculous. No wonder they only come to the shallow water to play with us, not to signal their most complex philosophies. More.
Riddle. It takes two to make me, but when I'm made, I'm only a memory. What am I? Scroll down to find out.
Is that a catastrophe I see before me? Could be. There was a clear sky earlier, but now clouds are encroaching from the North. We could be in for a storm. More.
You found me!
Welcome. Thank you for coming. But am I the right
William Essex? Click here
to meet some more.
Read My Shorts?
Here is yet another page of old blog posts and other writings. Sorry, but I need my metaphorical sock drawer for metaphorical socks. The link to the page is right at the end of the paragraph here.
Roads without end
Here is a passage from a review of the book The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart. I haven't read the book (yet), but the collected reviews would make a worthwhile set of political arguments in their own right. More.
State of the Union
Several commentators today saying that they've lost confidence in the US. Making their point by talking up the glories of the past. After two weeks of this administration, they're not going back.
Were they wrong, and they've seen the light? Or has the US changed? I guess the latter is the intended meaning. But we should at least acknowledge the possibility... More.