There have been times recently when I have felt more than a little embarrassed by this blog. Still I seem to be seriously addicted to keeping it up, so despite my embarrassment I see no possibility of abandoning it, at least for now. My embarrassment is triggered by the following doubts.
1. I talk mainly about myself. There is a lot of ‘I think this’ and ‘I believe that.’ That’s pretty egotistical and showy offy – not really the sort of behaviour I approve of in others. Some of you must be thinking ‘what a tosser!’ And that’s embarrassing.
2. I don’t know much about much. I am not an expert on anything and anything I am a little bit knowledgeable of does not really feature in this blog. As a consequence my views are pretty stupid at times. Despite protestations that ignorance doesn’t matter I am actually embarrassed by my ignorance of so much, not least politics and religion, the subject of many of my posts.
3. I am not very articulate. I haven’t the patience or skill to write well, some people do so without effort I would have to put in hours of work and it still would not be very good. Also schoolboy doubts about grammar and spelling creep up on me even though I try so hard not to care. But I have chosen to exonerate myself from one niggling cause of embarrassment.
I know it’s unfashionable, it’s certainly not very British, many people find it boring or pretentious or too Notting Hill but I am interested in thinking about thinking and I love to talk about it.
Not that interested, that’s true, but I have a track record. I stole, but did not read a biography of Nietzsche from Swanley library when I was about 16, I read a shelf load of Freud at about the same time, I have countless largely unread books on philosophy for dummies, existentialism for the uninitiated, Plato for the perplexed – while my passion may be no more than transitory, insubstantial, ill informed and incomplete I am interested in broad brushstroke thinking about thinking much more than I think most people are.
I have decided that this is something I should not be embarrassed by. In fact I will put it more strongly – I find people who are not interested in ‘ideas’ (or philosophy if you prefer or hard subjects if you prefer that) pretty dull. People who are interested, but like me ignorant are far from dull. SO HOORAY TO THOSE OF US who get off on opinionated, ignorant, cyclic discussions that go nowhere about nothing substantia, and down with those ‘dulux magnolia minds’ that are too frightened or indeed embarrassed to have an opinion about anything risky or hard. Everyone can have an opinion and those that pretend they haven’t are probably too vain and full of themselves to risk ‘putting it out there’. Secretly they know they are right! They turn out to be quite oppressive. You know the sort – they raise their eyes to heaven when you start going on about Derida at the pub quiz or look outraged when you cross the decency line at a swimming gala and ask someone whether they think competition is really good for society. They actually think that any conversation that doesn’t begin and end with ‘have you compared it with John Lewis prices’ is an enormous social gaff. In that respect Vive le France – a nation that has always been up for a good old philosophical barney in a way that the Brits have been all to ready to avoid or ridicule or worst be embarrassed by.
love and unreasonable outrage xx