Tuesday, 18 November 2008


I so have to surpress this urge to maim. Maybe if I just do a draft post filled with rage, then I delete it, it will exorcise my daemons.

Am currently reading a book called 'Seeing' by Jose Saramago.

On the London Underground there are posters for a new film called 'Blindness', and then the other day my brother was telling me about it on the phone, he'd read the IMDB page. It did sound intriguing, so I had a wander round the internet reading up on it.

I got distracted though, and read about the sequel book, the aforementioned 'Seeing'

Ooh, this is a good juncture to talk about 'flags'.

People are drawn to flags, they rally round flags, you can see flags in the distance, in the army, its a good thing if your flag is still flying, the enemy hasn't captured and lowered it.

Here on the internet a flag is something you wave to get people attention, specific. Here on the internet, links are flags.

If I put a link in to someone else's website, sure, you the reader can click through and read whatever's on that other page, but also, the author of the other page can see the click through, they can see that I've mentioned them, and so they come and read my page.

You can use links as flags to target specific people, influential bloggers and opinion formers.

Flags are great.

They also work another way. Sure if I want people to read a post, I put in links and flags, but if its an unpleasant blog post where I'm venting my spleen for my own sanity and I don't want people to read it, then I don't put in any helpful links, or tags and make it hard to read.

This blog gets its regular readers, I label them in statcounter with names like 'From Nottingham with Love', 'Who do I know in Edinburgh' and 'Its Kerry innit'. They don't mind if I vent my spleen and express hatred of my loved ones

Anyhoo, so in my spare time at work I read political blogs, like Guido and Dev, and Tim and Charles Crawford. Its where I get my daily dose of news and politics, I don't read the news papers or TV, I used these people to filter it for me. It gives me a slightly warped view of the world.

When they complain that the mainstream media is painting Gordon Brown as some kind of economic saviour, I didn't get that at all, cos all I read is about how its all his fault.

Anyhoo, so the premise of the book 'Seeing' is that there is an election in 'the city' and 78% of the votes cast are blank. Not spoilt or absentee, but blank. People have come out to vote, but have selected no candidate. And so the government flaps, and declares martial law, and tries to figure it out.

I was so intrigued by this concept, that I clicked straight through to Amazon to buy the book.

I was talking to a writer last night about how to get people to buy your own book online, and this was a great example. The concept drew me in so quickly and it was so easy to buy. No one asked me to buy the book, I just had to get it as quickly as possible.

I'm only twenty pages in, they've had the election, but I'm still projecting my own thoughts and reasons as to why the electorate did what they did. I think its political apathy or disillusionment with modern politiking. Yeah, we've got to vote, but what's the point?

Even in those first twenty pages there are things that chime. The reaction from the authorities to the first wave of blank votes, that 'we all agree there ought to be a thorough investigation', 'lessons have to be learnt'. We get the same from real-life politicians, about everything, Baby P, financial collapse, bomb-proof army vehicles, and its all bullshit. Its always the same and its all bullshit.

The books written in a weird style, mind. Long long sentences, sometimes conversational, sometimes you're not sure who's talking, stylings punctuation you see. Its like a verbal version of quirky soviet block animations.

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