Saturday, November 16, 2002

Why Do I Do This?

Saturday, 16 November 2002

It's OK, this isn't a major existential crisis - it's just that while I'm in a more or less serious reflective mood, I thought I'd tackle Gary Sauer-Thompson's suggestion that blogging is creating a new form of public intellectual. I'm not sure that I'm all that happy with the mantle myself - I suspect that if I start taking the idea seriously, I might end up writing silly twaddle explaining baby-boomers' poor saving habits in terms of the big themes of Freudian psychoanalyis: sex and death. I think there are more immediate, economic causes for that phenomenon - to give you a hint, I don't think too many Germans were putting their money into term deposits and superannuation funds during the days of the Weimar Republic.

So I'm generally content with the mantle of "hobby-satirist": it's a useful personal reminder that under no account should I start doing this for the money. I did that with my previous hobby of computer programming and it took a lot of the pleasure out of it - especially when I discovered that quite a few of the people I ended up working with (and cleaning up after) didn't give a rat's arse about the quality of their work, as long as the quality of the pay cheque was up to scratch. I'll admit that satire is an unusual hobby, but it's a lot more fun than collecting stamps and cheaper than building model railways. Of course I may not be a particularly good satirist - but hell, there are probably a few stamp collectors out there who are quite happy with albums full of worthless Hungarian swaps. I won't object if this self-indulgence turns me into a public intellectual. Right now, I'm happy that it's being recognised as satire - it's a good beginning.

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