Individuality or popularity?

Individuality or popularity?, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

I regularly read the horoscopes in the London Paper. I know. Aren’t I a fool ? They’re just bollocks aren’t they? Why do you want to go and read them ?

Like the crossword (or if I’m really pushed, the sudoku) the horoscopes are a bit of a ritual for me. During the summer they adequately summed up my days with scary levels of accuracy. There was a strange moment of reassurance to be experienced moments before the train pulled out of White City tube. You wouldn’t think there’d be pleasure derived from reading a summary of a bad day, but there was. I’m still not entirely certain why that would be the case.   

Friday’s publication was a bit of a corker. It seemed to provide a serious heads up of how things might turn out this weekend what with that Eurovision stuff going on.

Naturally, I was thinking it was going to be someone else winning the crown and not Jade, hence why I thought the horoscope would be a useful piece of advice to hang on to.

What I hadn’t expected was to end up ranking individuality over popularity when I realised that not many other people could necessarily give as big a shit about it as I do.

Do I care? No. Not in any way. Statistics mean nothing. What’s important is that deep-seated sense of smug self-satisfaction guaranteed when immersing yourself in a subject (or subjects) you know only too well only appeals to one member of the audience. Oneself.

I choose individuality every time. It guarantees happiness.

Happy Birthday Blue Peter

It’s the 50th anniversary of the BBC’s children’s “magazine” programme Blue Peter today. Unlike a lot of contemporaries I wasn’t a fan of rival Magpie, instead warming to the charms of Lesley Judd and latterly Janet Ellis.

However, observing all the online references to this most British of British institutions I couldn’t help but reach for my video camera to file this very special report.

Aside from my obvious bitterness at not having realised my dream of being a Blue Peter presenter myself, I was quite excited to see this on BBC iPlayer, including some present day footage of Lesley Judd who I haven’t seen on TV for twenty odd years.

Shitting, buggery bollocks

Three blog postings in the time I’d normally devote to listening to the Archers omnibus. The blogging addiction is taking over.

I’d wanted to comment on what I’d heard on the radio just now. In a bid to try and engage the radio listeners across the capital, this morning’s discussion topic was constructed to provoke comment on whether we thought Team GB (I hate the way we now apparently have to refer to the British Olympic team as “Team GB”) should have done better in the medals table than we have (can’t we just be pleased and proud of our team’s efforts instead of constantly banging on about higher expectations?).

There I am, poised at the laptop for the third time in two hours, ready to rant and then I discover that there’s an incoming link to a blog from a Facebook application which promotes this blog.

Not having an incredibly deep understanding of how the various applications work on Facebook, I’m now wondering whether every single blog posting on this wordpress blog does, in fact, get promoted in people’s news feeds on Facebook.

If it is the case that this is how the Blog Networks application on Facebook works, then please accept my apologies for the relatively constant bombardment of news feed updates this morning. It’s not that I think I’m really important or have something stunning to impart with the world. I just rather like writing and do get quite swept away by it all.

On blogging and creativity

I took a night off from the Proms again last night and took myself off to a party somewhere close by to us in South East London.

A small glass of red wine and a few olives after arrival and soon the conversation started flowing between the party guests sat in the cosy back garden of a house in Deptford.

Now I come to look back on the handful of conversations I had, two strike me as important.

One was with a would-be journalist who didn’t understand quite how useful blogging was in terms of writing. When I explained what I regarded was it’s usefulness she still wasn’t convinced.

Strictly speaking, a journalist is only a journalist when they receive money for their writing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that blogging isn’t useful or valuable or creative. After all, there’s no point in writing things if people aren’t reading it (no matter how many times I try to convince myself otherwise, I do want people to consume what I create). I tried to maintain my usual charming air at all times, naturally.

At the end other end of the scale was a comment made by another party guest, a comment I honed in on almost as soon as I heard it.

The comment was something to do with how there is potential value in everything no matter how lacking in apparent quality there might be.

Inevitably, I started thinking about me and the stuff I like making and the way I look on things. After all the world does revolve around me, doesn’t it?

People do keep banging on about how things have to meet certain visual and written standards before they can be regarded as serious or engaging enough. The message is clear: if you don’t write or film or record or make things in a particular way then you’re not professional in your outlook and you can’t be taken seriously.

At least, that’s how it seems sometimes. It’s not quite as severe as that day to day, but the gentleman’s comment about seeing value in everything prompted an almost immediate response. “I can buy into that view,” I said not really fully understanding the gentleman’s point.

It turned out his comment originated from his Christian faith. Evil can’t be condoned, but we should always strive to create good from evil. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that the past few months have in some respects been very difficult – and more so, this weekend – that the man’s words seemed instantly understandable and equally reassuring.

Unlike the relative cycnicism about blogging I’d heard earlier and regardless of my present state of mind, I know I’d prefer to see value in everything, and promote such a view wherever and whenever possible. That’s what Thoroughly Good is all about – minus the religious bit, obviously.