Whenever ideas fail, men invent words.
~Martin H. Fischer
Having just dashed off an email to Gareth, angst ridden, alone, angry Gareth, I have time to reflect. I write emails very differently from how I write blog posts.
Those of you, those select, anointed few, who are burdened with frequent communication with me are no doubt nodding along in agreement. My emails, I like to think, are flights of fancy, verbose leaps from tangent to tangent, dancing from odd event to wry observation to making fun, in full flow, of the dear and delighted recipient.
Or usually the not so delighted recipient
You see, I receive complaints about my emails.
Not that they didn’t enjoy receiving them. Not that they are left unmoved that I take the time to send them epistles that would make Paul blush at their length, but that in reading them they didn’t make sense the first time round.
I see that as a compliment.
It means like the literature that I enjoy, the first time round all you gather is the gist, the outline, a half glimpse of genius in full flow, and like the patient fan of Tolkien, you must personally sieve out half truth, misdirection, allusion and prophecy and akin to the Israelite crossing slump shouldered and back bent into Canaan, arrive tired, weary and exhausted into the promised land of comprehension.
My blog posts, now I write blog posts like I write essays. They are carefully crafted, targeted missiles aimed at an intellectual prey. My blog posts are rarely narrative, they are about ideas, thoughts, concepts whatever word you wish to use to capture that ephemeral notion of logical thought, strung into line by force of conscious will.
As a result they tend to be dry, informational and measured in a deliberate sterile way. Little of the joy of words, the love of language, the love of real wisdom, the love of improper sophistry and random thought that I uphold so dearly in my mind, conveys itself to you. I feel that you ought to feel deprived at this revelation, like the little child who’s teddy bear is snatched from it and turned into a giant spider.
My blog posts have, insofar as I have the ability to give, a beginning a middle and and an end. The beginning tries to identify a problem or a fact pattern that gives rise to an issue. More often then not, it is simply that I have had too much time to chew cud and too little activity. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The middle canvasses, broadly and haphazardly, like the Government’s current green paper on Constitutional Reform, a variety of options without clearly spelling out any and is hedged with a plethora of qualifying language (which I hasten to add, you shall not be seeing anymore, not after my scribal reformation mentioned just a few posts hence)
The end tries to set out some sort of fusion, some (as Gareth would say) syncretic truth that I have imbibed from these first principles and the particular facts. Some sort of moral imperative, some nook of advice, some greater or lesser truth.
As you might grasp (your gray cell may not stretch so far, mais oui, not everyone can keep up with Poirot) from this post, from here on, I’m going to try and combine the two. I don’t plan to be as deep or as shallow, but to take the two aspects that I enjoy the most, the methodical sharing of knowledge, and the love of words that give men wings and combine them in my output here. I want to capture the joy I feel in writing those emails, and bring them to these posts.
Put simply what it means is that you’ll see more blog posts like this. This is the way I write my emails. I enjoy writing like this, even if my reader does more work. In emails that’s an unfortunate side effect. Here, I need not worry about that. We live in the world of information, you’ve already been chided about learning how to use Google. Everything up till now, has prepared you for what I now unleash. I have made you, (or at least told you to be) higher, smarter, badder and stronger. You are ready.
Welcome to the ride.