(Or ‘Is this what it takes to actually get him to post on his blog?’)
So, yes, well, hello. Um, interesting times. Hope you’re keeping well, and that those you care about are doing the same.
This is just a quick post, intended to say hello (glances at above paragraph: tick) and to talk ever so slightly about the current situation – or, rather, to talk about why I’m not going to be talking about it here, and then to move on to other things.
If you follow me on Twitter, it may or may not be clear that I try generally to post jokes, silly things I’ve seen, and the like. Twitter can be a rather negative place (though I know this is rather dependent on who you choose to follow), and despite its character limit, it seems to be a place where people are keen to talk about big and complex topics which probably deserve a bit more room to breathe and explore, and I sometimes wonder if the slight frustration of being letter-constrained is part of the reason why people so often end up just being rude to each other, and why differences of opinion can often seem so starkly defined. Whatever the reason, I try to avoid getting into too much political stuff, and if I see something in pop culture which I think is terrible, I try to avoid slating it, preferring if I can to talk about things which others might enjoy. I mean, all of ^this^ is kind of my intention, I’m not going to pretend it’s always how it works out.
All of which is really background to me explaining why I tend not to post online about big stuff; there are, most of the time, people who know more about it (I mean actually know, because they’re experts in the appropriate subject area), and even amongst the people who know about the same as me, a lot of the time there will be people who have more eloquent or funny things to say. So a lot of the time I won’t be talking about the topical stuff, as my opinion usually won’t really add a lot to the discussion.
And so it is with the current pandemic – there’s a lot of advice coming out from people with actual medical qualifications and experience, so instead of me passing on my so-called wisdom, I’d point you towards people like WHO, The NHS and HM Govt; all organisations full of people who know what they’re talking about. Social media can be a questionable source of information, and (both online and offline) unfortunately a lot of people seem keen to be the first with bad news, whether it’s true or not, so for one’s own peace of mind, I think it’s useful to think about sources of information. The writer Warren Ellis recently touched on this in his newsletter, saying:
It’s usually not helpful, and it’s usually completely paralysing, so if at all possible switch your social media down to essential services and trusted friends/comrades and consider disabling RT-posting into your timeline. If you need your social media fix, Instagram may be a better bet, because, if it’s curated like my private account, it shows you pictures of the outside world!
I think that’s a good approach, and I need to look into that disabling RT-posting thing…
Obviously, this is a profoundly unusual time in the world, and whilst I do find it tempting to post about my experience of the changes to everyday tasks like going shopping or out for a run, I know they’ll be well documented elsewhere, by people who are more eloquent and insightful than me; and besides, as these experiences are so widely shared, I doubt I’d have anything to say which is new and unusual, so, um, why would you want to read it? I don’t kid myself that I’m so inherently interesting as a person that everything I do is somehow more fascinating simply because I’m doing it. I mean, egotistical enough that I have a website named after me, but thinking that? Blimey.
Anyway, a longer post than expected (how surprising of me to take more words than needed to make my point), but hopefully it gives a flavour of why my comments (here and on Twitter; I’m not on Facebook or Instagram) on the current health crisis will probably be limited.
That said, I will be posting tomorrow on a tangential topic; I’ll be sharing a pretty long list of things that might be of interest to you during this predominantly indoors time – mainly entertainment media, and almost entirely free to do or enjoy. Until then, stay safe and keep the tea flowing…