Saturday, November 1, 2008

Message In A Bottle to Gordon Brand

I woke up this morning and…

The opening stanza to many a Blues song; perm any one from nine – the hey-wrap, Mud-Slide Slim baling bales on a cotton field deep-down in the depths of the sarf; brewed up on a 24-hours from Tulsa porch, fermented by the cultural collisions within down-home swamp-dog culture. Oh, sister, is my mojo active this day – you better believe it.

Actually, I woke up this morning with my mojo so bloody energized, its like an outtake from the Duracell battery adverts – so much so, that I had two thoughts running through my overly bed-logged mind.

First out of the box: my web-log (to give its correct title) is no longer be so-named. I’ve decided that, from now on, it’ll be a Voltaire and based around the be-wigged Francois-Marie Arouet’s pen-name – although, I have learned that his most famous quote is, apparently, apocryphal. But, for the purposes of this, it’ll do. Voltaire was a leading light within the French Enlightenment movement, a writer, philosopher and essayist who produced works in almost every literary form. He was outspoken, a thinker and a defender of civil liberties, an advocate of free trade and an outspoken critic of dogma. How appropriate.

Besides, Voltaire was the world’s first blogger.

He wrote thousands of pamphlets, essays by the hundred, books by the dozen, poetry by the ream, prose by the yard, polemic romances by the metre, verse by the hectare, letters that would now be measured in terabytes – until his fingers were the colour of Quink. OK, so the web hadn’t been invented when in the 1700’s but who’s counting.

The second jack-in-the-box: I have a five-hundred percent increase in readership. Which, seen in another light is… a statistic.

And, it proves statistics are total bollox. Why?

Because read one way, a five-hundred percent in readership is a massive increase. Its 500 times the number one had before. Thus – to the casual browser of this little tuft of grass in the prairie of web-Voltaires… that’s quite an incredible increase. Neil’s Voltaire (see, the word trips of the typewriter far, far more easily than the word that rhymed with my bother’s unfortunate morning out near Cirencester) is a success. Wow.

Except its not… as it appears that I now have five readers instead of just the one.

Its still a five-hundred percent increase though – which, quite clearly proves that statistics can be manipulated to read in ways in which people decide they want you – the reader – to. And statistics beget interpretations, from which opinions are made. Present statistics in one way and people will believe what you want them to; present them another and… they’ll believe something else. Equals… statistics are meaningless manipulation.

But this statistical increase is marvelous – see, I’m presenting my own statistic in a manner in which I can make you believe I’m doing terribly well when the reality is barely anyone reads this drivel. Still, I reckon it is pretty… schplendid. And, that’s one of a few words that I can pronounce in pure Sean Connery.

Try saying it… roll the S, the C and the H together and attach the plendid… it works. Pure Connery. The only person I ever came across who could actually talk in pure Sean was one Henry McGroggan – tour manager for La Faithfull – Reading’s one time Maid Marianne to Dartford’s Michael Phillip of Jagger. Henry’s a proud Scot through and through and would issue the day’s instructions in his Connery-brogue that, ever so occasionally would factor in a tinge of Gordon Brown. Try this at home – take any word starting with the letter S and, look… it works – like magic… for example… how about SchpeSchial… or Scholo… or… Schexually eSchxSchpliSchit..?

Anyhow, this all leads me to wondering how an unintelligent sex crazed (try it… it works) low-rent comedian is forced into resignation for saying what he wants on air and yet the Prime Minister of England, part of Wales, some of Scotland and not much of Northern Ireland has not had that same state forced upon him… for doing just the same bar the expletives… why?

OK, I understand the case against the former – he’s not even vaguely funny; just a sad parasite who utters inane rubbish in the guise of comedy. But, isn’t it the other one who’s the real comedian and someone for whom the statistics really do toll.

Brand is unfunny. Brown is equally so…but both thought / think they’re bloody clever. Wrong. Deluding their respective audiences is not funny. At all.

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