The five hundredth post
All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane. I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed. And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.
- from Why I write by George Orwell
This is apparently the 500th post on this blog.
I started writing because I was a moderate liberal who could no longer remain in the Liberal Party, but who missed a forum (however flawed) for discussing political issues. I wondered then, and wonder still, what moderate liberalism means in today's Australia. I missed opportunities to talk through big issues and explore them, at a time when having a firm and fixed opinion became more important than testing whether it was useful to the policies of the nation and state.
Often I find myself sucked into discussing the journalism from which I'm quoting, and watching a "profession" like journalism sink under the weight of its own bullshit is no less fascinating than when it is applied to representative democracy and aforesaid moderate liberalism.
There's plenty to write about in both of the above, and in doing so quarantine it from the rest of life. I don't have a cat, so I can't write about that. I do have a family, including kids who say/do the darndest things, but I have other opportunities to talk about them. I have a job - in the private sector - and all my colleagues are good people. I keep on top of sport but am rarely moved to write much beyond the standard analysis - and besides, sporting events can be evanescent anyway. I am profoundly moved by art but am self-consciously inarticulate about it. I tried a separate blog about food but I even bored myself in writing it, who knows what it must have been like reading it.
I don't regale my family and friends with political and media analysis unless asked, which happens rarely and almost never more than once by the same person.
68,948 separate IP addresses have viewed this blog. The five most popular blogposts have been:
- Deriding Paul Howes: 1,116 Pageviews
- Why the Coalition telecommunications policy has failed: 946 Pageviews
- A pity: 716 Pageviews
- Dry but not high: 690 Pageviews
- Relationship breakdown: 561 Pageviews
Those are tiny numbers: sometimes I prefer to think of this site as "boutique" rather than obscure, but that would assume a sophistication I don't have as a writer or analyst. I try to call it as I see it and explain why I see it that way. I publish all comments that lift the tone of the blog.
Thank you for visiting.