Friday, January 16, 2009

In the time-honoured tradition of TNT magazine...

Who's had a Kylie day:

Chesley B. Sullenberger III, the pilot that managed to crash-land US Airways flight 1548 on the Hudson river in New York City without losing a single life on board. In the words of Time magazine, "After logging some 19,000 hours of acclaimed but anonymous service in the skies, Chesley B. Sullenberger III became a hero in a New York minute."

And who's had a Dannii:

Boy George, who has 15 months of jail time to look forward to after being convicted of falsely imprisoning and assaulting a male escort. Nice one, George.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Smug protesters

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? Because not that it makes even an iota of difference to people caught up in the violence in Gaza, but there seems to be a lot of it about. For every pro-Palestinian rally there has been in the UK in recent days, there have been whispers among those supporting the other side along the lines of - "Did you see who was at that meeting? Why, none other than [insert name of former dissident/paramilitary/separatist/Islamist/green-haired unicycling freak of nature here]!!! Nice bunch of people... NOT." Yes, obviously they're not nice people, but their attendance doesn't automatically invalidate the cause of the march, nor does it mean that everyone who supports it are ranting loonies. Anyway, as I said,not like it makes a blind bit of difference to the people living in the warzone.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Start as you mean to go on

A very happy 2009 to you all, dear readers! This is shaping up to be a pretty transformative year for me, with several Big Plans in development that I will keep under wraps for a while longer. For now, I am indulging in a spot of reflection, and I hope you will join me for the ride.

Among my Christmas presents this year was a copy of the first Belle De Jour book, pulled together from blog entries written between 2003 and 2004. Ah, the heady days when starting up a blog was seemingly only a few Kevin Bacons away from snagging a publisher for your first novel or being offered a regular newspaper column. Does fate still smile so kindly on bloggers in the cruel new dawn of 2009? It would appear not.

Over here in the free world, it seems that everyone and their dog has got a weblog these days, covering every topic under the sun. And while we should of course be grateful to live in a country where freedom of speech is respected and protected, the lengths to which some will go to prove this can sometimes beggar belief. To wit, last week's Channel Four alternative Christmas message, starring one Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Somebody at the station's commissioning department clearly still has a lot to learn about how the world works.

But returning to the blogosphere for a moment, if I've learned anything from it in the past four year, it is this: With a handful of notable exceptions, most of the best blogs are powered by self-regard, or, to put it another way, a strong belief in the merit and interest of one's opinions to other people. I don't mean that in a bad way, as hard to believe as it may seem. There is a world of difference between writing a blog and keeping a diary, and in order to have any kind of success at the former, self-conscious witterings about the tedium of everyday life simply won't cut it. Pepys it ain't.

So, my main resolution for 2009 is to generally lead a more exciting, less predictable life than the one I've grown into over the past couple of years. Which will be no mean feat, seeing as giving up booze is next on the list. Don't ask me why. Like I hinted above, there are a few reasons for me to believe that I will be living in "interesting times" this year, and I may well wind up a raging alcoholic by June. Good times! Stay tuned.