Thursday, 7 November 2013

Writers'... oh, it was on the tip of my tongue...

Some days blogging comes less easily than others. The words are slow to arrive at Typing Central and only sluggishly imprint themselves on the page. It’s as if the tunnels in my brain that get the thoughts and memories and vocabulary from one place to another are obstructed in some way, like those underground waste channels that can’t flow because of the years of accretion of tons of solidified fats. Yes, I guess I’m saying my mind is like a sewer. A fatty sewer.

Where to start? And more importantly, where will it end up? All it takes is the merest nugget of a notion, a gobbet of gossip to get you going, then the snowball starts rolling and you’re away, mixing metaphors like a grain of sand in an oyster that gradually ends up a pearl one, knit one. But not today; it’s like the barricades in my bonce are impeding the ideas and clotting up the creative flow. If only there was term for this… this mental blockage that affects writers. Damn this writer’s block. Hmm… ‘block’… I wonder?

I got blocked by Owen Jones ages ago simply for re-tweeting a challenge to his pontifications on class, poverty, the role of government and the nasty, nasty Tories. Most of the people I know on Twitter have been blocked by Owen; he blocks so often, so readily and on such flimsy grounds that he probably employs a school-leaver on sub-minimum wages to do his menial blocking duties for him, leaving Owen free to wring his hands in despair at the cruel plight of his fellows in the downtrodden working class. Just like his Aunty Polly no doubt rails against the pitiful wages she pays her Tuscan pool boy.

So it’s little wonder that when Dan Hodges had the effrontery to express surprise at @OwenJOnes84 outing himself as probably middle class, the self-proclaimed champion of the oppressed immediately blocked him. Blocking, on Twitter, simply means you no longer see that person’s tweets and they can no longer follow yours, but there are plenty of simple ways around it. It’s like turning your back on somebody in the middle of an argument, but not as bold as actually walking away. Owen Jones loves to denounce people as being unable to debate but every time I’ve ever seen him encounter dissent, as he refuses to deviate from his well-worn script, he reaches for the Block button without breaking his stride.

He just doesn’t want to hear anything that detracts from his entrenched ideas about the nobility of the people who made him a best-selling author and launched his no doubt lucrative career on television and in print. Fortunately he’s chosen his ideology wisely: as a lefty he can employ doublethink and ignore all the evidence to carve out success while decrying those who do likewise. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s planning on buying shares in Twitter’s IPO with a view to making big bucks now, rather than waiting for his reward in the socialist utopia he hopes to one day bring about.

That’s the problem with ideology and shit – it’s a lot like religion. With no apparent benefits but plenty of opportunities to donate, you illogically deprive yourself of various pleasures in the hope that you will get your reward in the fullness of time, i.e. when you’re dead. Whether your fantasy reward is a stash of sultanas, a gaggle of giggling virgins, a diet of milk and honey or peace on earth and goodwill to all men it isn’t going to happen any time soon, so you have to go out and grab it while you can in the here and now. Owen’s great hero, Karl Marx, must spin nightly in his grave as he waits for eternity for Marxism to one day NOT create destitution.

If you REALLY loved me, Owen, you'd grow a beard.

I mentioned there were ways around blocking? One way is to get somebody else to re-tweet your message to the blocker. Another is to generate a hashtag that trends. So if you get a chance, have a gander at the hashtag #OwenJonesSongs originated yesterday by @nby83 to see the imaginative ways in which Twitter's many OJ blockees can still get their point across. Yes, when you’re stuck for a blog subject, Owen Jones is the gift that keeps on blocking giving.

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