Good intentions, but it’s taken me three weeks to renew the weekly blog. There has been much travelling, and much music, listening and playing. I’ve been carrying three books with me. Event by Slavoj Zizek – he is always provocative, if not always comprehensible. Apparently Margaret Thatcher, when asked what was her greatest success/legacy was, replied “Tony Blair”. Over the last thirty years, everything that in my youth was provided publicly, by nominally democratic bodies, has been privatised – and we now eagerly privatise ourselves, our work, our lives – this blog is an example of that, promoting brand Pete. If fifty of my friends/acquaintances/colleagues were writing a weekly blog, would I be reading them all? Unlikely.
Second book – Stephen Grosz An Examined Life – psychoanalyst writing up little case studies – I found much of it quite shallow, bite-sized chunks in a Readers Digest style, leaving me wanting more depth – but towards the end there were a few more interesting ones (and I’ve read it twice so it must have hooked me somehow). Not only might we be aware of how the past lives on unpredictably into the present, but also of how the future (imagined, projected) affects the present, our plans and fantasies of what might be next, where we are going and who with – and whether those around us are carrying the same future projections, spoken or unspoken.
Third book – John Gray The Silence Of Animals – he’s not a cheerful writer (Zizek feels cheerful even when deeply pessimistic or offensive) – humans are animals, flawed, progress is a myth, we are damaged by the unrealistic expectation that things will eventually get better. Reading him is quite masochistic.
Next time I’ll write about music.