Stepping back

For quite some time now I’ve been feeling radically uninspired about blogging. It’s getting harder and harder to get enthusiastic about topics, or to find ones I haven’t already posted about, sometimes multiple times. I’ve always been opinionated about political and broader public issues. I even wrote letters to the editor at one stage, surely one of the early signs of madness along with hair on the palm and talking to oneself. But increasingly I find myself silently asking the rhetorical question “who cares?”.

And much of the interaction that once made blogging stimulating and enjoyable seems more and more just talking past each other, rather than participating in a genuine dialogue from which anyone learns anything much. It is, as James Russell put it, like shouting into the darkness because you enjoy the sound of your own voice. The comment thread on my post of yesterday about torture is a classic example, everyone pushing their own barrow with little or no real constructive interaction. It ended up extending to some 60 comments (at time of writing this post), but hadn’t advanced perceptibly beyond the points I made in my primary post. You can’t help thinking that it’s all a major waste of time, as my partner jen put it this morning in her inimitable blunt fashion. The most boring men alive? Quite possibly. I wouldn’t mind the label if I wasn’t bored too.

Now even that would be alright if I was the sort of self-disciplined person who could devote only as much time to blogging as I can really afford. It would be just like having a hobby like tennis or golf, or more accurately a sedentary one like stamp-collecting or heraldry: a harmless if eccentric and self-indulgent leisure-time amusement.

But the trouble is I’m a bit like Mark Bahnisch; not quite as addicted to blogging compulsively, but not far short. I’m different from Mark in that I’m not on a deadline to finish a PhD (having put it on hold 18 months or so ago without even getting approval for a topic), nor am I looking for a job to keep body and soul together. But blogging is still taking up far more of my time than is healthy. Writing a post every day or two, keeping abreast of other blogs and the mainstream media, and participating in comment box discussions on previous posts together take up on average at least a couple of hours every single day, and sometimes considerably more. What’s the purpose if I mostly no longer find the interaction pleasurable? And mostly I don’t. There’s not much point in maintaining a hobby merely out of a stubborn sense of pride and self-imposed obligation, nor habit, nor because it’s an addiction I lack the self-control to break. And especially not when work and home commitments are heavy, and in most respects more pleasurable and worthwhile than the blog. It might even ultimately be quite destructive for someone like me, a fundamentally antisocial, introspective being who finds it much easier to stick with solitary pursuits than to dwell in the disordered, confusing but fulfilling world of real human relationships.

At the same time, I would like to think Troppo has a value as a group blog that enables numerous talented writers to contribute to the informal “salon” of blogosphere public discussion without their being inflicted with the onerous task of establishing and maintaining a solo blog. So the conclusion I’ve reached is that the best thing for me to do is to step back from active blogging for an indefinite period and maybe permanently, but to maintain the stewardship of Troppo in terms of comment box moderation, spam deletion and liaising with Scott about technical issues.

I probably won’t be able to resist fairly frequent comment box contributions, and I might even make a very occasional primary post if I feel so strongly about a specific issue that I can’t help myself. That’s the way it used to be when I first started blogging; writing and posting my opinions was almost a primal urge and certainly an unmitigated joy. But mostly now I have to force myself to think of a suitable topic and then research and write a coherent and hopefully entertaining post about it. My candid self-evaluation is that the strain and lack of spontaneity have been evident in the quality of my writing over the last few months.

I still reckon it’s desirable for a well-read blog like Troppo to maintain at least one or two new posts every day, however, in order to retain audience interest. Since most of our existing contributors post as infrequently as I’m intending from now on, maybe we need to sign up some fresh blogging talent. Many hands make light blogging. Any readers who wish to nominate themselves or someone else as a prospective Troppo blogger are more than welcome to contact me at ken DOT parish AT cdu DOT edu Dot au.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Sam Stainsby
Sam Stainsby
2021 years ago

So much of social software these days is just about having a chat. While I enjoy reading and contributing to blogs, and learn a bit here and there in the process, it would be good to see more systems that are oriented around actually achieving things – even just reaching a conculsion in a debate would be a good thing.

Well, as a programmers I suppose I should stop complaining and just go out and write something …

cs
cs
2021 years ago

Ken, another possibility is that the wider context has changed, draining tension and purpose from the ‘sphere. My own feeling is that public debate had entered a boring stage at large. I’ve been bored by the msm, as well as reading blogs, since the Australian and US elections. Like you, mostly I’ve been thinking this is just me, in my case because the goodies lost the elections and I haven’t been blogging in any event. But your post is suggestive of a wider sense of everything having gone comotose, at least for the moment. Lucky harry and co are still around to keep us amused.

jen
jen
2021 years ago

Well well marking essays is clearly getting to you. Don’t be so conscientious! (just read the first two sentences of each paragraph or make like me and Rob and don’t read them at all)

And you blame the blog. Very wise.

“systems that are oriented around actually achieving things”

Yeah but achieving what? Blogging is an informative discussion. And in our philistinical Oz Soc reflecting on our place in the world and airing our perspectives crcontributes to a rounded and engaged sense of citizenship.

So Parry don’t worry the Armadillo is achieving a goddamn public service!

Nicholas Gruen
2021 years ago

Well I’ll certainly miss your contributions Ken. But I’ve marvelled at your dilligence for a long while.

You’re right on the money when you say “everyone pushing their own barrow with little or no real constructive interaction”. I’ve been struck by that myself. With lots of my posts, (where I’ve obviously got sufficient investment in the original post) it just seems that people are using it as a Rhorchach test – word associating and then off they go. No real relation to what I was getting at – or trying to get at.

The most striking example was when I posted an invitation for people to read and comment on my essay on open source software – here http://troppoarmadillo.ubersportingpundit.com/archives/008940.html – and people started posting lengthy comments – including implicit commentary on the piece – without having emailed me for a copy of it.

But I’ll keep writing and reading for now. I’ve even written a review of Australian Idol and the X factor which I’ll be posting soon. (Head for the hills!)

So the blog really allows me to go in directions I’d have no reason to without it. Likewise I would never have worked up the review of “Downfall” if not for the blog. I didn’t do a very good job of it, but I was glad I tried.

So perhaps it goes in waves. You’re on a downswing, but I’m on an upswing right now (though I’m unlikely to generate your kind of output).

Another thought is that its actually difficult to use the blog to work towards difficult and subtle points – but you have to get into a fairly small group of trusted friends or colleagues to do that in any event – not hold a town meeting which is what a blog is.

When I read a blog I am very frequently possessed of the desire to jump in. Then I think – ‘no, the point I’m trying to make will be misunderstood, it will then take five thousand words to clarify, which actually won’t clarify. It will feel to me that I’m clarifying, and then it will just lead to a new bout of argument by word association.’ So I don’t comment.

I actually think this is appropriate because often the right forum for such discussions is in spoken words, in person, and not in written form. In a conversation you can use tone of voice, instantly clarify things, and also suss out if people are on the level – and rack off if they’re not.

Blogs can also be used for other, more basic things – as I did when I asked people to post ideas on co-operative federalism. I’m surprised people don’t use blogs more like this – as bulletin boards – a little more than they do. John Quiggin does a bit of this. I can certainly post a few more of these, but was holding back because I thought they might not be appreciated.

Very sad to see you go Ken. I’m really deeply grateful to have been let loose on Troppo and for that I thank you – not just for saying ‘yes’ – but for setting it up, supporting it and so on.

I reckon you should give us a post once in a while – say at least once a month!

And thanks for all the fish.

Steve
Steve
2021 years ago

Ken,

Don’t forget that for every person who feels the urge to dump their often casual and poorly thought out response to your posts in the troppo comment box, there are probably dozens perhaps hundreds of readers who read what you’ve written and gained from your balanced and refreshing perspective, but refrained from commenting since they are hear to listen and learn, not bray.

I guess you would find it hard to feel like there is much point in blogging when you don’t get to hear from these people, and hear that you are having an effect in stimulating their thoughts, but trust me, there are plenty of silent readers out there that very much value your blogging.

From me thanks for your thoughts – your contributions have meant that troppo is one of the handful of blogs that i visit often. On more than one occasion I’ve left your blog and thought about what I had read for a long while afterwards.

Perhaps you just wish that the constructive debate happened more often. Perhaps you are a victim of your own success, and you now attract a bigger readership (including a greater number of people to polarise debate).

Try this:

Start a new blog, and blog anonymously. Start all over again. Enjoy earning a readership all over again. The first people to notice your new blog will hopefully be thoughtful and info-seeking web surfers, rather than opinionated debate polarisers looking for somewhere to dump sound off (rather than go to the trouble of developing their own blog). So you will have a window of a few months to a year where you are getting some good debate without all the trolls.

or even better: with troppo in your CV, hit up the newspapers for an opinion column!

Steve

phil
2021 years ago

As a regular listener and (one hopes) learner, I have always marvelled at the stamina – and in many cases polymathism – of blogowners. Troppo is on my daily visit list and in my view always expresses a balanced view and seems to attract more balanced commentary than some of the others I visit. Certainly the blogosphere has lost a little bite since the last (election year), but there’s still enough to get excited about. I hope you find a way to keep this blog active and that you find whatever you’re seeking into the future. ‘Cos we’re all seeking, aren’t we?

saint
saint
2021 years ago

Can empathize Ken, although for my money your ‘quality’ surpasses anything I could ever dish up. And anything you dish up is worth reading.

Just don’t stress about quality. Blog when you feel like it, we’ll still be here. A no comment doesn’t mean we are not listening. And well at least you do get comments on your blog posts!

And as cs says, things have been a bit like that all over the blogosphere lately (finish that book cs will ya?) lots dropping out, dropping back. And well not much colour in the political sphere to keep us entertained either – not just the thought that everything is a foregone conclusion with the Senate majority. But maybe PJK was right about the vaudeville and the Placido Domingo – we miss it when it’s not there. Not even a conga line. Plus I suspect there is a bit of the ol’ standard midyear blues.

As to increasing the net, good idea. Maybe some of the blogosphere drop outs or commenters wouldn’t mind a guest post. Al Bundy. Nabakov (with the provisor Nabs must be inebriated). Mr Sheil. Maybe some nonblogging journos, academics, lawyers, doctors, priests? etc who have no time to maintain a blog but don’t mind the forum.

Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

I’m inclined to agree with Chris – perhaps what’s going on in the world is just a bit staid at the moment. I’ve tended to get more steamed up about what’s going on in the US than in Australia lately and I suspect that’s of less interest to a (largely) Australian audience, though I think it ought to be as we’re part of the Empire like it or not.

I do think that the blogging thing comes and goes in waves in terms of enthusiasm and quality – but I suspect regular writing helps to keep your hand in there until better blogging times come along or inspiration strikes. Anyway, I’d be sad to see you stop posting, Ken. You’re always worth reading.

The trick I think is that if you want to minimise the time you spend on it is to stay out of the comments boxes, and write shorter posts. If you have a good set of commenters built up, then this can still work in terms of stimulating discussion. If I do that, I can keep the time consumed by blogging to about an hour a day and only spend more on it if I feel like it.

Ian
Ian
2021 years ago

Cheers, Ken. I, too, am one of the offenders of whom Steve speaks, that has a great appreciation of, and for, the effort that you put in, but rarely posts to let you know. As a fully fledged member of the ? silent majority, I hope you find it in you to put up the odd post and comment. The often, imho, meaningless and idle point scoring that goes on in the comments is best left to go through to the keeper; easier said than done for you, I’m sure. If you do fade for a while, I, in common with many others, would like to say a heartfelt thanks and “Best Wishes” :-))

Rex
Rex
2021 years ago

All the best Ken. You’ll be missed.

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
2021 years ago

Don’t be afraid of holidays. Troppo is yours, and generally speaking, you are entitled to take a break from playing the daily oracle.

I think inviting guest posters is a good idea, and I’m sure you’ll get to pick and choose from among some excellent contributors.

One way to get away from the humdrum of incisive analysis is to talk about something you love that’s obscure. When I am crafting little pieces for consumption elsewhere online, I will sometime explore a story from my life. I might talk about food for a while, or comment about some of the curios of local history.

Feel free to talk about, you know, “unimportant” stuff. It doesn’t all need to be terrorism, politics, morals, ethics, cases etc etc. It can also be poetry, good movies, fine food, places you would like to travel, a great book you recently read. Tell us about students in your class who annoy you (*cough*). Tell us about the joys and tribulations of marking exams, or what it’s like to sit in the Chinese Garden downstairs from your office.

Finally, if it’s not fun, stop doing it. I’ve been described elsewhere as Mr Mind Bendingly Extreme Libertarian, so I’m qualified to push the hedonist’s wheelbarrow. Is it not fun? Cut it out of your life for a bit.

Cristy
2021 years ago

Sorry to see you go Ken. I only stumbled across Troppo Armadillo a little while ago and have really been enjoying your posts.

I don’t always agree with you (which is great), but you are always carefully reasoned and thought-provoking.

I hope that you enjoy your break and, perhaps, return refreshed at some point in the future.

Kim
Kim
2021 years ago

Ken, you could keep doing the BB thing and do live streaming of your late night interactions with jen!

Seriously, what would we do without a passionate centrist to read?

Francis Xavier Holden
2021 years ago

me – I think its time for ken& jen cam live 24/7

Nicholas Gruen
2021 years ago

Now there’s an idea.

cs
cs
2021 years ago

i’m on side – centrist survival

cs
cs
2021 years ago

err “survivor”, I’m told

Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago
Mark U
Mark U
2021 years ago

Ken, I am another infrequent commenter, who always enjoys the balanced perspective of your posts. Please, at least give us a “drip feed” when there is a topic you feel passionate about.

While Nicholas and Sophie are now regular contributors, most of your blogger list are missing in action. Perhaps it is time to review the list and find some new bloggers.

C.L.
C.L.
2021 years ago

All the best Ken. I think you’ll be back and that’s a good thing for the dynamism of the sphere.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Well I’m just here for the booze and the chicks. Fuck the band. Though thoughtful and intelligent posts, punctuated by the odd Woolfbite is a nice bonus.

Holden FX has a point too. A live webcam feed of you – not blogging, just rummaging around the piles of paper on your desk and reading essays in the red pen den.

I reckon you keep should keep Troppo going but shift into more of a producer rather than director role, if that’s where your head is at now. Nick seems keen to say more, Don’s provocative photoshop stylings are always enjoyable and Sophie can roll the ball into play from time to time.

But as Mark U just said, a lotta other troppodillos are missing in action. How about whipping Geoff H. up again (insert webcam joke here) or getting that Larvatus Rodeo bloke onboard. He likes posting a lot. And what happened to Wen?

And hey! there’s always kitten porn if you wanna keep the punters coming back.

John Quiggin
John Quiggin
2021 years ago

I share some of your mixed feelings, Ken. Blogging takes up more time than it should, and there’s that obligation to have something every day. I think your solution is probably the right one, it’s just a question of attracting some (more) new talent.

Nicholas Gruen is certainly a good addition, and no doubt there’s more out there who have something interesting to say.

Mindy
2021 years ago

Just as long as you keep your promise to post if you get really steamed about something! Troppo was the first blog I ever read and I still come back every day.

Guy
Guy
2021 years ago

Best wishes Ken. I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of your writing and hope to enjoy more at some point.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2021 years ago

Was it something I said?

Naomi
Naomi
2021 years ago

Hey, I write letters to the editor! I’m not mad (much)

sophie
sophie
2021 years ago

Ken, I sympathise with your point of view and your sense of it not being worth it. I’d reached a feeling of complete futility and unwillingness to blog a few weeks ago, and felt it really was not worth going on with. I guess I had felt, like you, that the purpose of blogging was indeed to debate things–to put up posts for discussion and was excited by the notion of really engaging with readers–but that rarely happened (at least judging by the comments that were posted), and having also seen some pretty unpleasant attacks on me in other parts of the blogosphere, I felt discouraged and disgusted. But then I took a breather of a few weeks, took stock of a number of things, and have now come back with a rather more detached view than before. I’ve had a number of positive experiences arising from blogging, including making contact with some very interesting and worthwhile people, and that’s great. But equally, I have lost my naive initial excitement and now feel that generally the aggravation isn’t worth it, and that really I prefer to read, rather than write, blogs. Occasional contribution is what I’d like to leave it as, now–and perhaps you might consider that too, Ken? You have been an excellent director of Troppo and a very interesting poster, and it would be a shame to lose your voice altogether. My advice is, take a break, a really good break, and see how you feel afterwards.

Paul Watson
2021 years ago

Ken,

I’ve found that giving up blogging is akin to giving up smoking – multiple attempts are often needed. (From memory, you have made at least one similar blog-hiatus resolution in the past),

Anyway, as an ex- (“recovering”?) blogger, I reckon that the first month without posting is the hardest time. After that, you’ll miss it merely occcasionally and will experience mostly muted cravings only.

Should you encounter an imminent-relapse situation, however, second-hand blogging (viz, writing a comment on someone else’s post) should see you safely get over the moment.

Robert Merkel
2021 years ago

Just another “me too”. I’ve enjoyed your writings, apologise if I’ve occasionally talked past people rather than to them, and hope that you’ll return at some time in the future.

tony
2021 years ago

Ken, I can’t imagine that you’ll go completely ‘cold turkey.’

Troppo and the readership will still be there on the occassions you feel like contributing, the big advangage of being part of a muli-author blog.

Enjoy the break.

welshdog
2021 years ago

Blogs simply don’t lend themselves very well to ‘discussion’. It’s impossible to respond directly to a post and form a sensible thread and always the responder is subservient to the whims of the blogger.

Blogs are a symptom of the insularity that is permeating modern culture. They are a vehicle designed for an individual to say what they wish without ‘moderators’ to take issue, then can allow or disallow comment at will. On their turf they are kings.

However, the much despised and disregarded forum can still fulfil the needs of the dedicated blogger, whilst allowing comment, discussion and the creation of meaningful threads.

Installation of CMS software such as Xoops might seem like overkill but via modules, it *is* possible to implement WordPress as a blog and a version of the Invision message board. This will give the blogger space to be creative in their writing style, but also allow comment to be taken *from* the blog and placed within the forum for development!

Of course, it is possible for *all* the erstwhile blog posts to become ‘topics’ within the forum body, but then I think you lose what is essential to blogging, that sense of immediacy you get from having your thoughts stretched out before you.

Anyway – just a thought.

Ron
Ron
2021 years ago

Paul,

Your comment, “I’ve found that giving up blogging is akin to giving up smoking – multiple attempts are often needed.’, is spot on.

Once you’ve kicked the habit life becomes brighter and you once again feel like a human being with a life.

(I am currently ‘off the wagon’ but your post has given me the encouragement needed to again try withdrawal.)

Ron
Ron
2021 years ago

Weldog reminded me of a comment I made somewhere, perhaps at TA: first there were newsgroups, then email lists followed by forum and then blogs … I wonder what the next craze will be?

Blogging was great when it was the new kid on the blog and there weren’t too many, but like desktop publishing and website building which were once specialist fields, everyone can blog, audiences become more stretched and the whole thing just becomes boring and time-wasting – no one has yet proved blogging achieving anything more than a chance to vent: on both sides of the blog.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

It’s been a year since I’ve blogged in a meaningful way and while occasionally racked with guilt about letting the Troppo side down, I’ve been able to work my redemptive way through it with spiritual healing, Bachs Flowers Remedies and Vodka.

But, in truth, I don’t have the time to do it constantly nor, really, the motivation. Troppo’s rep as an Australian blog of record is such that it can induce a savage burden of responsibility upon he who crafts it but, Ken, life is ultimately too short. I’m also concerned that there might be a dawning sense that your abiding vision of a place where civil discourse assumed new and liberating parameters isn’t emerging and, I say, no worries.

In essence, it’s a barroom chat with the regular crowd. Far from being a new frontier of ideas interaction, it’s actually a blogospherical Cheers. A place where everyone knows your name, where you’re going to seat yourself and whether your comment will be wickedly funny (Nabs), reflective and thoughtful (D. Tiley), execrably punning (take a bow, Homer) and so on.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Ken, where you go from here doesn’t matter nearly so much as the fact that we can all see where you’ve been and it’s been trailblazing. Has any other blog ‘spun off’ the same number of luminaries? How many other blogs have dared to choose a non-partisan political positioning? And lived to tell? Salut!

wmmb
2021 years ago

Of course, it is posssible to reach the point where blogging, or commenting, is no longer possible. I am visited with such a premotion. My toes and now my fingers get numb now, at times, for reasons I do not understand, so my fingers are tending to land between the keys. Of course, I am in denial, because they are not always this bad, and I can cope. But on the other hand no loss either, to blogging, commenting, or anything much.

Pikey
Pikey
2021 years ago

Copycat! Good luck, in all seriousness, and don’t forget your fantastic talent for rewriting folk songs as political satire ;)

jen
jen
2021 years ago

Geoff.

Yes! perceptive and beautiful.

Godda walk the girl and her dog on the beach.

Nic White
2021 years ago

I empathise with how tiring it gets. I spend at least 4 hours every day blogging and quite often an obscene number higher than that. It just takes so long to read through all the blogs on the daily list, comment on them, and then think of something to say on your own. The effort often does not seem worth it compared to the return you get.

One less centrist :/

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

Thanks very much people. I love yuz all, as Jeff Fenech would say. Martin, I probably should have gotten into the satirical and sarcastic a bit more, but there’s no politician around these days who inspires me in quite the way that Mike Read did. I wish I still had that poem, but I think it got wiped in a hard drive crash a couple of years ago.

BTW I’m hoping to involve myself in a blogging-related project that I’ve been talking about for a while with a few other usual suspects. It’s a project that strikes me as more challenging and worthwhile than the humdrum of daily blogging, and I’m hoping that stepping back from the grind might give me the time and space to do some of the spadework. I’ll spell it all out as soon as the whole thing gets more advanced.

Anyway, thanks again for all the good wishes. It feels a bit strange, in the sense that I’m not actually going anywhere, just making excuses in advance for not posting very often, and simultaenously getting some disillusionment/angst off my chest. It’s self-indulgent to an extent, I suppose, but so is blogging itself almost by definition.

Anyway, I’ve just finished the last tutorial of the week, so it’s time to go home, then back into marking the last 20 of the Intro to Public Law essays tomorrow, before starting on the next batch of 300 essays next week. Oh joy! I wish I worked at one of those unis Professor Bunyip talks about where they work a 17 hour week.

David Tiley
2021 years ago

Thing is Ken, when you are on song, you go into sustained crisp, cogent streams which just leave me gasping and saying YES!

Don’t give those up.

I sometimes wonder how many you would have in the archives, often in the comments, that could be published. They are pretty special.

Ken Parish unplugged.

jen
jen
2021 years ago

You should see him live!

The Harry high pants twitch, the thoughtful flow directly into the keyboard and the odd absent minded acknowledgement of his material environment.

Cup of tea arrives
‘thankyou!’

Kitchen tumbles into the pool
‘wait a minute…’

Beautiful.

James Farrell
James Farrell
2021 years ago

‘…the strain and lack of spontaneity have been evident in the quality of my writing over the last few months..’

Not that I’ve noticed. On the contrary, the quality has been as high as ever.

I seem to recall that the last time you threatened to withdraw, you then proceeded to redesign the site (grey to beige, etc.) and produce a prodigious flurry of posts. Obviously, for selfish reasons, I hope that happens again, with or without a new design; but as others have said, for goodness’ sake put your own sanity first and don’t imagine that anyone begrudges you an indefinite break.

I strongly disagree with your pessimitic prognosis – echoed by Sophie and Geoff – for the ‘abiding vision’. So maybe there wasn’t enough dialectical progress in the torture thread. But there were plenty of thoughtful comments given that most of the commenters don’t have doctoral qualifications in ethics and jurisprusdence, and a good deal of respect was shown. If we didn’t move far beyond your own initial points, that might be because you had it sorted from the beginning: it’s not our fault that you happen to be a rigorous thinker. And if Geoff’s reference to Cheers implies that this blog is mostly chat – that in effect it’s the commenters’ substitute for a social life – I reject that emphatically. It may apply to other blogs, and in cases where it does, I really can’t be bothered.

I’ve learnt immeasurably from this blog in the last two years, not just about the substantive issues under discussion – although the serious tone of the blog attracts knowledgable commenters – but also about civility and all that. In my personal case this applies more to TA than to JQ, simply because I agree with Captain Haddock on political issues in the first place.

From little things big things grow: you’ve planted a seed, and that’s a huge achievement.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

“And if Geoff’s reference to Cheers implies that this blog is mostly chat – that in effect it’s the commenters’ substitute for a social life – I reject that emphatically. It may apply to other blogs, and in cases where it does, I really can’t be bothered.”

I meant it differently – Cheers as in a warm, familiar place of known quantity. But the “chat” at Troppo can be stimulating and terrifyingly erudite so I’m not suggesting that it’s occupational therapy for the terminally nerdy James. Rest assured. It’s more the ambience of a faculty drinks party at 10.45pm……the hummus and chickpea dip has run out, someone has stubbed a cig in the Tahini and people are beginning to drink wine out of vegemite jars. You have to “fit” to feel comfortable about changing the world in that milieu.

Jim Birch
Jim Birch
2021 years ago

Even in death, he got the comments…

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

James, it’s not a substitute, it’s an accessory.

Although “beginning to drink wine out of vegemite jars” is a world I thought left behind. Just keep using the same glass I say. When it comes to the last drop, we’re all just big fleshy cocktail shakers anyway.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

“Even in death …”

I’m not bleedin’ dead. Just resting. Pining for the fjords, shagged out after a prolonged squawk …

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

One of the things I always liked about Troppodillo was the complete absence of Python quotes.

Until now.

(Fire when ready, Gridley)

James Farrell
James Farrell
2021 years ago

Geoff, I trust you meant ‘occupational therapy for the terminally nerdy, James’ rather than
‘occupational therapy for the terminally nerdy James’.

Nicholas Gruen
2021 years ago

Ken – I have a solution!

http://autoblogger.net/switch.htm

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Well shit James, take a good look at yerself. What kinda terminal nerd do you have to be to comment on a blog at 11.50 pm on a Friday night?