Sunday, September 15, 2013

In which Lehman Brothers and I are virtual godparents to a five-year-old child, sort of

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I first embarked on this blogging thing. It was a bit like putting a message in a bottle, or maybe on Voyager I; I just started to transmit random thoughts into a void and wondered whether anyone might read them.

What I didn’t expect at the time, although now it seems so obvious, is that blogging isn’t simply about firing off random screeds about Murakami or the Olympic opening ceremony or Charlotte Rampling or university administrators with amusing names; it’s about people responding to said screeds and then other people responding to the responses and the whole rhizomatic structure of words and thoughts and memes and GIFs of piglets in wellingtons that results. It’s The Conversation, a term frequently used by Fiona, aka Patroclus, one of the first people to acknowledge the existence of Cultural Snow; and a witty, erudite writer on her own blog and as an observer of the whole phenomenon. We only ever met once in meatspace, in a dark bar off Tottenham Court Road, but that seems oddly appropriate for this virtual age. I called her the Poly Styrene of Web 2.0 and I stick by that. (I never met Poly Styrene at all.)

Patroclus has rather withdrawn from the blogosphere (did we really used to call it that?) in recent years, devoting her efforts more to her business and her family and things Cornish but she does pop up occasionally on various media. And I was touched and amused by a tweet she sent this morning:

Unfortunately she couldn’t remember what exactly it was she was reading, which is a pity, because I could have sold it to big pharma. But it does give me a chance to direct you to pages 155-156 of my book The Noughties where I contend that the end of Lehman provided a symbolic closure to a truncated decade that had only truly begun seven years and four days before, a few blocks away. (Which is maybe why the book is so short.)

1 comment:

Rog said...

Your book should have put Lehmans under Chapter 11.