20 February 2007

An abrupt ending

This will be my last post. The inevitable has happened and people have found the blog. When the first one referred to it the other day, it was not ideal, but I didn't see it as a great impairment to my continuing. Two people was more worrying, but I thought it was still do-able. When it gets to three people, however, it's really unworkable, especially because three people unrelatedly discovering it in I imagine about one week suggests a very large growth rate (I suspect the elections: people are probably searching for LSE stuff quite avidly at the moment). My position has always been that I don't mind what I share with people I've never met but having people you know read what is effectively a diary is a recipe for disaster. I had considerable opportunity to reflect on this (though, tactfully, in silence) whilst in Japan when my fellow teacher and good friend from elsewhere in the prefecture would tell me at great length of the amazing complications and general nastiness that had resulted from her ex-best friend's reading of her live journal. So I'm not going to go down that road.

That said, this is not the biggest problem. I haven't written anything that I would personally be embarrassed to have people read (though this may be because I haven't generally gone back and read what I've written afterwards...)- after all, it's not as if I was unaware that, in putting things on the internet, I was running the risk of people finding them. The biggest problem is simply one of attitude. Were I unaware that people I knew visited the site, even if I suspected that they might, so long as I wasn't sure, I could carry on. I might even manage if I knew for certain, but was also sure that they didn't know I knew (though this is more doubtfull). But I simply can't write in the knowledge that what comes out may well be read. This is partly an issue of intent to communicate: there are many things that I don't mind people knowing but do not want anyone to suppose that I actively wanted to make people aware of*. For example, supposing I were to write about how busy I'd been doing various voluntary activities, I wouldn't want anyone to think that I was mentioning it in order to elicit gratitude or recognition from others involved in the same things, since I would in fact just be relating this since it was part of my life, and for interest value, even if I included comments to the effect that I'd been really busy and was feeling tired. It's also however partly to do with how I am as a writer. I'm not a natural writer, hence why I'm not doing an essay subject, and I find that unless I have a usefull conception of my audience I either can't come up with anything at all and spend the time staring at a blank screen or else only write things that sound very silly. What a usefull conception of my audience consists of depends on what I'm writing. For fiction (comic; I can't do any other kind no matter what audience I think of) that would be my friend Ginger, as for example when labouring on that great, as yet unpublished work The Adventures of Jeremy Bentham (sadly currently stalled since Ginger's been busy training to be a lawyer; it's coming up to two years since I sent her my last episode). In the case of this blog, it's harder to define, but a very important characteristic of it was that this audience knew nothing of the events and people I was talking about, and that I never met any member of it. Were I to try and write it now, I'd be back to the blank screen or the very silly tone. I'm only managing to write this because of the aforementioned alcohol, I think.

So, I'm not writing any more, or at least I'm not publishing. I'll probably continue to write posts and just save them all as drafts, then come back in five or ten years time and publish them all, by which time you'll all have forgotten about it, and if you come across the blog afresh it'll all be so long ago that it won't matter. I am however going to leave the already published parts where they are, except for one post in which through an error of judgment I revealed a few things that I shouldn't have (and definitely wouldn't have had I not been lulled into a false sense of security consisting of the belief that if anyone I knew, or who knew those mentioned anywhere on these pages, was going to find the blog it would surely have happened by now given that it's been there for six months). I'm very sorry about that- and if anyone finds anything elsewhere that they think is inappropriate or would be better unmentioned please comment and I will probably remove it (and reject the comment so that it doesn't appear on the blog at all, since of course if it did that would be counter-productive). I'm also prepared to listen to arguments from anyone who thinks that the whole thing should go. On this point I would like to make clear, so that no-one gets the wrong idea, that although it looks as though in some cases I have revealed information about the Sutherland campaign that could have given away our plans before we carried out, in fact the dates of the posts are misleading in these cases and those parts of them were added after the event. But if anyone thinks anything on here as it stands is harmfull, I will remove it.

I'm sorry to my non-LSE readers, who are being prevented from seeing any future posts simply because there is no way to allow them access while keeping the posts from LSE people, but hey, there were only about 6 of you at the most popular times, and just 1 at the least, and anyway I'm sure it's no great loss to you. Come back in five or ten years if you still care. And thank you for reading.

I will just say a last word or two for the sake of narrative, in case anyone was wondering How It All Turned Out. Of course, this is real life and there is no point at which you can say now an ending has been reached and go back and look at it to see if it was happy. But since we have this artificial ending, I will try not to leave loose ends so far as reality permits.

To begin with, I'm happy. It may of course just be the three large glasses of wine**, but I think not. This has been a very happy year for me, because I've managed to land on an amazing balance of doing enough to provide an interesting day-to-day experience while not taking on enough responsibility to actually get stressed and worn out- something which can probably only happen as a student and maybe even only as a student at LSE (though I'm sure students elsewhere would disagree)- because all this interesting stuff is so very varied and has allowed me to indulge my butterfly nature to the full***, because it's not left me the time to sit around in my room doing nothing very much, which I tend to do given the chance but which is actually pretty depressing, and because of everyone I've met in the course of all this. I'm thus globally, or long-term trend happy****, but I'm also currently, short term, in terms of my present mood, happy. Again, it could well be the wine, but I had a nice evening, and I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about everything. I had a long chat with S yesterday about my love life- she brought the subject up by asking what we were going to do with me- and a lot of usefull stuff came out of it, but most of all just the key concept of being more relaxed, which of course I already knew inside, but it took the conversation to bring it out. When I say I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about everything, though, I really do mean everything- just being more relaxed in one area turns out to have a knock-on effect and I am feeling more relaxed in general. Of course, it helps that there's nothing left to wonder and worry about in terms of what I was wondering and worrying about a week or so ago- it may not have been resolved the way I would ideally have wished, but it is definitely resolved.

Other on-going themes are harder to bring to a narratively satisfying conclusion. Sutherland, for example- who knows? I'd like to be optimistic and say that he won't get as far as taking up office but I'm not really convinced that's a realistic prediction. Maybe the best to hope for is that although he takes up office, the campaigners (of whom I will much to my regret no longer be able to be one, since I won't be at LSE any more) manage to persuade him or the School that it's all too much hassle and cause him to resign quite early. Again, I'm not really convinced by that. So I suppose a less happy ending here.

Maybe the only other thread is my degree. Again, who knows? I'll try my best, in which I will be aided by the quietness of LSE after the end of Lent Term- I'll really miss everything going on but it will be vital for my achieving a respectable mark. At least my presentation is getting somewhere, small part though it is of the whole degree. Actually, that is something I might post about- I've been wanting to go into why it's such a rubbish paper, and that would probably still be possible.

I leave you with the picture at the top of the page for five or ten years. I decided to put it there because if I'm going to leave one post on the front page for that long it might as well look nice, it's not actually a recent picture. In fact, I took it in Japan. It's quite apt though- partly because spring is coming, but also as a metaphor for the briefness and fragility of the blog's hidden existence, though of course not as poetic a metaphor as the Japanese view of cherry blossom as representing the briefness and fragility of human existence (I think the Samurai values come into it somewhere) which is apparently why they make such a big deal of it every spring.

*I'm not too sure of grammar in quite a bit of this: there was quite a bit of alcohol in the earlier part of the evening, or at any rate, if not quite a bit then it certainly had quite an effect

**I still can't get over what an effect they had

***I have a terrible tendency to get extremely interested in one thing for a few weeks and then push it right to the background for months while I get extremely interested in something else and so on. But why am I telling you this?- if you've been reading this blog then you know that already

****see first note