Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Being a bus is better than being a tram

Plutarch raises a wonderful subject: changing one’s mind. We’re defined by this, defined too if it never happens. What was your most significant volte face and dare you admit it? First some ground rules.

Mind-changes must not be self-serving. Loving pop music for forty years and suddenly switching to Scarlatti won’t do. Though vice versa might. Being intransigent during youth and becoming tolerant in old age is just a way of saying: look how adult I am. Changeover should ideally involve a price paid, a hint of disadvantage.

My early life was apolitical, then journalism took me leftwards, hating the right-wing ethos and its practitioners. Now I reluctantly identify a few admirable Tories, people of principle. Chris Patten for instance. But hardly a Damascene moment.

As a young journalist I accepted praise and criticism unthinkingly. Only in middle age did I recognise my careless and flashy writing and that I’d never tried to improve things. Twenty-odd years wasted. But, as a revelation, meaningless to an outsider.

Changing one’s mind can highlight regret. I never got on with my father, but came much closer to him during his final illness. This wasn’t theoretical, my new feelings for him were genuine emotions. Earlier I was ill-informed, callow.

During the last decade a hard-held opinion has gone into reverse. Ironically, this blog is the last place I can discuss it – too dangerous. Must ask Plutarch. Hope any commenters are less chicken-hearted.

THE NOVEL Ch. 1 5577 words, Ch. 2 (unfinished) 5104 words. February 8 2010. Last week I celebrated the exhilaration of motorbikes. Bikes, skis, rock-climbing, mid distance swimming are in the past. But an unexpected and lengthy twist in Ch. 2 left me with the same endorphin flow. Affirmation.