Somebody reassure me, please, that I’m not the only one to have to-do lists with ‘blog!’ on them? I know I’m not the only one addicted to to-do lists in general, but they really are scattered everywhere: in text files on my desktop, on my phone, through Outlook flags, in notepads and even scrawled on the backs of receipts. The big problem is that they encourage you to mingle the short- and long-term, so ‘do washing’ will appear alongside ‘visit Manchester?’, the latter being impossible to cross off without lots of planning, effort and numerous new sub-to-do lists. Oh dear: pop psychology conclusions in neat bullet points on the back of the postcard, please.
A quick run down of the past week (because these summaries are ever so fascinating to read): Thursday saw lots of panic about whether anyone would brave the snow to come and see Richard Rex talk to the Caius History Society (they did!). Friday had the annual, wonderful history dinner which included me saying ‘Twilight..?’ hesitantly before the shouts of ‘misogyny!’ rang out loud and clear. From Saturday (Valentine’s Day! ) Lucy visited and stayed until Monday morning, where I realised that she was much, much better at working in my own library than I was. And finally, yesterday I wrote a bit of a rubbish essay on Hobbes – if you ask me it was nasty, brutish and short – before my mum came to wipe away the memory by taking me out to dinner
Oh, and I had a whole rant that’s been developing over the week but is now fading down in intensity. So I will only say this – directed at no-one in particular – the ’13 year old’ dad story? What does it say about modern society, modern parenting, modern values? The answer is nothing There’s nothing ‘to be learnt’ from one, single, brilliantly executed story of a relatively atypical but hardly unusual event. As I say, it is a great story, and it ticks boxes for tabloid journalism like you wouldn’t believe, with the perfect blend of unity (“god, how awful”) and division (“I blame the…”) along with gripping visuals and loving manipulation of children. But it tells us nothing. Our teenage pregnancy rate, the one that’s the highest in Europe? That also doesn’t ‘tell’ us anything in particular but does at least hint at many disturbing things. Not such a good story, though. Did I mention he was 13?