The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

Blogged prose fiction by Joshua Gaskell


I am the WEBMASTER, and it is I that will be presenting to you, READER, the private journal of Donald Pincher, aspiring author. How I came to be possessed of it is no concern of yours. And in any case, if I did go about to tell you by what accident I obtained covert access to the file, it would in this unbelieving age pass for little more than the cant or jargon of the blogosphere. Suffice to say that he types Journal.doc on his computer (Windows ME) and, in his careless cyber-luddism, has left open a pathway vulnerable to exploitation by those of us who know the ways of data capture.
Pincher is a pious, small-c-conservative young fogey of the leftmost wing. He lives unfashionably in the London district of Forest Hill SE23, and devotes his life to writing entries in his Oxford Urban Dictionary, trying to find someone willing to publish his novel – five-hundred pages of relentless socialist manifesto masquerading as literature – and to being fruitlessly apoplectic about the price of things in the capital. A privacy obsessive, much of his novel consists of (in equal measure) decrying the dangers of the internet age, and mocking its pretentions. Which is why I thought it would be funny for him to write his own blog, even if it is one that he doesn’t know he’s writing.
Though the automatic-upload macro I’ve attached to Pincher’s journal makes me something of a deistical Prime Mover, I will occasionally deign to intervene in ‘the cool of the day’ (to footnote, to hyperlink, to tag, or otherwise curate). To this end you will know me by my dark-blue font.
Without further ado, I present to you what I’ve chosen to dub, in the idiom of its unwitting BLOGGER, The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

Friday, 21st November 2014

Lieutenant of the Tower, n.

Pronunciation: /lɛftɛnənt əv ðə taʊə(r)/
Etymology: lieutenant n. + of prep. + the adj. + tower n.

1. Hist. An officer who, in the 16th and 17th cents., exacted guard duty and had a right to muster a militia from a large area of East London known as the Tower Hamlets.
2. In later use: Lutfur Rahman.

Thursday, 20th November 2014

Tabloid, adj.

Pronunciation: /tablɔɪd/
Etymology: < tabl- (in tablet n.) + -oid suffix.

1. Compressed; concentrated, esp. in order to be easily assimilated; sensationalistic, populist, or reductive; of or resembling tabloid journalism.
2. In later use also: of or pertaining to work done on or text read from tablet computers.

Wednesday, 19th November 2014

The worst of all possible worlds, phr.

Pronunciation: /ðə wɜːst əv ɔːl pɒsᵻbl wəːldz/
Etymology: < by antithesis after Leibniz’s optimism that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds.

1. Philos. The actual world of futile existence and inevitable suffering, according to Schopenhauer.
2. Polit. Econ. The current model of university funding in England, according to the Higher Education Commission.

Tuesday, 18th November 2014

A chance meeting of female friends, overheard in a stationary carriage at New Cross Gate station:

Passenger 1: Oh hello, fancy seeing you here.
Passenger 2: I won’t kiss you. I’m just coming out of a long-term cold and I’m not over it yet.

Monday, 17th November 2014

Bubble, n.

Pronunciation: /bʌb(ə)l/
Etymology: < bubble v.

1. A good or fortunate situation that is isolated from reality.
2. An unsustainable or exaggerated rise in the price of a stock or commodity.

When people refer now to the ‘Westminster bubble’, they’re using bubble in the first sense; but it occurs to me that if MPs follow their current logic to its conclusion and privatise themselves, the term may take on a new meaning. To paraphrase the OED’s definition of South Sea bubble, might we in 2020 witness a speculative boom in the shares of Parliament plc, which ends with the failure of the company and a general financial collapse?


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