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 it 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

Saturday, 18th April 2015

Spin room, n.

Pronunciation: /spɪn rʊm/
Etymology: < spin n. partly as a back-formation from spinning n. + room n.

A designated area where, after a debate or other political event, politicians participate in an intense form of line-toeing exercise involving “riding a stationary bicycle” at a constantly varying pace set by journalists.

Friday, 17th April 2015

I receive a solicitation from The Week magazine, with its slogan – ‘Read less. Know more.’ – on the front of the envelope. I assume that those who are successfully solicited and then subsequently cancel their subscriptions do so with a slightly different slogan on their lips: ‘Read less no more’.

Thursday, 16th April 2015

Apparently, the OED believes, pace Jesus H. Christ, that the greatest commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not make thee any graven image’. I’m deducing this from the fact that its entry for ennealogue – Thomas Fuller’s term for the Decalogue minus the prohibition against image-worship – is the only one I’ve seen that’s completely blank.

Wednesday, 15th April 2015

A controversial freelance historian speaks out about the Tories’ hopes in Scotland:

I am sure the Tories don’t need me as a friend but it’s in their interests that I’m saying these things. They should ask themselves the question, ‘why have they been so hated for thirty years that there has been rout after rout in constituency after constituency?’, and it’s the one question they seem to be very shy of.

Tuesday, 14th April 2015

One of the problems with the EU is that it has so far proved unable to inspire the sense of love and loyalty (i.e. patriotism) that many Europeans feel for their individual member states. I would suggest that one cause and symptom of this is that, unlike countries, the EU is never referred to as she or her. The feminine third person pronoun is conventionally used for a whole range of things personified as female, such as a ship or boat, a conveyance, a cannon or gun, a tool or utensil; the moon, the planet Venus, a river, the sea; a city, the church, an army.

In the name of pan-European solidarity and continued peace in our time, may we not add to that feminal list, ‘a supranational and intergovernmental organisation, a free trade area, or economic association’?


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