The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell


I am the WEBMASTER, and it is I who 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

Sunday, 22nd November 2015

Journeying through west London, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin stop outside a famous inn…

‘We surely aren’t going to stay here for the night, are we, sir?’ Sam exclaimed. ‘If there are hobbit-folk in these parts, why don’t we look for some that would be willing to take us in? It would be more homelike.’
‘What’s wrong with the inn?’ said Frodo. ‘Tom Bombadil recommended it. I expect it’s homelike enough inside.’
Even from the outside the inn looked a pleasant house to familiar eyes. It had a front on the Green. The door was open and light streamed out of it. Above the door there was a lamp, and beneath it a large signboard: a fat white pony reared up on its hind legs. Over the door was painted in white letters: the Sloaney Pony by Barliman Butterbur.

Saturday, 21st November 2015

Many on the left refuse to believe that Anglo-American foreign policy towards the Middle East is guided by anything other than oil. While ‘keeping the lights on’ is doubtless one aim of policy, as a whole it must be more of an emulsion: an emulsion in which the sought-after oil is dispersed amongst other versions of self-interest.

It is the nature of the emulsifying agent that stabilises this substance that’s the real enigma. It comprises the real-time interplay between tactics and strategy, consequences seen and unforeseen, the dialogues between action and reaction, intervention and isolation, and the unremitting opposition of events.

Sunday, 15th November 2015

Why isn’t the International Phonetic Alphabet a recognised language on LinkedIn? Why won’t LinkedIn validate my /ˈlɪmɪtɪd ˈwəːkɪŋ prəˈfɪʃ(ə)nsi/?

Saturday, 14th November 2015

A strong network of contacts among influential people contributes more effectively than good professional skills in advancing one’s grammar. In other words, it’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.

Saturday, 7th November 2015

A discussion between female friends, overheard in a stationary carriage at New Cross Gate:

PASSENGER 1: By my reckoning, only one in twenty episodes of the Today programme is actually listenable.
PASSENGER 2: How d’you work that out?
PASSENGER 1: Well, there’s a twenty per cent chance of Webb presenting, and then a twenty-five per cent chance that he will be paired with Husain. Ergo, there’s a five per cent chance – one in twenty – that Humphrys, Naughtie, and Montague will all be absent on the same day.
PASSENGER 2: I see. …But what about the news?


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