Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | October 13, 2007

Getting past the committee…

Imagine a rugby pitch with a player dodging his way past the opposing team and touching the ball down behind the line. Well writing this blog is like that for me. I give myself ten minutes at the start of each day and my job is to get past these guys to post this message.

My opposing team is, however, a little unusual. There is a lawyer in his city suit, an aesthete with a bow tie and glasses (a cross between the camp art critic Brian Sewell and that man with a bowtie and glasses who used to be on television – Robin Day?) and a rare breed – a grammarian (a schoolmistressy type with a bun and glasses again). These are my ‘inner critics’ who screen everything I write usually. The lawyer says “Is this statement true? How do you know? Can you prove it?” The school ma’am says “You can’t write that – look at all those split infinitives!” and finally Brian Sewell-Day surveys the sentence and says “Oh for heaven’s sake how clumsy – where’s the art, the style, the beauty in this? Can’t you write something more uplifting, more beautiful?”

So when I write about Bishops and actresses it may seem trivial (which it is!) but it represents a triumph at another level. It got past the committee! So I’m experimenting with this medium as a way of stimulating spontaneity, encouraging flow and ease of expression.

Now here’s the twist: it might seem like these critics are just a nuisance and I should attempt to fire them – eliminate them with intense therapy or something, but instead I’ve realised that they’re really on my side. We’re work colleagues and we just need to learn how to work together well – and we’re playing this game for fun and to improve our working style.  I’m going into the shower room with them now!


Responses

  1. Hahaha, this one made me laugh!

    But perhaps you should consider adding some sort of Jamaica-man into the mix of your ‘staff’, I would dearly love to see the effect of that 😉

  2. I am concerned by the establishment flavour of your committee and strongly endorse the idea to supplement the cast with some anarcho-syndicalists. Plus, don’t listen to the lawyer. Now, as you have previously noted, blogging is a little like being naked. But whereas in being naked, you can only be what you are, in blogging, you can revise. A blog is a palimpsest. If you make a lot of mistakes, like I do, you can correct them later and pretend they never happened.

  3. How very true Jonathan!
    I have already found myself revising ‘history’!

  4. How about proclaiming yourself president of the parliament in your head? That way you at least have the illusion of controlling your mind 🙂

  5. Lizzy and Jonathan want me to co-opt a Rastafarian and an anarcho-syndicalist. I’d love to – I’d invite a symbolist on board too, but I’m afraid it’s a ‘closed committee’. I don’t choose them. I blame my parents, my schooling, England, and possibly my past lives for having chosen them.
    And I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re elected for life.

  6. Hmm… a lifetime of servitude, this can be tricky, but have you actually seen the contract?

    Sacking them won’t do you any good no doubt, if they made a vow, it might be unbreakable (sorry, too much Harry Potter)

    So, in light of your new found ‘wickedness’, might I suggest a good immoral scheme? It is fair to presume that if they are in your head, you are in theirs as well, right?

    I think you have several options here;

    – plant the seeds of doubt and make them fight amongst each other so they stop bothering you

    – find out their weaknesses and blackmail the crap out of them

    – simply don’t listen to their advice

    This last one will probably backfire, but could be interesting to observe from a psycho-therapist point-of-view.

    But just think of the possibilities of option number two for example, especially with the laywer, now there’s a challenge!

    So I guess the only question remaining is, are you up for it? 😉

  7. Start flattering. Flatter them. Flatter them into a state of self-righteous absorption of their own grandeur, in which they graciously allow you to continue with whatever you are doing. Flattering perhaps is even more wicked than blackmailing, or is it?

  8. I’ve been summoned to a meeting with them tomorrow. Not sure yet whether to try Lizzy’s plan to blackmail them or Hennie’s to flatter them. Maybe both! I’ll let you know!


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