Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A quick straw poll on that thing that's happening this Friday

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A lizard: almost certainly not involved in the thing
that's happening this friday
Way back when it was announced last year, I made a solemn pledge to you, the readers of this blog, that, unless the protagonists turned out to be shape-shifting, humanity-manipulating lizards, I wouldn't mention that thing that's happening this Friday.

Which is why, in this post, which is clearly an act of pledge-breaking (something I hear is fashionable these days), I will only refer to that thing as "that thing that's happening this Friday". I suppose the reason I'm broaching the issue at all is that, working here on my own in the New Humanist office, on the first day of this three-day void, this non-week bracketed by non-events, I'm looking for reassurance that I'm not alone.

You see, spending the past week back at home with my parents, surrounded by people I generally consider to be level-headed, I was asked on more than one occasion whether I was looking forward to that thing that's happening this Friday. "Oh, you're heading back to London tomorrow," one well-meaning friend pointed out. "You must be excited about seeing that thing that's happening this Friday." At which point I realised that I had stepped, unwittingly, into the realm of Schadenfreude. "No," I replied. "To be honest I hope it rains."

A completely unreasonable position, I fully admit, and one that I'm happy to reverse. I don't hope it rains. I for one would quite like to enjoy my day off work, even if it won't involve watching that thing that's happening this Friday. But it's certainly trying having to spend the week in a land that seems to have entirely taken leave of its senses, with even newspapers that should know better veering perilously close to the sycophancy, and quite rightly, and amusingly, attracting the ire of their readers for doing so. I don't know why, but I'd naively assumed that most people really didn't care about it – from what I've seen and heard in the past week, it turns out I may have been wrong.

Which brings me to the point of what may prove one of my more pointless blog posts. Chatting to my dad – a man who is rather fond (perhaps even too fond) of his line about not singing the national anthem at the cup final because even if he believed in God he wouldn't want him to save the Queen – about the national fawning frenzy, he told me how he likes to irritate his work colleagues by pronouncing himself a "republican atheist". They don't like that one, apparently.

Which got me thinking (and I'm not claiming for a moment that this wasn't obvious) – those two labels must surely converge on a regular basis. Perhaps the reason the thing that's happening this Friday didn't really invade my life until I took last week off was because I spend most of my days running this website, conversing with an audience largely uninterested in that kind of thing.

So, just as a little experiment, and mostly to keep me entertained as I work on my own here in the void, I thought I'd conduct a quick straw poll. Please do share your thoughts and, whatever you're up to this coming weekend, I hope the sun shines and you have a good one. Honest.

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