Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dilettantes with day jobs

Popping over to Nick Cohen’s place I notice two things. First, that he’s had a redesign (a significant improvement, too). Second, that in the process he’s cut Think of England from his list of ‘Comrades’. Such are the thanks one gets for buying his book twice and pointing out the mini-roundabout in Upper Street, Islington.

This cruel, cruel snub I’m sure has nothing to do with the argument we had over the sale of the Huffington Post, in which I criticised Nick for his, with hindsight, quite indefensibly absurd argument that Ms Huffington ripped off those people who blogged on her site for no pay. I say ‘in hindsight’ it was ‘indefensibly absurd’, because I have since realised that she could easily have actually charged amateur bloggers for the privilege of using her platform to find an audience for their twaddle, and made money from them that way before even coming to selling out.

During the course of this ‘debate’ Nick rather childishly busted my pseudonym, but since my 23rd year when I suddenly grew two inches and started ‘filling out’ I’ve generally been the bigger man in most company, so not only will I keep Nick on my list of ‘Friends and Foes’ (right), but I will even go so far as to dedicate to him the following random list of Dilettantes with Day-Jobs.

Matthew Arnold – school inspector
Charlotte Bronte – governess
Anton Chekhov – doctor
TS Eliot – Colonial and Foreign Accounts Clerk for Lloyds Bank of London
William Faulkner – Postmaster, University of Mississippi
Henry Fielding – Magistrate
Nathaniel Hawthorne – weigher and measurer at Customs House
Franz Kafka – Chief Legal Secretary of the Workmen’s Accident Insurance Institute
Philip Larkin – librarian
Baruch Spinoza – lens grinder
Henry David Thoreau – tutor, repairman/gardener
Anthony Trollope – Postal Surveyor

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