Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Thursday July 27 2006

Tonight I scored a great social success by recounting, to two delightful young ladies who were hanging upon my every word, Micklethwait’s Law of Negotiated Misery.  Hurrah!  Young ladies do not hang upon my every word all that often.  When they do, it’s an Event.

Yet, tragically, my own life is now being scripted by this same law.  I get paid dribs and drabs of money to write Proper Blog Postings, because, although pretty good at this, I am now rather fed up with it, which means that people will now pay me at least some money to do this.

But when it comes to Billion Monkey photography, which I am also getting to be quite good at, I still get paid nothing.  Why?  Because I love it.

Last Saturday, for instance, I was invited to attend the naming ceremony and subsequent party for the recently acquired baby daughter of Tim and Helen Evans, and to bring my best camera.  “Tell me what we owe you,” said Helen, at one point during the afternoon, as I snapped away happily.  At which point the fateful words just leapt out of my mouth: “Oh, please, this is my present to Her Highness”, or words to that effect.

On Monday night, at that Globalisation Institute jamboree (see my photos here, here, here, and of course here (i.e. here)), it was the same story.  Think nothing of it dear boy, they’re on me.  And oh, the thrill of a personal name credit at Guido.  This is the poshest thing I have done, social kudos wise, since I deputised a couple of times for David Starkey on the Moral Maze.

I also love to podcast, heaven help me, and am fixed to do several more podcasts with several Really Interesting People in the days and weeks and months to come.  In exchange for no money whatsoever.  Also, thin end of the wedge, I’ve already done some podcasting – i.e. recording of other people talking, but into my kit – for other people, without me talking at all.  That’s how much I now like podcasting.

What’s the betting that in five years time, I am (a) being paid to do Billion Monkeying, and (b) being paid to Podcast, and that I hate both.

The universe.  Sometimes I really do not like it.

Or maybe it’s just that I spent two and half hours watching a really depressing Romanian Film, in a cinema with friends (which means no switching channels or going away), which was so depressing that eventually it became very diverting.  Nothing like the misfortunes of others to cheer you up, I always say.

Some quite pretty looking woman in a late night telly show has just said: “Is it just me, or is the whole world just falling to pieces?” It’s not just you dear.  And as if to prove my point, the man she said this to replies with his own contribution to universal happiness: “Everything good in my life is just sliding away, and there’s nothing I can do about.”

I’m definitely going to go on banging on about Micklethwait’s Law of Negotiated Misery, though.  I will never make any money out of it, though, because I like it too much.  Although I suppose one day I may get fed up with it, at which point people will then pay me to bang on about it, the way they don’t have to now.