Saturday, 6 October 2007

Like a Rolling Stone

If your life is anything like mine you’ll be wanting comfort from the fact you’re not alone, and more importantly, it’ll be pretty much a rock rolling down a hill side.
There’s a certain amount of what happens to you which is just a natural result of how the land lies, a certain amount that’s influenced by your spin and how fast you’re travelling, and most of the rest is a result of the direction you were pushed at the hill top.

Basically, the filters you put on the world and your reactions to it are in place from pretty early on. I’m a lefty, a veggy, a Doctor Who fan, a Liverpool FC supporter and a BBC boy, because I have been ever since, and I’ve been a creature of habit since shortly after, and it takes a lot to break that conditioning
Which is why when the organisations I instinctively trust let me down I feel particularly torn.

This isn’t about Liverpool FC playing like a drain in Europe*, the BBC having shown a misleading trailer to journalists and having spoken in ignorance and error about the contents of the programme the trailer was promoting**, Doctor Who being given back to a general audience away from the sweaty over-possessive hands of loons like myself, the Vegetarian Society allowing a product using non-free range eggs to get its green tick *** or a Labour government doing the kind of things I always hated the Tories doing.

Basically, someone I rate in an organisation I rate is losing their job and there’s not a sausage I can do about it. Broadly, I think “Yeah, great outfit," specifically, I think “Dumb arse decision”. In the past I’ve been able to take my bat and ball away when this happened in organisations I had some stake in, but in this case I don’t think I have a bat and ball to take. You can’t help but feel a bit muddied and compromised.


Got to find a way to take some control, got to get me some bats and balls.

* I know the usual form would be “playing like drains”, but a team should be treated as a single entity grammatically, even if it's not playing like one.

** Clearly, a sacking offence and not just the ordinary nature of broadcasting. Oh hang on, it involves our constitutional monarch, fair does, a heinous act.

*** Quorn, I’m told, got its tick before it should have. It deserves it now, but I believe it was given it on promises of becoming truly veggy down the line. This may be FOAFlore but that’s what I was told.


Robin Johnson said...

It's permissible in UK English to treat a singular noun representing an organisation as a plural. That's what the Grammar Police has told me, anyway.

IZP said...

Somehow though, despite knowing it to be false, I want to cling to the idea that teams, corporations, families, governments and even parliaments are single entities composed of many parts working together as one towards a common aim. So, although it may be permissable, and true, to treat them all as thems, I can't consider it right.

I'm sure I'm not alone in clinging to this collective singular, especially given that, despite its many heads with contradictory viewpoints, you've quite deliberately given the Grammar Police a "has" not a "have"...

Pebble said...

I can't remember why I'm here. Oh yes: "Normal service will resume in Moonraker" possibly your best and certainly one of your stupidest endjokes, plus the utterly sweetest delivery, he's an absolute love. We missed most of the Castle Anagram sketch because we were laughing - yes, actually laughing, not just nodding and feeling clever - at the black as far as the eye could see bit, but now it's in the public domain I am stealing it for my very own, you see if I don't.