Why This Article Must Not Be About That Thing Everyone's Talking About

Why This Article Must Not Be About That Thing Everyone's Talking About

That thing that happened earlier in the week had so many layers to it that you could scarcely have imagined when you first came across.

Well, I guess some people imagined it, because almost immediately afterwards loads of people were on Twitter and Facebook and probably Bebo talking about it.

Some were outraged, others bewildered, and a great many seemed nonplussed and quite cantankerous about the fuss it was causing.

Thankfully there were already some (not so well paid) journalists live-blogging that event who were able to offer some cutting and/or sardonic commentary on the commentary that others had made.

Even better, as they had helped the topic become top-page news, which meant that the (much better paid) opinion columnists from those same media organisations could scramble out of their watering hole of choice and rush to give their unique, highly valued take on things.

References to the whole fiasco had already been trending on Twitter and whatnot, and this further analysis was well received, leading to debate about the analysis, and analysis about the debate - and whenever something would stick out then it meant that there was another thread that could be further subject to rigorous scrutiny.

It is going to be so exciting to describe this age of wonder to our grandchildren. Well, I imagine it will be, though I was so thoroughly electrified by the rapid-fire evolution of commentary on the affair that - were this to happen every single week - then I am not sure that my heart will be able to take it.

Like many others, for most of the past few days I just sat in front of my computer, or was outside looking at my phone, or was in bed gawking at my tablet, and I was completely agog.

At some point I guess I snapped out of it, and suddenly I thought: "But wait, Michael, what do you have to add to this?"

It didn't take me long to realise the error of my ways.

For it is now far too late for me to say anything of consequence about it, so for the sake of my own reputation I must stay silent. It would just be crass to try to do something now. Can you even imagine?

This is especially unfortunate, as soon afterwards I made a really funny off-the-cuff wisecrack about the subject matter to a friend. I felt like Truman Capote, Oscar Wilde or Danny Dyer, but instead of seizing the moment I went off to hoover the flat or wash the dishes, then I forgot about it.

Now that I remember the witticism in scintillating detail, there is nowhere for it to go except to burrow itself deeper into my brain, irritating all conscious thought until I'm just numbly staring at the computer screen unable to finish this

Because I can't mention that, I spent hours scouring the internet trying to think of something else to write about. Whatever else it was that I found - and there is quite a bit of recent stuff on there as it turns - was pretty decent, but it just didn't really stand up compared to the main talking point of the week.

Therefore I cannot mention any of it, because really it is just settling for second-best and nobody deserves that, when some really great minds have had their say on that whole watercooler moment and those articles ought to be discovered and ruminated over instead.

By not even giving a single shout-out to a "topical subject of the week" then this article will pretty much be invisible to Google searches, allowing more worthwhile content to pop up in its place.

This tactic should be adopted more often in the future. If there is nothing to add to the debate, if every conceivable angle of approach has been realised, then the self-appointed phalanx of wannabe opinion-formers ought to do the decent thing, and refrain from pointlessly piping up.

Perhaps they can spend some time thinking about the topic in their own heads, running through hastily assembled arguments and demolishing them with ease, after a while realising that it is best to say nothing.

They could write about that, I guess. The subject of saying nothing. They could spend some time writing about it, knowing that it has probably already been done plenty of times by superior intellectuals.

Then, if they have any sense, they should probably apologise for taking up the valuable time of those who were unfortunately lured on to the mournfully assembled gallimaufry of an article - briefly looking up a thesaurus so this time hasn't been entirely wasted - and just stop writing.


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