English, half-Irish, male, currently 26 (assuming that I’ve kept this page up to date), born and raised in Southeast England, educated at a grammar school and later Oxbridge. Culturally liberal Catholic, but neither theistic nor religiously observant. Politically, instinctively liberal to the point of anarchist (I would just say anarcholiberal or liberal anarchist, but those apparently have other connotations), and instinctively redistributionist and generally left-wing – but reformist rather than revolutionary. Interests include pedantry, arguing, beauty, reading. A mythopoeist – conlanger (I invent languages), conworlder (I invent worlds, cultures, religions, philosophies, species, etc), would-be writer (I fail to write). Every couple of years I seem to be struck by an unavoidable determination to write poetry, but it usually passes quickly, and don’t worry, I won’t be inflicting it on you.
I apologise in advance for being annoying. This is partly because I have poor social skills and can’t help it, and partly because I’d rather be annoying than deceitful. It’s for your own good.
Has no real purpose. Seems mostly have turned into a place where I review books that I read. May continue like that, or may change – who knows? In between reviews, I sometimes react to current events – particularly politics – and/or muse out loud about something obscure and/or boring. In expressing my opinions, I may appear a blustering simpleton – this is in part because I am a blustering simpleton, and in part because I think it’s more thought-provoking to express a wrongheaded opinion forcefully than to (as would probably be the wisest option in almost all cases) demurely decline to opine until all facts are in and all positions considered in the greatest possible depth. I’m not an expert on anything and I don’t pretend to be – if it sounds like I feel certain about something, it’s only because I think it’s better to speak foolishly and provoke an education (or even, perhaps, an interesting thought in the mind of another) than to stay quiet and remain ignorant.
Hello. I don’t know why you’re here, either, but I hope you’re entertained, informed, encouraged or inspired. [I know that sound grandiose, but why not be honest about our aspirations – even when we know we are unlikely to meet them?]. If you have any comments, questions or complaints, please, do feel free to speak up. If I seem to shout you down, I do apologise – I probably didn’t mean to. Sometimes when I’m arguing about an interesting question, I forget to be tactful. Feel free to remind me of this if necessary.
The Picture at the Top of the Blog:
It’s a portrait of Tsarevitch Dmitry of Uglich, son of Ivan the Terrible, painted many centuries later by Mikhail Nesterov. Dmitry died as a child – either having been stabbed by assassins on the orders of Boris Gudonov, or else accidentally stabbing himself while having an epileptic fit while trying to play darts with a knife. [Lesson from history: don’t do that.] As with the English Edward V, the suspicious death of a royal child lead to a series of pretender claiming to be the murdered boy – one of these ‘False Dmitrys’ even succeeded in becoming Tsar of Russia, though only briefly. Dmitry himself was later declared a saint by the Orthodox Church – hence the halo in Nesterov’s painting.
The painting has no particular relevance to the blog – I just happen to like it.