I was at a Facebook-organised event to celebrate the life and times of Norman Geras yesterday. I went with a phone without Facebook. Just as well I agreed to a pre-meet-up, with Bob from Brockley and other lovely people. I suggested, whilst there, that the problem with bloggers meeting bloggers for the first time is:
- You don’t know if you know a person, even when you’re introduced.
- You don’t know how embarrassed you should feel when you don’t know someone, even as references are given.
- Even when you do recognise the occasional soul from a fairly accurate avatar or handle, face-to-face – or so the general rule would seem to go – bloggers are so much nicer than online.
So. Are bloggers, as a breed, sheep or wolves? Or is it just that they want to have the last word? From last night’s gathering – more in the tradition of an Irish wake than an English mourning – it would appear that the latter is the case. Reverential isn’t a word that enters their lexicon. A desire to be accurate, pedantically so perhaps, does however define them – and define them well.
Neither sheep nor wolves then. As I tweeted this morning, whilst inspecting the treasures of the British Library for the very first time in my life, if you’re looking for a cocoon of an intellectual bent, a cocoon to retreat respectfully and gently, occasionally maybe healthily, to – from what we might term the ravages of a quite brutal world – you could hardly do better than to meet up with London bloggers remembering their peers.
Especially one of the stature of Norman Geras.
Many thanks to Paul Evans for the idea, and the execution. Blogging as a way of life is clearly not dead. Not whilst people like those present last night, as the crowd begin to drift away into the night, still refuse to give up the right to having that last word – that precious last word of sheep and wolves both.