Monday, May 07, 2007

It's the thought that counts

Many years ago my friend Fiona and I used to spend our Sundays dodging the ferries that criss-cross Sydney Harbour in a tiny boat called a sabot which is, I believe, the French for salad bowl. More often than not, we would misjudge advancing whitewash and capsize. There is no re-floating a sabot, at least not the old hardwood ones anyway, so we’d have to sit out there in the cold, bobbing around for hours in shark-infested shipping lanes waiting for the rescue boat manned by Dads to come and pluck us from our mini Poseidon Adventure. It has since become illegal for parents to endanger small children in this way.

I have previously mentioned our most spectacular maritime disaster where we rammed a much bigger boat and the sabot sank. This unfortunately occurred on the same day that Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt also went missing at sea. Since every available rescue service was engaged in the hunt for the Chinese submarine that had kidnapped our prime minister, we had to leave the boat in its watery grave and swim ashore. We weren’t seriously considered to be suspects for very long.

Despite our being the worst sailors in nautical history, Fiona and I always received a small trophy at the end of the season. This was a recognition of our proud achievement of failing to finish a single race in dry clothes. It was the firm belief of our sailing club that every child deserved a prize for effort, even if there was clearly no evidence that any had been expended.

I mention this because I have been nominated by Shallowlands for A Thinking Blogger Award.

Ros Barber is a Marlowe scholar and person of great wit and intelligence so I can only assume that she is in the throes of some kind of breakdown if That’s So Pants has stimulated the provocation of any thoughts at any time. Be that as it may, if opportunity knocks at House of Pants, we generally invite it in for a nice cup of tea, so thanks Ros.

It falls to me now to find five of my favourite blogs that have not already been the recipient of a Thinking Blogger Award. Baroque in Hackney has one, as does Reading the Signs and The World of Zhisou.

I can’t believe Dave Hill hasn’t got one already for his cerebrally panoramic Temperama, not to mention his unfeasibly well-reasoned contributions to Comment is Free and his tender chronicling of the mythically myopic microcosm that is Hackney in Claptonian. But he isn’t ‘proudly displaying’ the Thinking Blogger logo so either he thinks it’s pants or everyone else thought he already had one. If you didn't have one before Dave, you do now.

If the only thing Ben Locker ever contributed to the blogosphere was Elegantly Dressed Wednesday, it would have been enough to earn him a brainiac gong because it’s a mathematical fact that if grossness is not tempered by elegance, the world will blow up. Ben has been keeping the world save for bespokery for a long time. A period of mourning followed the demise of his Hackney Lookout blog, but he stormed back with his brand new blogorific Scorn and Noise.

Ms Melancholy’s Confessions of a Psychotherapist has achieved the impossible and given me cause to believe that the state of your mental health is not necessarily determined by Dr Phil. Unfortunately for me, it’s too late as Dr Phil had already convinced me that ‘if I think I can, I will and if I think I can’t I probably won’t’. Since recovering from the disappointment of failing to win a place in the British Beach Volleyball team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics despite being certain that I could, I have subsequently given up the search for Harold Holt and settled for a life of simple, affordable pleasures. No one says no to you if you just want to buy something.

Reading Not Saussure is like looking at a Ferrari and knowing you will never be able to afford it. Some might think this is a negative thing but I am not the jealous type and have become quite content with walking most places. Besides a No 26 bus is bigger than a Ferrari and just as red so it’s not all bad news.

What can you say about a blogger who has written more posts on anxieties than any other subject? Nothing except you love her. Anxieties ignite my thought process more than anything else. One moment a child has fallen ill from eating supermarket chicken and the next thing I’m rewriting my will and living on oranges and Tamiflu. It doesn’t matter how many times I remind myself that I don’t eat supermarket chicken. The damage has been done. NMJ at Velo-Gubbed Legs regularly sparks these episodes which is great because at least I know I’m alive. And I still don’t know what Velo is or what it’s like to be gubbed so I know there is still work to do tomorrow.

There you have it. My five Thinking Blogger nominees in no particular order.

If you would like to carry on this fine tradition and are able to find someone out there in the blogosphere who has not already been so honoured, the rules are:

1. If you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the "Thinking Blogger Award" with a link to the post that you wrote. (Tip – level of pride not able to be measured as far as I am aware.)

Thanks again Ros, my award is proudly displayed on the shelf with all my trophies for not drowning…

Cartoon by the wonderful Leunig


Ms Melancholy said...

Hey lovely Pants, I take the compliment, really I do. But I am very suspicious of Mr Yoldas' motives in developing the 'Thinking Blogger' meme. There are thousands of blogs that now link to his site. And if I am not much mistaken this allows him to sell advertising space at a premium. He implied as much on his blog, although I haven't been back since visiting just the once and he may have removed the offending post. He has already upbraided me for suggesting that this is his motivation. But I am happy to make the assertion once more, and risk another upbraiding. See John Baker here for a discussion on this.

However, you are a most clever Pants, because you have managed to display the logo without actually linking to Mr Cynical-Viral-Marketing's blog. Well done! Although I do suspect this is your lack of technological savvy - which you know I share with you - rather than a deliberate ploy on your part.

You know I love your blog, and you always make me think. If I may say so privately, and without anyone listening in, yours happens to be my most favourite blog in the world. So I do hope you don't mind me being oh so cynical just once more.

Lots of love, as always x

That's so pants said...

Gawd - I must have missed that one. You are right of course, (Doh!) I am too much of a techno-twat to have gotten the linking thing right - just as well.

Is there no one left in this world without insidious commercial intentions?

Note to self - you're so vain, you probably think this blog is about you!

At least I'm not that vain I've been enticed into Boots for their miracle new anti-aging cream. Oh nooooo. I'm quite happy with my Clarins thank you very much.

Ms Melancholy said...

Boots new miracle anti-aging cream? Thanks for the tip off. I may be tempted by that one x

Reading the Signs said...

Pants and Ms M - fear not, no-one this time round seems to be linking to Mr. Yoldas's site, we're just "doing it for ourselves". So it's all cool, and so are we.

And Ms M, between you and me (and anyone from the exclusive club of the Thinking Bloggers) I think Ms Pants should have her own Thinking Blogger's Thinking Blogger trophy.

That's so pants said...

Hi Ms M - Too late. You've missed the midnight crush. It's yesterday's miracle now.

That's so pants said...

Signs - Well that's a relief. Don't start! We've already established that I AM so vain I DO think this blog is ABOUT ME.

Ms Melancholy said...

Subversion! Fantastic Signs!

Ms Baroque said...

Excellent tags, and if I may say so excellent descriptions of the blogs in question!

Well done.

That's so pants said...


This is all going quite swimmingly after all.

nmj said...

Ms Pants, Am truly honoured to have been chosen & will get to picking five of my own in due course, I have just killed a spider so am a bit preoccupied with what to do with its body, it's still in the bath...

nmj said...

ps. meant to say, this is the explanation of velo-gubbed, plucked from my blog:

In France, in the early eighties, my friend remarked she had a 'velo-gubbed arse' from riding the bikes we'd hired. Now, I often think of velo-gubbed legs when I wake up with crap ME/CFS. I slept for twelve hours last night, but my legs feel eaten by giant moths and I haven't been near a velo.

Quink said...

That's very kind of you. If I can convince the child to take a nap this afternoon, I'll do a post in my turn

That's so pants said...

Hi NMJ. There was a slight hiccup there when Ms Melancholy raised validity of 'honour' issues but all have been cleared up by Signs now. It's like Academy Awards (as in chosen by peers) except for people with brains rather than hair extensions.

Instructions for dealing with spider

1. collect on stiff piece of paper - on old birthday card works best.

2. Deposit in flower pot and cover with nice rich soil, or compost.

3. Recite Bruce and the Spider.

Hi Quink

Good luck with personal space issue. With babies it tends to be all me, me, me.

MrZhisou said...

Pants, it is hard to choose, isn´t it? These days everyone´s so bloody good. In the end I kopped out and didn´t nominate anyone - or rather I nominated everyone on my blogroll - which, of course, includes your good self

nmj said...

Ah, Ms P, You and your Australian bravery, I could go nowhere near a dead spider, even with an old birthday card! Unless I was blindfolded. They are almost as bad dead. I just turned on the taps and didn't look while it spun down the plughole. I know it would be better to recycle it, but I couldn't have it in my plant pot, I would be reminded of the horror every time I watered the ivy.

That's so pants said...

Hi Mr Z

Good decision. Using pyramid logic, there are probably only a couple of layers left anyway. Might as well tell everyone you love them. How very politic of you!

NMJ - Now that IS weird. There is a very big difference between live and dead spiders. Live spiders are the reason I emigrated. When faced with one of those, I call Mum who brings a large glass jar and a birthday card. (There are a million uses for old birthday cards you know.) She chases the spider into the jar and seals it with the birthday card and then takes it outside and upends it over next door's fence.

nmj said...

Eek, even talk of Australian spiders makes me afraid to come to your blog.
And they - all of them - are only marginally less terrifying dead, yes, they can't run after you, but they are all flattened and still full of horror.

That's so pants said...

NMJ - so many reasons to love you.

I promise never to talk about spiders on this blog again - not a great hardship for me actually.

R.H. said...

Spiders are beautiful.

That's so pants said...

Hi R.H.

Yes. I agree. In fact, here at my present home in East London, I encourage spiders to build webs across the windows because they eat all the flying insects. However, British spiders do not,

a) Cause death within seconds quite deliberately
b) Hide under a toilet seat for days waiting to bite someone's bum (what kind of job is that?)
c) Jump.

British insects in general do not see themselves as the sworn enemy of humans. For example, flies only appear on the very hottest days and then they fly around in the centre of the room ignoring all organic matter, including your lunch. Whoever would have thought that was possible?

R.H. said...

Blowflies here are big, and bark like bulldogs. Everything's more refined in England. We have the redback spider. It's poisonous, as you'd know, and so every fool wants to kill spiders. I love spiders. They're vivacious, and enormously entertaining.

The best art is a web with raindrops in it.

That's so pants said...

Hi R.H.

Raindrops on a spider web is only if a human says it's so, otherwise it's nature.

R.H. said...

Oh. Goodness me. Who said otherwise? But what did cave painters think they were doing? Aborigines here were being spiritual, now they're being commercial -industrial, their works hang in Melbourne art galleries run by Americans. Mind you, I'm not shy. As an artist, and a philosopher, I'll take anything I'm given.

That's so pants said...

Hi R.H.

It's a dilemma isn't it? I'm always ranting about the art establishment but I might shut up if they invited me to join, or better still, just threw money.