Deary deary me. How serious and intellectual this blog has become. No offence meant, of course. I just wonder if we have entirely lost shoe post readers by now [if not, give a sign of life, please…], because, if so, it is probably all my fault. Now I do have this absolutely brilliant series on pop culture in my head, ranging from Ruritanian novels over Georgette Heyer, Isaac Asimov and Start Trek to the Vorkosigan series (chronologically, that is). Plus cool webcomics, just you know. I just feel cowed by the standards set here because finding time for serious reflection is – difficult. I wish I could just let my inner child write, who does not care for this.

And this leads me to the hot tip of the month: Seraphic is CONTINUING the BODIS RIPER ! Who would have thought it! If you do not know it as yet, go here – that is the start of part 3 only, but if you send Seraphic’s Inner Child some really cool fan art, who knows if she will not send you parts 1 and 2 as well (I don’t, but you could ask her…[sorry Seraphic, this is no attempt at blackmail]).

Oh yes. And I found this draft that is three years old, but could have been re-written a number of times in the interval. Just as a shoe post in between.

A Cynic’s Notes to Self  – No. 38

Never travel in trains without earplugs.

Unless you are really filled with unshakable universal charity, this constitutes at least a near occasion for sin. It is highly unlikely that you will manage to offer your fellow passengers’ annoying behaviour up without first harbouring uncharitable thoughts to a degree that at least cancels any later merit.

You will not feel indulgent towards the elderly man opposite you who, with highly inefficient headphones, allows you to listen to his music in nearly original volume, not if the absolute high point of this music is ‚Dschinghis Khan’ and your thoughts continually and helplessly slip from your work to fantasies of grasping his discman and jumping on it. His varying the noise composition by munching unindentifiable, but very crunchy snacks over a prolongued period will not soften your heart.

You will develop no sisterly feelings for the young woman, just slightly older than yourself, who starts a conversation with an apparently nice and sensible business man opposite to her. You will rather think that in that conversation, sense is distributed uncommonly asymmetrically between the two partners. Her casually mentioning her working hours (till 9 pm); or how much nicer long-distance flights, to Canada, for example, usually are compared to inter-European flights; or how annoying train travel is, with all the long distances you have to walk on the platforms instead of just getting directly from the luggage reclaim to the taxi: none of this will further endear her to yourself.

In the end, you will be annoyed at yourself for starting violently at her mentioning her dissertation: has your experience still not told you that completed doctorates are a remarkably weak predictor for individuals’ intelligence?

All this is but very slightly set off by the profound sympathy between yourself and the man opposite to you, whose frantically moving lips indicate that he is finding the book he is reading somewhat hard to follow in the present circumstances, too, and who occasionally exchanges glances of shared suffering with you.