Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Would two heads be better than one?

This is not what I set out to blog about today. I started to write a post, read it back - and then decided to delete it. One of the things I find particularly satisfying about writing a blog is the way it challenges you to examine what you think.

We all have those experiences when it's as if a light has come on in our heads. We've followed a train of thought and suddenly we have an idea or see something in a different light. It's easy to feel smug when this happens, in the uneditted part of our minds. Blogging is guaranteed to bring you down to earth in these situations. Nine times out of ten I find, if I set these things down they appear, when I read them back, to be simplistic, self-satisfied or just plain wrong. Blogging can be driven by vanity - it can also be a chastening source of humility.

I almost wrote another post the other day, and then -for the reasons above- decided not to. I'd found myself thinking how much better it would be if we all had two heads. I'm not just talking about appearances here (although it is the case that it would great if one could be a hippy and a skinhead at the same time). I'm sure as a species we'd be far more reflective if we had to discuss everything we did with a second self. And we'd never be lonely.

There are downsides. It would be good to be more reflective, but it could work the other way: my two heads could egg each other on to ever more despicable acts. Some aspects of modern life would be made more difficult: would I share a mobile phone with myself? If my other head was into "I'm on the train" kind of conversations, it could prove very annoying. As for tastes in music, or the chattery noise that comes out of walkman headphones, it doesn't bear thinking about. Garlic, snoring... I could go on.

Anyway, from the ridiculous to the sublime. If my other head was into this, I wouldn't mind at all. This is what happened when John Cage met up with James Joyce and Robert Wyatt...


The Weaver of Grass said...

I must say my one head went on to this prepared to dislike it but surprisingly I liked it very much - I particularly liked the way the singer could sustain the note and the way he slid along the last note.

Rachel Fenton said...

That's the first piece of music I've listened to this week that has stayed with me for more than ten minutes after it ended.

Argent said...

I've found a similar phenomeneon to you about blogging: those brialliant insights just don't looks os great when written down. I've got loads of half-baked post lying around my hard-drive. Occasionally though, if I go back months later, I can see a way forward with them and they can actually be used. I'm afraid neither of my heads' musical palate is sufficiently educated enough to appreciate the music - or maybe it's too early in the day or something. I do applaud you for bringing to our attention things we might not otherwise have heard though.