Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The Thinking Blogger’s Cartoonist

While Mr Lawson Brown is busy slashing income tax at the expense of the lower-paid (see, it’s not just me who’s interested in time travel, though with no meaningful green taxes it’s hardly back to the future), I’ve been thinking about Mr Jonathan Calder’s tagging of me as a Thinking Blogger, or ‘Thogger’. How curiously unattractive that sounds. Though wary of what Mr Dome calls ‘pyramid selling’, I’ve come up with my own ‘Thogger’ list, and – to show how intellectual I am – a cartoon. Oh, all right, and a link to a learned academic journal that cites me.

Hmm, which first? Well, obviously, the cartoon. Mr Chris Black was kind enough to complement one of my recent articles, delighted at how it reminded him of the TV21 comic of his youth. So, just for Chris, here’s a cartoon I drew on the eve of Century 21 in homage to the style of their magnificent The Daleks comic strip, with apologies to Millennium (I don’t know where the original artwork is, I’m afraid, so here’s a scan from a garish card I produced – spot the bit where I forget what a curve looks like):


The Daleks Attack in Century 21!
Posted by Picasa

I also discovered, while searching to see if anyone else had written as long and ludicrous in-depth and stimulating an article about The Macra Terror as my last post (apparently not), another cartoon making reference to that story.

Meanwhile, this very morning my lovely friend Nick told me about an academic journal in which I’m cited at length by Professor Alan McKee and apparently inspire his article (despite it using the porn star spelling of my name). This article is, unsurprisingly, Is Doctor Who Political? and it’s available on a month’s free trial if you want to have a read. Unlike my own articles, it won’t take you a month to read it. It’s based on a piece I wrote for the 2001 General Election for a Doctor Who fan group who’d sent questions about the series and its impact on politics to all the political parties; at the time, ‘difficult policy questions’ on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and on Doctor Who were farmed out to me (make your own connections). I made a slightly tongue-in-cheek case for the Lib Dems, on the assumption that all the other parties would be doing the same. I think it turned out we were the only lot who bothered, so it unintentionally left me looking very partial in a vacuum; I expanded my piece into a more considered article two or three years later, with two slightly different takes – a ‘Liberal’ version and a Doctor Who’ version - on How Doctor Who Made Me a Liberal.

So, having established my intellectual credentials, it’s time to unveil my list of five Thinking Bloggers I’d like to tag, in order for them to nominate five more who get them thinking. Well, regular readers will not be shocked to learn that my reaction was not ‘How can I find enough?’ but ‘How can I cut them down?’ - I enjoy reading quite a few blogs that make me think and occasionally disagree, whether they read mine or not. Many thanks are due to James Graham and of course to Jonathan for having already nominated a few that I might otherwise have been tempted to plug and, in the latter case, for having been kind enough to choose me in the first place (pointed stare at Stephen Tall, though, for not yet having done his bit to whittle my list down). With their help I managed to get my list of five down to a mere ten, so I arrived at my final list by the brilliant wheeze of picking a couple of interesting blogs I read that aren’t on Lib Dem Blogs Aggregated and then, er, rolling a die for the rest and assembling the results in strictly alphabetical order…

Five Thinking Bloggers I’d Recommend:
The Diary of Chris K

Eaten by Missionaries

Forceful and Moderate

Nothing Tra La La?

The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone
A special mention goes to Theo Butt Philip, proprietor of “As I look out over this magnificent vista…” As a thinking blogger, Theo, have you thought about writing something in your blog? After all, how can any self-respecting shameless self-publicist not say anything for four months? And even more importantly, as I become more and more aware of just how out of date the list of links at the side of my own blog is… Theo, I’d like to update my list of Lib Dem bloggers to bring in a few exciting new ones, but I don’t want to have to drop you because of your inactivity. In part it’s because you’re a friend, but mostly it’s because if I lose your magnificently lengthy title I’ll have no ‘peak’ to the nice pointy curve shape I’ve arranged my links into. Theo, be a thinking blogger again, and think of me!

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Gosh! Thanks for the cartoon....!
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