A few days ago, I was reading the football results on the BBC. Two hours later, I was scrolling down sites of ancient ruins in Qatar.
If you follow football, you can probably guess how I got from A to B via X, Y and Z. If you can’t, then Google it.
Everybody knows what I’m talking about here. Those lost hours (days, months) scrolling down Wikipedia entries on dead rockstars. Do you know Bob Marley died of acral lentiginous melanoma?
I’m not even a heavy internet user. I generally use it for the football scores, banking, bureaucracy, writing this blog and listening to music. I don’t even use it for work as I work on a farm. But like everyone, I sometimes get sucked into the void.
True, I occasionally learn things. I learnt about String Theory recently which I included in the post before this. But most of the time, it’s guff.
Take the Guardian newspaper for example. I’m a keen supporter of the paper and its values, but most of the pieces I’ve read before. Different topics, different authors, but the ideas are the same. Features, articles and opinion pieces recycled whenever there’s some special commemoration, anniversary, or event in the offing. Another climate change summit, another slew of ideas and protests that won’t be taken on board by the politicians, because in short, they don’t give a shit.
On the football front, whenever Man Utd or Barcelona have a string of bad results, there’s a mountain of articles on who should be sacked and why and who should replace them. I’ve followed football all my life and we’re having the same arguments now over the sacking of Solskaer as we had in 1990 over the sacking of Alex Ferguson. (If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about – you can read on now.)
In short, history repeats itself. We all know that. And yet we keep on reading about it, again, and again, and again.
Wikipedia is fantastic but it’s also annoying that almost every other word or phrase in a sentence has a link to another Wikipedia page. By the time you’ve finished reading say a piece on rock formations in the Llanberis Valley in North Wales, you’ve got half the internet open citing everything from granite chemistry to the Stereophonics.
Saying this, (and I have been trying to crowbar this song into my blog for some weeks now), I did find out about Alain Bashung recently just by mindlessly browsing the internet.
I was seeing if the word Lego (as in the small plastic brick) is the same in French as it is in English. It is. And it led me to a song called Comme un Lego written by Gérald Manset and sung by Alain Bashung in 2008. I liked it so much that I’ve started to sing and play it (with mixed results). But I’m glad I found it so maybe browsing isn’t always a waste of time.
Sadly, Alain Bashung died in 2009. Lung Cancer.