Breaking news . . . wow this is so exciting . . . I don’t know where to start but I have just this minute received the call from our sponsors: the new research project is to go ahead. What is it, you ask. An obvious question, nothing less than what I expected and just as predictably I cannot say anything about it. Yeah, I know, why announce it when I can’t give any details! But this is the way it works. Maybe the trouble is that I’m too excited and I want to burble on about it. The thing is, they said to me, yes you can announce it but no details. That’s the deal! Fair enough, I said. But then when I thought about I did feel a twinge of disappointment.
Is this always the way with sponsors? They like to keep some control of events? Some control? Total control? Control the flow of information?
There we are! Shrug of shoulders, grind of teeth: always caught between acceptance and rage.
So we meet and we start from scratch and you say: it’s a long conversation. And there are some points to remember:
1) It’s about you and me – some 21st century take on Martin Buber’s great work mixed in with social representation theory.
2) It goes all the effing time! And much of it so obvious, self evident, that we might die of embarrassment.
3) It does help to have a deadline.
4) And it is certainly necessary to have a production process and timetable (like any other business – is this a business? No, probably not. What is it then? I told you I can’t give any details. Do you actually know anything about it? Can I leave that question for the time being.)
5) There is a voice that comes in, breaks in one might say: what we are doing, the voice has great authority, as though the person behind the voice really does know what they are talking about, what we are doing is research, and, as we said (get it! Get the ‘we’) at the beginning the grant has been awarded.
The old bastard on the street announces that the distance to hell is the same wherever you are. He gives a bit of a cackle. But, I’m not going to whisper this to him (he tends not to listen anyway) but that means that heaven is also the same distance from wherever we are. Although if we are not interested in either of those categories then, I guess, we just get on with getting by.
And another thought: what will happen when all the millions in the good ol’ US of A discover that socialism is a good thing. That will be very interesting.